Ottowa - Canada's capital city

Emma Savage on 27 May 2012
Ottowa is a great city and is very safe with a low key atmosphere, unlike other capital cities such as London and Paris. Whilst it is the capital city of Canada, it is smaller than Toronto and has a very relaxed feel to it. It's the perfect short break destination for those who enjoy the outdoors lifestyle, as biking, hiking and green spaces are very much in evidence here. It's also a great place to visit if you are interested in seeing the seat of Canada's government, and it is home to some of the country's best Museums including the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

The Rideau River connects Ottowa and Kingston and is the focal point of the city. Here, visitors can take a leisurely cruise on board the Empress of Ottowa, enjoying onboard commentary - the boat has covered and uncovered decks but on a nice day there is no better view than from the top deck. Along the river there is a fascinating museum called the Bytown Museum - well worth spending an hour or so working your way around the museum listening to the audio guide.

Ottowa is all about the outdoors, and a great way to experience the city is by renting a bike for the day. Hire charges are reasonable and there are flat, well signed tracks around the city which will take you from one attraction to another. Once you arrive at an attraction, simply lock up the bike and collect it again when you're finished.

For those who enjoy winter sports, Ottowa has much to offer - close by, just 15 minutes drive from the city, lies Gatineau Park. This 363km park offers rolling hills and forests as well as a range of trails on which you can snow shoe, cross country ski and enjoy the scenery. Take a trip into the Visitor Centre to pick up information about the Park and learn about its history. Le Nordik Spa is also situated at the park and provides a relaxing haven and is the largest spa in North America. Enjoy a hot tub while watching the snow fall around you - bliss! A day pass costs around $50

Eating out in Ottowa is a pleasure - check out The Fish Market restaurant which is buzzing with locals (always a good sign!) and make sure you reserve a table at Le Cafe (situated in the National Arts Centre) which is one of the cities best restaurants.

I would really recommend a visit to Ottowa - and if you need any itinerary ideas, just let me know