Travel Guide for Ottawa

Travel Guide for Ottawa

Personalized for these inputs:

  • Destination: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Trip length: 5 days
  • Trip dates: July 18 - July 23
  • Travel style: family friendly
  • Budget: $$$
  • Accommodation: hotel, apartment or house, villa, homestay
  • Activities: arts and culture, family activities, outdoor adventures
Picture of Ottawa, ON, Canada

Key Facts

  • location: Eastern Ontario
  • currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • religion: Christianity
  • population: 994,837
  • language: English, French
  • electricity: 120V, 60Hz, Type A and B?
  • time zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
  • country code: +1
  • internet access: High-speed internet access, widely available
  • climate: Continental

Introduction

Welcome to Ottawa, the vibrant capital of Canada! This picturesque city, located along the Ottawa River, is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture. From exploring the majestic Parliament Hill to experiencing the vibrant ByWard Market, Ottawa offers a perfect blend of history and modernity.

During your visit in July, you can expect warm and pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 28°C. Consider visiting popular family-friendly attractions like the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum of Nature, or taking a relaxing boat cruise on the Rideau Canal. Ottawa's extensive parks and green spaces, along with its family-friendly festivals and events during July, make it an ideal destination for those with a high budget seeking a memorable family vacation.

Getting There

Getting to Ottawa, ON, Canada is convenient with the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) serving as the primary gateway. Major airlines operate flights to Ottawa from various domestic and international destinations.

VIA Rail and Greyhound offer train and bus services, respectively, connecting Ottawa to other Canadian cities. During the summer, the Rideau Canal offers scenic boat rides into the city center.

Visitors should consider the Ottawa weather in July, which can be warm, perfect for exploring outdoor attractions. Families on a high budget should opt for comfortable flights or explore scenic train journeys for a memorable travel experience.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

Ottawa experiences four distinct seasons: cold winters, mild springs, warm summers, and colorful autumns. The city is known for its snowfall in winter and vibrant foliage in the fall. Summers are pleasant with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F).

During July 18 to July 23, expect warm weather in Ottawa, with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F). While the weather can be sunny and pleasant, occasional thunderstorms may occur. It's advisable to be prepared for sudden weather changes and pack accordingly. Enjoy outdoor activities and explore the scenic beauty of Ottawa during this time!

Itinerary

Day 1

Immerse in Ottawa's rich arts and culture scene, explore museums, and enjoy family-friendly activities in the city.

  • National Gallery of Canada

    Discover the outstanding collection of Canadian and Indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada. Marvel at iconic artworks and explore special exhibitions that showcase diverse artistic styles.
  • Canadian Museum of Nature

    Delve into the wonders of nature at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Get up close to fascinating exhibits on natural history, dinosaurs, and ecosystems. Don't miss the impressive architecture of the museum building!
  • Rideau Canal Cruise

    Embark on a scenic Rideau Canal Cruise to experience Ottawa from a unique perspective. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the historic canal, passing by iconic landmarks and picturesque views. Don't forget your camera for memorable snapshots!













Day 2

Experience outdoor adventures in Ottawa's scenic parks and natural attractions, perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

  • Hiking at Gatineau Park

    Embark on a breathtaking hiking adventure at Gatineau Park, just a short drive from Ottawa. Explore a variety of trails surrounded by lush forests, stunning lakes, and vibrant foliage. Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings along the way!
  • Picnic at Major's Hill Park

    Enjoy a leisurely family picnic at Major's Hill Park, located in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Relax on the lush green lawns with stunning views of the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. Pack some local delicacies for a delicious outdoor meal!
  • Biking along Ottawa River Pathway

    Take a scenic bike ride along the Ottawa River Pathway, a picturesque trail that offers stunning views of the river and city skyline. Rent bikes for the whole family and enjoy a relaxing cycling excursion amidst nature and urban landscapes.













Day 3

Delve into Ottawa's history and heritage with visits to historical sites and cultural landmarks, offering educational and fun experiences for all ages.

  • Bytown Museum Exploration

    Visit the Bytown Museum located along the Rideau Canal to delve into Ottawa's early history. Explore exhibits showcasing the city's origins, the construction of the canal, and pioneer life in Bytown. Don't miss the stunning views of the canal from the museum!
  • Parliament Hill Tour

    Embark on a guided tour of Parliament Hill, the political heart of Canada. Discover the iconic gothic-style buildings, learn about Canadian governance, and catch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Be sure to take in the panoramic views from the Peace Tower!
  • Haunted Walk of Ottawa

    Join a spooky yet educational Haunted Walk of Ottawa to uncover the city's mysterious past. Venture through historic streets and listen to chilling stories of ghostly encounters and haunted sites. A thrilling and fun experience for the whole family!













Day 4

Enjoy a day of recreational activities like biking, hiking, or picnicking in Ottawa's beautiful outdoor spaces, providing relaxation and enjoyment for families.

  • Biking at Ottawa River Pathway

    Explore Ottawa's scenic beauty by biking along the Ottawa River Pathway. Enjoy a leisurely ride with stunning views of the river, parks, and iconic landmarks. Stop for a relaxing picnic by the river or visit local cafes along the route for a delightful break!
  • Paddleboarding at Dow's Lake

    Experience the calm waters of Dow's Lake with a family-friendly paddleboarding session. Glide along the serene lake, taking in the surrounding greenery and vibrant flowers. Don't miss the chance to spot ducks and other wildlife as you paddle through this picturesque area!
  • Picnic at Vincent Massey Park

    Enjoy a peaceful picnic at Vincent Massey Park, a beautiful green space along the Rideau River. Relax under the shade of trees, listen to the sounds of nature, and savor a delicious picnic lunch with your family. Don't forget to bring a blanket and some outdoor games for added fun!













Day 5

Wrap up your trip with leisurely strolls, souvenir shopping, and trying out local delicacies in Ottawa, creating lasting memories of your family adventure.

  • Stroll at ByWard Market

    Explore the vibrant ByWard Market, Ottawa's oldest and largest public market. Enjoy leisurely strolls through the bustling stalls offering fresh produce, local crafts, and artisanal goods. Indulge in delicious snacks, treats, and unique souvenirs to cherish memories of your trip.
  • Canadian Museum of History

    Visit the Canadian Museum of History located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec. Immerse yourself in Canada's rich cultural heritage through engaging exhibits on Indigenous history, Canadian achievements, and cultural diversity. Don't miss the Grand Hall showcasing the iconic First Nations totem poles!
  • Rideau Centre Shopping

    Indulge in a shopping spree at Rideau Centre, Ottawa's premier shopping destination. Explore a wide range of stores offering fashion, accessories, souvenirs, and more. Treat yourself to local delicacies at the food court or enjoy a coffee break while capturing beautiful views of the city from the top floors!













Accommodations

For a family-friendly high-budget trip to Ottawa, consider staying in upscale neighborhoods like The Glebe or Centretown for a luxurious hotel experience. The Fairmont Château Laurier or Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market are excellent choices with fantastic amenities and services. If you prefer more space, booking an apartment or house through platforms like Airbnb can offer a homely atmosphere for your family.

For a unique and personalized stay, explore charming homestays in Ottawa's quieter residential areas. If you're visiting from July 18 to July 23, book your accommodations well in advance due to potential high summer tourist numbers. Enjoy your stay in the nation's capital!

Food and Drink

In Ottawa, you can enjoy delicious dishes like poutine, beaver tails, and maple syrup treats, reflecting Canada's culinary heritage. For a family-friendly high-budget trip, consider dining at Beckta Dining & Wine, Fairouz, or Atelier for fine dining experiences.

Bridgehead Coffee, Art-Is-In Bakery, and The Scone Witch offer cozy cafes perfect for a family breakfast or lunch. In Ottawa, tipping 15-20% is standard practice at restaurants.

Explore seasonal farmers' markets for fresh produce and local specialties. Look out for food festivals like PoutineFest and the Ottawa Ribfest for unique culinary experiences during your visit.

Poutine

Poutine

Poutine is a popular Canadian dish made of crispy French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in rich, savory gravy. It's a comforting and indulgent dish that's beloved across Canada, and you can find variations with different toppings such as pulled pork or mushrooms.

Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts

Butter tarts are a classic Canadian treat made with a flaky pastry shell filled with a sweet and gooey mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs. Sometimes, raisins or nuts are added for extra texture and flavor. They're a staple dessert at Canadian gatherings and celebrations.

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars are a delectable layered dessert named after the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. The three layers consist of a crumbly, nutty base, a creamy custard-flavored filling, and a glossy chocolate topping. They are a quintessential Canadian treat.

BeaverTails

BeaverTails

BeaverTails, or Queues de Castor in French, are a beloved Canadian indulgence characterized by their unique elongated, pastry shape. These fried dough pastries are often dusted with cinnamon sugar and can be served with various toppings like chocolate hazelnut spread or fruit compote.

Montreal-Style Bagels

Montreal-Style Bagels

Montreal-style bagels are smaller, denser, and sweeter than their New York counterparts. They are boiled in honey-sweetened water and baked in wood-fired ovens, resulting in a chewy texture and slightly sweet flavor. They are often served with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Attractions and Activities

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, offers a blend of culture and adventure. Visit the National Gallery of Canada to admire diverse art collections.

For family fun, explore the Canadian Museum of Nature with interactive exhibits. Enjoy outdoor activities at Gatineau Park for hiking and biking, ideal year-round.

In July, witness the vibrant Ottawa Chamberfest featuring classical music performances. Immerse in Canadian history at the Rideau Hall and Parliament Hill.

Indulge in culinary experiences at ByWard Market, filled with local vendors and cafes.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

For a unique Ottawa experience, explore the Diefenbunker, an underground Cold War bunker turned museum. Discover the eerie charm of the abandoned Luskville Falls railway, perfect for urban explorers. Venture to Manotick to witness the Rideau River's oldest operating hydraulic lock station.