Fairmont Château Laurier Ottawa: Top 10

Ottawa: Top 10

With a vibrancy all its own, ByWard Market is a charming district with a year-round farmer's market, where you can sample local maple candies and pick up fresh flowers. The market is filled with boutiques offering one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, Asian spices and fine silk scarves. Be sure to try a Beavertail, a local pastry of oblong-shaped fried dough covered in cinnamon or your choice of sweet toppings. Learn More 

Explore Ottawa’s 600 kilometers of cycling trails. For the most picturesque views of the city, ride along the banks of the Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill and The Canadian Museum of History, or pedal out to Rideau Falls Park, which provides an overlook of Rideau Falls, where the Rideau and Ottawa rivers meet. Ride across the river to Green Island, which divides the falls and offers views of Ottawa's old city hall. Learn More 

The only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ontario, Rideau Canal opened in 1832 as a strategic shipping channel in the event of war with the United States. The canal stretches from Ottawa to the head of Lake Ontario. Its paved paths are a popular destination for bicycling, walking and even paddling during the warmer months. In winter, the canal transforms into the world’s largest ice-skating rink, and is one of the main attractions of the February Winterlude Festival. Learn More 

Once the site of military barracks, the development of Parliament Hill began in 1859 as a result of Queen Victoria proclaiming Ottawa as capital of the "United Province of Canada." Touring through the Centre Block and Library of Parliament gives you a glimpse into modern Canadian government, while its Victorian Gothic Revival architectural details recall the grandeur of the past. In the summer, visitors arrive early to see the 19th-century military pageantry of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Learn More 

Take an unforgettable journey of sound and light, as you explore Canada’s physical, historical and cultural landscapes. A free bilingual evening show, played every night on the Parliament Hill during the Summer season. Make sure to bring a blanket or a chair and enjoy the view! Learn More 

The National Arts Centre is the only bilingual performing arts center in Canada. Commissioned for Canada's centennial, the centre opened its doors in 1969 and is home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, one of the world's leading classical orchestras. The venue has four stages and offers a variety of performances, from ballet to community theatre on the Fourth Stage. Learn More 

Ottawa and neighbouring Gatineau, Quebec celebrate the frosty months with Winterlude, a three weekend-long festival in February, which features North America's largest snow playground, an international ice carving competition and the world's largest skating rink. After enjoying the kick-off party (complete with live music and costumed street performers), revelers sip hot cocoa, ice skate on Rideau Canal and explore the giant snow slides and mazes at Jacques-Cartier Park's Snowflake Kingdom. Learn More 

Ottawa is rapidly gaining international attention as a destination for epicurean feasts, with modern Canadian cuisine, trendy upscale international-fusion and classic favourites. Stop by Salt for dry-aged steaks and a fresh, upscale menu or dine on savoury lamb sliders and saginaki at Greek hotspot Aroma Meze. The Green Door offers vegetarians and vegans hearty options like samosas, lasagna and hot and sour soup.

Now home to more than 65,000 works of art, the gallery includes works by international and Canadian artists, including the Group of Seven, whose early 20th-century European Impressionist landscape works gained international recognition. The gallery is home to the impressive Rideau Chapel, a Neo-Gothic 19th century chapel that was deconstructed and rebuilt within the gallery. Learn More 

Honoring 20,000 years of history, The Canadian Museum of History brings Canada's past and present to life. Visitors can learn about prehistoric Tsimshian archaeological finds and explore the history of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in the six-story Grand Hall. The 2,000 objects in the First Nations collection include one of the oldest pieces depicting a human face. Their Canadian Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits designed for play to promote cultural awareness. One Sunday each month features special family-focused activities. Learn More