Canada's capital city, Ottawa, sits at the confluence of the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers. Hills and forests cast an enchanting hue on a city that is home to a majestic Victorian Parliament and other buildings atop Parliament Hill.
Ottawa is not simply an administrative capital city, but also a city that is cosmopolitan, vibrant, and visually beautiful. There are ample parks and open spaces to take a relaxing walk or enjoy the outdoors. Spend some time in this attractive city, and carry home some memorable experiences.
Before you set off for your trip to Ottawa, don't forget to make sure you have coverage. Get
travel medical insurance or
to protect your finances in case of an unexpected illness, injury or travel mishap.
Ottawa's Most Popular Places for Travel
From magnificent Gothic-styled structures to natural wonders, Ottawa has it all. The sights and sounds of the city will captivate you as you soak in the cultural ambiance. Check out some of the must-see spots of Ottawa, as mentioned below.
The Parliament Buildings
With incredible Gothic splendor, the majestic Parliament Building sits like a jewel atop the 50-meter-high Colline du Parlement (Parliament Hill). Overlooking the Ottawa River, the building houses the octagonal Parliament Library. Take a guided tour of the sprawling area and get to know more about the building's glorious history.
If you visit Ottawa in the summertime, try to arrive to the Parliament Building by 9:30 in the morning. The Changing of the Guard, accompanied by wonderful music played by the regimental band, is a sight not to be missed.
Located in Ottawa's city center, ByWard Market is a bustling open-air marketplace that is ideal to get a feel for authentic life in Ottawa. If you are staying in an apartment with a kitchen, you can shop for groceries here at reasonable prices. Many food establishments adorn this place, so you will be able to enjoy a great meal after all that walking around.
Canadian War Museum
A tribute to the brave souls who defended their homeland in numerous battles through several centuries, the War Museum is a must-visit. It displays memorabilia from the wars fought in the 16th century to the Second World War. There are a lot of military vehicles and weapons to be seen here, including the limousine used by Adolf Hitler. Want to carry a souvenir back home? Pick something up from the gift shop located on the premises.
Hang Out at the Beach
A beach in Ottawa? Yes, there is, and it is located on Petrie Island on the Ottawa River. Open between May and September, the beach is manned by lifeguards all day long. Enjoy a swim or simply soak up the sun.
There are many culinary delights Ottawa has to offer. Be sure to enjoy the local cuisine and try new things. The Beaver Tails Outlets offer authentic Canadian cuisine, including pastries, poutine (Canadian fries, cheese curds, and gravy), and multiple topping options like chocolate spread, maple syrup, etc.
Ottawa is a melting pot of multiple cultures that's reflected in its restaurants. You will be able to find Lebanese, Vietnamese, and Mediterranean fare at numerous establishments across the city.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Ottawa
Overall, Ottawa is a safe place for international travelers. However, there are some things you should always be aware of when traveling.
Pickpockets and petty theft
These incidents can be common across tourist locations – and Ottawa is no exception. Stay on your guard in crowded areas, as those are the places where pickpockets frequent.
As Ottawa is a fairly large city, there can be traffic delays during rush hour. If you've rented a car for your trip, use a map or GPS to discover alternate options to avoid main roads. Also, take traffic delays into account when making reservations for restaurants or events.
Though you're unlikely to have many encounters with animals within city limits, the countryside is home to bears, wolves, cougars and more. It's important to never try to feed wildlife, and remember to keep a safe distance at all times.
Ottawa's climate typically includes cold and snowy winters, warm summers, and occasional severe storms and floods. Before setting off on your trip, take a look at the weather forecast so you can pack the right clothes. Environment Canada and local media are good sources of weather information.
Beware of thin ice
You might be game for some snowmobiling if you are visiting Ottawa in the winter months. While it's an excellent idea, take precautions against traveling across thin ice. It is a major cause of hazards during this activity. Travel only on approved and designated trails. Avoid taking ice bridges unless a snowmobile club has marked it safe for travel. Wear suitable clothes to protect yourself from the elements.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Ottawa- FAQs
Canada has excellent medical care available, and Ottawa is no exception. However, treatment at private facilities can be prohibitively expensive without insurance coverage. Hence, it's a good idea to make sure your finances can be protected with travel medical insurance.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Ottawa?
Health-related emergencies can catch you off guard, turning an otherwise enjoyable vacation into a major ordeal. An injury or illness is enough of a hassle when it happens close to home, but when you're in a different country, it can be an unsettling situation. Your domestic health insurance likely won't be accepted or provide adequate coverage in Canada. To ensure you can take advantage of timely treatment at the best facilities available, a small investment in travel medical insurance can make a big difference when it comes time to pay the bill. You may not be able to prevent an illness or injury from occurring, but with the right insurance you can at least control the effect it can have on your bank account.
What Should I Look for in My Ottawa Travel Medical Insurance?
Be sure that your insurance covers any requirements you may need to meet, and consider what the different plans will and will not cover. For instance, will the plan cover adventurous activities if you plan to participate in them? Does the plan provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation should you need it? Does the premium, deductible and copay meet your needs and budget? These are all questions you should answer before making a purchase. This way, you'll know that the travel medical insurance plan you have is right for you.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Ottawa - FAQs
A number of reasons can lead to you canceling your trip. There could be severe weather that grounds flights, sudden travel restrictions put in place, or even a health issue that comes up right before you leave. All of these reasons are unfortunate, but they can also be costly, so you'll want to have trip cancellation insurance.
Why Should I Get Trip Cancellation Insurance for My Ottawa Travel?
The money that you have spent on flight bookings and destination tour packages (including hotel reservations) is unlikely to be refunded in case of a trip cancellation. If your trip has to be canceled, you may have no way to get your money back for these prepaid expenses. With trip cancellation coverage, you're provided with the opportunity to be fully or partially refunded for your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses when you're unable to travel for a reason covered by the policy, which can save you a significant amount of money.
What Should I Look for in My Ottawa Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Most travel insurance policies can provide coverage for trip cancellation, but their coverage may extend beyond that. Even once your trip has started, travel insurance plans can have a host of valuable benefits, such as:
Some travel insurance plans can even provide you with the option to cancel for any reason. Not all policies are the same, so it's essential that you read through the available plans carefully to make an informed choice. The exact coverage offered by each plan will be detailed in the policy wording.
Before You Travel to Ottawa - Do This
Research well before you travel. There is a lot to see and do in and around Ottawa. Proper research and prior planning will help you to make the most of your time during your travel.
Familiarize yourself with the local currency and research prices for food, souvenirs, and other things you may be spending your money on, to give you an idea of what to expect.
Choose your travel time carefully. March to May is the best time for festivals, but hotel rates can be higher during this time. Hotels may be cheaper in winter, but keep in mind that some attractions may close seasonally.
Get insured. Buy
travel medical insurance or
so you don't leave your financial security up to chance.