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How to Spend 3 Days in Ottawa

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How to Spend 3 Days in Ottawa
Canada’s capital Ottawa is an appealing city year-round. Sure, it gets a bit chilly over winter but who cares when you’ve got world-class museums, authentic eats and the world’s largest ice-rink?

The time of year you visit Ottawa will determine what kind of itinerary you choose but whatever the weather, there’s plenty to keep you busy in this picturesque and culture-rich capital.

Day 1: Capital Sights
Historic Parliament Hill overlooks the Ottawa River and is the seat of Canada's national government. Each day in summer you can see the changing of the guard ceremony in the morning and a sound and light show in the evening – both free of charge. There’s a pleasant sculpture garden in the grounds. From Parliament Hill, it’s just steps to the Rideau Canal - Ontario's first UNESCO World Heritage Site – which flows up through eight locks from the Ottawa River to wind its way through the city. In winter, the canal freezes over and you can skate on it! Home to the Governor General, Rideau Hall is another impressive historic building with attractive gardens. You can explore the capital by road and by canal on a hop on, hop off tour or opt for a short introduction with free time for your own exploration.

Day 2:  Capital Culture
If you visit just one of Ottawa’s fantastic museums make it the National Gallery of Canada. The museum’s glass and pink granite structure, created by famed architect Moshe Safdie, is an attraction in itself, while inside you’ll find the country's largest collection of Canadian art. Other museums of interest include the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Canadian War Museum to name but a few! Make sure you leave time to check out Byward Market and sample some of the city’s authentic and culturally diverse cuisine.
Day 3: Capital Adventures
Just a few minutes from Parliament Hill and across the Ottawa River in Gatineau stretch the rolling hills of Gatineau Park. A popular spot for hiking, picnicking and biking, and, in winter, cross-country and downhill skiing, this natural wilderness is full of nature trails that wind around its forests, lakes and lookouts. Free to enter and explore, the park looks particularly spectacular in autumn when the leaves create a landscape of warm, fall colors.
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1 Tours and Activities | All Ottawa Tours

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Ottawa Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Ottawa Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

See the best of Ottawa without the stress of public transit and taxis on this hop-on hop-off guided bus tour. With your 1-day pass, hop aboard the double-decker, open-top bus for a panoramic sightseeing excursion. Great for kids and adults, your ticket offers the chance to see over 75 sites at more than a dozen strategically placed stops. Hop off at every stop, or just take in views on the full city loop.
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation