Located on the Southern Bank of Ottawa River, Ottawa City is one of the most fantastic destinations for many international tourists. As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa has many national attractions, including historic sites, museums, and parks.

When it comes to language, Ottawa is a bilingual city. Both English and French are official languages spoken by most locals. Ottawa is rich in the culture of different groups of people from various parts of the world, making it one of the most diverse cities in Canada.

In this guide, we will explore all the facts you need to know about Ottawa to help you plan your trip appropriately. Let’s get started.

All You Should Know about Ottawa City

Ottawa is one of the best places to enjoy many outdoor activities to the fullest. It has many parks, paths, and trails where you can hike, jog, and run. If you visit the city during winter, you will enjoy breath-taking activities like skating and skiing.

When organizing a trip to Ottawa City, it’s vital to understand everything you will encounter before traveling. Here is the crucial information about Ottawa that will guide you during your travel, including the best places to visit, eat, and stay.

Best Attractions in Ottawa City

The city has a plethora of attractions, and there is no doubt that you can’t visit all of them within a short period. So, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of some of the must-visit attractions in Ottawa. 

Here they are:

  • Parliament Hill: Located on the middle of Ottawa city center, the Parliament Hill overlooks the Ottawa River, forming a beautiful scenery. Many tourists usually visit the place to admire the impressive Parliament Buildings and to celebrate national events. It also hosts annual celebrations such as Canada Day.
  • Ottawa Museums: Ottawa has many national museums that can help you learn more about the city's history and culture. Some of the most famous museums are the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of History, the National Gallery of Canada, Canada Agriculture Museum, and the Canadian War Museum.
  • Rideau Canal: This historic waterway spans around 125 miles, connecting Lake Ontario to Ottawa River. It runs through the city, creating an incredible scenery. In the winters, the Rideau Canal forms a long and huge skating rink that stretches about eight kilometers. It is usually open on a 24-hour basis.
  • Ottawa Jail Hostel: If you are interested in learning Ottawa’s dark history, this will be the best place to visit. You can learn about all the infamous Ottawa’s history during the Haunted Walk of Ottawa. Such haunted tours occur throughout the year.
  • Major’s Hill Park: It sits across the Rideau Canal across the Parliament Buildings. The park hosts many annual events, such as the Canada Day Celebrations and the ‘B in the Park.’ When you sit on the Major’s Hill, you’ll have a spectacular view of the Parliament Hill and the American Embassy.
  • Rideau Hall: It is one of the most popular national historic sites in Canada. Sitting on an 88 acres piece of land, the Rideau Hall comprises of 175 rooms, resembling the Buckingham Palace. This impressive building is always open to the public throughout the year. You won’t pay entry fees when visiting the Rideau Hall.

How to Move to Ottawa

If you are an international traveler, the best way to get to Ottawa is by plane through the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW). You can then get to the city center by taxi or by public bus, which is generally cheaper than paying for a cab. You can also travel from neighboring Canadian cities like Toronto and Montreal by train.

Accommodation in Ottawa

Ottawa is home to many premier hotels that can accommodate international travelers, including the Fairmont Ch√Ęteau Laurier, which resembles the Parliament Buildings. There is also Les Suites apartment hotel, Metcalfe Hotel, and the Ottawa Marriott Hotel. You’ll also find several Airbnb rooms at more affordable prices.

Eating Points in Ottawa

There are many bars, restaurants, and hotels that provide various dishes for international travelers. An excellent example is the Aulde Dubliner & Pour House. Its menu comprises of the Irish specialties starting from as low as CA$13.00. If you are looking for cheaper meal options, you can eat in restaurants situated in the ByWard Market. 

Final Words

The official currency in Ottawa is the Canadian Dollar. So, when you arrive in Ottawa, you need to exchange your foreign currency in a company that offers the lowest exchange rates, like KnightsbridgeFX Ottawa. However, some businesses and tourist centers may accept the US Dollars, but it’s not always a guarantee.