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Top 13 Amazing Ottawa Attractions to Explore

There is a long list which would take a long time to evaluate when people think of Ottawa attractions.

This thorough Ottawa attractions guide will provide you with suggestions on what attractions to see, what activities to partake in, & where to stay & eat.

Top 13 Amazing Ottawa Attractions to Explore

1. SUP in Urban Ocean

Source: SUP

The first SUP center in Eastern Ontario was established by Urban Ocean Ottawa, which currently provides certification, instruction, tours, and SUP yoga.

2. Parliament Hill

One of Canada’s most famous landmarks, Parliament hill is a must-see while travelling to the nation’s capital.

In the heart of Ottawa, the grand, neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings tower over the magnificent Ottawa River.

Additionally, although the buildings house the federal government of the nation, guests are always welcome on-site free tours and activities.

You’ll never run out of things to learn, whether you come to Parliament hill for a selfie, a tour, or to take part in one of the many free activities!

The Senate is a stunning Beaux-Arts structure with a colourful past. Built-in 1912, the same year the Fairmont Château Laurier, which is situated right across the street, from Ottawa’s train station, eventually changed its use to become the Government Convention Centre.

Its handy position just one block from Parliament hill played a part in its rehabilitation to serve as a temporary home for the Senate.

All tour attendees must go through security screening, much like an airport, and tours of these new venues are subject to parliamentary activity.

Image by festivio from Pixabay

Free of Charge Tour at Parliament hill

Two locations that are now hosting the parliamentary chambers are open to the public for free guided tours.

While Parliament’s Centre Block, which houses the Peace Tower & the Library of Parliament, is being renovated for over ten years, these tours are being offered:

The trip begins at the cutting-edge, underground Visitor Welcome Centre, which is situated between West Block & Centre Block and also has the Parliamentary Boutique.

A public plaza is created in front of the city’s central center by the East & West blocks, which are on each side of the Center Block.

Pointed arches, lancet windows, tracery, towers with crockets, & rubble-course stonework were all incorporated into the designs of the Parliament Buildings.

Despite the later substitution of copper for the colourful slate tiles of the mansard roofs, the attention to little ornamental details and a deep sense of polychromy are hallmarks of the Russian style.

3. Rideau Canal

Image by wnk1029 from Pixabay


The third attraction in the list of Ottawa attractions is Rideau Canal. The canal & locks are a busy waterway in the summer.

Although it has a castle-like feel, this large Canadian railroad company constructed great hotels (and notable structures) throughout the country.

4. Canadian War Museum

Canadian War Museum - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Source: war museum

The Canadian War Museum is a strikingly designed structure that chronicles the history of Canada’s previous wars.

This Ottawa museum honours individuals who have served the nation by focusing on the themes of regeneration and creating a brighter future and houses themed exhibitions, historical items, military equipment, weaponry, and vehicles.

You can learn about how they celebrate the victories and the casualties, as well as the role that Canada and its military played in many historical battles, by paying a visit to the Canadian War Museum.

Take all the time you need to peruse unique and historical items, apparel, automobiles, artwork, and collectibles.

5. Peace Tower

The Peace Tower, located at the highest point in Ottawa, offers a panoramic view that includes Parliament Hill, the river, Gatineau, & the hills to the north.

There is a memorial space for Canadians who lost their lives in world war I, when you ascend in the elevator and can see the bells of the tower.

You must first obtain a ticket to enter the tower, sometimes referred to as the “Tower of Victory & Peace.”

6. Canadian Museum of Nature

A person uses a brush to clear away debris from a fossil site.
Source: Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature comes to the sixth number in Ottawa Attractions, which offers moving temporary exhibitions and takes visitors on a journey from the time of the dinosaurs to the current animal population.

7. National War Memorial

National War Memorial

The National War Memorial honours Canadians who have fought in conflicts, it is located at the center of Ottawa’s downtown, in Confederation Square.

This massive granite arch is topped with bronze statues representing freedom and peace. The thousands of Canadians who served in the First World War are represented by 22 figures under the arch.

All architects, sculptors, and artists who were British subjects by birth or currently residing in the British Empire or one of its allies were eligible to enter the competition to design the monument.

8. Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica’s twin spires and bell towers have enhanced Ottawa’s skyline, it is a must-explore Ottawa attractions for sure!

This basilica’s remarkable design, which incorporates aspects of classicism & French-Canadian religious architecture, was motivated by the French Gothic Revival.

It was originally intended as a parish church, but as it rose to become the cathedral again for the new Catholic Diocese of Bytown, the mother church of Ottawa, & a basilica, it changed stature and architecture.

The numerous religious structures that surround it strengthen its significance as the center of spirituality for Ottawa’s Catholic population.

Throughout its existence, Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica experienced a complex transformation. The construction effort took place while Bytown was a tiny lumbering frontier settlement.

The basilica’s lavishly ornamented interior is among the best in the nation. It has intricate vaulted ceilings with gold stars & blue paint that are decorated with ribs and held up by imitation marble columns made of wood and with a wooden finish.

The lives of Jesus and Mary are shown in a series of panels by Guido Nincheri that were installed in place of some of the basilica’s original stained glass windows.

9. The Canada Aviation & Space Museum

the main exhibition hall at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Source: Canada Aviation

View more than 130 aircraft, artifacts, and engines from both civil and military use. Discover the history of aviation through exhibits, excursions, and more.

Avro Arrow’s largest surviving component, the original Canadarm utilized on the endeavour space shuttle, and the Lancaster bomber from the second world war are also to be noticed.

You can take a flight over the Ottawa area in a real helicopter, a historic biplane, or a Cessna (the latter of which is available all year long), depending on the season.

10. The Royal Canadian Mint

Royal Canadian Mint
Image from Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint was established by the Royal Canadian Mint Act and is crown corporation, meaning that the current monarch of Canada holds the shares of the Mint. It is one of the best Ottawa attractions for sure!

It’s interesting to note that the Royal Canadian Mint was formerly a division of the Royal Mint in London.

The Royal Canadian Mint also produces medals, tokens, and medallions, as well as precious and base metal coins for investors and collectors.

Shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs & collectibles in a historic building close to the ByWard Market neighbourhood while taking an interesting, reasonably priced tour to discover how coins are manufactured.

During your tour, you can discover the Mint’s fascinating history, which includes setting a Guinness World Record by producing the largest coin ever made.

One of the most renowned producers in the world is the Royal Canadian Mint. The Ottawa Mint produces coins for collectors, many of which honour significant figures and occasions in Canadian history.

11. Canadian Tulip Festival

Source: Tulip festival

The Dutch gave tulips to the Canadians as a symbolic gift of friendship after World War II, and this historic gesture inspired the creation of the Canadian Tulip Festival.

The tulip has been honoured during the Canadian Tulip Festival as a global sign of peace and friendship. The idea for the first Canadian Tulip Festival came from famous photographer Malak Karsh.

The Dutch gave tulips to the Canadians as a symbolic gift of friendship after World War II, and this historic gesture inspired the creation of the Canadian Tulip Festival.

12. ByWard Market

Source: Byward market

The ByWard Market itself, built by the Rideau Canal builder, is currently one of the oldest farmers’ markets in Canada.

The region was developed as a business hub to aid the Rideau Canal’s construction workers. Soon, shops, pubs, hotels, and residential and industrial structures appeared, and largely French-Canadian and Irish-born Rideau Canal labourers moved in.

The architectural styles changed according to the local environment. Many of the original structures still contain a variety of companies and cultures, adding to the area’s unique character.

1. Market for Farmers

The ByWard Market Square is home to distinctive stores and indoor food vendors, in addition to a year-round outdoor market bursting with flowers, handcrafted items made by artists, and fresh seasonal produce from local farmers.

As you enter the building’s main area, look up to see the huge paper-mâché sculpture hanging from the rafters. The stunning work, McClintock’s Dream shows vibrant market merchants from the past in a huge cloud.

2. Dining at Downtown Ottawa

You can satisfy your hunger for any gourmet pleasure in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. Restaurant e18hteen offers fine eating in a relaxed setting.

Fairouz Café offers Middle Eastern flavours and inexpensive international food.

Book a dining trip with Experience Cuisine or Ottawa Tasting Tours & let them handle the planning if you’d prefer to experience many places at once.

Or, to get a more comprehensive view of the ByWard Market dining scene (including samples), sign up for a C’est Bon Ottawa Food Tour that stops at places like Mantovani 1946.

3. Nightlife Near the Ottawa River

The neighbourhood’s numerous pubs, bars, and clubs are packed with people in the evening, and during the warm months, the numerous outdoor patios offer the ideal place to people-watch or make a statement.

4. Shopping

Around every turn in the ByWard Market neighbourhood are independently owned-boutiques, stores, and galleries.

Explore worldwide brands at Schad or Trustfund, one-of-a-kind masterpieces at Kalyana & Farah Studio, pieces of art at the Canadian Landscape Gallery, and home ideas at the Modern Shop and Zone as you stroll down upscale Sussex Drive.

13. The Dows Lake Pavilion

The Dows Lake Pavilion, an artificial lake constructed on the Rideau Canal, provides a variety of dining options, entertainment options, and a scenic view of Dows Lake.

This location is an “all-season” attraction thanks to the Winterlude festival in the winter, this same Tulip festival in the spring, and a slew of events in the summer.

Although skiing here in the winter is undoubtedly the highlight, a walk here after dinner at one of the restaurants is the ideal way to end any day.

Final Note: Ottawa Attractions

We have made this detailed guide on Ottawa attractions for you to explore. Let us know your favourite Ottawa attractions below in the comments!



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