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Eastern Canada

Ottawa holidays

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ALL OUT OTTAWA

Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is a delight in every season. From the brightly-hued tulips that unfold across the city in spring, to the top-heavy trees that burn shades of auburn and apricot in autumn, there’s beauty in abundance all year round. Experience this ever-changing, urban landscape all for yourself on a handpicked Ottawa holiday.

A network of picturesque pathways and neatly-paved streets, this majestic city is best discovered by foot. Major’s Hill Park is most likely where you’ll start your walking tour. Perfectly-located next to the gently-rolling Ottawa River, it’s worth a wander simply to take in the crisp Canadian air. Catch fairytale views of Parliament Hill as it reflects across the tranquil water, before making your way through the city to the bustling ByWard Market. This labyrinth of pubs, restaurants and pop-up shops, is perhaps best-described as Ottawa’s pride and joy. In the summertime, people perch beneath parasols, sipping on cold beer. And, when winter comes around, crowds huddle together to listen to carol singing in the courtyard.

If you’re booking your Ottawa holiday during the festive season, prepare to be truly blown-away. City buildings drip with twinkling Christmas lights, and the smell of mulled wine and freshly-fried Beaver Tails – a popular local pastry – wafts its way around every corner. See the snow-covered cathedral spires as you ice-skate along the frozen canal, or escape the icy weather by spending the day inside one of Ottawa’s incredible museums or galleries. In winter, there’s plenty going on in terms of nightlife, too. Families tend to flock to the Ottawa Christmas Market for an evening of dazzling displays and live music performances. And over on Sparks Street, bars, pubs and clubs keep the party going long into the night.

An Ottawa holiday sparked your imagination? Our experts are here to help you make it happen. Get in touch to find out more and take that first step towards an unforgettable Ottawa adventure.

Things to do

History and culture

Festivals

Best time to go

Things to do in Ottawa

If you’re wondering how to go about exploring Ottawa, a sightseeing tour of the capital is a great starting point. Whether you want to get your steps in with a walking tour, or take in the scenery from aboard a double-decker bus, it’s a fantastic way to get a flavour for the city.

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Whilst there’s plenty to do indoors during your time here, Ottawa’s outdoor attractions are perhaps the most exciting. Occupying a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, Rideau Canal Skateway is the largest naturally-frozen ice skating rink in the world. Lace up your skates and glide through the heart of the city, passing some of Ottawa’s most iconic buildings along the way.
If you class yourself as a bit of a foodie, a wander around ByWard Market is a must. Grab a bite at a gourmet restaurant, or pick up some top-quality produce from one of the food stalls.

Show More
Show Less

History and culture

If you do opt for a day of sightseeing during your Ottawa holiday, then it’s worth knowing a few top spots before you go. History-buffs will want to tick off the city’s oldest building, the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Dating back to 1841, the cathedral’s intricately-detailed spires and medieval-style stained glass windows are sure to impress. As will the inside, with its dramatic archways and wall-to-wall gold ornamentation.

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Show Less

One of Ottawa’s more modern cultural offerings, the National Gallery of Canada sits just above Major’s Hill Park. It’s not hard to miss, thanks to the 30-foot spider sculpture that guards the gallery entrance. Once you make it through the doors, there’s over 40,000 prints, paintings and sculptures for you to discover.
To round-off your day, why not pop over to Parliament Hill? Known for its gothic architecture and dazzling Canada Day firework displays, it’s one of the most picturesque places in the city.

Show More
Show Less

Festivals

With an events calendar that’s full to the brim all year round, there’s always something going on in Ottawa. A fitting celebration of springtime, the Canadian Tulip Festival in May sees the capital at its most colourful. With over a million flowers planted from the centre to the suburbs, the city erupts in vibrant hues of red, pink, orange and yellow.
If you’re visiting a bit later in the year, the Ottawa Fringe Festival is another fantastic event. Watch as a mix of local and international artists take to the stage during this 10-day theatre extravaganza. With loads of original shows and performances to choose from, you can cherry-pick whatever peaks your interest.

Show More
Show Less

Planning your Ottawa holiday over Christmas? Then prepare to see all the wonders of Winterlude. A feast of festive excitement, it’s one of Ontario’s most anticipated events. Think pop-up markets, glittering light displays and, of course, lots of al fresco ice skating.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go to Ottawa

Have we mentioned that Christmas is a good time to go to Ottawa? But seriously, it is. The illuminated city landscape bursting with every colour of Christmas light imaginable. The pristine, snow-covered scenery and frozen canals that transform into nature’s own ice rink. This season is a feast for the eyes. What’s more, there are plenty of incredible ski resorts within driving-distance of the city. So, you can escape to the mountains in between your days of city exploring.

Show More
Show Less

Summer is also a beautiful season. Lush green trees crowd the banks of the Ottawa River, making for a picture-perfect view up to Parliament Hill. The temperatures at this time of year are rather alluring, too. Sitting around the low-to-mid-twenties, it’s perfect if you’re wanting to venture beyond the city. With 250,000 lakes to discover in Ontario, you can hike, bike, swim and sunbathe to your heart’s content.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Ottawa

If you’re wondering how to go about exploring Ottawa, a sightseeing tour of the capital is a great starting point. Whether you want to get your steps in with a walking tour, or take in the scenery from aboard a double-decker bus, it’s a fantastic way to get a flavour for the city.

Show More
Show Less

Whilst there’s plenty to do indoors during your time here, Ottawa’s outdoor attractions are perhaps the most exciting. Occupying a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, Rideau Canal Skateway is the largest naturally-frozen ice skating rink in the world. Lace up your skates and glide through the heart of the city, passing some of Ottawa’s most iconic buildings along the way.
If you class yourself as a bit of a foodie, a wander around ByWard Market is a must. Grab a bite at a gourmet restaurant, or pick up some top-quality produce from one of the food stalls.

Show More
Show Less

History and culture

History and culture

If you do opt for a day of sightseeing during your Ottawa holiday, then it’s worth knowing a few top spots before you go. History-buffs will want to tick off the city’s oldest building, the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Dating back to 1841, the cathedral’s intricately-detailed spires and medieval-style stained glass windows are sure to impress. As will the inside, with its dramatic archways and wall-to-wall gold ornamentation.

Show More
Show Less

One of Ottawa’s more modern cultural offerings, the National Gallery of Canada sits just above Major’s Hill Park. It’s not hard to miss, thanks to the 30-foot spider sculpture that guards the gallery entrance. Once you make it through the doors, there’s over 40,000 prints, paintings and sculptures for you to discover.
To round-off your day, why not pop over to Parliament Hill? Known for its gothic architecture and dazzling Canada Day firework displays, it’s one of the most picturesque places in the city.

Show More
Show Less

Festivals

Festivals

With an events calendar that’s full to the brim all year round, there’s always something going on in Ottawa. A fitting celebration of springtime, the Canadian Tulip Festival in May sees the capital at its most colourful. With over a million flowers planted from the centre to the suburbs, the city erupts in vibrant hues of red, pink, orange and yellow.
If you’re visiting a bit later in the year, the Ottawa Fringe Festival is another fantastic event. Watch as a mix of local and international artists take to the stage during this 10-day theatre extravaganza. With loads of original shows and performances to choose from, you can cherry-pick whatever peaks your interest.

Show More
Show Less

Planning your Ottawa holiday over Christmas? Then prepare to see all the wonders of Winterlude. A feast of festive excitement, it’s one of Ontario’s most anticipated events. Think pop-up markets, glittering light displays and, of course, lots of al fresco ice skating.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go to Ottawa

Have we mentioned that Christmas is a good time to go to Ottawa? But seriously, it is. The illuminated city landscape bursting with every colour of Christmas light imaginable. The pristine, snow-covered scenery and frozen canals that transform into nature’s own ice rink. This season is a feast for the eyes. What’s more, there are plenty of incredible ski resorts within driving-distance of the city. So, you can escape to the mountains in between your days of city exploring.

Show More
Show Less

Summer is also a beautiful season. Lush green trees crowd the banks of the Ottawa River, making for a picture-perfect view up to Parliament Hill. The temperatures at this time of year are rather alluring, too. Sitting around the low-to-mid-twenties, it’s perfect if you’re wanting to venture beyond the city. With 250,000 lakes to discover in Ontario, you can hike, bike, swim and sunbathe to your heart’s content.

Show More
Show Less

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Knowledge

Between them, our travel advisors can boast almost 800 years of holiday expertise.

Ease

Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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