A European vacation sounds like a dream literally any time of the year, but especially over the holidays. With their infamous Christmas markets, spectacular castles, and delicious eats, the list of reasons to go is infinite. But, let’s be real, who’s got the time or the funds for a vacay over the holidays? Luckily, you can get those magical Euro vibes right here in the capital at these places in Ottawa that look like Europe.

Without even leaving your city, you can experience the same magical markets, delicious food, and even the castles. 

So, if your wanderlust is overwhelming right now, you can totally trick yourself into vacation mode. You just have to visit the right spots. 

A walk along the canal locks or dinner at an incredible German restaurant will quickly have you feeling like you’re in another country. 

From France to Austria to Germany, you can enjoy little touches of Europe all around without ever having to pay for expensive airfare. 

So, this holiday season, save your cash and let your besties know that you’re going on a Europe vacay together today... well, kind of.

Notre-Dame Cathedral 

Price: Free

Address: 385 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: The high ceilings and stunning stained glass will truly take your breath away. From inside and out, this place has Europe written all over it, and not just in the name.


Ottawa Christmas Market

Price: Free entry

When: Until December 22

Address: Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza at Lansdowne

Why You Need To Go: Ottawa's first outdoor Christmas market is actually modelled after the European markets, and boy did they really nail those Euro vibes. 


Parliament Hill 

Price: Free

Address: Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can marvel at the European-style beauty of these buildings from outside, or take a free tour of the gorgeous interior. 


Byward Market

Price: Free

Address: Downtown Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Outdoor market areas are so common in European countries and the famous Byward Market definitely captures the essence. 


Quelque Chose Pâtisserie

Price: Afternoon tea starting at $24

When: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Address: 379 Richmond Rd., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Who needs a fancy trip to Paris when you can enjoy delicious french macarons right here in the capital with such an authentic feel?


Major's Hill Park

Price: Free

Address: Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Between the fences, lamp posts, and historic buildings, it'll be hard to tell you're not on a European winter vacay. 


Little Italy 

Price: Free to explore

Address: Preston Street, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: It's all in the name. From the food to the architecture, you can get a real taste of Italy here. Mamma mia!


Rideau Canal Locks

Price: Free

Address: Ottawa Locks 1-8, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Similar to a number of European canal locks, this area of Ottawa is especially beautiful in the winter. 


Moscow Tea Room

Price: Prices vary around $10-$28

When: Open daily except Mondays

Address: 527 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: This place is so fancy, it's sure to transport you to another continent. At least, in your mind. 


Fairmont Château Laurier

Price: From $160

Address: 1 Rideau St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: This hotel seriously feels like an ancient European castle. It's truly enchanting, especially around the holidays. 


Das Lokal 

Price: Prices range between $10-$35

When: Open daily

Address: 190 Dalhousie St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: There's nothing like some authentic German eats to give you all of the holiday Euro-vibes this season. 


Rideau Canal Skateway 

Price: Free

When: Weather permitting 

Address: Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can pretend you're on a magical outdoor rink somewhere in Switzerland or Austria, and it won't be difficult.


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