For many, the greatest charm of Canada and also the capital Ottawa is the special mix of culture, Aboriginal history, sights and beautiful nature. The country and also the area around Ottawa is ideal for rafting adventures, hiking trips or even bungee jumping. Fans of grandiose events will be spoiled for choice in Ottawa. The cosmopolitan city is known for well-attended festivals such as TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, Winter Brewfest, Winterlude, Tulip Festival and Ottawa International Animation Festival. As a result, the city seems to be constantly on the move and can therefore be called anything but boring.
Top 10 Things to Do in Ottawa
#1. Parliament Hill
According to topschoolsintheusa.com, the House of Parliament is located on ‘the Hill’ in the Canadian capital Ottawa. The country is governed from here. Because the parliamentary buildings have a long history, this place is also known as a national historic site. The ‘Parliament Hill’ is therefore invariably visited by thousands of visitors each year. You can visit the ‘Library of Parliament’, the ‘Government Conference Center’ and the nineteenth century parliament buildings.
#2. National Gallery of Canada
In Ottawa you can visit one of Canada’s largest art galleries. The National Gallery of Canada has more than enough to please even the somewhat spoiled art lover. Since its foundation in 1880, you can enjoy a variety of works by greats such as Andy Warhol, Louis-Philippe, Escher, Louise Bourgeois, Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso. All kinds of activities are regularly organized in which you can (learn to) look at art in an innovative way.
#3. Rideau Canal
Under the management of Parks Canada it is possible to take a trip on the Rideau Waterway. The canals were built during the war in 1812 to ward off American attacks. Today, the 202-kilometre canal is mainly used for pleasure craft. You pass one of the many locks that were built from the year 1832. During the winter months, parts of the Rideau Canal are used as an ice rink. Also a nice crowd puller during the Winterlude festivals.
#4. Canada Science and Technology Museum
The interactive museum ‘Canada Science and Technology Museum’ is a fun outing for young and old. Various topics such as forestry, technology, transport, space and natural sciences are discussed here in various guises. In addition, various artifacts have been collected that are presented in an exhibition. And various educational programs provide a fun challenge and educational moments.
#5. Canadian War Museum
The military history of Canada is displayed in a special way in this CWM museum which is located in the LeBreton Flats district. The remarkable building opened its doors around 2005 and since then you can learn everything about the American Revolution, the First World War, the Cold War and battles against all kinds of dictatorships. The LeBreton Gallery features a variety of vehicles, weapons and other artifacts. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, there are also regularly changing exhibitions. Check the website for more details.
#6. Château Laurier
The majestic building on Ottawa’s Rideau Street suggests that it is a royal palace. However, if you dig deep into your pocket, you can simply stay a few nights in one of the 429 rooms. Château Laurier is a prestigious non-smoking hotel. In the immediate vicinity of Parliament Hill, right in the center of the city, was built at the beginning of the twentieth century for the Grand Trunk Railway. Since 1981, it has been placed in Canada’s List of Historic Sites. As a guest it is possible to borrow an iPad or app with which you can take a historical route through the hotel.
#7. Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is located in the immediate vicinity of Parliament Hill. Judges here consider all kinds of different matters. The current Supreme Court house in Canada was built about 1939. Enthusiasts can admire the inside when they join a guided tour. Such a tour takes you to the main hall, the courtroom, the library and the judges’ conference room. The tour lasts about half an hour.
#8. Canadian Museum of Nature
The natural history museum in Ottawa introduces you in a special way to everything that lives, blooms or originated from the globe. No fewer than four floors are filled with collected material. With an impressive collection of fossils, minerals, skeletons and plants, this museum has all your questions answered. The mix of interaction, exhibitions and information ensures a fun experience in an educational environment.
#9. Rideau Hall
The royal residence of Canada is located on Sussex Drive in Ottawa. The building covers approximately 9,500 m² with 175 rooms spread over it. A further 24 outbuildings have subsequently been placed on the territory and an ice rink can be found in winter.
As one of Canada’s first ice rinks, the Rideau Hall made history. The first laps were drawn here as early as 1889. Since then, all kinds of ice hockey, curling and figure skating competitions have been held during the winter months. But of course you can also do a pirouette yourself. Check the link below for the possibilities.
In Rideau Hall you can take a guided tour to admire different areas where beautiful Canadian art and authentic pieces of furniture can be admired.
In the center of Ottawa near Somerset Street, you can visit a special part of the city. The Chinatown of the Canadian city of Ottawa is very beautifully decorated with all kinds of Chinese and other Asian details. In 2010, this district even received its own entrance gate. Festive activities are regularly organized, such as the Lion Dance Parade and the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade. But a walk through the multicultural neighborhood soon learns that something always happens.