If you are heading to Ottawa for business or pleasure, you can combine the two to create one of the most unforgettable experiences of a lifetime. No matter what you enjoy doing in your free time, there are plenty of fun-filled attractions to check out. Here are just a few activities that you should try when in the capital of Canada.
Planning Your Trip
If you weren’t sure about whether Ottawa is the right city for you to visit, you should have no excuses now! Make sure to plan your trip to the capital as soon as you can. The later you book your trip, the more it may cost. Flights to Ottawa are offered daily by airlines like Porter Airlines, so ensure you check out the following website for more information https://www.flyporter.com/en-ca/book-flights/where-we-fly/canada/ottawa.
With so much to see and do, you can be certain that there is an activity that will interest you when it comes to visiting Ottawa. If you are heading to the capital city in the winter months, make sure you don’t miss out on the large outdoor skating rink.
Go Ice Skating
When winter hits Ottawa, some may see it as doom and gloom having to wrap up warm and be out in the cold. However, there are so many fun activities that you can take part in, such as visiting the largest outdoor skating rink in the world (as stated by the Guinness Book of World Records!). Head to The Rideau Canal where you will see the canal transform into a 7.8 km ice rink. Visitors and locals can skate through the center of Ottawa city, making it one of the most fun and enjoyable activities to enjoy. Ensure you look on the Rideau Canal website for more information on where you can rent ice skates.
Explore the Markets
Heading to the ByWard Market is a must for anyone who likes their food. The market comes alive thanks to a selection of some of the most exciting restaurants that Ottawa has to offer. With a whole host of world foods available in one place, you can select from tasty cuisines to suit every taste bud. When dining, there may be entertainment from up-and-coming bands, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music. There are plenty of baked goods and fresh food that you can purchase at the market. Even better, as you walk through the market, you will pass more than 260 stands that are sure to catch your eye.
For horror fans, a trip to Ottawa isn’t complete with a visit to the Haunted Walk of Ottawa. Although it isn’t your standard walking tour, visitors can enjoy 90 minutes of gruesome fun that leads you through one of the most haunted buildings in Ottawa. As you walk through the building, your tour guide will share some of the most chilling and scary ghost tales with you and your group. You will also get a limited-edition flashlight for your trouble. If you are wanting a scare, be sure to book on the haunted tour.
Head to a Museum
As Canada is the second largest country on the planet, there is certainly no shortage of plants and animals. To get the most out of your trip to Ottawa, make sure you visit the Canadian Museum of Nature that houses a wide collection of nature art, plus a fossil and zoology collection, and more. The museum has an interactive design, which makes you feel as though you’re walking through the animal kingdom. Visitors will be able to travel through the museum among live butterflies and travel back in time to the dinosaur age. Your imaginative side will come out to play when visiting the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Discover Canadian Politics
If you are interested in what separates Canada from other countries, there are free tours at Parliament Hill, which will allow you to discover the rich art and history of this glorious nation. When on the tour, you will learn how the parliament of Canada functions on a day to day basis, as well as stepping through the House of Commons. While Ottawa is fantastic to visit at any time of year, there are even more reasons to do so in the festive period. If you visit Parliament Hill at Christmas, you can expect to see thousands of lights covering the building.
If you are heading to the capital in early February, be sure to take a trip to the Winterlude festival. As the biggest winter festival in the city, nearly 600,000 participants come together to enjoy the celebrations every year. There are several activities that you can enjoy such as dragon boat racing, ice carving, and a fabulous winter playground. You can also try out some delicious winter treats such as frozen maple syrup candy.
If you class yourself as a foodie, there are dozens of deep-fried treats that you need to taste when visiting Ottawa. One of the most popular treats is a Beaver Tail that consists of a deep-fried pastry that looks like (you guessed it) a beaver tail. There are options to cover your pastry in several sweet toppings like Nutella, cinnamon sugar, bananas, and more. If you only have time for one snack, ensure that it’s a beaver tail (you won’t be disappointed!). If you’re looking for more than a snack, however, Ottawa has a wide array of bars, cafes, and restaurants that deliver foods from across the world. Whatever your preference or budget, you can be sure you’re well catered for when dining in Ottawa.
Have a Picnic
Just like with any major city, thousands upon thousands of locals and tourists walking around you can get a little overwhelming. If you need a bit of time away from the busy city life, why not head to the Major Hill Park. If you are looking for a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a light lunch such as a picnic, you can be sure to get that at Major Hill Park. There are fantastic views of Ottawa Locks. You can also take a walk through the winding pathways of the park and learn more about its history and heritage, thanks to the interpretation panels that are placed throughout.
History and Culture
Learning more about the origins of Canada can broaden your horizons and give you a brand-new perspective on the country. Visiting the Canadian History Museum is a must for those who are into their history and culture. With some of the largest exhibitions full of Canadian history to explore, spending a whole day at the museum may not be enough. There are stories that you can dive into from coast to coast that explore some of the darkest chapters of Canada’s past. If you have fallen in love with Canada and want to become a fully-fledged citizen, a trip to the History Museum is a must, as you will learn all there is to know about the planet’s most loved country but in a fun and interesting way.