Getting Around Ottawa
Ottawa is one of Canada’s most accessible cities to navigate. Getting from one place to the next is simple with numerous transportation options, from public transport to car rentals, taxis, and of course, walking. The city is also home to numerous tour bus and riverboat companies, which allow you to enjoy its landmarks and attractions in all their splendor. If you’re flying into the city, stay at our Ottawa airport hotel alternative and enjoy easy access to any of these convenient transportation options to get around.
Ottawa Public Transportation
There are two bus systems in Ottawa: OC Transpo operates buses in Ottawa-Carleton on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, while La Société de Transport de l’Outaouais (STO) operates buses on the Quebec side. If you choose to stay in Ottawa and use the bus system, you’ll most likely be using OC Transpo for most of your stay.
There is also a branch service called Para Transpo, which offers door-to-door pick-up and drop-off services for people with disabilities.
For the traveler who enjoys exploring their destination on foot, Ottawa has tons of recreational trails and pathways. The city is replete with sidewalks, which help tourists and locals alike navigate between popular destinations safely. In fact, there are approximately 170 kilometres of paved pathways dedicated to anyone who wants to walk, jog, inline skate, or cycle their way around town. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, we recommend taking a walk or bike ride around the beautiful city.
You’ll be able to find several car rental companies that operate from Ottawa International Airport. To secure a car for use, be sure to make reservations 48 hours in advance. The following car rental companies can be found at the airport:
Because Ottawa is a major city, you can expect significant congestion during weekday mornings and afternoons. However, outside of these periods, traffic is relatively light. Remember, though, that two rivers and a canal bisect the city, so you will have to use bridges.
When it comes to parking, there are meters spread across the city which require payment during certain times. However, most do not require feeding on weekends or after certain times on weekdays.
Taxis and Limousines
For quick and convenient transportation, taxi and private car services are also available. These options are especially convenient for eliminating the hassle of finding a legal parking space. While parking is fairly simple in Ottawa, the downtown area can get quite busy, especially during peak business hours. If you’re planning on going downtown on a popular night or a holiday, a taxi might therefore be your best option for transportation.
Uber and Lyft also operate in Canada, which is convenient for anyone who may prefer ride sharing apps.
If you’re visiting Ottawa for a special occasion and feel like splurging a bit, Millennium Limousine Service is one popular company offering private transportation for a hassle-free night out.