The modern capital of Canada – Ottawa has never had the fame of a “tourist Mecca” – however, it has not pursued it. A smart, neat city that cares about order and the environment is unlikely to attract all-inclusive fans, but fans of sports, art, culture and natural beauties will not leave you indifferent. There are more than 1000 parks in the municipality, and hundreds of masterpieces of world sculpture and painting are exhibited at the National Art Gallery, among which are the immortal works of Dali, Warhol, Monet, Picasso. Those who cannot imagine themselves without sports are welcomed not only at numerous venues, but also in the unique Canadian Museum of Skiing.
You should come here in winter to the International Hockey Festival and to the world-famous fairy tale “Winterlude”, in the spring – on the feast of His Majesty Tulip, in the summer – to see with your own eyes entire tribes of Indians walking around the city center, and in the fall – simply because it’s the best time to visit Ottawa.
A modest hostel in the center or closer to the outskirts, a solid hotel in the immediate vicinity of the airport, a separate house for a large family – this is not a complete list of accommodation options in Ottawa. They offer the most apartments and houses for rent: the first cost 100 CAD, the second 155 CAD per day. Motels, 3 * hotels and hostels are also popular. But there are no “fives” at all.
The highlight of the city – Ottawa Jail Hostel – occupies an old prison building, and the rooms here look like prison cells. The bad news: they charge extra for tourists who are not members of the Hostelling International program.
Free Wi-Fi is offered to tourists in Ottawa more than a free breakfast, and when booking, you must be very careful not to be somewhere 20 km from the center. However, for those who came to admire nature, this option is just that.
Ottawa is attractive to shopaholics of all stripes. Those who cannot imagine their wardrobe without high-profile brands will pay tribute to the local collection of boutiques and the size of shopping centers. And those who are crazy about handmade trinkets will not leave without a thousand and one purchases from the local markets.
It’s better to spend the whole day hunting for interesting things. You should start with Sparks Street, where there are 240 Sparks shopping malls (of. Site in English) and C.D. Howe Building (240 Sparks St). Then take a walk along Banks Street, looking in turn at all the oncoming shops. And then you can take a taxi and leave for shoes, jewelry, accessories at the Bayshore Shopping Center (official website in English).
Ottawa Cuisine and Restaurants
In Ottawa, and indeed in Canada, there is no national cuisine of its own. The recipes for which they are prepared here represent an unimaginable mixture of traditions of cooking dishes by North American Indians, French and British. The only thing that can be said for sure is that they like meat very much, especially venison, rabbit meat and game. Therefore, all kinds of chickens melting in the mouth of steaks and burning stews are served in each institution.
Restaurant or cafe – whatever you choose, the price tag will not please. The most modest snack for two will cost 25 CAD, a full dinner in a restaurant with alcohol – 65 CAD. But it’s not worth the money to regret food – otherwise, how then to describe friends the skills of local chefs?
Ottawa has great lobster and beef in maple syrup. Also, local people recommend “brochett fillet” – tender meat mixed with mushrooms and onions on a spit.
Ottawa’s calling card is the beaver tails delicacy, sometimes called bear tails – these are puff pastries with a sweet filling. Of the drinks, craft beer is popularly brewed in private breweries.
Entertainment and Attractions
Ottawa is a rather young city, it is not even 200 years old, so you won’t find absolutely respectable antiquity here. But still, the list of attractions he has is quite long.
Beautiful examples of Gothic and neo-Gothic architecture – Parliament Hill and the Basilica of Our Lady. The first is an entire ensemble of several blocks decorated with slender towers, on which intricate figures of stone are carved. The Tower of Peace is considered the most famous, its main treasure is a carillon (mechanical device) of 53 bells, they can be heard daily. The basilica is crowned with a gilded statue of the Madonna. Inside the building there is a collection of beauties in the form of stained-glass windows, figures of saints, a gilded altar and a phenomenal organ of 4700 pipes.
More relaxed architecture is demonstrated by the Rideau Hall mansion, which managed to be the residence of Elizabeth II herself. Now he is proud of a luxurious park and a unique collection of antiques and art objects. At Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall you can see the change of the guards in traditional red uniforms and shaggy hats.
Tourists unanimously give the title of the most original attraction to the Upper Canada Village complex. This is a whole village with picturesque meadows, forests and ponds, where time stood still at the mark of “1860th year”: it houses wooden buildings and crafts of that period.