New to Ottawa, or simply looking to be a tourist in your own city for a day? Well, Canada’s capital city certainly won’t disappoint! No matter what you’re in the mood for, this city has so much to explore, see, and do. Here are some of the top ten cultural attractions in Ottawa-Gatineau to add to your list of things to do.
Explore Parliament Hill
You can take a guided tour of the stunning Parliament buildings, explore the Peace Tower and Memorial Chamber, or even sit in on a live debate if you get lucky. If you head there on a Saturday or Sunday, you can park for free at the World Exchange Plaza and then walk over. Plus, if you’re in Ottawa for the summer, the National Capital Commission presents a Sound and Light show throughout the season that lights up the Parliament buildings to display tales all about Canada’s history and culture.
Visit the ByWard Market
Head to one of the country’s oldest and largest public markets – the ByWard Market. This district was established back in 1826 and remains one of the most popular districts in Ottawa with local vendors, quaint patios to relax on, and free festivities happening throughout the year.
Tour the Central Experimental Farm
Have a thing for agriculture? Check out the Central Experimental Farm located just west of downtown. It’s a designated chunk of land that stretches over several hundred acres, containing the Dominion Arboretum, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and Canadian Agricultural Museum.
Escape the Diefenbunker
Escape rooms are all the rage right now, but there’s none better than the escape room at the 100,000-square foot Diefenbunker Museum. Do you have what it takes to save the world from an imminent attack by an enemy spy organization?
Embrace the Festivities
If there’s one thing that Ottawa’s renowned for, it’s festivals! Join in on the festivities while you visit. This spring you can enjoy the Tulip Festival that’s happening in May, then Jazz Fest, Bluesfest, Folk Fest…it’s a non-stop string of must-see events.
Get Interactive with Canada’s Culture
Visitors can get interactive at the Library and Archives Canada to explore some of Canada’s culture through exhibitions, artwork, audio-visual materials, archival records and much more.
Tour the Magnificent Canadian Museum of History
This is one of the most infamous museums throughout the country thanks to the architect, Douglas Cardinal. It’s located opposite from Parliament Hill in Gatineau and it contains more than a million artifacts. You can explore the roots of the Pacific Northwest First Nations, and take in an eye-popping IMAX film, too.
Explore More about Canada
If you’re looking to delve deeper into the roots of this great country, there are a wide range of other world-class museums to explore. Thursdays generally offer free admission. You can head to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, The Canadian War Museum, ByWard Museum, or the Museum of Nature, just to name a few.
Tour the Highest Court in Canada
You can take a free guided tour of the Supreme Court of Canada. Learn all about the judicial system, and you can even sit and take in a hearing that’s in session.
Explore Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park is one of the outdoor wonders of this great city. It’s a hilly woodland that is part of the Canadian Shield and there is a vast range of activities you can partake in throughout this park – cycle the paths, hike up through the trails, camp, fish, ski, swim – it’s a true outdoor oasis.
If you’re looking to explore and discover more about this great country, check out some of these top cultural attractions throughout the Ottawa and Gatineau area and don’t miss our Ottawa apartments for rent.