Canada's Crossroad of Culture and Adventure

Named a CNN Travel Top Destination for 2023, Ottawa – Canada’s capital – attracts business travelers seeking a blend of arts, history, and culture, as well as those who crave heart-pounding outdoor adventures during their business leisure trips. With its vibrant atmosphere and numerous attractions, Ottawa offers the perfect opportunity for business travelers to extend their stay and immerse themselves in the city's rich offerings beyond their work commitments.

Ottawa can rightly claim to be ‘the city of museums’. The Canadian Museum of History presents the stories of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and those who arrived after them. The National Gallery of Canada displays the country’s most extensive collection of Canadian and world art. Fice other national museums in the capital are devoted to nature, science and technology, aviation and space, agriculture and food, and military conflict.

For those whose cultural tastes tend toward live performance, there’s the National Arts Centre, Canada’s lively showcase of the performing arts. Visitors can likewise explore an Indigenous culture and enjoy performances at Mādahòkì Farm, which also hosts four seasonal Indigenous festivals.

Ottawa offers a number of local museums. The Bytown Museum right next to the Rideau Canal locks tells of the story of the Canal and early Ottawa.  As the capital, Ottawa was also the natural site for the construction of a fallout shelter to house government officials in the event that the Cold War turned hot.  Known today as Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, this multi-story underground facility offers a fascinating subterranean exploration of this bygone era. 

Back above ground, Parliament and its soaring Peace Tower are landmark must-sees for all visitors. It offers guided tours of the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada building, providing insights into the workings of Canada’s political system.

But enough with the culture – let’s turn our attention to Ottawa’s adventurous side.

Spring through fall, cycling tours are a favourite and accessible activity for groups of all ages.  Over 800km of recreation pathways crisscross the city and surrounding countryside, many passing national sites and landmarks.

For the more daring, there’s ziplining across the Ottawa River within view of Parliament Hill. On the other side of the river in the Gatineau Hills, there are aerial parks, a mountain coaster and mountain biking. Not for the faint of heart, Canada’s highest bungee jump is located on cliffs overlooking a flooded rock quarry. For a wet and wild experience, Ottawa offers some of the best  white water rafting east of the Rockies.

In winter, there’s skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway, the  world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink, plus cross-country skiing in the city and downhill not far away. And year round, visitors can take a Canadian safari and get up close to wildlife at Omega Parc in the Outaouais region east of the city.

Whether you’re a curious-minded or a thrill-seeking traveller – or both – Ottawa is the all-Canadian destination for you. View Ottawa itineraries.