Sitting on the Ottawa River in Ontario, near the US border, Ottawa is a wonderfully vibrant, green and culture-rich capital city.
It’s also the ultimate cycling destination, with nearly 500 miles of smooth recreational pathways. Exploring the city by bike is a fun way to see everything up-close, especially in summer when the Ottawa weather can be glorious.
You’ll likely whizz past the magnificent Parliament Hill with its grand Victorian architecture, and stop off at the fascinating National Gallery of Canada to see its indigenous art collection.
You can also pootle alongside the beautiful Rideau Canal, perfect for boating in summer and ice skating in winter. Or take your shopping bag to the open-air ByWard Market, the oldest farmer’s market in Canada and a fantastic place for fresh local produce.
Or why not take a day trip to rural Ottawa? In less than half an hour, you can be strolling within the rural communities on the outskirts of the city. Drink in the fresh air and discover something new in one of these charming neighbourhoods, including Rideau-Goulbourn, Osgoode and Cumberland.
And if you’re a foodie, Ottawa will absolutely tick all your boxes. It boasts incredible gourmet cuisine, including the world-famous Cordon Bleu, along with irresistible street food snacks like the famous Ottawa Beaver Tail (deep-fried pastry covered with sweet toppings).
If you’ve any time left in your jam-packed itinerary, other must-see highlights in this endlessly entertaining capital city include the Canadian Museum of Nature, Major Hill Park and the Fairmont Château Laurier – one of Canada’s most stunning railway-era hotels.