But because there is so much to do, you might have a hard time narrowing down the options. After all, how do you choose which world-class museums to visit and which parks to explore? To help you plan your trip to Ottawa, we’ve listed what we think are the top 10 things to do in the city.
- Explore Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill is Ottawa’s most-visited attraction, and for good reason. Its neo-Gothic architecture will catch your eye, while free tours will hold your attention for hours. Parliament Hill the home of Canada’s federal government. It also plays host to concerts and cultural events throughout the year, including Canada Day on July.
- Take a Stroll or a Bike Ride along the Rideau Canal
The Rideau Canal is the perfect place for both nature and history lovers. Winding in and around Ottawa, this 202-kilometre (126-mile) canal is a must-visit for all Ottawa visitors. Bike rentals are available throughout downtown Ottawa at the many convenient Bixi Bike Rental locations. The canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The canal connects to the Ottawa River via an intricate stepped lock system that has been in operation since 1832.
- Get Your Shopping Fill at ByWard Market
Loved by locals and visitors alike, the ByWard Market area is a colourful and historic experience. As one of Canada’s largest and oldest public markets, you can find unique boutiques and fresh produce as you stroll through numerous vendors.
Bonus Attraction: United States President Barack Obama loved stopping in at Moulin de Provence Bakery. To get your hands on cakes, desserts, and breads loved by the Obamas, stop by the bakery located inside the main market building.
- Get a Thrilling History Lesson at the Canadian War Museum
History buffs love the Canadian War Museum for its symbolic architecture and its inspiring approach to history. The museum uses touching personal stories, photographs, and artwork to recount Canada’s military history.
- Delve into Canada’s Past at the Canadian Museum of History.
If you don’t get your fill of history at the War Museum, head over to the Canadian Museum of History. The museum is great for adults and children alike, with numerous interactive displays to use. You’ll also find Canadian artifacts dating back to 18th century settlements and to the prehistoric era.
- Marvel at the National Gallery of Canada’s Art Collection
Home to the world’s largest collection of Canadian art, the National Gallery will dazzle any art aficionado. The gallery’s stunning glass and granite structure is enough to pique anybody’s interest. And its photography, sculpture, and painting exhibits will stimulate your imagination. For upcoming events and exhibitions, check out this link: http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/index.php.
- Tour the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
When you’re done at the National Gallery, head across the street to Ottawa’s oldest and largest church. Here you’ll find hundreds of religious statues and stunning stained glasses windows.
- Relax and Play in Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park is the darling of Canada. Located only 15 minutes from Downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park stretches hundreds of kilometres and is home to more than 50 species of trees, birds, and mammals. You’ll find pleasant, well-kept walking paths, as well as stunning lookout points throughout the park. Whether you want to spend a day outside or just need a quick breather, Gatineau Park is the place for you.
- Celebrate Friendship at the Canadian Tulip Festival
For three weekends each May, Ottawa becomes a little more colourful during the Canadian Tulip Festival. The festival has a rich history dating back to 1945, when the city played host to the Dutch princess Juliana and her daughters. Since then, the festival has stood as a symbol for friendship and culture. Wander through gardens lined with more than 3 million tulips. Visit embassies around the city to learn about other countries’ customs and cultures.
- Enjoy Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature
Last on this list, but certainly not least in importance, is Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature. Located just 5 minutes away from Cartier Place Suite Hotel & Residences, the Canadian Museum of Nature houses permanent animal, fossil, mineral, plant and algae exhibits, that are sure to provide education and entertainment for the whole family. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to blend fun with learning while you’re here.
While you are here, look for the best downtown hotels. Cartier Place Suite Hotel offers a spectacular location off Elgin Street and equally fantastic rooms in the heart of the city. Our suites are luxurious and perfect for the visiting runner or even the spectator who wants to be downtown and close to everything.
Book your stay online or contact our hotel’s information desk at 1-800-236-8399.