Ottawa, one of the most famous cities in Canada, and the seventh coldest capital in the world, Ottawa has a lot to offer, from incredible food, amazing festivals and a rich history, making it a high end location for any travellers to visit.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 911
- Language: English and French
- Currency: Canadian Dollar
- Country Code: CA
- Travel Visa: ETA
- Population: 1,393,000
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
For the Emergency services just dial 911 from any phone.
Ottawa Tourism: www.ottawatourism.ca/en
Ottawa International Airport: www.yow.ca/en
Ottawa Station: www.viarail.ca/en
Where can I keep up with local news?
CBC Ottawa: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa
ICI Radio Canada: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/
CTV News Ottawa: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada
What are some top safety tips?
One should keep an eye on personal things in public places. You should not leave begs and other personal items unwatched under any conditions. Tourists should better refuse offers from individuals no matter how tempting these offers may seem.
Commonly central areas of the city are filled with rather buzzing and vivacious atmosphere even at nightfall. One should not set alone for exploration of the remote areas of the city even in the day time. These districts should better be explored with a guide and a tour group.
What’s the legal drinking age in Ottawa?
Unlike some parts of Canada, the legal drinking age in Ottawa is 19 instead of 18. Bare this in mind when deciding on what activities to do.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Since it was founded in 1997, The Ottawa Fringe Festival has been the leading annual fringe theatre festival in Ottawa. An independently produced fare giving 100% of ticket sales to the artists, the event is a big supporter of local arts and culture, returning over $1.62 million to their acts over the years. However, there are many more reasons to visit the festival than this. Over ten days, you will laugh, cry and be inspired by local performances, from plays to stand up, multimedia and public speaking.
The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival was founded in 1994 in partnership with the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, and immediately caught the audiences’ attention. Currently boasting over 200 teams, it is the ultimate festival for sports fans and is now known as the largest dragon boat festival in North America.
One of the most highly-recommended music festivals in the whole of Canada, let alone Ottawa, is the Ottawa RBC Bluesfest. This world-renowned festival has been a registered charity for 15 years and, as Michael Crockatt explains, is “one of the world’s top 10 outdoor music festivals according to Billboard Magazine.”
Where are some of the best places for food and drink?
Chateau Lafayette – proudly holding the title of ‘Ottawa’s oldest tavern,’ Chateau Lafayette gives a relaxed atmosphere, with a good range of drinks on offer and various forms of entertainment throughout the week, including Tuesdays’ open mic night.
The Black Thorn – the Black Thorn is an up-scale cafe/bar with a proud historical past serving an impressive collection of draught beers, wines and dishes, including the excellent gourmet pizzas, The Black Thorn is the perfect first-stop on your Ottawa bar crawl.
Atelier – Atelier is a classy restaurant with a romantic and ambient atmosphere which is perfect for any special occasions with an original, 12-course tasting menu focusing on molecular gastronomy.
What are the top attractions in Ottawa?
Canadian Museum of History – the Canadian Museum of Nature (Musée Canadien de la Nature) takes visitors through the world of the dinosaurs all the way up to today’s animal population, and also features poignant temporary exhibits.
Notre-Dame Cathedra Basilica – opposite the National Gallery, Notre-Dame Cathedral is a beautiful Catholic basilica consecrated in 1846. It is particularly noted for the interior mahogany carvings by Philippe Parizeau and figures of the four evangelists, prophets, and apostles by Louis-Philippe Hébert.
National Gallery of Canada – ultra-modern and designed by Moshe Safdie, the National Gallery of Canada (Musée des Beaux-Arts du Canada) is an architectural masterpiece with prism-like glass towers that echo the lines of the nearby Parliament Buildings. The glass contrasts with the mock medieval Château Laurier, yet the attraction still fits well into Ottawa’s cityscape.