Located along Ottawa River’s Ontario side, Ottawa is Canada’s capital city. It is the fifth largest city in the country and is home to various international cultures as it is where thousands of immigrants reside. Due to its booming business sector, it has become one of North America’s fastest-growing cities. Here is a list of the best attractions in Ottawa.
1. Parliament Hill
This is a magnificent group of buildings which house Canada’s parliament. There are free tours which are available throughout the year. It is also the setting for many national celebrations such as Canada Day.
2. National Gallery of Canada
This spectacular structure made with glass and granite houses a myriad of Canadian and other international masterpieces and works of art. It also offers plenty of seasonal exhibitions. If you would be traveling with children, they would certainly find Louise Bourgeois’ Maman, a giant bronze spider sculpture, which is located outside, especially interesting.
3. Chateau Laurier
This is an Ottawa landmark which is majestically set in the center of the city. It overlooks many other attractions such as Parliament Hill, Congress Center, the Ottawa River and the ByWard Market. It was once part of the historical Canadian Pacific Railway hotels and features turrets as well as other French chateau architectural elements. It is still operational until this day and runs under the management of the Fairmont hotels.
4. ByWard Market
This is an open-air market which is located a block away from Parliament Hill. ByWard Market is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood which offers different agricultural items and arts and crafts products year-round. Aside from these, it is also where many good restaurants and charming boutiques can be found.
5. Museum of Civilization or Children’s Museum
Located in Gatineau, a couple of minutes drive from downtown Ottawa, this family-friendly museum is where the Canadian Postal Museum, the IMAX theater and the Canadian Children’s Museum can be found. It also offers an exhibit of Canada’s First Peoples, which showcases the history of Canada and other important history-makers.
6. Canadian War Museum
This is where you can learn all about the personal, national and the international dimensions of the military history of the country. Some of the collections of the museum include medals, military artillery, numerous works of art and a CF-Voodoo jet fighter. All of the artifacts in the museum showcase the experiences of the men, women and children during the conflicts which have shaped Canada and its history.
7. Royal Canadian Mint
Situated in an Ottawa heritage building in central downtown Ottawa, this museum offers and exhibit of hand-crafted commemorative and collector coins, medals, medallions and gold bullion coins.
8. Supreme Court of Canada
If you want to learn more about how the judicial system of Canada works, you can visit the Supreme Court of Canada and take a tour which explains several legal issues and information about the country.
8. Gatineau Park
Although technically located in Quebec, it is about 15 minutes away from Parliament Hill. It has hundreds of kilometers of hiking and biking trails as well as forests that have more than 50 tree species and a wide array of wildlife.