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Best Things To Do in Ottawa

Ottawa was designed with tourists in mind: There's plenty to see and do, and everything is just a short walk away. First off, there are two attractions that you really can't avoid: touring Parliament Hill and strolling along the Rideau Canal (both of which you can experience for free). If you like museums, then you should next check out the first-rate exhibits housed in world-class establishments like the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. If that Canadian change is burning a hole in your pocket, check out the city's lively and ever-popular ByWard Market.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Rideau Canal Free attraction
Recreation, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Snaking its way through the center of Ottawa, the Rideau Canal is one of the city's most historic attractions ... read more»

#2
ByWard Market Free attraction
Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Sitting at the heart of downtown Ottawa, the beloved ByWard Market is one of the country's oldest and largest ... read more»

#3
Parliament Hill Free attraction
Sightseeing, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Acting as the anchor of Downtown Ottawa, these three neo-Gothic structures are hard to miss. Like its mother country -- England ... read more»

#4
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The stunning Canadian Museum of Civilization houses hundreds of artifacts dating back to the prehistoric era. Here, you can see ... read more»

#5
National Gallery of Canada
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Facing Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada is a must for all you art aficionados out ... read more»

#6
Gatineau Park Free attraction
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The 224-square-mile Gatineau Park makes for a great break from city life and caters to all of you outdoors enthusiasts ... read more»

#7
Canadian Museum of Nature
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Recent visitors agree that this is a must-see, especially if you're traveling with children. According to one TripAdvisor user ... read more»

#8
Canadian War Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Perched on the steep slopes framing the Ottawa River, the Canadian War Museum pays homage to Canada's long and ... read more»

#9
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: If you enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio's film, The Aviator, then this museum is for you. Canada's Aviation and Space ... read more»

#10
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica Free attraction
Churches/Religious Sites | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Even if you're not an avid church-goer, the silvery spires of Ottawa's Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica are sure to ... read more»

#11
Bytown Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: When it comes to boning up on Ottawa's history, there's no better place than the Bytown Museum. Housed ... read more»

#12
Elgin Street Free attraction
Entertainment and Nightlife, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: If you're looking for a rowdier atmosphere than the one generally found within the confines of a museum, Elgin ... read more»

#13
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: With fun hands-on displays explaining everything from biology to physics, the Canada Science and Technology museum has cleverly disguised learning ... read more»

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