Ottawa Attractions: The 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Ottawa

Ah, Ottawa! Canada’s capital city is a treasure trove of attractions, blending history, culture, and natural beauty in a way that’s uniquely its own. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or someone who loves to bask in the great outdoors, Ottawa’s got something special for you. Let’s dive into the top 10 tourist attractions that make this city a must-visit destination.

1. Parliament Hill: The Heart of Canadian Democracy

Standing tall on the banks of the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill isn’t just a hub for political buffs; it’s a symbol of Canada’s rich history. The Gothic Revival-style buildings are a sight to behold, especially during the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony in the summer. Don’t miss the chance to catch the mesmerizing Sound and Light Show, which illuminates the Parliament buildings with a story of Canada’s past.

2. Rideau Canal: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In winter, the Rideau Canal becomes the world’s largest skating rink. But it’s not just for winter sports enthusiasts. During warmer months, you can stroll, bike, or even kayak along this historic waterway. The scenic views and the locks’ engineering marvels are a testament to Ottawa’s blend of nature and innovation.

3. Canadian War Museum: A Tribute to Peacekeepers

With its striking architecture, the Canadian War Museum offers a poignant journey through Canada’s military history. Exhibits range from the Great War to modern peacekeeping missions. It’s a place of reflection and understanding, where you can grasp the sacrifices made for peace.

4. ByWard Market: A Foodie’s Paradise

ByWard Market is where Ottawa’s culinary scene comes alive. It’s a bustling mix of restaurants, cafes, and specialty food shops. Whether you’re craving artisan cheeses or fresh maple syrup, you’ll find it here. And let’s not forget the vibrant street art and local crafts that add color to this historic neighborhood.

Art lovers, rejoice! The National Gallery of Canada is home to an impressive collection of Canadian and Indigenous art. The iconic glass and granite building is a masterpiece in itself. Inside, you’ll find works by famous artists like the Group of Seven, alongside contemporary masterpieces that challenge and inspire.

6. Canadian Museum of Nature: A Journey Through Time

Ever wanted to stand next to a dinosaur? The Canadian Museum of Nature is your chance. It’s a fascinating exploration of the natural world, from the age of dinosaurs to the present day. The museum’s interactive exhibits and stunning dioramas make it a hit with kids and adults alike.

7. Gatineau Park: An Outdoor Oasis

Just a stone’s throw from downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. With its lush forests, serene lakes, and extensive trail network, it’s perfect for hiking, cycling, or a peaceful picnic. In autumn, the park’s foliage turns into a fiery display of reds, oranges, and yellows.

8. Canada Aviation and Space Museum: Soaring High

For those fascinated by the skies, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is a must-visit. It boasts a vast collection of aircraft, from early biplanes to modern jets. The museum also celebrates Canada’s contributions to space exploration, including the iconic Canadarm.

9. Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum

Step into a time capsule at the Diefenbunker, a four-story underground bunker built during the Cold War. Now a museum, it offers a glimpse into what life might have been like if the worst had happened. It’s a sobering reminder of a not-so-distant past, with its preserved rooms and eerie atmosphere.

10. Royal Canadian Mint: The Art of Coinage

Ever wondered where Canadian coins come from? The Royal Canadian Mint is where the magic happens. Take a guided tour to see how coins are made and even hold a solid gold Bar. It’s a unique experience that shines a light on the craftsmanship behind every coin.


  • What’s the best time to visit Ottawa?

    Summer and fall are fantastic times to visit Ottawa. Summer offers outdoor festivals and the full glory of the Rideau Canal, while fall showcases the city’s stunning foliage.

  • Is Ottawa a walkable city?

    Yes, many of Ottawa’s attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially around the downtown area. It’s a great city to explore on foot.

  • Are there any free attractions in Ottawa?

    Indeed! Many of Ottawa’s museums offer free admission at certain times, and Parliament Hill is always free to explore. Plus, the city’s parks and the Rideau Canal offer plenty of free fun.


Ottawa is a city that offers a rich tapestry of attractions, seamlessly weaving together the threads of history, culture, and natural splendor. From the political grandeur of Parliament Hill to the tranquil beauty of Gatineau Park, there’s an endless array of experiences waiting for you. Whether you’re marveling at masterpieces in the National Gallery or skating on the Rideau Canal, Ottawa’s charm is undeniable. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore the best tourist attractions in Ottawa – where every visit is as enriching as it is delightful.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.