things to do in ottawa

Top 10 Things to Do in Ottawa

Welcome to Canada’s captivating capital city, Ottawa! With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, this charming destination has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff eager to explore iconic landmarks or an adventure seeker craving outdoor escapades, Ottawa promises an unforgettable experience. Join us as we uncover the top ten must-see attractions and hidden gems that will make your visit to Ottawa truly extraordinary. Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of architectural wonders, culinary delights, and immersive cultural experiences – let’s delve into the top ten things to do in Ottawa!

Top 10 Things to Do in Ottawa

1. Parliament Hill

Parliament HillIf you’re visiting Ottawa this winter, check out Parliament Hill! Here you can explore the gorgeous architecture and history of the building and take in some winter activities like skiing or skating on the Hill. You can also visit the National Gallery of Canada or catch a show at the National Arts Centre. In addition to all these attractions, be sure to wander around downtown Ottawa – there’s plenty to see and do here, too!

2. ByWard Market

ByWard MarketIf you’re in Ottawa for a day or two, check out the vibrant ByWard Market. The market is located just south of Ottawa Centre and is a great place to wander around, find unique boutiques, and eat delicious food. There are also plenty of places to sit and enjoy a coffee or beer while taking in the atmosphere. One of the best things about the ByWard Market is that it’s always bustling with activity. You can find street performers here every day, and there are always events taking place that you can attend. Whether you’re looking for a fun afternoon activity or something more serious, the ByWard Market has something for everyone.

3. National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of CanadaThe National Gallery of Canada is one of Ot nbm,tawa’s most popular tourist attractions. The museum boasts a wide range of art worldwide and is perfect for anyone looking to explore Canadian culture. Highlights include works by famous Canadian artists like Van Gogh and Monet and pieces by renowned international painters like Rembrandt and da Vinci. A wide selection of sculptures, ancient art, and national treasures are also on display. The gallery is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, so there’s always something to see.

4. Rideau Canal

Rideau CanalLooking for a relaxing day out in the city? Take a ride on the Rideau Canal! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see for fans of history and scenery. Enjoy the tranquil waters as you cruise along the wide, slow-moving waterways, or take a leisurely walk along one of its scenic locks. Not only is this an amazing way to spend an afternoon, but it’s also a great way to get around Ottawa without worrying about traffic. When in Ottawa, don’t forget to check out the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill—two of the city’s most iconic landmarks!

5. Canadian Museum of History

Canadian Museum of HistoryThe Canadian Museum of History is a must-see for anyone visiting Ottawa. The museum has a vast collection of artefacts, art from Canada’s past, and international exhibits. Some of the best features of the museum are its largescreen reproductions of historical paintings and sculptures, which allow visitors to see the works in their entirety. The museum also offers informative tours that take you through different collection sections.

6. Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of NatureThe Canadian Museum of Nature has something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff. This multimillion-dollar museum contains exhibits on earth, animal, and plant sciences, archaeology, and history. Notable exhibits include the world’s best dinosaur displays—including some dinosaurs that have never been seen outside of Canada and the Colter Hall of Mammals, which showcases more than 200 real specimens from around the world. The museum also features interactive areas such as an aviary with live birds and a rainforest where kids can explore gardens and streams.

7. Canadian War Museum

Canadian War MuseumThe Canadian War Museum preserves Canada’s military heritage. The museum is a national testament to Canada’s role in the world and its dedication to peacekeeping and defence. It covers many aspects of Canadian military history, from the First World War to current operations in Afghanistan. The museum takes visitors on a journey from pre-history to the present day, and the artefacts on display include weapons, vehicles, aircraft, and ship models. Guests can also explore the interactive gallery, read about Canada’s military campaigns online, or watch historical documentaries.

8. Major’s Hill Park

Major's Hill ParkMajor’s Hill Park is a popular destination for locals and visitors in Ottawa. The park has various attractions for all ages, including a playground, gardens, trails, a pond, and an observation tower. The tower offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings. There are also several picnic areas and secluded spots to relax in the park. Major’s Hill Park is great for spending an afternoon or evening with family or friends.

9. Gatineau Park

Gatineau ParkWhen it comes to enjoying the great outdoors in Ottawa, there’s no better place to start than Gatineau Park. This world-renowned park has plenty of activities and attractions for all ages, making it the perfect spot for a fun day out. There are plenty of opportunities if you’re looking to spend some time hiking or biking through the trails. If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider visiting one of the park’s many lakes and camping spots. And if you just want to relax in a sunny spot, head over to Flamingo Lagoon for a photo idyllic swim or picnic lunch.No matter what your plans are for visiting Gatineau Park, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks because you won’t be able to resist taking in all that this scenic beauty has to offer.

10. National Arts Centre

National Arts CentreWhen in Ottawa, make sure to check out the National Arts Centre. This world-class centre for performing arts has something for everyone, with various performances and exhibitions. Highlights of the National Arts Centre include the massive Art Gallery, which has a representative collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints, and the critically acclaimed theatre houses two stages and frequently hosts world-renowned performers. There’s also an expansive sculpture garden and a children’s museum filled with educational displays on natural history.


As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is home to plenty of things to do. Whether you’re looking for a day out with the family, exploring some must-see attractions, or relaxing in one of the many charming neighbourhoods, our Top 10 list has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip now!

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