Ottawa Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Ottawa. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here searching for Ottawa travel tips, in this article let’s walk through the in’s and out’s of this city so that you can get the most out of your Ottawa travel experience.
Canada’s capital is located in the Ottawa River in the province of Ontario, close to the US border. Ottawa is the country’s fourth largest city and attracts more than 7 million visitors each year. Come to Ottawa and experience the right quality of life, explore the waterways and enjoy the many cultural attractions.This center of technology and science has a deep appreciation for ceremonies and history. Ottawa is often seen as a winter destination, Men really come to life in the summer when locals enjoy the terraces by the water and outdoor meals in culinary areas such as Little Italy.
Take a walk or bike ride and explore the city center and the paths along the Rideau Canal. It divides the city into two parts and gradually moves down the Ottawa River. Ottawa was born with the commission building from 1827, now the Bytown Museum. It was built as a repository for the British engineers who set out to construct Ottawa Locks, under the direction of Colonel John By. Bytown became Ottawa in 1855 and seat of government immediately thereafter.
Visit Parliament Hill in the summer to watch the guard change ceremony when the clock strikes ten in the Peace Tower. As the second largest country in the world Canada has everything from snow-covered mountains to lush valleys and more wilderness than you can explore in a lifetime. And as the capital of all this, Ottawa offers just a taste of everything.
Ottawa Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Ottawa
Ottawa is served by Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, located only 10 km south of the city making it easily accessible and a smooth ride into town. When looking for Ottawa travel tips and how to best get from the airport to Ottawa, there’s a couple of options that will get you into town as convenient as possible. Let’s look at them right now.
The 97 bus is a public bus service that runs directly to and from the airport. The ride costs $3.30 and takes around 30 minutes from the airport into Ottawa central. Tickets can be bought at the transportation desk at the airport, on the same floor as the arrivals area.
Flights to Ottawa
There are plenty of taxis ready and available outside the arrivals terminal that will take you from the airport to Ottawa central in just 20 minutes. The cost for a regular taxi is $29. Uber is also an option and there are larger vehicles for bigger groups available too.
Just like any other major airport, Ottawa has a wide variety of car rental dealerships. Located across the street from the arrivals hall, renting a car in Ottawa is a good option to get you from the airport and around town.
Ottawa Travel Tips – How To Get Around Ottawa
Canada’s capital has an efficient public transport system that makes it easy for you to access the nooks and crannies of Ottawa. When searching for Ottawa travel tips and how to get around Ottawa, if you’re planning to just stay in the city renting a car is often less convenient than using the public transport due to limited parking spaces and the busy traffic. Let’s have a closer look at how to get around Ottawa.
Ottawa’s bus network is extensive with more than a thousand buses that operate on over 200 routes in the city. The buses are comfortable, convenient and covers many of the suburbs of Ottawa that are not reached by train. Depending on the routes and time of day the buses have a frequency of around 20-30 minutes, with less frequency on late evenings and sundays. A single bus ticket costs $3.60.
Ottawa’s light rail transit service is called O-Train and does well to complement Ottawa’s bus network. The O-Train consists of just one line, running from Greenboro to Bayview and will get you faster to your destination than the bus, running on rail and avoiding Ottawa’s sometimes crammed traffic. A second line is under construction that will also connect the airport to the city, so keep your eyes open for that. A single ticket costs $3.60.
Public transport tickets
Single ticket $3.60
Ottawa’s offers a travel card called Presto, the card costs $6 and you can buy it at ticket machines and at the stations. Then you simply top up with the amount of money you want or choose from the packages below depending on how long you plan to stay in Ottawa.
1 day $10.75
3 days $26.25
5 days $42.25
7 days $50.25
Taxis are all over Ottawa and can be hailed at the street, found at a designated taxi rank or use Ottawa’s taxi app Capital Taxi. Taxis run on meters and most of them take credit cards, but make sure to ask before joining a cab if you don’t believe that cash is king. Uber is also available in Ottawa to get you from point A to point B in the most convenient way.
Best Places To Stay In Ottawa
Canada’s capital Ottawa offers a wide variety of neighborhoods, and while the city center is the most popular, with its compact area within walking distance to most of the tourist attractions. When searching for Ottawa travel tips this city has so many nice places to stay in that it can be hard to choose. Let’s look at what the best options to stay in Ottawa is.
Sparks street – for first timers
Located in the heart of Ottawa, Sparks street is a pedestrian street that is one of the most vibrant areas in Ottawa. Shop lines up here with international brands providing a great shopping experience for those who enjoy it. Street artists stack up around here and Sparks street also hosts many popular festivals throughout the year such as the Ottawa Ribfest. The Canadian parliament building Parliament Hill is located around the area with it’s beautiful architecture and there are plenty of restaurants in the area. A great place to stay if you’re in Ottawa for the first time.
One of the most popular areas to stay in Ottawa, Byward Market is located just across the Rideau Canal and Sparks street. This historic place offers a street market from 9am – 5pm, where you can try the local pastry ‘Beavertail’ and the Byward Market area is a popular place for visitors looking to go out at night. Many nightclubs and bars have opened late and there are plenty of restaurants around the area. If you’re looking for action, this is your best bet to stay in Ottawa.
Located in the west part of Ottawa, Westboro Village is a diverse neighborhood that’s been through a lot of urban regeneration since the 90’s. Westboro is full of local restaurants, independent boutiques and has plenty of nice green areas to stroll around in. Walk along the river shoreline like a local where most tourists don’t go and visit the Fuse Street festival every year in August. This is the area to stay if you want a local Ottawa experience.
Ottawa is known for its multicultural variety when it comes to it’s cuisine. With many french, irish and asian immigrants living in the city the city bursts of great flavours at restaurants with tastes from all over the world. When searching for Ottawa travel tips there are a couple of great places that you just can’t miss when looking for what to eat in Ottawa. Let’s dig into them!
Beckta Dining and Wine is one of the best restaurants in Ottawa that combines local ingredients with a menu spanning from meat to seafood. Designed by chef Michael Moffatt make sure to enjoy the five course tasting menu along with great wines. And end the visit with a ‘5 degrees of chocolate’ cake that is a taste sensation you won’t forget. Located in Centertown.
The Urban Pear is a restaurant that collaborates with local farmers. Organically grown vegetables, meat, locally caught fish and fruit is crafted together with local wines and a menu that is changed daily. Urban Pear has a menu that changes daily and you’re in for a treat.
Canal Ritz is beautifully located along the Rideau Canal and the restaurant offers an incredible view as you enjoy a great menu. A wide variety and mix of Italian and canadian cuisine, everything from pasta to pizza, burgers and salads. This is an ideal location and a magnificent place to enjoy the best of Ottawa’s dining.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Ottawa
We’ve already touched on Parliament Hill being a building to look for and it’s one of those impressive Gothic style architecture buildings that just have to be seen by your own eye. Located in the Ottawa downtown area there are free guided tours to get a closer look into Canada’s history and view this magnificently crafted building.
Notre Dame Ottawa
National Gallery of Canada hosts over 40.000 works of art including the world’s largest collection of Canadian artists as well as international works. There are special exhibitions that often focus on themes by lesser known artists, changing monthly. Outside of the museum is a giant sculpture of a 30-foot spider, pretty terrifying yet stunning.
Canadian War Museum opened in 2005 and hosts exhibitions about Canada’s military history. If you’re interested in history and want to know more about Canada and its history, there’s audio tours to complement the war memorabilia such as tanks, guns and airplanes. The museum is well thought out to capture the human experience of military conflict.
Notre Dame Basilica is the oldest and largest church in Ottawa, completed in 1846 it hosts services in both French and English. The gothic iconography, beautiful glasses, magnificent interior and breathtaking details. This is a piece of history that will bring a great architectural experience and piece of mind.
The Winderlude Festival in Ottawa is a real highlight of the city if you’re visiting during the winter. It takes place three weeks in January to February with over 600.000 visitors that come to visit and enjoy the fun. The Rideau Canal is transformed into a 7.8 kilometer long ice skating area as people enjoy skating and watching proffessional hockey tournaments. A perfect visit for the outdoor
National Gallery of Canada
Gatineau Park is located 4 kilometers north of downtown Ottawa and it really is the perfect escape from the city. Here you can enjoy biking, hiking and there’s a large network of walking trails and many lakes around the area. In late fall the colors of the trees form an incredible natural work of art with its yellow, brown and red leaves. A must if you’re the outdoor type.
7. Canada Aviation and Space Museum is located in a former military air base around six kilometers from the Prime Minister’s residence in Ottawa. The museum focuses on aviation from an international context, beginning in 1909 up until present day. The collection hosts over 130 various aircrafts from both military and civil service. It’s the most extensive collection of aircrafts in Canada and if you’re into airplanes and history, this is a sure bet for a visit.