Canada’s capital is packed with great adventures. You’ll never be bored since there are many exciting things to do in Ottawa. From historical buildings and sights to fascinating museums, the city really provides food for thought. Besides, it’s a paradise for foodies with its numerous chic and fabulous restaurants and places with delicious food. Read on to find out what are the unmissables if you find yourself in Canada’s capital.
Things to Do in Ottawa Ontario
Ottawa is the capital of the beautiful province of Ontario, and also its second largest city after Toronto. Due to its rich history and economic prosperity, it has become one of the leading Canadian centres and one of Canada’s top 5 most visited cities. It is home to state-of-the-art museums full of precious collections, architecture and breathtaking parks which makes it attractive to natives and foreigners alike. If you’re moving to Canada and you’re on the lookout for a city that is brimming with entertainment, search no more.
Enjoy a Museum
Whether you’re a fan of history or science, or you like interactive museums, moving internationally will be made much easier for you and you’ll be pleased to be in Ottawa. The city boasts wonderful and unique museums which cover a wide spectrum of different areas. You can get a feel of most of them in different Ottawa walking tours and the good news is that many are free at certain times. Read on to see our top picks.
Ottawa Museum Collections – From Classic to Eccentric
If you are moving to Ontario and you’re interested in learning more about the nation’s past and present, make sure you visit the Canadian Museum of History. With its numerous galleries spanning early, colonial and modern phases of the country’s development, this museum is a unique opportunity to delve deep into Canadian history and national identity as part of adjusting to a new country. And, you’ll be awed to see the world’s biggest totem collection in the museum’s Grand Hall, overlooking the stunning Parliament Hill. And if you’d like to take a break from history, you can take a walk to the Canadian Museum of Nature which is about 15 minutes away. Not only is its building impressive, but the inside is guaranteed fun for everybody as well! Finally, if you feel like solving a mystery, head to Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum and home of the world’s biggest escape room.
Visit Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
If you don’t want to visit the zoo or one of nature centres, make sure you drop by Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and let your kids play and pet some of the numerous cute animals. You’ll get a real country life feel here even though you’ll still be in the urban centre.
Don’t Miss Out on the Canadian Parliament
Located on the Parliament Hill on the banks of Ottawa River, Canada’s Parliament is much more than chamber debates. Apart from splendid views of the city panorama and eclectic architectural styles, the Parliament hosts different national festivals and celebrations. If you are an early bird, don’t wonder – what can I do in Ottawa today; hurry up to catch a place in one of the numerous Parliament guided tours since they are usually full after 9 a.m. Finish your visit in high spirits and explore the Parliament park, replete with lavish statues and hidden gems or walk to the Peace Tower nearby. If you’re lucky to visit in summer, you’ll be able to cross watching the Royal Change of Guard off your moving abroad checklist.
Go to the Rideau Canal – One of the Most Famous Ottawa Attractions
The Rideau Canal was once a military base and now it’s a site you can visit all year round. Connecting Lake Ontario to River Ottawa, the Canal spans most of the city’s core and is a good spot for all groups of people. If you’re moving abroad alone, it’s a good place to catch some rest from the commotion of moving internationally. But, it’s also a great place to cycle, run or paddle a boat. If you’re moving to another country for love, you can spend a cozy date night here and recharge with your beloved. In winter, the Canal becomes a huge outdoor skating rink. So, if you come during the cold months, rent some skates, grab a traditional Canadian snack, such as the Beaver tail, and enjoy the holiday atmosphere. Now, that’s a reason to like moving during the holidays.
Visit a Fantasy Castle
The Fairmont Château Laurier overlooks the Rideau Canal. This magnificent castle serves as a hotel and its history dates back a hundred years ago when it was made in the style of Gothic architecture to complement the surrounding buildings on the Parliament Hill. Today, it is still a luxury hotel offering high-class services to its numerous guests. Explore the castle’s colorful scented gardens or drop in for a fancy drink and fairy-tale atmosphere.
What Do Ottawa People Do for Fun? – Outdoor Activities
If your dilemma about what to pack when moving abroad resulted in sports wear, you’re at the right place. Ottawa offers a supreme combination of urban and natural and you can enjoy your time in numerous city parks such as the Major’s Hill Park in the city centre. Parks are a great spot to meet like-minded people, especially if you’re moving with dogs who’ll adore them. One of the friendliest countries in the world is extremely pet-friendly, so you needn’t worry about bringing your furry friend along. Sit back and relax in the serene peace the parks create or go for a run and vent out your stress about wondering how to move to another country.
Le Nordic Outdoor Spa
This outdoor spa centre is a must on the list of Ottawa things to do for nature lovers. A ten minute drive from downtown, this Scandinavian style oasis is a mixture of different spa services. With hot and cold pools, massages and the only floating salt water pool in the country, it is guaranteed to bring peace to your mind. Forget about documents needed to travel abroad and allow yourself time to empty your mind. Take a sip of delicious hot tea and enjoy the cityscape and the spa’s green park both at day and night time.
Grab a Bite – Food in Ottawa
Ottawa is a great place for food fans – from fine dining to street fusion food, you can find everything here. Try a traditional Canadian dish or food from all over the globe. Moving across the world has never been easier since this city offers a hip culinary scene with cosmopolitan influences.
Check Out the Byward Market
If you’re wondering what to do in Ottawa, make sure not to miss buying in one of the most famous outdoor markets. The Byward Market Area is home to the famous Byward Market, which is a great place to find fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables at an affordable price. You can also buy arts and crafts and souvenirs here and have a savory or sweet snack at one of the stalls. This unique outdoor market prides itself on high quality food, but if you’d rather visit a restaurant you’ll find a couple of good ones nearby. The area offers French, Italian and fusion restaurants at reasonable prices.
Chill in the Westboro Village
Once a farmer’s quarter, this funk neighborhood is now a paradise for foodies. From fresh French pastry to new twists to classical Canadian hotdogs, you won’t be missing any food here. The area also flaunts Japanese, Italian, and American restaurants offering seasonal vegan menus, which make the capital able to qualify as one of the best vegan cities. If you want to satisfy your sugar craving, try homemade Italian ice-cream or delicious cakes in one of the local cake shops. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, Westboro won’t let you down.
Take a look at the following video, if you want to learn more about Ottawa’s specialties.
Best of Ottawa for Free
If you were wondering – what can you do in Ottawa for free, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are attractions galore. Moving abroad can get expensive and sometimes you are just exhausted to draw up yet another budget. Luckily, here’s what you can do without spending a dime:
- Hit the beach at Mooney’s Bay and enjoy swimming, sunbathing or some of the numerous festivals.
- Go hiking at Gatineau Park – you won’t miss taking a breathtaking photo since this park is a place where you can find real pristine nature, complete with waterfalls and lakes. Follow one of the walking trails or go cycling in the amazing environment.
- Check out the Governor’s Office at Rideau Hall – The building offers free tours and you can enjoy the guide’s stories, art collections and stunning gardens.
- Visit the Supreme Court of Canada – Not only is the building fabulous, but you can also hear gripping stories of law students who explain to the visitors how the Canadian judicial system works.
- Enjoy the Central Experimental Farm – Located in the heart of the city, this unique animal and plant oasis offers a whole day family fun. You can peek at different farm animals, enjoy their beautiful arboretums or learn about agriculture.
Moving to Ontario Canada
Learning how to live in another country is hard and many people hesitate to make the decision. Make sure you think about the pros and cons before calling the international moving company. If you’re worried about the employee relocation, check out Ontario’s job market. Also, compare the Toronto cost of living to that in the capital and take your time. If you’re worried about moving abroad, find reliable movers and decide whether you’d prefer international moving by sea or international moving by air. If you’re worried about packing to move and where to start, order packing services and they’ll provide you with boxes and moving supplies.
Making Ottawa Your Home
The list of Ottawa places to visit is quite extensive and packed with fun and cool spots, so the capital’s former nickname – a City that Fun Forgot – definitely doesn’t apply. On the contrary, the city is all but that with its vibrant cultural scene, supreme culinary experience, breathtaking historical sites and true natural hideouts. Whether you’re looking for a temporary relocation or you’re thinking of staying permanently, Ottawa might be just the place for you.