Things To See and Do in Ottawa

Ottawa panorama

Canada’s capital city is beautiful and dynamic, which makes it very interesting to explore. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in the country. If you like discovering magnificent architecture, world-class museums, and strolling through quiet parks, you’ll love this place. This charming city is located along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, right across from Quebec. Its downtown is lively and inviting, and it’s great for walking or riding a bike. Here’s our list of the most interesting things to see and do in Ottawa.

Explore the Rideau Canal

While walking through the center of Ottawa, you can’t miss the Rideau Canal. It’s one of the city’s most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

During the summer, Rideau Canal is filled with boats. The pathways surrounding it are crowded with walkers, cyclists, and runners. You can tour the canal by boat, and cruising is one of the best ways to experience it. There are more than 30 notable sights along the canal. For those who like to stay fit while traveling, there’s the option of canoeing and kayaking as well.

If you happen to visit the canal in the wintertime, your experience will be totally different but not less impressive, as this canal transforms into the world’s largest skating rink. In case you need a break from the cold, visit the nearby heated huts and stands selling hot beverages.

Visit Parliament Hill

The magnificent Parliament building is an architectural masterpiece, built in Gothic style. It’s located right in the heart of the city center, overlooking the Ottawa River. A gorgeous garden surrounds the structure and attracts many tourists.

The complex and its surroundings are the sites of various national celebrations and shows throughout the year. Guided tours are available in English and French, and they last from 30 to 60 minutes. The highlights of this place are:

  • The observation deck of the Peace Tower offering the best view of the city
  • Changing of the Guard ceremony which happens every summer day at 10 AM (June to August)
  • Northern Lights Sound and Light Show (during the summer months)
Canada's Parliament Buildings in Ottawa
Parliament hill is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Head to the ByWard Market

The ByWard Market in Ottawa is one of the oldest and biggest markets in the country. It’s also conveniently located in the city center. There are main buildings surrounded by open-air stalls offering a wide choice of goods. This colorful, charming place is where you’ll find the most beautiful flowers, the best maple syrup, and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other grocery items. There are plenty of restaurants, fast food kiosks, coffee shops, galleries, and boutiques in the ByWard neighborhood. All of this makes it a great place to discover more about the local culture, tradition, and culinary scene.

Learn about Canada by visiting museums and galleries

Ottawa is home to many national museums and galleries worth visiting, where you can experience the true spirit of Canada, such as:

  • Museum of History
  • War Museum
  • Museum of Nature
  • Science and Technology Museum
  • Agriculture Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Photograph
  • The National Gallery of Canada
  • The Portrait Gallery of Canada

As you can see, there’s something for everyone’s age and interest, from those who like history, science, and technology to those who admire art in all its forms.

Ottawa architecture panorama
Ottawa has plenty of national museums and galleries worth visiting.

Book a biplane flightseeing tour 

Did you know that you could fly in a World War II Biplane? Yes, you can! It’s one of the best things to see and do in Ottawa. You can experience it if you visit the Canada Air and Space Museum in the summer months. During an approximately 25-minute flight, you’ll pass over the Ottawa river, the Gatineau Hills, the downtown, and the Parliament. It’s an incredible experience, and what’s most amazing is that you’ll sit in an outdoor cockpit in front of the pilot because he is in the back.

Relax in Gatineau Park

For a little break from the city and its highlights, head to Gatineau Park – a peaceful oasis and a national treasure. It offers a variety of activities for all seasons. You can enjoy comfortable Ottawa and go hiking, biking, camping, cross-country skiing, or swimming. There are also various heritage sites and beautiful nature everywhere around.

While here, don’t miss scenic Champlain Lookout for the best view from the Gatineau Hills over the Ottawa Valley. One more attraction that shouldn’t be overlooked in Gatineau Park is the Mackenzie King Estate. You can explore the paths surrounding it and peek into its restored cottages which feature various interactive exhibits.

Couple sitting on a bench during Fall in the park in Ottawa, Canada
When in search of relaxing things to see and do in Ottawa, head to one of many peaceful parks.

Watch a sports match

Ice hockey is Canada’s national winter sport, and lacrosse is its lesser known national summer sport. Ottawa has several professional sports teams, and if you’re passionate about sports, you should complete your visit by watching at least one match.

Canadian Tire Centre is a multi-purpose indoor arena that hosts various sports matches and a must-see for sports lovers. One more place worth visiting is the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, located in the Heritage Building of Ottawa City Hall.

TD Place Stadium is the place where you can see Canadian football. Baseball fans can head to the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park to watch a match.

Moving to Ottawa can be an excellent choice

There are many reasons why one should decide to move to Ottawa, and there are many possibilities once you do it. Apart from unique things to see and do in Ottawa, keep in mind that you’ll be living in a city with great job opportunities, excellent healthcare, great schools, and various cultural activities year-round, as well as great entertainment for all generations.

If you decided to move to Canada’s capital, be sure to leave enough time for a stress-free preparation. To save time and make the process more effective, you should consider hiring a reliable moving company that has all you need for your Ottawa-based relocation. Then you can choose from a wide selection of moving services, such as packing services, storage solutions, and much more. When you finally settle in, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city and discover many of its gems by yourself.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re planning to visit Ottawa only for a short time as a tourist or you plan to relocate to the city permanently, you’ll be delighted by its charm. The number of things to see and do in Ottawa is almost limitless, so there’s guaranteed fun for every season and each person. Good luck with exploring, and good luck to those who come to stay!

10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021

Couple walking on the seashore during sunset

After the wedding, it’s finally time to take the ultimate couple’s getaway to a romantic destination. You’ll make unforgettable memories and start your new life together doing what you love. Some “just married” couples love being lazy on a beach and diving into the depths of the sea, while others like active vacationing and exploring medieval towns. Some prefer driving in a safari, while others enjoy all-inclusive packages and various spa treatments for a week or two. Discover the 10 most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021, find your fit, and start planning right now.

#1 MALDIVES

The Maldives has some of the top tropical islands in the world. This destination is famous for deep blue ocean waters, crystal clear beaches, and luxury overwater bungalows. Little islands in the midst of the Indian ocean are just perfect for newlyweds. You can enjoy the underwater spa and various massage facilities. While here, make sure to try spa treatments with island-sourced ingredients like seaweed, pineapple, or papaya. A honeymoon is an ideal opportunity to visit Undersea Restaurant. If you’re a water sports lover, this will be your paradise. For an ultimate experience, don’t miss a scuba dive excursion with your partner. You can also explore the capital city, Male.

Overwater bungalows, the Maldives
Maldives – one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021

#2 BORA BORA

Known for its protected coral reefs, Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a remote destination for couples who are up for a big splurge. Many resorts and hotels will give you the option to book photo sessions. Furthermore, you can book spa treatments and special honeymoon mealtimes. After relaxing on a white sandy beach, try some adventures such as safari and parasailing. Moreover, visit Bora Bora Lagoonarium, Coral Gardens, and Mount Otemanu. Take a boat tour, try Shark and Stingray Feeding, or other activities available on various tours.

#3 INDONESIA – BALI

This popular Indonesian isle is visually stunning. There is much more to it than just mind-blowing beaches that first come to mind. Bali is filled with gorgeous ancient temples, lush green rice fields, and beautiful rainforests with bushy palms. Once here, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like. You can stretch out on the loungers and enjoy views of the Indian Ocean, and indulge in a calming couple’s massage. Alternatively, try something adventurous, such as riding mopeds around the island to discover some of its secrets.

Man and woman walking towards palm trees
Bali can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you’d like.

#4 THE CARRIBIAN GEM – ST. LUCIA

St. Lucia offers sparkling Caribbean waters, breathtaking mountain views, and luxurious accommodation. To explore the Caribbean atmosphere, visit blissfully quiet and romantic Marigot Bay. Apart from stunning beaches, be sure to visit Pigeon island – a national landmark. Furthermore, don’t miss The Pitons- volcanic plugs, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, Splash Island Water Park, Tet Paul Nature trail for some hiking, and Castries Flea Market for souvenirs, local food, and spices.

#5 GREECE – SANTORINI

This Greek island is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021. Santorini has an undeniably magical atmosphere with dreamy white terraces and an unobstructed view of the water. You’ll enjoy romantic walks down the neat alleys of the historic town. Make sure to discover all its beauties, from red and black sand beaches to wineries and historic tours. Don’t miss visiting the ruins at Ancient Akrotiri and Ancient Thira. Santorini has a great choice of luxury accommodation and clifftop restaurants. For a breathtaking view, take a catamaran cruise around the caldera. Then, you’ll see for yourself why Santorini sunsets are famous around the world.

#6 DUBAI

Dubai is known as “The city of Gold”, famous for its glamour. It rises from a desert as a buzzing metropolis with tall and modern skyscrapers, including the highest building in the world – Burj Khalifa at 2,717 ft (828 m). Don’t miss going up to the lofty observation deck on the 154th floor. Some of the world’s best hotels are located in Dubai, along with luxury boutiques and abundant entertainment opportunities. Enjoy a taste of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Take a tour and visit sand dunes for a camel ride, sandboarding, and a Bedouin-style feast. To experience the best of Dubai, book a helicopter tour over the Palm Jumeirah, and admire this amazing city from high up in the sky.

Burj Al Arab hotel, lake, and palms in Dubai
Dubai is a great destination for a honeymoon in 2021.

#7 THAILAND

Tropical Thailand is a wonderland of exotic flora and picture-perfect beaches. Visit Bangkok for opulent palaces and glittering gold temples. Make a reservation at an all-inclusive beach resort to unwind fully. Koh Samui island, with its crystal-clear waters, is excellent for couples with a tight budget. It has some affordable yet authentic and comfortable beachside bungalows. The more remote island is Ko Muk, where you can find jungles and a traditional village encircled by incredibly blue-green lagoons. While here, try local Thai food, admire exotic wildlife and exquisite ocean vistas. Enjoy your post-wedding escape to the fullest.

#8 MEXICO – CANCUN BAY

Mexico is still a great vacation spot, and a perfect place to celebrate the start of your life together is Cancun Bay. Enjoy fabulous beaches, clear aquamarine seas, lagoons, and coral reefs. Cancun is not only popular for its natural beauty but also for its urban sophistication, shopping, handicraft markets, fantastic food, and mysterious Mayan remains. Take a rainforest adventure trip, go swimming with the whale sharks and take a night cruise on the lagoon. Furthermore, visit the archeological remains and museum at El Rey, and whenever you want – just relax on a beach.

#9 HAWAII, USA

Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021. The soft-sand beaches, turquoise, and deep waters invite long, lazy days on the beach. Still, if you want an active vacation, you can also have it. Here are few suggestions:

  • Explore the Na Pali coast of Kauai by catamaran
  • Take a nighttime snorkel to view manta rays
  • Enjoy hiking or fishing
  • Try whale watching
  • Book a tour at Volcano National Park
  • See Maui and the Big Island from a helicopter

#10 ZANZIBAR

This East African island paradise is still a lesser-known, peaceful honeymoon destination, away from the big cities. Apart from the beautiful beaches, there are many popular places which you should visit, such as Stone Town, Old Fort, House of Wonders, Jozani Forest, the famous Rock restaurant and much more. Experience authentic Zanzibar food and take a dhow cruise while enjoying a beautiful romantic sunset. Try kitesurfing, scuba diving in pristine ocean water, and swimming with dolphins in the Kizimkazi area.

Please be aware that, when traveling overseas to remote, exotic destinations, some people may experience anxiety and have to deal with negative feelings. Many things can cause those feelings, such as cultural shock, leaving your comfort zone, and interruption of daily habits. If you plan your honeymoon much ahead, research the destination well and pack everything you might need, you’ll be able to enjoy it without worries.

Final words

Now that you know the 10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021, you can make a decision based on your priorities and preferences. Whenever you decide to go, your honeymoon should be memorable and filled with joy and love.

Practical Tips for Memorable Family Travel with Kids

A family having fun at the beach

Creating happy memories is one of the most important parenting tasks. These souvenirs from the past help shape children’s identities and serve as valuable learning opportunities. While not many children would say they enjoy learning, most of them would say they like to play, explore, try new things, and have fun. This curious and open approach to life is a powerful teaching tool every parent should encourage in their children. And one of the most effective ways to do that is travel. Since traveling with kids can be challenging and, in a lot of cases, overwhelming, some extra preparation is necessary to ensure you don’t end up feeling even more exhausted after your vacation than before. These practical tips for memorable family travel with kids should give you the courage to take your tribe on any adventure.

Plan your trip together

At a certain age, kids begin to enjoy making their own decisions. Allowing them this pleasure (when possible) makes them feel appreciated and heard. If they are old enough to have opinions about your travel plans, make sure to listen to them. Since kids’ wishes can sometimes be a bit unrealistic, explaining what’s possible and what’s not should help avoid disappointment.

You shouldn’t underestimate your little ones as they might have interesting suggestions regarding the destination or the itinerary. If they’re too young for that, give them a few options from which they can choose. They’ll take the task very seriously and feel proud if you go with their choice. Ask for their opinion about the accommodation, food, and other details. After all, your kids are going on that trip as much as you are, so it’s only fair to let them participate in planning.

Help your kids understand the destination

A crucial step in making memorable family travel with kids happen is teaching the youngsters about the places you will be visiting. It’s always a good idea to explain a few things regarding the destination’s history, culture, food, and language. Show them where the country is and tell them exciting stories appropriate for their age. As a family, try to learn a few common words and phrases that will help you communicate if the locals don’t speak English.

Two children reading
The more your kids know about the place you’re visiting, the more they will be able to enjoy it.

Knowing something about the destination will help your children feel more confident and excited to travel. It will help avoid any confusion and fear as well. Even if you plan to stay in the US and spend summer visiting amazing places in America, remember many places are vastly different from anything they are used to seeing. From Boston to Hawaii, both the scenery and culture change drastically, and it’s essential to prepare your kids for such changes.

Rely more on your intuition and less on your itinerary

Most children live in the moment and don’t care much for tight schedules, so you should avoid squeezing too many activities and sightseeing into your trip. Your children won’t enjoy traveling as much if they feel like they’re running errands. You’ll probably miss a few things due to rest, snacks, and bathroom brakes but by being attentive to your kids’ needs and feelings, you’ll avoid unnecessary stress and frustration. If you notice they are enjoying certain activities more than others, don’t force them to participate in everything. However, do encourage them to try new things if they are skeptical.

Remember that traveling is all about spending quality time with your loved ones and not so much about following an itinerary. Embrace your kid’s spontaneity as it might lead you to unexpected and extraordinary places.

Don’t let your memories fade away

A sure-fire way to ensure your kiddos remember the exciting expeditions you went on as a family is to take lots of pictures. Some places are more photogenic than others, but your travel pictures will undoubtedly be among the most cherished souvenirs you’ll bring home. You shouldn’t feel pressured to take perfectly staged touristy photos, as most children find it boring to pose for hours in front of famous sights and landmarks. Instead, try to capture spontaneous and heart-warming moments you want to remember. And a few of the not-so-happy moments as well, just to give your kids something to laugh about when they grow up. Don’t forget to let them take the camera and snap some pictures themselves. Seeing their point of view will surely be entertaining.

A girl taking pictures
Letting your kids take pictures will help them remember their perspective.

Seek authentic experiences with the locals

Memorable experiences almost exclusively happen outside of your comfort zone. Forget about the popular tourist spots and the convenience of your hotel or resort. When looking for unique encounters, it’s always best to follow the locals. Walk the less busy streets, eat at local restaurants, talk to people, and encourage your kids to do the same. Sure, hanging out at the hotel’s pool is great but interacting with the locals is much more exciting and meaningful. Children might be a bit reserved at first, but if they see their parents are relaxed and confident, they will follow the same path.

A busy street in Morocco
Experiencing the local way of life is something your kids will never forget.

There are not many things as memorable as interacting with people whose mentality, culture, and language are different from your own. And if you’re worried your kid won’t be able to communicate – don’t be. Children are remarkably adaptable, so they’ll certainly find a way to get their point across.

Embrace the imperfection

When trying to make memorable family travel with kids happen, it’s best to come to terms with the fact that things will go wrong. No matter how careful and thorough you are, someone will inevitably scrape their knee, lose their toy, or their temper. Remember that memorable doesn’t necessarily mean perfect and that mistakes and accidents are a vital part of the experience. Teach your kids not to let the mishaps ruin the entire trip. As long as everyone stays safe and healthy, a few troubles along the way will help your children learn how to deal with the real world. In the end, it’s all about the time your family spends together. And once you accept that, traveling with kids will become much less intimidating.