Flights to Ottawa
Wending its way through the centre of the city, the Rideau Canal fills with boats during the summer months. Come the winter, it freezes over to provide the world's largest natural skating rink. Stepped locks connect the canal to the Ottawa River, one of the best of its kind in North America for water sports. In addition to boat trips, you can enjoy kayaking, white-water rafting and much more. And Ottawa has more than 110 miles of trails which take in terrific parks and gardens, fascinating nature reserves and national landmarks.
Seat of Power
The city's most-visited attraction, Parliament Hill is where you'll see the Changing of the Guard, a daily ceremony performed by two regiments in full military regalia. And when the sun has dropped, watch a spectacular digital show that illuminates the entire building while providing a fascinating tableau of Canadian history.
Art and artillery
The National Gallery of Canada is a splendid glass and granite building that houses 1,200 art pieces. See some of the most famous works of Andy Warhol and Italian Renaissance painter Francesco Salviati, as well as fresh exhibitions all year round. Learn about the rich tapestry of the country's martial history at the Canadian War Museum. Not just concerned with conflict and military hardware, the museum pointedly relates the personal aspect of war. You'll have the opportunity to talk to a veteran and hear first-hand accounts of his experiences.
Eating, drinking and nightlife
There are two Ottawa neighbourhoods in particular that provide plenty of incentive to visit them day and night. Little Italy is known for its cafés, restaurants and pubs, while Chinatown is brimming with bars and eateries. Close to Parliament Hill, ByWard Market is a historic farmers' market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables and artisan crafts. It's also home to trendy boutiques and interesting independent retailers. Here you'll find Play Food and Wine which has an eclectic menu that includes, quail, rabbit and octopus. This light, airy and modern eatery also serves tapas and French dishes, as well as a range of mouth-watering cheeses. Beckta is a fine dining establishment that serves contemporary cuisine that changes with the seasons. Locally sourced and organic ingredients form the basis of a menu that rarely disappoints. The exceptional service and relaxed atmosphere doesn't hurt either. New Generation Sushi is a cosy, down-to-earth restaurant and the place to go for sushi and sashimi made with fish such as salmon, tuna and tilapia. Ottawa Little Theatre, the country's oldest community theatre, has been producing dramas, murder mysteries and comedies for more than 90 years. And for live gigs, theatre, dance and musicals, head over to the National Arts Centre.