Postcard-perfect, vibrant, clean and culturally diverse, Ottawa is a traveler’s paradise. The Canadian capital sits at the middle of three gushing rivers, the rolling Gatineau hills create a picturesque background and distinct districts each offer their own wonderful flavors. The main attraction in the city is its wide assortment of world-class museums, ranging from the super modern to the historic.
Parliament Hill is quite possibly the most attractive site in the city. It is also the country’s nexus of political activity. The complex of copper-topped towers is especially stunning on a sunny day, and the iconic Peace Tower is the city’s tallest structure. Visitors are welcome to explore the gorgeous library, decorated with intricate wrought iron and wood carvings, and may stop by the Senate and Commons during regular sessions. On Fridays, the House of Commons hosts a question period that is particularly exciting and popular.
Ottawa is a museum-goers paradise, and one of the best museums is the National Gallery of Canada. The world’s largest collection of Canadian and Inuit art is on display in the striking pink granite and glass building, one of the area’s greatest architectural gems. The chronological displays take visitors through the nation’s history, from ancient times through today. There are also pleasing galleries of art from the United States and Europe.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization is another must-see. The spectacular range of exhibits documents the country’s history through simulated environments and towns and hands-on exhibits detailing the different cultures that call Canada home.
For more hands-on learning and entertainment, visit the Canada Science and Technology Museum. The interactive exhibits engage all of the sense while teaching visitors about gravity, time, the laws of physics, optical illusions and more.
Other museums worth exploring include the Canada Agricultural Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the quaint but well-curated Bytown Museum, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Currency Museum.
To catch a glimpse of what life was like for the original inhabitants of the region, visit the Aboriginal Village. The intriguing replica of a native encampment takes about an hour to see, and visitors can also learn about traditional handicrafts, taste authentic cuisine and watch native dance performances.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is the oldest church in Ottawa and easily one of the most beautiful. Built in 1841, the tin-topped church contains many idiosyncratic features, such as ornate wood carvings and an indigo ceiling dotted with shining stars.
Two prime ministers once lived at the Laurier House, now a national historic site. Constructed in 1878, the Victorian home is elegantly furnished and contains displays of possessions from both politicos. The top floor study is especially enchanting. The knowledgeable guides are happy to escort visitors through the home, and it is best to explore it in the mornings before the tour buses arrive.
Other sites worth seeing in Ottawa include the RCMP Musical Ride Center, Rideau Hal, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Library and National Archives of Canada, the Prime Minister’s house and the Royal Canadian Mint.
Ottawa Geographical Location
Located in the Ottawa Valley, Ottawa is Canada’s capital city and is the fourth largest city in the country with a population of just over 800,000 in 2006.
Ottawa was considered to be the 2nd highest quality of living throughout the Americas in 2010 and was named 14th highest in the world. Ottawa also received 3rd cleanest city in the world by eco-city ranking by Mercers in 2010.
English is the official language used in Ottawa, Canada, and the second language being French.
Ottawa Predominant Religion
According to a 2001 census,
Christianity – 79.3%
Islam – 4%
Judaism – 1.1%
Buddhism – 1%
The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Ottawa, Canada.
The climate in Ottawa is considered to be humid continental. Ottawa has four very distinct seasons. Summer is humid and warm, with sometimes high humidity. Spring and Fall are both inconsistent and can experience unpredictable swings in the weather. Winter is true to snow and ice.
Ottawa main attractions
- The Rideau Canal
- Historic Parliament Hill
- Canadian Museum of Civilization
Other attractions in Ottawa
- ByWard Market
- Gatineau ParkClosest major airport to Ottawa, Canada
Closest major airport to Ottawa, Canada
The closest airport is within the city and is Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport also known as Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.
The airport codes are (YOW/CYOW).
The airport is located just 5.5 miles from the Ottawa downtown.