Welcome to Ottawa

Canada's gargantuan Gothic Parliament buildings regally anchor the downtown core, an inspiring jumble of pulsing districts around the Rideau Canal. A few days' worth of world-class museums are architecturally inspiring homes to a variety of intriguing collections.

Parks, gardens and wide, open public spaces pay an accessible and year-round homage to all four seasons. Average temperatures are well below 0°C from December to March, but locals celebrate the city's longest-seeming season with a bunch of outdoor pursuits. Many skate to work or school on the frozen canal, while the Winterlude festival sees fantastical ice sculptures. As spring clicks to summer, auspicious tulips cheer the downtown, followed by vibrant fall leaves that line the streets with eye-popping reds and yellows.

Top experiences in Ottawa

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Ottawa activities

$29.88 Tours & Sightseeing

Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Your ticket is valid for one-day, or two to three consecutive days, which allows you to tour Ottawa at your own pace, or stay on the bus for a 1.5-hour fully narrated tour. The hop-on, hop-off tour runs in a continuous circle daily, from 10:00am until 3:00pm, officially starting on the corner of Sparks and Elgin Streets. Ride along the London-style double decker bus as you learn and view Ottawa's most famous landmarks. Some of the attractions you'll get to visit on this hop-on hop off tour include Parliament Hill, Canadian Museum of History, Notre Dame Basilica, Rideau Hall and the Canadian War Museum. This tour is seasonal, operating from April through to October.

$27.86 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Ottawa City Tour by Land and Water

Meet on the banks of the Ottawa River at Parliament Hill to begin your guided adventure through Ottawa and Gatineau. Colloquially known as “The Hill,” Parliament Hill serves as the seat of Canada’s federal government and is one of the city’s most visited attractions. You’ll learn more of these informative and entertaining tidbits after you board the amphibus, where a bilingual guide in French and English offers a full hour of humorous narration about the picturesque sites that dot your tour route. You’ll ride past Mill Street Brewery and the Canadian War Museum before crossing the river on Pont du Portage bridge into Gatineau, home to the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Maurice Richard Statue—the last famous site you’ll hit before you drive right into the river!The amphibus gently eases into Ottawa River, where you can admire the sites you passed on land from an entirely different perspective. As you are propelled in a loop around the water, catch a glimpse of three of Ottawa’s striking bridges and Major’s Hill Park, home to the National Gallery of Canada and its iconic glass and granite façade. After you complete your nautical adventure, it’s back on land and across one of those bridges to the heart of Ottawa. Ride past other top Ottawa sights such as the prime minister’s residence, the tin-covered steeples of Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, and the bustling streets of ByWard Market. End the scenic journey across the Rideau Canal and back at Parliament Hill, where you bid adieu to your amphibus, newly armed with a greater appreciation for Ottawa’s streets and sights.

$48.15 Tours & Sightseeing

2-Hour Ottawa Express City Bike Tour

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals, Ottawa, OntarioStart the tour here by bike fitting and tour/safety review at the historic pedestrian Sparks St. Mall. Duration: 15 minutesStop At: National War Memorial, Ottawa, OntarioStarting the tour we first visit the war memorial. Duration: 5 minutesStop At: Rideau Canal, Ottawa, OntarioVisit the historic Rideau CanalDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Ottawa Locks, Ottawa, OntarioSee Locks original operation as boats pass by.Duration: 10 minutesPass By: Ottawa River, OntarioCycle through beautiful waterfront pathways. Pass By: Bytown Museum, Ottawa, OntarioLearn about Ottawa's oldest stone building and its legacy.Stop At: Rideau Hall, Ottawa, OntarioVisit Government General's residence to learn about Canadian political system and enjoy the beautiful GardensDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Rideau Falls, Ottawa, OntarioEnjoy a beautiful view and fresh breeze at the Falls. Duration: 5 minutesPass By: Parliament Hill and Buildings, Ottawa, OntarioYou will see the best views of the Parliament Hill from the Quebec side and will learn about it Stop At: Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Outaouais Region, QuebecEnjoy the spectacular view of the region and learn about he museum architecture.Duration: 10 minutes

$20.64 Cultural & Theme Tours

Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa

This tour departs from the Haunted Walks ticket office, located just steps from Parliament Hill in Downtown Ottawa.The 90-minute storytelling adventure will surprise, amaze, and delight even the most skeptical in the group. Along the way, hear a number of stories. Find out about the tragic connection between the Titanic and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier; why the Rideau Canal (a Unesco World Heritage Site) is believed to be haunted by 1,000 workers who died during the construction; and Ottawa's infamously haunted high school.Also, learn about a Canadian solider who was saved from certain death by the intervention of a deceased family member. And discover why Ottawa's oldest building seems to be its most haunted.The tour ends where it began, with souvenirs and refreshments available for purchase.

$21.40 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Ottawa River Historic Sightseeing Cruise

C'mon aboard the premier sightseeing vessel, the Empress of Ottawa, and capture unique and spectacular views of some of the city's attractions such as the Parliament Buildings, Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization), Rideau Falls, and the Prime Minister's residence. With these landmarks as your backdrop, this 75-minute cruise is the ideal way to tour the Ottawa River. Feel free to roam about the two enclosed decks and the third open-air deck to find the ideal spot aboard. The cruise offers full live commentary in English and French, as well as pre-recorded historical commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin.The Empress of Ottawa has daily departures from two locations to best serve you: Jacques Cartier Park Wharf in Gatineau (Hull Sector) and at the base of the Rideau Canal locks below the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. Boarding starts 10 minutes prior to departure.

$69.25 Tours & Sightseeing

Ottawa Highlights 3 Hour Bike Tour

Take a bike ride to see Ottawa's must-see spots and hidden gems in only 3-3.5 hours and on 95% safe bicycle paths.  Bicycling along the canal pathway, hear the history of the canal, then make a short detour visit to Lansdowne park and the Glebe (neighborhood). Pass by some of the Locks and Carleton University. and visit beautiful Hog'sBack Falls. Continuing along the Rideau Canal, visit the spectacular Arboretum, Fletcher Wild Life Garden, and the Experimental Farm, and see the Canada Food and Agriculture Museum, too. After a 30-minute lunch/snack stop  in trendy Little Italy and Dow's Lake, take a short ride along the beautiful Ottawa River pathway. Bicycling back along Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway to Downtown Ottawa, see even more of the city’s attractions, including the War Museum. Take a detour to the province of Quebec for a spectacular downtown view. While cycling back to the starting point, see the National Gallery of Canada, Rideau Hall, Rideau Falls, Byword Market, and Parliament Hill.This tour is ideal for families, visitors with limited time and those who want to discover beyond Downtown core.