What to do in Ottawa?


Originally chosen for its ideal location, bordering a body of water and armed with a hill that acts as a natural barrier, Ottawa’s historic features now offer breathtaking views and great activities!

True to our mission, we’ve found the best things to do in Ottawa, with options that will keep you moving!


Rediscover Canada

The Canadian Parliament

Of course, a visit to Parliament is a must when visiting Ottawa. The impressive building resting atop its hill is a recognized Canadian landmark. It is possible to join a guided tour to visit it, an enriching activity to do with the kids!

For a unique parliamentary experience, we recommend that you go on a summer Wednesday. The Canadian company Lululemon organizes free yoga sessions at noon from May to August on Parliament Hill. The perfect activity to combine tourism and health!

A trip to Canada

Back on the mainland, you can enjoy the cultural wealth that Ottawa has to offer. Indeed, 7 out of 9 national museums are located in the Canadian capital, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. An outing that will amaze young and old alike!


Activities on the Water in Ottawa

The Rideau Canal

Next, why not take advantage of the magnificent Rideau Canal? Known as a giant skating rink in the winter, its summer assets are just as enticing, hence its UNESCO World Heritage status! Ottawa SUP offers paddle board rentals to enjoy this peaceful waterway with its stunning views of the city.


Ottawa River

For a thrill, the river to choose is the Ottawa River. A renowned source of whitewater throughout Canada, it welcomes rafting enthusiasts from across the country. With courses ranging from family to expert levels, your adrenaline craving will be satisfied with Owl Rafting, Esprit Whitewater or Ottawa City Rafting.


Activities not to be missed!

All in one

Also, visit the Byward Market, one of the largest markets in the country. A wealth of local producers and artisans can be found here, offering restaurants, cafes, bars and stores in a pedestrianized part of the city. It’s the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs to take home!


Sports Event

For a different kind of souvenir, join BougeBouge on October 1st, 2023 during the Uottawa BougeBouge! A family-friendly sporting event that will make for a great weekend! Come run 2.5km, 5km or 10km on the beautiful University of Ottawa campus. Participate in a vibrant race with a warm atmosphere in the early fall!

Finally, for more ideas on nearby activities, check out our What to do in Gatineau guide! A neighboring city on Quebec soil that will blow your mind and make your stay complete!