Ottawa things to do

The Canadian Museum of History

Travel back in time at the Canadian Museum of History, one of the most visited museums in all of Canada. Explore 20,000 years of the country's past and wander fascinating displays that cover a wide variety of topics. A particular highlight is the First Peoples Hall exhibition which celebrates the achievements, creativity and cultural richness of the indiginous people.

Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned as the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. In the summer, it's perfect for picturesque boat rides. Come winter, from around January to March, the canal becomes the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world. Rent ice skates and glide over the frozen waters - it's absolute magic.

The National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada holds the most comprehensive collection of Canadian art in the world. Explore artworks from renowned local artists like Jack Bush and Jean-Paul Riopelle and admire the Native and Inuit art displays. You'll also find several European and American masterworks from artists such as Andy Warhol, Hieronymus Bosch, Paul Gaugan and Vincent Van Gogh.

Gatineau Park

Take a very short drive from the city centre and head into the natural wilds of Gatineau Park. Walk on nature trails through lush forests and discover lakeside beaches with golden sands. The area's home to lots of animals, from black bears to turtles, and an outstanding, meromictic lake, known as Pink Lake, that has shimmering green waters.

Parliament Hill

Home to Canada's Parliament, The Hill, as it's known locally, features stunning Gothic architecture that is truly awe-inspiring. The massive building is one of Ottawa's major landmarks and it can be seen throughout most of the city. Take a free guided tour around the various wings and climb the Peace Tower for breathtaking panoramic views.

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