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    parliament hill ottawa

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    Dissected by Rideau River, Ottawa is one of the tp cities in Canada. Being the capital of Ontario, this city is full of cultures and vibrant experiences. Explore right from world’s largest escape room to fun rooftop to basement arcade. Like many cities around the globe, Ottawa is a home to many national attractions. Besides being a capital city, experience the small town feels in Ottawa decked with a bureaucratic façade.

    Being a home to myriad festivals, restaurants, green spaces, hotels and indie shops, Ottawa offers plenty of top-notch cultural attractions and distinct museums as well. Admire thousands of glooming bulbs during the spring’s Tulip Festival and also enjoy skating along the Rideau Canal in the winter time. Also, you can find ample things to do in Ottawa.

    10 Best Things To Do In Ottawa

    What things to do in Ottawa are there? Does this question rise your mind? Then do visit all the places sorted down, for a fulfilling vacation. If you are preparing a list of things to do in Ottawa, then do add this place.

    1. Ice-Skating

    ice skating rinks available for beginners here

    Ottawa is marked as an epic location for fun winter activities like ice skating. One of the outstanding things to do in Ottawa for families, couples, or even solo travelers is ice skating. During the winter season, a portion of the Rideau Canal is converted into a gigantic skating rink. Spanning over 8 kilometers, the outdoor rink becomes the largest in the world.

    An ideal spot to spend a romantic evening, the skating rink is open all day round in the winter season. The Beaver Tail is definitely not to be missed. Deep-fried sweets sold at kiosks and Byward Market area is definitely not to be missed.

    Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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    2. Sound & Light Show

    Light Show in Ottawa

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    Set in the center of the city, the splendid Gothic revival Parliament Hill houses the Parliament of Canada and also is a key tourist attraction. A wide formal garden and three buildings constitute Parliament Hill. Grounds (of the complex ) are a spot for demonstrations, national celebrations, and shows. Your trip to Ottawa is not complete unless you visit Parliament Hill.

    Anyone and everyone are invited to witness the overwhelming Sound and Light show with spectacular lighting effects. The amazing giant images displayed on the Parliament Buildings set to words and music makes it one of the fun things to do in Ottawa. 

    Location: 111 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6, Canada
    Timings: 9-9:15 PM, Thurs closed

    Suggested Read: Explore These 10 Toronto Museums To Unravel The Cultural Tales Of Canada!

    3. Shopping

    Shopping Streets in ottawa

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    Shopping around is one of the fabulous things to do in Ottawa as there are ample places to lay your eyes on. Deemed to be the oldest markets in Canada, ByWard Market is located in the city center of Ottawa. Surrounded by open-air stalls, ByWard Market consists of the main building that is open all round the year. From restaurants, ample boutiques to fast-food kiosks, you can find almost everything. Also, it is a great place to roam all around and have good conversations with the localities.

    Besides shopping, there is also entertainment and night life is truly priceless. The robust brick building is the ideal place to halt when hunger strikes. Get a sample of food from international restaurants including Southern BBQ, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, and Italian. Dessert and a couple of drinks are also a must to try.

    Best shopping locations: ByWard Market, St. Laurent Shopping Centre, Rideau Centre 

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    4. Museum Hopping

    Museums in Ottawa

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    Ottawa is home to many national museums like the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canada Agriculture Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canadian War Museum. Apart from the above-mentioned museums, there are few more spectacular museums that are quite appealing.

    To name a few, Canada Science & Technology Museum, Bank of Canada Currency Museum, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Portrait Gallery of Canada. Also, the Canadian Museum of History is a contemporary and a must-see museum across the Hull & Québec river.

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    5. Ghost Hunting

    Place of Ghost

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    Ottawa is not always filled with colorfulness and smiles, but the city also houses many haunting sites. Take a spooky walk through Downtown Ottawa and experience the thrill. Listen to haunting stories of the Ottawa Jail Hostel, Bytown Museum, and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier that are Ottawa’s dark past.

    To explore the other side of Ottawa, the tours are instructed by guides dressed in black holding a lantern. Of course, Halloween is the best time to discover the darkest part of the city and regardless of the weather, haunted tours take place all round the year. One of the best things to do in Ottawa is to experience the thrill of ghost hunting.

    Haunted spots: Moore House, Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, Buck Hill

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    6. Beach Outing

    Beach Side View in Ottawa

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    When in Ottawa, you don’t have to miss out on beach fun because there are a number of beaches in Ottawa. You can have a great time when you spend some valuable time with your friends or family here. One can play volleyball, enjoy eating ice cream, and also get completely wet. Sitting on the northeast corner, there are two lovely beaches on the island. Lifeguards are on service all round the week. It is a perfect place to swim, picnic or a great escape from the city center.

    Best beaches: Westboro Beach, Brittania Beach, Mooney’s Bay Park & Beach

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    7. Attend Winterlude Festival

    Celebrate Winterlude Festival in Ottwa

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    One of the largest festivals of winter i.e. Winterlude is celebrated over three weekends each February. International ice sculpting competition, public skating, and several other activities are carried out during the festival.

    Another good festival is the Canadian Tulip Festival and definitely, Canada Day should not be missed(July 1st). Drawing a maximum number of tourists is the Bluesfest that is a massive summer festival.

    When: 31st Jan 2021 – 18th Feb 2021

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    8. Ottawa Nightlife


    Ottawa has a brimming nightlife, along with pubs, bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Dance to the melody of Jazz or the sounds of DJ. ByWard Market is home to many bars and pubs as well. Similarly goes for the Centretown area. If you are wondering about things to do in Ottawa at night, then there are ample clubs you can visit. Live music is offered at many venues and chic & trendy is your thing, then there are ample stylish lounges and nightclubs around.

    Best spots: The Lookout Bar, Bar Laurel, Copper Spirits & Sights

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    9. Hang Out With Royalty

    Royal Buildings

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    The residence of the Canadian monarch, Rideau Hall is an amazing 175 room mansion spanning over 88 acres of massive land. Canada’s similar to Buckingham Palace, this is a National Historic Site of Canada since1867. Furnished with both historic and contemporary items, this magnificent building is open to the public for tours all around the year.

    Location: 1 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A1, Canada
    Timings: 10 AM – 4:30 PM

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    10. Relish The Culinary Scene

    Dish in Ottawa

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    Scrumptious dishes can be enjoyed from all across the world since Ottawa is a melting pot of cultures. Superb Lebanese food, Vietnamese food and Chinese food are the specialty of this area. Italian cuisine, Mediterranean fare and French cuisine are offered by restaurants all across the city. You must definitely give a try to Poutine that is a French Canadian dish of cheese curds, chips and gravy. If you want to get your hands on the best street food in Canada, Ottawa is the place to be.

    Best restaurants: Supply & Demand, Atelier, Town, Fairouz

    Further Read: Shopping In Vancouver: 8 Spots For Shopaholics Staying In Canada

    Experience true fun and zeal right here in Ottawa by indulging in the above-mentioned activities. Ottawa is a culturally and historically rich place which is why you will find plenty of things to do in Ottawa. Make your vacation in Canada awesome by putting Ottawa on your itinerary and have the best time of your life.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Ottawa

    Q. Is there any entry fee at museums in Ottawa?

    A. Ottawa offers free admission to all the museums. Bytown Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Museum of Nature, and the Canadian War Museum are some of the attractions that you may visit.

    Q. What is Ottawa known for?

    A. Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and is known for the Canadian Tulip Festival which is held every May. It is also one of the well-known business centers in Canada.

    Q. What should I see in Ottawa?

    A. Parliament Hill, National Gallery of Canada, ByWard Market, Rideau Canal, Rideau Canal Skateway and Winterlude are a few attractions you can visit in Ottawa.

    Q. What can you do in Ottawa for free?

    A. There are lots of free things to do in Ottawa like visiting the Parliament buildings, spend a day at Lansdowne Park, take a drive to Gatineau Park and enjoy the RCMP sunset.

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