- Local Places
If you’re looking for Ottawa’s best shopping and nightlife, this is where the action is. Elgin Street is a laid-back district where you’ll have your choice of delis, bakeries, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, lounges, pubs and taverns.
Canadian Museum of Nature
Situated inside a magnificent stone castle that once served as the emergency headquarters for the Canadian government, the Museum of Nature is one of the most contemporary museums in the world. Examining everything from dinosaurs to the present-day state of the world’s oceans, the museum offers interactive exhibits geared to all ages.
National Arts Center
Located next to the Rideau Canal in Confederation Square, this first-class performing arts center hosts some of the world’s best musicians, bands, dance troupes, and theatre companies during its year-round schedule of events.
This is, all would agree, the most diverse shopping destination in Ottawa. Head into the heart of downtown, just one block east of Parliament Hill, to find some of the top brands in fashion, beauty, dining, electronics and more.
The highlight of the Ottawa skyline is this stunning Gothic-style building overlooking the Ottawa River from a hilltop perch. As the cultural and political epicenter of the city, Parliament Hill offers guided tours of the country’s lawmakers at work as well as a full schedule of seasonal events and holiday celebrations on its scenic grounds.
By day, one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets (opened in 1826) is a bustling market teeming with local farmers, artisans, museums, cafés, specialty food shops and boutiques. After the sun sets, ByWard Market becomes one of Ottawa’s hottest nightlife districts.
National Gallery of Canada
Home to Canada’s official national art collection, the National Gallery of Canada features over 40,000 works of art by 6,000 artists from Canada and around the world. The gallery’s most famous work sits just outside its entrance – Maman, a 30-foot bronze sculpture of a spider toting a sac of white marble eggs beneath its abdomen.
Museum of History
If you’re on the hunt for the world's largest indoor collection of totem poles you’ll find it in the Grand Hall of the Museum of History. Overlooking the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill and all of downtown Ottawa, this world-class museum celebrates 20,000 years of human evolution.
Canadian War Museum
A tribute to the Canadian military throughout history, the Canadian War Museum is a stunning building housing fascinating seasonal exhibits and collections. You’ll find colossal tanks, military vehicles of all kinds, weapons, combat gear and an authentic CF-Voodoo jet fighter hanging from the roof.
Central Experimental Farm
Nestled in the heart of the city, this working farm and agricultural research center is a lush expanse of grain fields, barnyard animals, ornamental gardens and an arboretum. In addition to a boutique and volunteer center, the farm hosts events like bake sales, plant sales, art exhibits and more.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
With captivating exhibits that explore man’s use of science and technology to make the world a better place, the Canada Science and Technology Museum is a fun, interactive experience for all ages. Jump on the human hamster wheel to generate electrical sparks or ascend to the top of the Helen Hogg Observatory to get an up-close-and-personal-look at the stars and sky above.
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