These 32 Places Will Inspire You To Plan A Trip To Ottawa ASAP!

The best spots in and around the city.

Ottawa is undoubtedly a special Canadian city. It's the country's capital and 4th largest city, it is the most educated city in Canada and over 7.3 million people visit Ottawa every year!

These are just some of the super impressive facts that Ottawans can boast about. What really makes this city special is all the historic sites all around that offer unique point of views and things to be learnt about the great country that we live in.

Although a lot of people claim that Ottawa doesn't have much to offer, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Ottawa has tons of places that are better than anywhere else in the country!


31. Mer Bleue Conservation Area

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Why It's Better: This amazing bog in Ottawa has a ton to offer anyone who visits. It has cute trails to explore, tons of bird watching opportunities and amazing nature to see.


30. Princess Louise Falls

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Why It's Better: These waterfalls aren't anything crazy like Niagara Falls but they definitely are worth the hike to see them. They're stunning all year round even becoming a frozen wonderland in the winter and a warm oasis in the summer!


29. Rideau Canal

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Why It's Better: The Rideau Canal is one of the things that Ottawa is known for. In the summer you can bike or walk beside it but in the winter you can actually skate on it. Enjoy a classic beaver tail or hot chocolate and skate away!


28. Wesley Clover Parks

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Why It's Better: In the winter months the Wesley Clover Parks turns into a magical 2 km road of sparkling lights! You drive your car through this magical world of lights and admire everything around you.


27. Pink Lake

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Why It's Better: Pink Lake is located in the gorgeous Gatineau Park and is the perfect place to explore nature. It's also gorgeous in the fall and winter as well!


26. Canadian Museum Of Nature

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Why It's Better: This is one of Canada's national museums and is a spot that everyone should visit while in Ottawa. Explore exhibits focused on natural sciences and learn something new about our natural ecosystems!


25. Aquatopia Water Garden Conservatory

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Why It's Better: This stunning spot is actually a cafe/greenhouse and indoor water conservatory. You can enjoy a cup of coffee and admire all the green surrounding you in this completely unique spot.


24. Place de Ville

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Why It's Better: This Ottawa building doesn't hold anything super special inside, it's just a giant building holding tons of offices, it's what's outside that's special. The building offers super unique architecture that is admired by many who pass by it.


23. Fletcher Wildlife Garden

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Why It's Better: This gorgeous park offers tons of space for people to enjoy the nature of Ottawa. It's most popular in the summer months where people use it for picnics, dog walks, and nature photography.


22. Carbide Willson Ruins

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Why It's Better: This unique spot located in the heart of Gatineau Park is definitely worth the trek out to see it. These ruins sit at the foot of a flowing waterfall that is perfect for a dip on a hot summer day.


23. Stony Swamp

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Why It's Better: The stony swamp is located on Ottawa's Green Belt nature path and is perfect for exploring all year round. It holds ponds, wetlands, forests and tons of wildlife to see!


22. Notre Dame Cathedral

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Why It's Better: This Roman Catholic basilica was built all the way back in 1832 and named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990. You can tour the basilica and see the amazing work put into maintaining the original beauty of it!


21. Parliament Hill

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Why It's Better: This wouldn't be a list about Ottawa if it didn't have Parliament on it. Ottawa's Parliament Hill holds Canada's legislature and is probably the most visited place in the entire city. You can take a tour and see first-hand where our government makes it's decisions.


20. National Gallery of Canada

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Why It's Better: This art gallery is another one of the most visited spots in the city. It is one of the top galleries in the entire country featuring special exhibits all the time.


19. The ByWard Market

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Why It's Better: The ByWard Market is definitely one of the cutest areas in the whole city. It's home to tons of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars to explore while you're there. You won't run out of fun things to do in this area.


18. Central Experimental Farm

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Why It's Better: If you're looking to find some nature in the city, this is definitely the place to go. It's an agricultural facility and research centre that's actually a National Historic Site of Canada!


17. Chaudière Falls

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Why It's Better: These massive waterfalls are located in the heart of the Ottawa-Gatineau city centre. The stunning falls are the perfect place to admire the city or take some amazing pictures!


16. Library of Parliament

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Why It's Better: This is probably one of the most beautiful and impressive libraries in all of Canada. Parliament uses this library as a resource and holds an extensive amount of historical materials.


15. Maplelawn Historic Garden

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Why It's Better: The historic house located on the Maplelawn estate was built back in 1831 and used for farming. It is now a National Historic Site offering gorgeous gardens in the summer and a tour of the classic home.


14. Ottawa Convention Centre

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Why It's Better: This convention centre is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa and brings some unique architecture to the city. They hold provincial and national events there throughout the year.


13. Lusk Caves

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Why It's Better: During the Ice Age the last glaciation formed these unique tunnels in the rocks near Lusk Creek. Now you can venture below the ground and explore the tunnels and what's deep inside!


12. Canadian Museum of History

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Why It's Better: Not only is the outside of this museum gorgeous and unique, what's inside is definitely no different. This museum holds artifacts and information about Canada's culture and history.


11. Old Quarry Trail

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Why It's Better: If you're looking for a place in Ottawa that's perfect for a serene walk where you can really get in touch with nature, this is it. It's has cute paths, tons of wildlife and is a great place to hike all year round.


10. Canadian Tulip Festival

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Why It's Better: This festival takes place in Ottawa every May once the beautiful tulips have bloomed. Admire and take pictures of all the stunning and multi-coloured flowers that take over the city in the spring time.


9. The Royal Canadian Mint

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Why It's Better: The Royal Canadian Mint stands like a towering castle in the heart of Ottawa. Take a tour of the building and see the world's biggest coin and gold bars on display!


8. Hog's Back Falls

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Why It's Better: These falls are located past Carleton University but they offer some seriously gorgeous views. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular spot for nature photographers!


7. Canadian War Museum

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Why It's Better: This museum is located close to downtown Ottawa and holds all the history and facts about Canada's military. Learn about the wars we fought in and all of the people that contributed to them.


6. Dow's Lake

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Why It's Better: Located close to Ottawa's Carleton University is this stunning lake! It's popular in the summer time to rent boats to take on the water or bikes to ride on the bike path. It also offers stunning nature views in the fall and winter months as well.


5. Nepean Point

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Why It's Better: If you're looking for the best vantage point to view downtown Ottawa and Parliament, this is definitely the spot. Once you reach the top of the point you'll see a historic statue Samuel de Champlain and stunning panoramic views!


4. Canada Aviation and Space Museum

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Why It's Better: Take a tour and learn more about Canada's historical advances in the space and aviation areas. View exhibits holding actual military and civilian aircrafts.


3. Patinage en Foret

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Why It's Better: Located past Gatineau you can find this adorable skating trail hidden deep within a forest. This natural, 3 km path offers a super unique skating experience during the winter months!


2. Jack Pine Trail

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Why It's Better: Another stunning nature trail in Ottawa is the Jack Pine Trail located in Nepean. There's tons of amazing wildlife, gorgeous views and paths to enjoy year round!


1. Confederation Park

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Why It's Better: The Confederation Park is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa and offers a nice escape from the city. There's monuments, sculptures and fountains year round and during most of the month of February you can find beautiful ice sculptures for their Winterlude festival!

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Mia Shabsove Soon to be graduate from Concordia University in Montreal. Originally from Toronto and yes, Montreal and Toronto are very different cities and no, I don't love one more than the other! My passions include eating pasta for every meal, squealing at every pug I see on the street, taking naps in hammocks, and rewatching episodes of Friends on Netflix. Follow my life adventures on Instagram: @miashabsove