Ottawa – the Capital of Canada – and probably perfect for a quick trip to see the sights that Ottawa offers.
Ottawa probably isn’t the place to head to for a week long holiday, but for a quick getaway, or to stay a few days in the capital as part of an extended tour of Canada, then Ottawa will do the perfect job.
Situated in Ontario, but on the border with Quebec, it is easy to get to from Montreal or Toronto. Okay, the six hour coach journey from Toronto may not be to everyone taste, but on the greyhound from Montreal the trip will only take you two and a half hours.
If you are on a budget, then try out a local hostel. For our trip we stayed at Ottawa Backpackers Inn. We did not take adventure of any of the common spaces, or the free tea and coffee, but the hostel provides a base in the Baymarket district. A ten minute walked from the shopping centre and a 15 minute walk to Parliament Hill.
If you are not on a budget then try one of the main hotels in the city. We stayed at the Day’s Inn, as we were in Ottawa to compete in a Cheerleading competition, however the rooms were off a decent size and a comfortable bed to lay your head down on.
If you are looking for a ‘brunch’ option then Cora’s is not only the first search that appears on Google, but also a busy restaurant and in my eyes, if the restaurant is popular then it must be reasonably good. Cora’s serves breakfast all day; so whether you fancy eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon or even a sandwich then there will be something on the menu for you. We only visited once, but the choice of sweat and savoury together is perfect when you simply can not choose what you want to eat.
If you are British and looking for a taste of home, then try one of the main Irish Pubs jotted around the city centre. In most Irish Pubs you will find fish and chips, curry, bangers and mash and nachos to name a few.
For a proper taste of Ottawa then head down to the canal (in winter) to try the famous BeaverTail. Vender’s are step up on the canal, serving beavertail, maple sticks and hot chocolate, to have before, during or after a skate on the canal. If you are wondering what Beavertail is, then it is almost like churros but flat oval shape.
The obvious choice would be to head to Parliament, which resembles a mini Westminster. You will find a ‘Big Ben’ look a like, and Parliamentary buildings surrounding the park on the hill. A place for photo opportunities, and they even do tours.
Head to the canal in winter for free ice skating. If you do not have your own skates, then you can rent on the canal for either $15 from the independent retailers for all day skating, or $22 from the official vender’s for one hour skate. Or you can just walk up and down the canal in boots, which is off course free of charge.
For a cultural setting, then take a moment to head to the National Gallery of Canada. If you are a student then it will cost you $7, for adults the price is a little higher. The gallery had everything from indigenous, contemporary, European and American and a photography section. Spot the giant spider outside.
If you are in the mood for shopping then take to the Rideau Centre, for Sephora, Zara, Forever 21 and Roots to name a few.