Ottawa Holidays

Canada's capital and Ontario's second largest city is a dynamic showcase city, where you'll hear English and French spoken in the streets and where you can discover Canada's proud heritage at impressive national sites and famous landmarks. It's a city steeped in culture, there's a culinary community earning wide acclaim, unique shopping districts and an exciting nightlife all awaiting discovery.

Parliament Hill is home of Canada's national government and the setting for national celebrations the year round. Each morning during summer months, the front lawn is the setting of the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony and each evening witness an incredible Sound and Light show with spectacular light effects and stunning giant images projected onto the buildings.

The Rideau Canal is an historic waterway filled with boaters from spring through to autumn and in winter becomes the world's largest naturally frozen ice skating rink. This UNESCO World Heritage Site winds through downtown Ottawa before connecting with the Ottawa River through stepped locks right next to Parliament Hill and is a beautiful place to stroll, whatever the season.

Ottawa's national museums tell the country's story in art, history, nature, at war, in aviation and space, agriculture and food, science and technology, plus attractions that focus on Canada's Aboriginal peoples. Just across the Ottawa River, you will find the famous Canadian Museum of History, in the downtown core is the delightful Canadian Museum of Nature, while at the smaller Bytown Museum you can trace the city's history.

For nearly 200 years the ByWard Market has played host to artisans, farmers and craft merchants who converge year round to sell their wares. Just a short walk from Parliament hill, this rollicking public market also houses numerous cafes and some of the city's best pubs and restaurants. After dark, it's one of the top spots in Ottawa to grab a late night drink and catch some live music.

There's an extensive network of scenic recreational biking paths, hiking trails and golf courses for outdoor enthusiasts, along with whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Ottawa River. There's a year round calendar of festivals and special events along with a thriving local theatre scene, while unique neighbourhoods offer distinctive shopping, dining and nightlife experiences across the city.

Why visit Ottawa?
  • Parliament Hill
  • Rideau Canal
  • Superb museums
  • ByWard Market
  • Outdoor activities
  • Unique neighbourhoods
Essential facts about Ottawa
Local Time

GMT -5 hours.


Canadian dollar

Travel information

Ottawa is around 8 hours flying time from the UK.

Best time to go

Ottawa experiences four very distinct seasons. Beautiful summer heat is common in the summer, the autumn is a showcase of colours and fresh, brisk air. You can expect a considerable amount of snow in the winter and moderate amounts of rain in all other months.