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Canada’s capital city is one of the most beautiful in the world, and when you book your flight to Ottawa you’ll be in for a truly fabulous holiday.
The city’s Gothic-style public buildings perched on Parliament Hill set the tone for a memorable experience in a city like no other, a strange and exhilarating mixture of Victorian and Canadian historic roots set against the backdrop of the meandering Ottawa River. Fly to Ottawa with Qatar Airways and be amazed at how harmoniously the old and new blend together here.
To gain some insight into Canada’s eventful and convoluted past, visit the Canadian Museum of Civilisation during your trip to Ottawa. The museum’s entrance is guarded by brightly coloured bears and carved ravens on two First Nations totem poles.
At the huge, ultra-modern National Gallery of Canada you’ll be able to enjoy Canada’s biggest collection of native artworks. At the opposite extreme, Notre Dame Basilica is the largest and oldest church in the city, with a Gothic façade that’s well worth a visit for its impressive architecture, beautiful stained glass windows and hundreds of carved statues.
Gatineau Park is Ottawa’s vast nature reserve, with scenic trails, many different types of trees and a diverse flora and fauna that’s typical of the region. If you fancy a bracing walk in fresh air with stunning natural surroundings, spend a day here.
If possible, time your trip to Ottawa for May, when you’ll be able to catch the Canadian Tulip Festival which runs over three weeks and splashes the whole city with glorious primary colours.
On your trip to Ottawa there is plenty to do and see. Take a leisurely stroll in the stately grounds of Parliament hill and watch the colourful Changing of the Guard ceremony against a backdrop of Gothic spires, reminiscent of the same event in London.
If you’re interested in some outdoor recreation, the Rideau Canal cuts through the city and offers a range of water-based sports and entertainment. Tour boats will take you past the city’s main sights with a running commentary, and there are also bicycle and jogging trails as well as an ice-rink park on the banks of the canal.
The National Arts Centre stages international live performances of theatre, ballet and orchestral works, and you get a great view of Parliament Hill and Rideau Canal from its balcony. If your penchant is more for live alternative music head for ByWard Market, where there are tapas bars and entertainment venues galore, and where you’ll find some of the city’s best musicians performing every evening.
Ottawa is well known for being a truly international and cosmopolitan city, originating with the Irish and French before embracing many other people. This mix is reflected in the diversity of its cuisine. There are numerous fantastic places to dine here, and you can feast on everything from Asian fusion to contemporary Canadian cuisine as the mood and your taste buds take you.
There are many fish dishes on offer, usually prepared to traditional French techniques, and haute cuisine is very much in evidence especially in the centre of the city. Ingredients are increasingly being sourced from the farming hinterland, so if you’re into organic food you won’t be disappointed.
When travelling to Ottawa for the shopping, you’ll find a wealth of different outlets in the city’s various neighbourhoods. From exclusive small boutiques to vast malls, gift shops and souvenir stalls, this city has the lot.
The Rideau Centre contains most of the outlets with over 150 separate stores. Most of the art and craft shops can be found in and around ByWard Market and Sparks Street, whilst Bayshore Shopping Centre is home to a number of outdoor stores.
Flights to Ottawa arrive at Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, six miles to the south of the city. Take a taxi or transit bus to the city centre.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Ottawa please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Voltage: 120 V 60 Hz
Plugs: Type A / B
Language: English / French
International dialing code: +1