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Book any of our Ottawa holidays and you'll discover a city known for its unique atmosphere, combining a cosmopolitan vibe with the tranquillity of its natural surroundings. The capital city of Canada, Ottawa in Ontario is home to over one million people and is the political, cultural and historic epicentre of this great nation.

Nestled in Ontario along the border of Quebec, Ottawa is known for its multicultural environment and is a city where you will hear both English and French as you explore the picturesque streets. Famous landmarks are dotted across the city and the multitude of museums house national collections and special exhibitions that will capture your imagination. Combined with a vibrant music scene, high-end bars and an exciting nightlife, this fascinating city has something to offer to everyone, no matter what your taste.

Alive with tradition, Ottawa city is the perfect location for those looking to celebrate. From February’s stunning Winterlude to May’s vibrant Tulip Festival – not to mention the biggest Canada Day celebrations in the nation – if there is one thing Ottawa is known for, it is for all-out celebrations that entertain and delight millions of visitors each year.

Want to visit a Canadian city where you can enjoy the finer things in life? The foodie culture of Ottawa is rising high with critical acclaim, with top-rated culinary schools and restaurants that will engage and delight all of your senses. Just beyond the city limits, there are farmers markets, quaint bistros and specialists wine bars which boast the bounty of Ottawa’s lush surroundings.

Ottawa and its people will welcome you with open arms no matter what the season and the locals are known to embrace the summer months in the same way they love the winter. The city is home to several beaches where you can canoe, kayak or paddleboard the day away. The Rideau Canal has runners, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts exploring its banks in the summer. However, in the winter, the canal dramatically transforms into the largest natural ice rink in the world, where you can travel across the city in the most unforgettable way.

Is it time for you to embark on a trip to Canada’s capital? Our travel specialists will be delighted to tailor-make your trip to suit your exact requirements. With your own personal advisor, low deposits and holiday payment plans now's the time to embark on that holiday of a lifetime. With direct flights, hotels and car hire, we'll cover it all, so get in touch today and embark on the holiday of a lifetime with Canada Travel Specialists.

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada
Ottawa is 5 hours behind the UK
The nearest international airport is in Montreal
Ottawa is just a 1 ½ hour flight from New York or Boston
English and French are commonly spoken
In winter, Ottawa is home to the world's largest natural ice-rink
Ottawa, Canada’s Capital | Canada Travel Specialists
Holidays to Ottawa, Canada
Visit Ottawa | Canada Travel Specialists

Learn more about Ottawa

Things To Do in Ottawa

1. Explore Parliament Hill

The most iconic part of Ottawa’s cityscape, Parliament Hill is the political and cultural heart of Canada. Home to the House of Commons, the Senate and the Library of the Parliament, there are free guided tours available each day as politicians debate the future of the country. If you visit in the summer, make sure you check out the Changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place on the front lawn and then continue on to the Peace Tour for panoramic views of the whole city.

2. Travel along the Rideau Canal

The famous Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that winds its way through Ottawa’s picturesque downtown. See it from a boat cruise, walk alongside it and admire the cityscape surrounding you, or skate along with it in the cold winter months – it is, after all, the largest skating rink in the world.

3. Discover Upper Canada Village

This heritage park allows you to go back in time to discover the 1860s and experience village life in Canada. A host of activities are available, from milking cows to learning cabinet making – you can even tour the village in costume. A fun day out for all the family, we recommend you ride on the miniature train for gorgeous views of the park and further afield.

4. Visit the Many Museums

Ottawa is renowned for its fascinating cultural attractions, and this is reflected in the countless museums located in Canada’s capital. Tour the variety of museums on offer with a ‘Museum Passport’ so you can see them all for less. We recommend the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian War Museum and Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, all of which will give you a deeper understanding of Canada’s rich history.

5. See the Royal Canadian Mint

Making coins since 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint produces the world’s most beautiful collectable coins. Visit the boutique in Ottawa and enjoy interactive guided tours and a gift shop where you can begin your own collection.

Places to Eat in Ottawa

1. Play Food and Wine

Known for its hospitality and value for money, the menu at Play Food and Wine is focused on constantly changing small plates crafted from the best local produce. Combined with a large selection of diverse wines, this is the perfect spot to grab a relaxed meal with friends after a day exploring the city.

2. NeXT

Located in Stittsville – one of Ottawa’s quirky neighbourhoods beyond downtown – NEXT is famed for its globally-inspired plates, delicious cocktails and edgy decor. As well as their delicious a la carte options, we suggest you try their blind sharing menu. An 8-course feast of the chef’s choice from only $67 per person, NEXT provides one of the best value tasting menus in the city.

3. Elgin Street Diner

Something of an Ottawa institution, Elgin Street diner has been providing everything you could want in a casual diner for over 20 years. Serving big portions of comfort food at low prices, this informal eatery is beloved by locals and visitors alike and consistently features in lists of Ottawa’s top restaurants.

4. Stoneface Dolly’s

Located on Preston Street, Stoneface Dolly’s is renowned for its fantastic brunch menu and dietary-friendly offers. Stop in 7 days a week and try one of their famous Bobby Mac sandwiches – the restaurant is first come first served, so make sure you get there early.

5. Meryenda

Meryenda is the first Filipino food truck in Ottawa and specialises in delicious Filipino street food. Although closed over the winter, this friendly food truck can be found on the Prince of Wales Drive at any other time of the year. We recommend you try the delicious fish tacos and adobo balls.

Top Tips for Visiting Ottawa

1. Visit for Canada Day

Canada Day is a nationwide celebration every year, and there is no better place to be than the capital. Visit over this July weekend to enjoy a weekend full of festivities, from top-bill performers to an incredible fireworks display from Parliament Hill.

2. Skate on a Weekday

Known as North America’s Best Ice Skating Rink, a visit to Ottawa would be incomplete without traversing the Rideau Canal. We suggest you lace up your skates and hit the canal during the week. It is much quieter than on the weekend, which means you can take in the sights of the city along this 5-mile skate way at leisure.

3. Explore the Diverse Neighbourhoods

Ottawa is home to some fascinating distinctive neighbourhoods, from Chinatown to Preston Street/Little Italy; the urban village of Wellington West and the historic streets of Glebe. We suggest that you walk through them to get a feel for what each area has to offer, as they all offer unique cultural experiences.

4. Bike around the City

Hiring a bicycle is one of the most picturesque – not to mention environmentally friendly – ways to see the sights of Ottawa. There are countless cycling tours offered on two wheels, from an Express tour to a Highlights tour so you can see the city the way you want to. Visit during the Spring Tulip Festival for a special themed tour you will never forget.

5. Take a Bus Tour

If you would prefer a more leisurely tour of Canada’s capital, jump onto one of the many hop-on, hop-off bus tours that are offered around the city. A bus tour will help you to familiarise yourself with Ottawa and will help you determine which key sights you want to see and explore further.

Ottawa Image Gallery