Ottawa is probably one of those capital cities you don’t often put towards the top of any tourist list; but it is one of Canada’s many unknown gems – in a gloriously scenic setting, next to the river of the same name. It is alive and chic, and is where English and old-style French cultures meet in both language and lifestyle.
In this mini location guide, we’ll suggest just a few of the many things you might do during a 7-day stay in this stunning city.
- you certainly don’t have to venture far from your hotel to soak up the sights and sounds of what the official Ottawa tourist guide describes as a “rollicking public market”. Day or night, Byward is just what a market should be – home to artists and artisans, craft merchants and farmers, all treating the place as a home away from home;
- just a short stroll up from the market you’ll find the seat of Canada’s national parliament – with some of the formal pageantry that goes with being a major Commonwealth country;
Museums and galleries
- Ottawa – like any city of a million or more inhabitants – boasts its fair share of museums and galleries;
- in this case the emphasis tends to be on the country’s rich cultural history – and the unique blend of English-speaking, French and native populations;
- one of the most picturesque routes to walk in the city is along the banks of the famous Rideau Canal – a designated World Heritage Site no less;
- the canal winds its way through the main shopping areas of the city until it reaches the Ottawa River with which it converges though a series of impressive locks;
- these are right next to Parliament Hill, so you can join the canal here right after you’ve visited the seat of government;
- the Rideau Canal is also the site for one of Ottawa’s major festivals – during most of February – when it seems as though the whole of the city buckles on its skates and takes to the ice;
- major music festivals include Ottawa Chamberfest, TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, and Bluesfest;
- if you’re in the city on the 1st of July any year, you also get to join what is probably the country’s biggest and rowdiest party, Canada Day;
- in what is likely to be a pretty busy itinerary, you’ll want to stop for food and snacks and drinks along the way;
- Ottawa has it all, from pubs to fine dining, in one of the most up and coming culinary scenes in the world.
Finally, next year (2017), Canada celebrates 150 years’ of being a nation – there are lots of special events and celebrations planned in Ottawa that you can enjoy and you can find out more here.
Where to stay?
Whilst these suggestions are just a taster of what Ottawa has to offer, hopefully it has given you some ideas of where to go. Now, where to stay?
One of the latest hotels to open in the city is a high-rise development that gives amazing views from one horizon to the other of this fascinating capital. Because it is just opening its doors to business, the Andaz Ottawa Hotel, in the centrally located Byward Market district, is currently offering special deals and discounted prices to the first of its guests via Be The First.
You can find out more about this chic hotel and the superb offers we have for you by clicking on the link above.