To say that Ottawa is a buzz of tourist attractions is an understatement; how better can one explain the tantalizing culinary scene, themed museums and fun activities all within close proximity to one another? With all this convenience in one Canada location, many admit to feeling confused – not because they do not have places to visit but they are just too many to pick from. The five we will discuss below are sites that anyone visiting Ottawa should not miss;
This attraction rests on a spectacular hill that creates a view point for the Ottawa River. The fact that most of the events held at this location are free makes it an iconic attraction anytime of the year. The Parliament Hill complex is comprised of three federal government buildings – the east, center and west blocks that stand out for their neo-Gothic-style architectural designs. For a structure that was built from 1859 to 1927, it is a sight that many people appreciate seeing with their own eyes.
The interior of the center block is currently undergoing rehabilitation so visitors can only freely tour the other two blocks. The west block houses the House of Commons while the Senate is convened in the Beaux-Arts-style structure, close-by.
The Rideau Canal
This tourist attraction is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ontario. Regardless of when you go to Canada, you will have an experience on the Rideau Canal. During summer and when it is warm outside, people can be seen cycling and strolling along the banks of the Rideau Canal. If not that, then it is worth it taking a cruise to relax. Those looking to take time to enjoy water sports on their own terms can go kayaking, paddling, or canoeing. When the weather changes to winter, from around December to February, the frozen waters of the Rideau Canal become the world’s largest waterway skating rink.
Visitors do not pay anything to participate in skating on the ice at this location and they can choose to experience this attraction at any time of the day or night. If you are wondering how long the skating rink is imagine how much fun you would have on a 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) stretch of ice.
Apart from being the capital city of Canada, Ottawa also plays host to seven national museums. Exhibits in these museums range from military history, aviation artifacts, extinct animal fossils and art made in Canada. Have you ever been to an exhibition of totem poles? Well, it is here in Ottawa where the largest indoor totem collection in the world is found. As host to temporary programming of blockbuster, these museums have something fresh every time to keep visitors amused. It is almost impossible to choose one museum and leave out the others because each offers a unique experience. It can be easier though if you get a Canada’s National Museums Passport – you save when you pay to visit three museums within three days.
Byward Market & neighborhood
Markets are spectacular and in many parts of the world, form the epicenter of society. This is not strange because some of the world’s greatest civilizations were fueled by trade activities. The ByWard Market is among the largest and oldest markets in Canada run entirely by farmers. The market is enclosed within four blocks that make a square. Each of the blocks is packed with sellers trading in crafts, fresh food, and home-made delicacies. Visitors are likely to spend a lot of time at this market so the bistros, clubs, boutiques, eateries and coffee shops offer stoppage points where they can pack up on lost energy.
A visit to the Byward Market is not complete unless you partake of some of the ready-made foods on sale. Nibbling on a BeaverTail pastry will open up your taste buds to new food and so is sipping cocktails. Some stalls within the market sell items such as hand crafts, homewares, clothes and jewelry which visitors can take back home as souvenirs. For those who love sending postcards, the huge ‘OTTAWA’ on York Street make for the perfect backdrop.
Ottawa River adventure
The Ottawa River is described as majestic because many visitors who visit its banks do not leave without taking a photo. A view of sunset pictures taken from this location is enough inspiration for anyone who is looking to keep travel memories from around the world. Whether it is winter or summer, the multiple pathways along the banks of the river open up into beaches and rock sculptures.
Water activities which will keep tourists excited include rafting, paddle boarding and excursions.
To avoid any last minute rush and disappointment for your travel plans, arrange to get a visa early. Luckily, many countries including Canada have an online platform from where the application can be made; You can find more information on the web. The visa will allow you entry for a stipulated period of time during which you can slot your travel plans. It will not matter where you plan to enter a country from – having a visa accords you the freedom you require to enjoy the various attractions.