Boasting of Canada’s brave beginnings, several major national attractions have a certain lure when in Ottawa. So, put a few historic stops on the trip list, for instance; the Canadian War Museum, the Museum of Civilization, the National Aviation Museum, the Canada Agriculture Museum, the Royal Canadian Mint or Parliament Hill.
Jump on the scene for entertainment like the jazz and blues venues throughout the city, the National Gallery, the Science and Technology Museum (great for families) and why not take in some of the thrilling festivals. Throughout the year, hot or cold, the seasons bring celebration in no better way – festivals! Consider partaking in one of these summer events - the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (one of the largest in the world), Canada Day (Canada’s birthday July 1st), the Bluesfest, or The Fringe Festival .
Winter brings on of the best known Canadian snowy festivals Winterlude with talented ice carvers and snowy sculptures. And, as a gift from the Dutch, spring time begins with what they call The Tulip Festival.
Pleasantly, travelers can tour much of Ottawa’s fare on foot. The city is exceptionally pedestrian friendly. Walk to explore or walk to shop. Some highlights include; The Byward Market and its day time restaurants, souvenir shops and fresh goods, the pedestrian oriented Sparks Street which is one block over from Parliament Hill. Another great stroll would be through the Westboro Village, a popular tourism and shopping zone, and includes several outdoor stores (for clothing or equipment), restaurants and plenty of coffee shops to stop at and put your bags down.
If guests are looking to delight in the arts or if the weather calls for some entertainment indoors enjoy the National Arts Centre, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, the Ottawa Little Theatre, or Ottawa’s Irish theatre, Tara Players.
Whatever your pleasure, Ottawa offers everything at your leisure.
Explore this natural history museum and take a peek at dinosaurs, insects, birds and mammals.
More info about Canadian Museum of Nature
Presents Canada's military past and how it shaped the country.
More info about Canadian War Museum
Parliament is the heart of Canada’s democratic system. Canadians’ representatives meet on Parliament Hill to make laws that shape the country’s future and affect the lives of every citizen.
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Non-profit artist-run centre showing solo and group exhibitions of Canadian and international contemporary artists.
More info about Gallery 101
This 88-acre historic site and estate located on the scenic shores of the Ottawa River was once the estate home of Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey, a settler in the 1820s.
More info about Pinhey's Point Historic Site
The 1829 Billings House is the oldest frame building in Ottawa and a designated National Historic Site.
More info about Billings Estate National Historic Site
Offers English and French theatre programs, a dance season, and a variety of performances.
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Ottawa’s second largest performing arts space, just 15 minutes from downtown.
More info about Centrepointe Theatre
Take a tour and discover the sophisticated art of coin production.
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Dedicated to the history of money and currency, located in the Bank of Canada building.
More info about Currency Museum Bank of Canada
Costumed interpreters depict rural life in the 1920s and 1930s on this 25-hectare site with 28 buildings.
More info about Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
Learn about agriculture in Canada at this museum which features a working farm in the heart of the city.
More info about Canada Agriculture Museum
See more than 130 different aircraft, old and new or take a ride on vintage biplane.
More info about Canada Aviation Museum
The amazing and surprising stories told by artifacts will help you understand the ongoing relationships between science, technology and the transformation of Canadian society.
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Welcome to the Vanier Museopark, a community museum about the history of Vanier and the Francophone heritage of Ottawa located in the heart of a heritage forest!
More info about Muséoparc Vanier Museopark
Shenkman Arts Centre is a dynamic creative hub where artists and audiences of all ages gather to create and explore the arts.
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Ottawa’s public gallery for contemporary and 20th century art.
More info about The Ottawa Art Gallery
Ottawa’s arts centre housing several performing arts groups including LeGroupe Dance Lab, Odyssey Theatre, Salamander Theatre and Third Wall Theatre Company.
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The largest visual arts museum in Canada with impressive collections of Canadian, Indigenous, European, American, Asian and contemporary art.
More info about National Gallery of Canada
Offers amateur theatre for all ages and interests.
More info about Ottawa Little Theatre
Historic house commemorating Rt. Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King and Sir Wilfred Laurier, two Canadian prime ministers who lived in this house.
More info about Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada
This working grist mill, Watson's Mill is one of the best-preserved examples of 19th century mill architecture and the only operating industrial heritage site within Ottawa.
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Traces the history of Ottawa's early years—from the construction of the Rideau Canal and the rough-and-tumble days of Bytown to the city's emergence as the nation's capital.
More info about Bytown Museum
Specializing in plays by Canadian emerging and established playwrights.
More info about Great Canadian Theatre Company
Live Cold War history by visiting the place where Canada's government would have come in time of nuclear war.
More info about Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum