Ottawa is another destination that can be overlooked when planning a trip to Canada, but with its close proximity to Toronto it’s worth a day or two. Home to the National Gallery of Canada, Parliament Buildings and the beautiful Rideau Canal there is a lot to keep you busy. We got very lucky whilst we was there, and by total chance managed to see the parliament light show, an in depth story of Canada’s history. Find out more below.


Ottawa is not meant to be a popular place for tourists. It’s a city built to house the leaders of Canada. But that does not mean it’s worth skipping. It’s great to spend a day there exploring Canada’s capital.

Parliament buildings

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and home to the Canadian government and houses of parliament. The Parliament buildings are right in the centre of Ottawa and you are able to explore the grounds unhindered by fences and security, quite different from most countries. Explore enough and you might find the larger than life statue of Queen Elizabeth on horseback.

Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa is well know for its lock ladder. A lock ladder is used when a canal needs to either run up or down a hill. Lock after lock after lock with a beautiful view of the Riviere des Outauais and Alexandra bridge.

Parliament light show

The city of Ottawa project a spectacular motion picture onto the face of the main parliament building telling the story of how Canada was formed and the history of the country. From what we read the light show is on every summer evening until 2020 so you have plenty of time to plan your trip.


For the brave there is the Ottawa Jail Hostel. One of our favourite places that we have stayed. You can sleep locked up in a real jail cell wondering what crimes were committed by the person who used to call your cell home. As with all novelty accommodation it was slightly expensive at £40 for a double and £20 for a single, but how often do you get to stay in a jail cell? You can get a shared dorm for £15 and hotels in the area are around the £50 mark.


This is one capital city that does not seem to have hiked prices expect to pay £15 for a main meal. If you are staying overnight head to Eggspectation for breakfast, they serve the most delicious pancakes!


There are local buses and taxis but Ottawa is small enough to explore entirely by foot providing your hotel is located centrally.

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