North America, Canada

3 Days In Ottawa, Canada Itinerary

How to do a stopover in Ottawa

Ottawa is the center of government within Canada and has a ton of historical sites that go into Canada's History and Heritage. The city is a dynamic environment with different outdoor activities and National events. Ottawanians are amiable people who find fun across all seasons.

3 Days In Ottawa, Canada Itinerary

1024px-Ottawa_-ON-_Parliament_Hill

Day 1 in Ottawa: See the best sights and things to do in the city

For your first day in Ottawa, we suggest to focus on the best sights and the top things to do in the city. This will help to compartmentalize your itinerary better.

Best Places to See In Ottawa

One of the best places to see in Ottawa on a stayover is Parliament Hill - which was a military base in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Located in this area is the Supreme Court of Canada, where you can schedule a tour. Visiting the Supreme Court will expose you to the functions of the highest court in Ottawa.

Parliament of Canada
Photo by James Beheshti / Unsplash

If you want to explore the lively local life of Ottawanians, then stop by the Byward Markets. The Byward Market is Ottawa's oldest market. It offers exciting places to visit, including museums, art galleries, restaurants, pubs, and shops.

What to Do in Ottawa

The Ottawa river is the best place in Ontario to do watersports such as Kayaking and whitewater rafting and nearby in Gatineau - bungee jumping. Ottawa is also a great place to bicycle. The city is a cyclist's destination with around 497 miles (800 kilometres) of recreational pathways linking parks, national sites, gardens, and natural reserves.

You can also try shopping and enjoy family tours and festivals in Ottawa.

Silhouette using smartphone
Photo by Stefan Spassov / Unsplash

Family Things to Do in Ottawa

Ottawa is home to cultural attractions, galleries, and museums. Enjoy a day trip to the Parliament Hill, Canadian War Museum, or National Gallery of Canada. In the evening, walk along the Rideau Canal and enjoy dinner at one of Ottawa's many restaurants.

Day 2 In Ottawa: See the best museums and nature spots

Ottawa has some of the best museums and nature spots in the world. Check out our list for our recommendations.

Best Museums in Ottawa

You can learn about the history of Canada by visiting The Canadian Museum of History. The museum's primary purpose is to collect, study, preserve, and present material objects that illuminate Canada's human history and the cultural diversity of its people.

The National War Museum is another place to learn about Canada's military journey. The museum covers all facets of Canada's military past, from the first recorded instances of death by armed violence in Canadian history several hundred years ago to the country's most recent conflicts.

Spare yourself a moment to stop by the Royal Canadian Mint and Currency Museum; this is where they create gold bullion coins, medals, commemorative coins, and medallions.

Best Nature Spots in Ottawa

Go to the Rideau Canal, the famous waterway filled with boaters across the seasons. It is also the world's largest natural skating rink in winter; the sweet memory you will get here will linger for a long time. Rideau Canal connects with the Ottawa River through the stepped locks right next to Parliament Hill.


Photo by Matthew Fournier / Unsplash


Photo by Chelsey Faucher / Unsplash

How about visiting the Major's Hill Park? The Park is a large green area lined with trees and flowers, a scenic atmosphere perfect for relaxation and strolling in the summer.

Day 3 of 3 Days In Ottawa Itinerary: Check out the best places to shop, eat and drink in the city

Save your last day for shopping. This list also has the best places to eat and drink in Ottawa which you can use for the entire time you're in the city.

Where to Go Shopping in Ottawa

Ottawa neighbourhoods offer unique shopping, dining, and quality nightlife experiences. From Glebe's community center, the famous Byward Market area, to the trendy Wellington West, there are many places to shop to your satisfaction.

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Ottawa

Ottawa boasts of assorted delicacies for everyone regardless of their culture. If you love Asian food, the Royal Treasures is the place to treat yourself to mouth-watering food.

You can also give yourself a cheat-day with fabulous fast-food at World Burger, which has the most delicious savoury burger.

If you love the Caribbean vibe, you can get it and more at Island Flava. You will experience a memorable treat with a mix of Canadian and Caribbean cuisines.

For some of the best local food in Ottawa, then your best bet is the Byward Market. The Obama Cookie is one of the most popular cookies in Ottawa. Two of our favorite bloggers, Anna and CAT + KEV, testify to how delicious the Cookies are. It would be best if you didn't miss the taste of a former POTUS treat on your brief stay.

Ottawa boasts top-level chefs and diverse restaurants. To experience its food culture to the fullest, you can book a dining tour of one of the areas. You can also take a guided gourmet tour to explore food shops, farmers' markets, and restaurants.

Other tips for your 3 days in Ottawa

Ottawa boasts beautiful hotels to stay on a budget. Take a look at Anna's experience in the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market. The Chateau Laurier is another hotel you might want to consider for a stay. Its lavish interior will make your family, and you feel a royal pampering.

Itineraries for more than 3 days in Ottawa, Canada

If you need a set plan on your quick trip to Ottawa, we have found some great stopover itineraries for you.

One week in Ottawa

The Guardian created this itinerary for anyone visiting the city in one week. It has comprehensive list of things to do, places to visit and some insider's tip to help you out plan your trip.

Ottawa: the ultimate seven-day itinerary
Where else can you cycle river paths, shop farmers’ markets, and watch city lights from a hot tub? Welcome to Ottawa – Canada’s bustling capital
Author image

About Doug Creighton

Data Scientist in Toronto in the tech industry. I have travelled to 40 countries and used to build handcrafted stopovers. Built this algorithm years ago for me and finally got it online for everyone.
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