Canada on a budget: best of Ottawa

Hello everyone! Last time I shared with you the first part of our amazing anniversary trip to Canada. As you know, we wanted to visit a couple of cities, so after flying to New York, taking a road trip and visiting Montreal, we were excited to move on and explore a new place. The choice was obvious: we drove to the capital of Canada – Ottawa. It took us about 3 hours to get there and trust me, it was worth it: Ottawa is beautiful.  

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Where to stay? 

We stayed in one of the apartments we found at Airbnb. It was really close to Downtown, and the apartment itself looked amazing, but it was really cold. If you live in Austin, TX and come to the city with 25F in November, you bring tons of clothes to stay warm outside and you kind of hope it’ll be ok in the apartment. I am not sure whether it was just a bad luck or we just don’t know how to book properly, but we decided that a hotel was not such a bad idea after all. So, if you are planning to come in autumn/winter – just make sure the place you are staying at is warm enough or book a hotel.  

In the city: 

Since we had a car it was really fast and easy for us to move around, and we were able to find the parking way faster than in Montreal. After talking to locals, we learnt that if you visit Ottawa – car is a must.  

How to pay? 

We were able to pay with our credit cards everywhere, but we needed cash for the parking sometimes.  

What to visit?  

First of all, if you have time, visit as many museums as you can – they are quite unique in Ottawa. But when we were planning the trip, the first thing that came to our minds was the Parliament Hill. You absolutely cannot miss the tour. In fact, if I visit Ottawa again – I will go for a tour again. It gives you a clear picture of Canada in general and you get a chance to ask as many questions as you want.  Oh, did I mention that the tour is free? One thing to keep in mind: there are many tourists in the city, so make sure you come early to reserve your ticket. We were going to take our time and walk around the Downtown, but it was really cold, so it was more like a run. We were impressed by Canadian Museum of History and National Gallery of Canada. 

On the other hand, my hubby was really excited for Canadian War Museum, so we went there and as much as I don’t enjoy all things war, it appeared to be a quite educational tour.  

P.S. If you happen to be in Ottawa on Thursday after 4 p.m., the entrance to all the museums will be free for you.  

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Where to eat? 

We have already tried poutine, French bread in Montreal and hubby enjoyed Canadian bacon, so we were not sure what Ottawa was famous for in terms of food. That is why we headed to Byward Market Square that had plenty of really good options. We were planning to stay in downtown, but it was really crowded, so the option number two turned out better than the first one.  

We were recommended to try BeaverTails, “Obama cookies” and bagels that were really delicious. I was not impressed by coffee as much as I was in Montreal, but other than that our dining experience was good.  

XX,

Gena

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