As Canada's capital city, there's always something new and exciting happening in Ottawa. This leafy, green city on the banks of the Ottawa River, which forms the border between the provinces of Ontario and Québec, boasts a wealth of handsome architecture, as well as world-class museums, galleries and other attractions. Book a central Ottawa hotel and discover everything this attractive capital has to offer.
Most visitors to Ottawa head straight for its top attraction, Parliament Hill. Here you can take a tour of the dramatic, gothic-style Parliament Buildings, topped by the iconic Peace Tower, and learn more about Canada's history and government. You can also catch the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony in front of the Parliament Buildings.
Nearby is the moving National War Memorial, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as the famous Rideau Canal. The pathways along this historic waterway are a pleasant place to walk, jog or cycle during the warmer months, while in winter a section of the canal transforms into the largest outdoor skating rink in the world.
Indeed, Ottawa residents know how to make the most of their beautiful city year-round, with plenty of welcoming parks, green spaces and trails tempting people outdoors in summer, and lots of opportunities for snow sports and other fun activities during the winter. For instance, if you're visiting between January and February, wrap up warm and visit the massive Winterlude festival for skating, ice hockey, warming food stalls, a snow playground, ice sculptures and more.
Many of Ottawa's museums, meanwhile, are as renowned for their striking architecture as they are for their impressive collections. The Canadian War Museum is a must for anyone interested in the military aspects and social history of war, while the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum and the Canadian Museum of Nature are both fabulous destinations for visitors of all ages.
Art lovers can peruse the enormous collection of Canadian art at the bright, airy National Gallery of Canada, while a must-visit for history buffs is the vast Canadian Museum of History, just across the river in Gatineau, Québec – allow plenty of time to view its extensive exhibits.
Fancy some retail therapy? The charming ByWard Market has been a popular destination for crafts, produce and souvenirs for almost 200 years, while major shopping centres such as the Rideau Centre offer a fabulous mix of designer and international brands.
Finally, Ottawa offers a diverse selection of restaurants, cafés and bars catering to a variety of tastes. This is a fantastic place to explore various ethnic and fusion cuisines, as well as to sample Canadian specialties, such as beavertails (actually a deep-fried pastry) and poutine (a traditional Québécois dish of chips topped with cheese curds and gravy).
Ready to experience Canada's dynamic capital? Marriott offers a selection of hotels in Ottawa – book now and start planning your Canadian adventure.