Top 10 Ottawa experiences

Feel nature's pulse with these top ten unmissable city experiences in Ottawa

3 mins

1. Whitewater rafting, Ottawa River

Raft the twists and turns of the Ottawa River for some high-octane, adrenalin-fuelled fun. An hour west of the city lie the world-famous Rocher Fendu rapids – a  water playground in the 125-acre Ottawa River Provincial Park. RiverRun Rafting offer a variety of packages from $115.

2. Outdoor yoga, Parliament Hill

What could be more relaxing than stretching your limbs in the morning sunshine with Canada’s capital at your feet? Guerilla yoga, as it’s known, is the art of enjoying classes for free, outside in unique locations. Catch an upside-down view of Parliament at noon every Weds, Jun-Sept (

3. Ottawa by air, Canada Aviation & Space Museum

Fly back in time with a bird’s eye view of Ottawa – from an open cockpit, two-seater biplane. These vintage aircraft tours can take you as far as the Gatineau Hills for superb views over the forested Ottawa Valley (Flights from $60).

4. Skate to work, Rideau Canal

You may not be joining the daily commute, but it’s still worth donning a pair of skates and watching the crowds in action on the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway. Stretching 7.8km through downtown Ottawa, it’s the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink and open 24 hours a day until the ice melts!

5. Sunday bikedays, city motorways

Strictly no cars are allowed on Ottawa’s busiest expressways each Sunday for the Alcatel Sunday Bikedays (May-Sept). Hire a bike – or a pair of inline skates – and hit the 50kms of closed roads around some of the city’s greatest monuments. No speeding mind!

6. Tasty treats, Le Cordon Bleu Bistro

One of the world’s foremost cookery schools, Le Cordon Bleu, has its North American headquarters in the leafy Sandy Hill neighbourhood. While you could take the nine-month Grand Diplôme, you could also just sample the fruits of others’ labour instead.

7. Market tours, ByWard Market

A wander around the local markets is one of the best ways to understand Canadian culture, try local specialities and meet up-and-coming chefs. C’est Bon Cooking offers tours of the popular ByWard Market – but come hungry to sample tasty treats along the way.

8. Maple pancakes, Lanark County

A visit to Ottawa would not be complete without a taste of Canada’s most popular native produce – Maple Syrup. Lather it on your pancakes and see how the sap is turned into sugary sticky goodness at Fulton’s family-run farm.

9. Jailbird dreams, HI Ottawa Jail Hostel

Ever wondered what’s it like to spend a night behind bars? Well now you can because the former Carleton County Gaol, the site of Canada’s last public hanging, is now a hostel. Sleep in disused cells – complete with bars – but beware of spooky noises! (

10. Kayak downtown, Pump House

You need not leave the city to feel the country air – just take to the waters in a kayak. MKC In The City teaches the basics on the Ottawa River, before you run the rapids in the heart of Downtown.

Win the ultimate hiking trip & £1,000 of Berghaus kit!

Ontario Tourism UK had teamed up with Air Canada and the leading outdoor clothing brand Berghaus. This is your opportunity to win the trip of a lifetime to Ontario and we are also throwing in £1000 worth of Berghaus kit!

The winner and their chosen travel companion will fly with Air Canada to Toronto to begin their adventure across the province, fully kitted out in Berghaus gear.

This 13 night multi-stopover holiday of a lifetime combines the buzz of Toronto and the charm of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with the very best of Ontario’s nature and great outdoors to include stopovers in Niagara Falls, Blue Mountain, Tobermory, Killarney and Algonquin Provincial Park. You’ll stay in top-class resorts, lodges and hotels and experience the magic of the great Canadian outdoors taking part in hiking, kayaking and other outdoor activities. Top off the trip with a heli-ride over Niagara Falls!

For your chance to win, go to and answer one simple question.

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