The modern capital of Canada – Ottawa has never had the fame of a “tourist Mecca” – however, she did not chase after her. A sedate, neat city that cares about order and ecology is unlikely to attract lovers of the all-inclusive system, but fans of sports, art, culture and natural beauties will not leave indifferent. There are over 1000 parks in the municipality, hundreds of masterpieces of world sculpture and painting are exhibited in the National Art Gallery, among which are the immortal works of Dali, Warhol, Monet, Picasso. Those who cannot imagine themselves without sports are welcome not only at numerous venues, but also at the unique Canadian Museum of Skiing.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Canada is 38.25 million (2021).
It is worth coming here in the winter to the International Hockey Festival and to the world-famous fairy tale “Winterlude”, in the spring – to the feast of His Majesty the Tulip, in the summer – to see with your own eyes entire tribes of Indians walking around the city center, and in the fall – simply because it is the best time to visit Ottawa.
How to get to Ottawa
There are no direct flights to Ottawa from Moscow. The shortest flight from the capital Sheremetyevo will take 14 hours 40 minutes with a change in London, back – 12 hours 10 minutes through the same plane change point. The flight is operated by Aeroflot jointly with Canadian Airlines or Lufthansa. Residents of St. Petersburg will have to fly with two transfers.
From airport to city
McDonald-Cartier International Airport is located 11 km from the center of Ottawa. You can leave it by shuttles, buses or taxis. The cheapest option to get to the center is a regular city bus number 97. It runs up to 4 times per hour, you can check the schedule and ticket prices at the office. website of the carrier OC Transpo (in English). Shuttle buses carry tourists to several dozen large hotels, depart twice an hour from 4:55 to 23:55. Tickets in them are half the price of a taxi, the prices for which, in turn, cannot be called democratic: they will ask 35 CAD to the center from the airport, but luggage is free. You can rent a car in the parking lot next to the terminal.
In addition, from any major Canadian city to Ottawa, you can take the Greyhound bus (off. site in English). From Montreal, buses depart once an hour from 6:00 to 0:00, the journey will take 2.5 hours, ticket prices start from 21 CAD. From Toronto, buses leave every 2-3 hours and travel about 5 hours, the fare is from 55 CAD.
The bus station is located in the city center, on the corner of Catherine Street (Catherine Street) and Kent Street (Kent Street), most hotels and attractions can be reached on foot in 15-20 minutes or take bus number 4 (stops a stone’s throw from from the bus station). For a taxi ride, they will ask an average of 8-15 CAD.
Also from any other Canadian city you can come to Ottawa by train Via Rail (off. site in English). The journey from Montreal will take 2.5 hours, trains depart 6 times a day, the ticket price is from 35 CAD. From Toronto you will need to travel 4.5 hours, 5-6 trains a day, tickets – from 55 CAD.
There are two railway stations in Ottawa. The Ottawa station is close to the center – 5 minutes by bus number 94 or 95. The second station, “Fallowfield” (Fallowfield Station), is located in the western suburbs of Barrhaven (Barrhaven), it is better to get off on it if you want to get to Nepean (Nepean) or Kanata (Kanata). From there you can also get to the center by bus number 95.
All trains from Toronto stop at Followfield, where two of the 6 trains from Montreal also have their terminus.
By car, you can drive from Montreal to Ottawa in 2 hours on Highway 417 or 4.5 hours from Toronto on Highways 401, 416 or 7. South of the city, just 45 minutes away, is the American city of Ogdensburg, New York State), and it will take about an hour longer to get to the western border.
A modest hostel in the very center or closer to the outskirts, a solid hotel in the immediate vicinity of the airport, a separate house for a large family – this is not a complete list of accommodation options in Ottawa. They offer the most apartments and houses for rent: the first cost 100 CAD, the second 155 CAD per day. Motels, 3* hotels and hostels are also popular. But there are no “fives” at all.
The highlight of the city – the Ottawa Jail Hostel – occupies the building of an old prison, and the rooms here look like prison cells. The bad news is that they charge extra for non-Hoselling International travelers.
Free Wi-Fi is offered to tourists in Ottawa more often than free breakfast, and when booking, you need to be very careful not to be somewhere 20 km from the center. However, for those who come to admire nature, this option is just right.
Urban transport in Ottawa is represented by buses and light rail trains of the municipal company OC Transpo (off. site in English). These modes of transport are complementary: trains stop near bus terminals, and a transit pass, which can be obtained from the driver or bus driver in exchange for a ticket, allows you to transfer from train to bus or back for free within 1.5 hours.
The railroad connects the Bayview and Greenboro areas, the interval of trains is 15 minutes. Buses run at about the same frequency, but the network is wider, and there are two types of routes – regular and those that serve passengers only during peak hours. At stops, buses slow down on demand, at the terminals – in any case. Some routes end in Gatineau.
Children under 5 travel free on buses, children under 11 travel on city trains. Buying tickets at retail outlets and train stations is cheaper than directly in transport. Bus drivers do not give change, but not out of greed – it is forbidden by the rules of the road.
Taxis and bicycles
In Ottawa, there are no “bombs” and “unpleasant surprise” tariffs: all taxi companies operate under a license (private transportation is prohibited) and adhere to uniform rates that regulate the cost of landing, minutes of waiting and prices per kilometer. A trip around the city costs 12 CAD. Each company, and there are several of them, has a transport of a different color. You can order a car through websites, applications or at the hotel.
In addition, the city has more than 170 km of cycle paths, some of which are combined with roads, and some with pedestrians. You can rent a bike and buy a city map almost everywhere. Bicycles are allowed on buses and trains.