With world-class museums and galleries, exceptional dining options and nightly hot spots vibrating with energy, Ottawa’s urban scene is very much alive. Canada’s Capital also possesses a quieter side, overseen by the region’s natural beauty.
Canada’s Parliament Hill isn’t just home to the country’s government; it’s also a cultural and community hub whose activities are hosted in a really incredible setting. You can, for example, do yoga on Parliament Hill. Every Wednesday at noon during the summer, hundreds of people flood the hill with mats and yoga pants to stretch out in front of the iconic buildings.
World’s largest skating rink
In the winter months a section of the Rideau Canal is turned into a massive skating rink. The outdoor rink is the longest in the world, stretching for nearly eight kilometres.The skating rink is open 24-hours a day and is a great place to spend a romantic evening. No skate along the Rideau Canal is complete without a Beaver Tail. These deep fried dough sweets are sold at kiosks along the ice rink, as well as in the Byward Market area.
The panoramic view from the observation deck at the top of the Peace Tower, the highest point in Ottawa, encompasses Parliament Hill, the entire city, the river, Gatineau, and the hills to the north. On your way up in the elevator, you will get a look at the tower’s bells, and there is a memorial room to Canadians who died in WWI. Access to the tower is free, but you must first get a ticket.
Canadian Tulip Festival
Ottawa’s spring festival marks the end of winter as the tulips – given by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in gratitude for the city’s hospitality during the Second World War – come into bloom all over the city. Canal banks and Commissioner’s Park in particular, are the scene of general festivities. Major’s Hill Park, southwest of the basilica, is aflame with thousands of tulips.
Enjoy the nighlife
Ottawa has a lively nightlife scene, what with its bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs. You can listen to live jazz or the sounds of a DJ spinning the latest dance tunes.ByWard Market is a great place for a bar crawl, with plenty of bars and pubs to choose from. Jazz and blues are big in the city, with live music offered at numerous venues.