Canada Country Travel Tips Itinerary Must See Must Do Photo OOAworld

3 days in Ottawa What To Do Must See Itinerary

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do for travelers. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your trip to Ottawa:

  1. Transportation: Ottawa is a very walkable city, but there is also an extensive public transportation system including buses and light rail. Consider getting an OC Transpo day pass for unlimited travel on the city’s buses and trains.
  2. Currency: The currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar. Make sure to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases, as many places do not accept credit cards for transactions under $10.
  3. Weather: Ottawa experiences all four seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. Make sure to pack accordingly depending on the time of year you are visiting.
  4. Language: The official languages in Ottawa are English and French, so it is handy to know some basic French phrases, although most people speak English.
  5. Must-visit attractions: Ottawa is home to many iconic sites and monuments, including Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, and the National Gallery of Canada. Be sure to plan your visit to include these must-see attractions. See below for more details.

Now, here is a list of 20 sites and monuments to visit in Ottawa:

  1. Parliament Hill: The seat of Canada’s federal government, Parliament Hill is a must-visit attraction in Ottawa. Take a guided tour to learn about Canadian politics and history.
  2. Rideau Canal: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal offers scenic views and recreational activities year-round. In the winter, it transforms into the world’s largest skateway.
  3. National Gallery of Canada: Home to a vast collection of Canadian and international art, the National Gallery of Canada is a must-visit for art enthusiasts.
  4. Canadian Museum of History: Located just across the river in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History offers a comprehensive look at Canadian history and culture.
  5. ByWard Market: A bustling outdoor market in downtown Ottawa, ByWard Market is a great place to shop for local produce, artisanal goods, and souvenirs.
  6. Canadian War Museum: Learn about Canada’s military history at the Canadian War Museum, which features artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays.
  7. Supreme Court of Canada: Take a guided tour of the Supreme Court of Canada to learn about the judicial branch of the Canadian government.
  8. National Arts Centre: Catch a performance at the National Arts Centre, which hosts a variety of music, dance, and theatre productions throughout the year.
  9. Museum of Nature: Explore the natural world at the Canadian Museum of Nature, with exhibits on dinosaurs, mammals, minerals, and more.
  10. Diefenbunker: Visit the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War museum located in a former nuclear fallout shelter. Take a guided tour to learn about the country’s nuclear history.
  11. Canada Science and Technology Museum: Discover the exciting world of science and technology at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages.
  12. Ottawa Art Gallery: Explore contemporary Canadian art at the Ottawa Art Gallery, which showcases a diverse range of artists and perspectives.
  13. Rockcliffe Park: Enjoy a stroll through Rockcliffe Park, a picturesque neighborhood in Ottawa known for its grand homes and scenic views of the Ottawa River.
  14. National War Memorial: Pay your respects at the National War Memorial, a monument dedicated to Canadian soldiers who have served in wars and peacekeeping missions.
  15. Rideau Hall: Visit the official residence of the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall, a historic mansion with beautiful gardens and grounds.
  16. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica: Admire the stunning architecture of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, the oldest church in Ottawa and a designated National Historic Site.
  17. Nepean Point: Take in panoramic views of Ottawa from Nepean Point, a scenic lookout located behind the National Gallery of Canada. It offers stunning vistas of the Parliament Buildings, the Ottawa River, and Gatineau Hills.
  18. Bytown Museum: Learn about Ottawa’s early history at the Bytown Museum, located in the oldest stone building in the city. Exhibits explore the founding of Ottawa and the construction of the Rideau Canal.
  19. Canadian Tulip Festival: If you’re visiting Ottawa in the spring, don’t miss the Canadian Tulip Festival, a celebration of the iconic flower featuring millions of tulips in bloom throughout the city.
  20. Mackenzie King Estate: Step back in time at the Mackenzie King Estate, the former country home of Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. Explore the gardens, cottages, and trails on the estate.

Don’t forget to get Travel Insurance Before You Travel

If you’re looking for travel insurance, we recommend the following travel insurance provider:

Photo OoaworldPhoto OoaworldPhoto Ooaworld
World Nomads Travel InsuranceTravelex Insurance ServicesAIG Travel Guard

Our Top Travel Gear and Equipment Recommendations: Best Camera, Photo and Video Equipment for Your Travels

If you’re interested in our recommended travel gear and photo/video equipment:

Photo OoaworldPhoto Ooaworld
Best Down JacketsBest Travel Adapters Worldwide Universal
Photo OoaworldPhoto Ooaworld
Best Action Cameras and Portable CamerasBest Full-Frame DSLR Cameras and DSLR Cameras
Photo OoaworldPhoto Ooaworld
Best Laptops and Computers for Travel and Remote Work

Now, here is a three-day itinerary for exploring Ottawa:

  • Day 1:
    • Morning: Visit Parliament Hill and take a guided tour of the historic buildings.
    • Lunch: Enjoy a meal at one of the cafes or restaurants in the ByWard Market.
    • Afternoon: Explore the National Gallery of Canada and admire the collections of Canadian and international art.
    • Evening: Take a leisurely walk along the Rideau Canal and enjoy the views.
  • Day 2:
    • Morning: Visit the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau and learn about Canadian culture and history.
    • Lunch: Have a picnic in Major’s Hill Park overlooking the Ottawa River.
    • Afternoon: Explore the Canadian War Museum and learn about
    • Canada’s military history.
    • Evening: Catch a performance at the National Arts Centre or enjoy dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants.
  • Day 3:
    • Morning: Visit the Museum of Nature and discover the wonders of the natural world.
    • Lunch: Grab a bite to eat at one of the food stalls in the ByWard Market.
    • Afternoon: Take a leisurely stroll through Rockcliffe Park and enjoy the scenic views.
    • Evening: Visit the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War museum, for a unique and educational experience.

Where to stay in Ottawa, Canada, best rated hotels and accommodations in Ottawa, Canada:

Now, here is a list of hotels in Ottawa, rated over 8.0 on booking.com:

Hotels in Ottawa, Canada Priced Over $200 per night:

Please note that ratings and prices may vary depending on the season and availability. Make sure to check the current rates and availability through the provided links.

This page may contain affiliate links, using these for your bookings and purchases comes at no extra cost to you and helps to maintain this site, thanks for your support!

For more about Canada, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and other destinations in Canada read the travel tips and see all travel stories, videos, photos and writing on Rolling Coconut’s Travel section.