The 10 Best Places To Visit In Ottawa

Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is a city steeped in culture, history, and natural beauty. It’s a place where you can find an eclectic mix of modern urbanity and charming old-world character. From the iconic Parliament Hill to the tranquil Rideau Canal, there’s a treasure trove of sights to explore. Let’s dive into the top 10 must-see spots that make Ottawa an unforgettable destination.

Parliament Hill

Standing tall on the banks of the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill isn’t just a hub for Canadian politics; it’s a cultural landmark. The Gothic Revival-style buildings are a sight to behold, especially during the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony in the summer. In winter, the Hill sparkles with festive lights. Don’t miss the chance to take a guided tour and possibly catch a parliamentary session in action.

ByWard Market

ByWard Market is a bustling mosaic of farmers’ stalls, artisan boutiques, and vibrant eateries. It’s the perfect spot to grab a BeaverTail pastry and meander through the colorful streets. The market’s energy is contagious, and you’ll find that it’s a melting pot of locals and tourists alike, all looking to soak up the lively atmosphere.

Rideau Canal

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is a marvel in all seasons. In the warmer months, it’s a boater’s paradise. Come winter, it transforms into the world’s largest skating rink. Whether you’re gliding on ice skates or paddling through its waters, the canal is a unique experience that epitomizes Ottawa’s charm.

Canadian War Museum

History buffs will be in their element at the Canadian War Museum. Its exhibitions are thought-provoking and immersive, covering Canada’s military past from the colonial times to the present. The architecture itself, with its grassy roof and stark angles, is a powerful tribute to peace and conflict.

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The National Gallery of Canada is a treasure trove of masterpieces. Its vast collection includes works from Canadian, Indigenous, and international artists. The building’s glass and granite structure is a work of art in itself, and Maman, the giant spider sculpture at the entrance, is an unmissable Instagram-worthy spot.

Canadian Museum of Nature

For a walk on the wild side, the Canadian Museum of Nature is a must-visit. Its dinosaur exhibits are a hit with kids and adults alike. The museum’s castle-like façade is as impressive as the natural wonders housed within its walls. It’s a place where you can marvel at the diversity of life on Earth.

Gatineau Park

Just a stone’s throw from downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. With its hiking trails, scenic lookouts, and pristine lakes, it’s a breath of fresh air. In autumn, the park is ablaze with fall foliage, making it a photographer’s paradise.

Peace Tower

The Peace Tower is the crown jewel of Parliament Hill. Its observation deck offers panoramic views of the city. The Memorial Chamber at its base is a solemn reminder of those who fought for peace. It’s a place that offers both a bird’s-eye view and a deep historical perspective.

Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum

Step into a time capsule at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum. This underground bunker was designed to protect against nuclear attacks. Today, it’s a fascinating glimpse into a period of geopolitical tension. It’s as educational as it is eerie.

Canadian Museum of History

Across the river in Gatineau, the Canadian Museum of History is not only architecturally stunning but also home to the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles. Its exhibits take you on a journey through Canada’s rich tapestry of history. The museum also offers a spectacular view back across the river to Parliament Hill.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Ottawa?

    It depends on what you’re looking for. Summer offers festivals and outdoor activities, while winter boasts the magical Winterlude festival and skating on the Rideau Canal.

  • Is Ottawa a walkable city?

    Absolutely! Many of Ottawa’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially around the downtown core.

  • Are there any free attractions in Ottawa?

    Yes, many of Ottawa’s museums offer free admission at certain times, and places like Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal are always free to explore.


Ottawa is a city that offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from the grandeur of Parliament Hill to the natural oasis of Gatineau Park. It’s a place where history is alive and nature is just a step away. Whether you’re indulging in the culinary delights of ByWard Market or reflecting on history at the War Museum, Ottawa is a city that will capture your heart. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore the best places this vibrant capital has to offer!

Remember, whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or outdoor adventurer, Ottawa’s top attractions are sure to leave you with lasting memories. So why not make Ottawa your next travel destination? You won’t regret it!

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.