Multicultural Ottawa is well known for its attractions that focus on science, history and the arts. The city’s mixed architecture tells the story of a Victorian political hub that transformed into a fashionable modern city set against the natural splendour of southeast Canada.
Start your visit by exploring Parliament Hill and the heritage Parliament Buildings. Here, you can see Ottawa’s famous Peace Tower and the Library of Parliament. Admire the Gothic Revival architecture, elaborate images from Canada’s history and the buildings’ lavish ceilings covered in gold leaf. Make your way to Centre Block and sit in on a political debate held in the Senate or the House of Commons. More Gothic Revival architecture can be found at the Notre Dame Basilica, Ottawa’s largest church, with stained-glass windows, terraced galleries and embellished altars.
Ottawa is acclaimed for its museums and galleries. Find out about the Canadian role in international aviation history at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Discover fascinating stories and artefacts of warfare at the Canadian War Museum and follow the remarkable evolution of the human race at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Old masters, famous modernists and contemporary artists all have works hanging in the National Gallery of Canada.
From winter snow sports to summer outdoors adventures, Ottawa has a range of activities for each season. See the heritage estates and stunning natural environment of Gatineau Park. Board a boat to explore the World Heritage site of the Rideau Canal. The canal transforms into the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink in the winter.
Explore Ottawa on foot. The city centre is compact and many of the major attractions are located within easy walking distance of one another. The city is at its most lively during the summer months from June until August. The off-peak season runs from November to April, when many visitors choose to make the most of fresh powder snowfalls on the nearby ski slopes.