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Ottawa Top Destinations - Best Tourist Places to visit in Ottawa Canada
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Ottawa Vacation and Travel Guide
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It is situated on the south bank of the Ottawa River and contains the mouths of the Rideau River and Rideau Canal. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa – Gatineau Census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). It has the highest standard of living in the nation.
The older part of the city (including what remains of Bytown) is known as Lower Town, and occupies an area between the canal and the rivers. Across the canal to the west lies Centretown and Downtown Ottawa, which is the city's financial and commercial hub and home to the Parliament of Canada and numerous federal government department headquarters, notably the Privy Council Office.
Influenced by government structures, much of the city's architecture tends to be formalistic and functional; however, the city is also marked by Romantic and Picturesque styles of architecture such as the Parliament Buildings' gothic revival architecture.
Ottawa is the most educated city in Canada and is home to a number of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, and numerous national museums.
The skyline has been controlled by building height restrictions originally implemented to keep Parliament Hill and the Peace Tower at 92.2 metres (302 ft) visible from most parts of the city.
Tourism in Ottawa
Tourist Information Centres in Ottawa
Visitor information can be found at the following locations:
Capital Information Kiosk
90 Wellington Street
The Capital Information Kiosk’s hours are: 9 am to 5 pm (7 days a week)
1-844-878-8333 • firstname.lastname@example.org
CF Rideau Centre: 50 Rideau Street, Customer Service, 3rd level, Rideau Court
Ottawa Main Tourist Attractions
Parliament Hill is home of Canada’s national government and the setting for national celebrations the year round. Each morning during summer months, the front lawn of Parliament Hill is the setting of the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony; each evening the public is invited to gather again to witness the awe-inspiring Sound and Light show – spectacular lighting effects and stunning giant images projected on the Parliament Buildings set to words and music. In December, it’s bathed in brilliant colours of Christmas Lights Across Canada.
National Cultural Attractions
Ottawa cultural attractions, museums and galleries invite visitors to experience the best of Canada all in one place. Ottawa’s national museums tell the country’s story in art, history, nature, at war, in aviation and space, agriculture and food, science and technology, plus attractions that focus on Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.
Main Museums and Performing Arts in Ottawa
The Capital’s premier performing arts venue, the National Arts Centre, presents a full lineup of music, dance and theatre, plus popular touring acts and shows. Ottawa also has a thriving local theatre scene, including the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa Little Theatre, and The Gladstone.
Amongst the city's national museums and galleries is the National Gallery of Canada; designed by famous architect Moshe Safdie, it is a permanent home to the Maman sculpture. The Canadian War Museum houses over 3.75 million artifacts and was moved to an expanded facility in 2005. The Canadian Museum of Nature was built in 1905, and underwent a major renovation between 2004 and 2010. Across the Ottawa river in Gatineau is the most visited museum in Canada, the Canadian Museum of History. Designed by Canadian Aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal, the curving-shaped complex, also houses the Canadian Children's Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum and a 3D IMAX theatre.
The city is also home to the Canada Agriculture Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Billings Estate Museum, Bytown Museum, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Canadian Ski Museum, Currency Museum, and the Portrait Gallery of Canada.
The Ottawa Little Theatre, originally called the Ottawa Drama League at its inception in 1913, is the longest-running community theatre company in Ottawa. Since 1969, Ottawa has been the home of the National Arts Centre, a major performing arts venue that houses four stages and is home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lyra Ottawa. Established in 1975, the Great Canadian Theatre Company specializes in the production of Canadian plays at a local level.
Historic and Heritage Sites in Ottawa
The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition, 24 other National Historic Sites of Canada are in Ottawa, including: the Central Chambers, the Central Experimental Farm, the Château Laurier, Confederation Square, the former Ottawa Teachers' College, Langevin Block, Laurier House and the Parliament Buildings. Many other properties of cultural value have been designated as having "heritage elements" by the City of Ottawa under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
For nearly 200 years this rollicking public market has played host to artisans, farmers and craft merchants who converge year round to sell their speciality items and wares. The downtown market, just a short walk from Parliament Hill, also houses numerous cafés and some of the city’s best pubs and restaurants. And when the streetlights turn on, the market becomes one of the spots in Ottawa to grab a late night drink and catch some live music.
A historic waterway filled with boaters spring through fall and the world’s largest naturally frozen ice skating rink in winter. On 29 June 2007, the Rideau Canal, which stretches 202 km (126 mi) to Kingston, Fort Henry and four Martello towers in the Kingston area, was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Winds through downtown Ottawa before connecting with the Ottawa River through stepped locks right next to Parliament Hill. It’s a beautiful place for a stroll no matter the season.
Outdoor & Adventure in Ottawa
Ottawa is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination, with an extensive network of scenic recreational biking paths, hiking trails and a significant number of golf courses close to downtown. The more adventurous can try whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Ottawa River, some of the continent’s finest.
Festivals and Celebrations in Ottawa
Ottawa is a city of celebrations, offering visitors a year around calendar of parties, festivals and special events. On July 1st, the city celebrates the biggest party in the country, Canada Day. Visitors will also experience a host of music celebrations, including the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, and Bluesfest, which welcome some of the world’s biggest acts to our city. In winter, Canada celebrates Winterlude during the first three weekends in February, and takes to the ice on the world’s largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal.
Culinary Scene in Ottawa
The culinary scene in Ottawa has come alive in recent years, with a thriving community of Ottawa chefs and Ottawa restaurants making names for themselves both at home and abroad. From fine dining to casual pubs and a diverse selection of cuisine choices, Ottawa’s food scene offers a little something for everyone. As one of Ontario’s designated culinary tourism destinations, the city, its restaurants and its local food producers are all working together to bring locally-grown and prepared foods to tables across the region through an initiative called Savour Ottawa.
Neighbourhoods & Shopping in Ottawa
Unique Ottawa neighbourhoods offer distinctive shopping, dining and nightlife experiences across the Capital city. From Little Italy’s charming bars and restaurants, to the glorious new archway over Chinatown, there is plenty to experience in Ottawa’s varied neighbourhoods. Discover the unique ambiance of each.
City Tours and Transportation
Add some structure to your time in Ottawa. Fold up your map, put it in your backpack, and relax as one of the city’s experts shows you the town. There are numerous tours and sightseeing options in the capital, from bird’s eye view see-the-whole-city type of tours, to niche companies that give you an in-depth understanding of a particular aspect of Ottawa. And you can choose your mode of transportation; bus, boat, plane, helicopter, bicycle or feet.
The city is also served by inter-city passenger rail service at the Ottawa Train Station by Via Rail, located near the Alta Vista neighbourhood, and inter-city bus service operating out of the Ottawa Bus Central Station.
Located at a four-hour drive north-east of Toronto and two hours west of Montreal, Ottawa is easy to get to by car or by train at any time of year.
Discover Ottawa Canada
If you are planning to travel to Ottawa, whether for business or tourism, in addition to the passport and visa, we recommend you to check the following information: International Airports, Airport security rules, Type of luggage allowed and weight limits, Most visited cities, Driving in Ottawa, Electricity, Time Stripes, Business Hours, National Holidays, Weights and Measures, Commercial Practices and Etiquette Rules.
An foreing wishing to enter Canada must obtain a temporary resident visa from one of the Canadian diplomatic missions unless he has a passport issued by one of the 51 countries and territories exempt from eligible visas or proof of permanent residence in the United States.
Flights Promotions to Ottawa
Ottawa is served by a number of airlines that fly into the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, as well as two main regional airports Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport, and Ottawa/Carp Airport.
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airpor
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport or Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (L'aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier in French), (IATA: YOW, ICAO: CYOW) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is an located in the south end of the city, 5.5 nautical miles (10.2 km; 6.3 mi) south of downtown Ottawa, at 1000 Airport Parkway Private, Ottawa, ON K1V 9B4.
Macdonald–Cartier Airport is part of Canada's busiest air corridor between Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto, which is commonly referred to as the Eastern Triangle. The airport is also a gateway for flights to the eastern Arctic via Iqaluit. While Ottawa's airport serves many major North American airlines and has flights to Europe, and several cities in the United States, Ottawa is the largest metropolitan area of Canada which is not a hub for any airline
The airport is an Air Canada focus city and the home base for First Air. The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. The airport is one of eight Canadian airports that have United States border preclearance facilities.
The state-of-the art Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport serves airlines offering flights to most major cities in Canada and the Eastern US, with seasonal services to Europe, the Caribbean and South America. It offers over 125 non-stop flights daily to more than 30 destinations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Seasonal non-stop services are also available to Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Europe.
Taxi’s, car service and car rental are just steps outside the airport. Bus service to downtown is also available using bus route 97.
Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport
Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport (French: Aéroport exécutif Gatineau-Ottawa) (IATA: YND, ICAO: CYND) is located 1 nautical mile (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) northeast of Gatineau, at 1717 Rue Arthur-Fecteau, Gatineau, QC J8R 2Z9, Quebec, Canada. It has a single, 6,000 ft × 150 ft (1,829 m × 46 m) Asphalt runway oriented east-west.
The airport is equipped with Canada Customs facilities for aircraft coming from outside Canada, a car rental counter and a restaurant. The airport houses the Vintage Wings of Canada, a nationwide non-for-profit organization that educates youth by use of vintage aircraft.
Ottawa/Carp Airport or Carp Airport
Ottawa/Carp Airport or Carp Airport, (ICAO: CYRP), is located 1.2 nautical miles (2.2 km; 1.4 mi) south of Carp, at 1500 Thomas Argue Rd, Carp, ON K0A 1L0, Ontario, Canada, a small village that is now part of Ottawa. Carp is the only airport in the Ottawa area where private hangar space is readily available, so it is a popular home base for local general aviation pilots.
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