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Top 14 Places To Visit In Ottawa

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa is Canada’s capital, in the east of southern Ontario, near the city of Montréal and the U.S. border. Sitting on the Ottawa River, it has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums such as the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art.

It is regarded as the highest educated city in Canada and is a much-loved tourist destination. On top of all, it is entitled a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From beautiful landscapes to ancient monuments and historic museums, Ottawa has everything on offer to lure the traveler in you.

Here are the Top 14 Places to Visit in Ottawa, which are worth visiting on your Ottawa Trip:

1. Parliament Hill

Topping the list of the best places to visit in Ottawa is the grand Parliament building that also houses Canada’s Government. This political masterpiece built between 1859 and 1927 features three imposing edifices (East Block, West Block, and Centre Block). This iconic site is appreciated for its impressive Gothic-style architecture. The unrivaled 360-degree vistas of the city from the observation deck of the Peace Tower is a must-see for a spellbinding experience. Free tours are offered throughout the year for visitors while the tour times are subject to change depending on the month of your visit.

2. National Gallery of Canada

An award-winning masterpiece, the National Gallery of Canada exhibits some of the world’s largest Canadian collections from the 18th century. Explore some of the finest works of legendary artists that date from the 15th and 17th centuries. The entire architecture of the gallery is a striking ensemble of pink granite and glass spires attracting tourists in huge numbers. Deep inside the sanctum of the gallery, there are two lovely courtyards and the stunning Rideau Street Convent Chapel.

3. Notre Dame Basilica

Ornamented with stained-glass windows with Biblical inscriptions and magnificent with arches and terraced galleries, the Notre Dame Basilica is the largest & oldest standing church in Ottawa. Built-in the 1840s, this church is a splendid example of Canadian religious art and Gothic Revival architecture.

4. Rideau Canal

The 200-kilometer-long (but only 1.6-meter-deep) Rideau Canal, connects Ottawa with Kingston on Lake Ontario. Sometimes also called the Rideau Waterway, it was originally intended as a strategic route between Montréal and Lake Ontario, the military need for which was demonstrated during the war with the United States in 1812. In summer, the canal and locks are an active waterway. Fun things to do include taking a Rideau Canal cruise aboard one of the many tour boats that ply the water here (better still, splash out on an overnight cruise of the canal!).

5. Canadian War Museum

Located beside the Ottawa River, the strikingly modern Canadian war Museum (Musée Canadien de la Guerre) explores Canada's military past. Exhibits cover everything from the fighting between the French and Iroquois people in the 16th century through the Canadian contribution to the First and Second World Wars. There are also displays relating to the role of modern peacekeepers.

6. Peace Tower

The panoramic view from the observation deck at the top of the Peace Tower (Tour de la Paix), the highest point in Ottawa, encompasses Parliament Hill, the entire city, the river, Gatineau, and the hills to the north. On your way up in the elevator, you will get a look at the tower's bells, and there is a memorial room for Canadians who died in WWI.

7. Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature (Musée Canadien de la Nature) takes visitors through the world of the dinosaurs all the way up to today's animal population and also features poignant temporary exhibits. It is the national natural sciences and history museum, and the historic building (once the Victoria Memorial Museum) is the birthplace of Canada's national museums. Construction on this castle-like building was completed in 1910.

8. Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park is a 365 square km (139 sq mi) conservation park filled with walking trails. One entrance is just a mere 4 km from Downtown Ottawa. Gatineau has 165 km of hiking trails and 90 km of mountain biking.

9. Royal Canadian Mint

If you wish to take some gifts back home, Royal Canadian Mint is the place to visit. This is the place where the mint was first created in the year 1908. Today, the Mint produces the world’s finest hand-crafted collectible coins and medallions. The Mint is yet another famous place to visit in Ottawa for family.

10. Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum

Canada's Cold War Museum is located outside of Ottawa in a large underground facility that was constructed in the early 1960s to protect important functions of the Canadian government in the event of a nuclear war. This was one of several self-sufficient, shock-resistant, radiation-proof underground shelters built across Canada during the Cold War, as part of Project EASE (Experimental Army Signals Establishments).

11. Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Telling in detail the story of Canadian civil and military aviation, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (Musée de l'Aviation et de l'Espace du Canada) is located at Rockcliffe Airport, on the northern edge of town. Among the aircraft on display is a replica of the Silver Dart, which in 1909 made the first flight in Canada, fighter planes from the First and Second World Wars, and some of the seaplanes and other aircraft that helped open up Canada's uncharted northern wilderness.

12. Dows Lake Pavilion

Dows Lake Pavilion has a beautiful location, jutting out into and overlooking the lake. This facility has a number of different restaurants, including an outdoor patio that is very popular in summer. The pavilion also looks out over the docks where it's possible to rent paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, or bikes. The lake is also a popular fishing destination. In winter, you can rent skates and sleds, and the park hosts events during the Winterlude festival. In the spring, it's decorated with formal tulip displays during the Tulip Festival.

13. Major's Hill Park

Major's Hill Park, southwest of the basilica, is aflame with thousands of tulips. In all, several million tulips bloom in the city, with tulip attraction sites spread out on a scenic "Tulip Route." Fireworks and performances are also regular attractions.

14. Byward Market

Located in Ottawa's busy Lower Town, north of the Rideau Canal, the Byward Market has enjoyed a colorful existence since 1846. In summer, fruit, flower, and vegetable stalls in the streets supplement the food stores in the main market hall. The entire area surrounding the market has been lovingly restored and now is a neighborhood filled with restaurants and smart boutiques.

Besides these there is much to explore in Ottawa, so book your trip to Ottawa and have fun!!!

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