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Top Places to see in Ottawa

By Athul K V - August 27, 2020
Ottawa Canada

Despite being the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is sometimes not viewed on the same level as Montreal or Toronto. In fact, it is far from the truth really. Ottawa is blessed with underrated attractions which are not talked about enough. Located on the Southern banks of river Ottawa, the city is the fourth largest city in Canada. Also, it boasts the highest literacy in all Canadian cities. The city has great monuments and iconic structures. This bilingual city is a symbol of Canadian culture as well as welcomes all other cultures of the world. Ottawa has everything to be an amazing tourist destination. Thus, here we check out the top places to see in Ottawa on your next trip.

Also Read: Budget Road Trip In Canada: Guide On How To Plan A Trip On A Budget

1. Rideau Canal

The iconic Rideau Canal’s history dates a long way back. The canal is more than 200 kilometres long and was crucial in the war against the United States in the early 1800s. It has totally different faces in both summer and winter. In Summer, this is a normal waterway connecting Ottawa and Kingston. Though not a deep canal, private and canal cruises thrive as they cruise along passing some of the best buildings in the city. Also, the pathways along the canal will be filled with runners and cyclists. As winter comes, it freezes over and becomes one of the largest skating rinks ever. Amazing, Isn’t it? Furthermore, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its importance in the history of the city of Ottawa.

Rideau Canal Ottawa
Image Source: Unsplash

2. Byward Market

Located on downtown Ottawa, Byward Market is simply a collection of lively restaurants and markets. Availability of fresh produce and fine food options are a trademark of the market. Apart from this, it is also the spot to find peppy bars and diverse boutiques. Take a stroll through the market as your shopping options cannot get better than the Byward Market. Since it is open all year round, this hip market is the place to be to experience the happening Ottawa nightlife.

Also Read: Best Hangout Spots For Fun-filled and Exciting Nights in Ottawa, Canada

3. Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill is the political centre of Canada. Being the topmost decision-making authority in the country, this is one of the most important buildings in Ottawa. The majestic Gothic architecture resembles an English Palace. Divided into three parts, some parts of the centre block are open to the public. Also, every day in the summer, you can see the change of guards in the centre lawn at 10 am in the morning. Parliament Hill is easily one of the top places to see in Ottawa.

Parliament Hill Ottawa
Image Source: Unsplash

Also Read: Top things to do in Vancouver

4. National Gallery of Canada

The unique design of the structure of the gallery is a sheet beauty. Its proximity to the Parliament Hill and the giant spider sculpture make it easily recognizable. Also, the glass structure is a true architectural beauty. Not only this, but the gallery is also home to some of the finest works of the greatest of the great artists. It houses artworks starting from the 15th century and a must-see place for art lovers.

National Gallery of Canada Ottawa
Image Source: Unsplash

5. Gatineau Park

Head up to the Gatineau Park just 4 km from downtown Ottawa. This park is an ideal destination for adventure junkies in the summer. There are thrilling hiking and cycling trails within the park. Summers are the busiest as the park looks like a green blanket with towering trees and cold water streams. You can even find lakes with cold clear waters where you will be tempted to take a dip in the water. The park has excellent viewpoints overlooking the valley, as well as the Mackenzie King Estate built by the 10th Prime Minister of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King. Pink Lake is another popular point in Gatineau Park. Come fall, the park changes its colour as all the greenery turns into yellow and orange.

Gatineau Park Ottawa
Image Source: Unsplash

6. Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum showcases Canada’s war and military history. Rather than just a collection of war memorable, the interactive setting of the remnants of war is quite impressive. It has actual weapons and vehicles used in the first and second world war. The War Museum is a top place to see in Ottawa. Because of its incredible collection, it attracts a large number of tourists. People who want to have an up-close understanding of the journey and the struggles of Canada during the wartime, this is your place to be. It takes around half a day to fully cover the entire museum, because of its vast collection and simple yet elegant layout.

Also Read: 8 Top things to do in the soothing city of Ontario

7. Notre-Dame Cathedral

You need not be religious to visit the Notre-Dame cathedral. The architecture and the grandeur of the cathedral is a sight to behold. Take a slight detour from the National Gallery and marvel at this gigantic basilica. As you go inside, see the amazing stained glass windows and wooden carvings. Since it was built in the mid-1800s, the Cathedral is not only the oldest but also the largest churches in Ottawa. It still operates as an active church, but it is suggested to take a guided tour of the amazing Notre-Dame Cathedral so that you can understand the story behind each painting and sculptures inside.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Ottawa
Image Source: Unsplash

8. Canadian War Memorial

Remembering the unsung heroes of the wars, the 70 feet arch is a symbol of sacrifices made by the brave men and women for Canada. This place is a dedication to the soldiers who put their life at risk and saved the country. Their sacrifice is what laid the foundation of the birth and survival of the nation. On Remembrance Day all the honorary activities are held here and people leave poppies at the foot of the monument.

Some of the other famous places to see in Ottawa includes

  • Diefenbunker, the Cold War Museum
  • Canada Aviation and Space Museum
  • Royal Canadian Mint
  • Canadian Museum of Nature

The capital city of Ottawa is full of top places to see and things to do. The city is the core of Canadian culture as well as home to exemplary buildings and architectural marvels. Your visit to Canada is definitely incomplete if you don’t explore this beautiful country capital. Ready to discover Ottawa? Let Pickyourtail help you craft your perfect itinerary. Check out Canada Packages and also customize the itinerary as per your wish. Also, download the uber-cool Pickyourtrail app and get your travel queries clarified on the go. You can also reach out to us over Whatsapp as well. Start planning and get packing.

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