Visiting Ottawa Soon? Travel Tips for Exploring Canada’s Capital
If you’re thinking about visiting Ottawa, you may be researching the best times to visit and how long you should stay. Whether it’s your first time visiting the capital or you’ve seen it on a brief trip before, here’s what you need to know to make the most of your trip to Ottawa.
When to Visit
Canada’s capital is a popular destination any time of year, and there are plenty of attractions to see no matter when you choose to visit. The city is home to festivals year-round. If you prefer winter to summer, we recommend traveling after the holidays to avoid heavy volumes of traffic.
During the winter, temperatures drop down to around -15 degrees Celsius, making it an ideal time for anyone who wishes to see the snow and enjoy a cold-weather retreat. Even if freezing temperatures aren’t your favourite, the exquisite Winterlude Festival makes a wintertime visit a compelling option. If you do enjoy winter sports and want to spend some of your time playing ice hockey, consider visiting anytime between December and February. During these times, you’ll also find discounts on hotels and accommodations because it’s the offseason, and most tourists prefer warmer weather.
In the summer, temperatures reach up to 30 degrees Celsius and the city enjoys a refreshing breeze from the Ottawa River. For those who prefer warmer weather, there are lots of beautiful shops, restaurants, and sights to see in the milder temperatures. The Ottawa River is also gorgeous in the summer, and tourists can enjoy a simple stroll around town to explore the city’s attractions at their leisure.
From March to May, the city starts to bloom after a cold winter, making spring one of the most popular times for tourists. The Tulip Festival takes place during this time and affords a unique glimpse into the change of seasons in Ottawa.
How Long to Stay
Depending on your interests, you should plan to visit Ottawa for at least three to four days. If this is your first time visiting, plan to stay a little longer so that you can experience all that the beautiful city has to offer. You might even consider making it an extended stay, especially since there’s so much to see and do in the capital city.
For United States residents, if you live in the states that border Canada, you could also plan a weekend trip that will serve as the perfect getaway while still allowing you to get back in time for work on Monday. Many U.S. tourists enjoy a mini-vacation in Ottawa since it’s beautiful and convenient during any time of year.
Of course, you can also determine the length of your stay based on hotel rates and airfare. Some airlines and hotels may offer discounts if you plan to stay more than a couple of nights. The longer you stay, the more money you’ll save.
Where to Stay
Accommodations should be booked in advance, especially if you plan to travel during the holidays or college or university breaks. Whether you’re traveling alone, with family, or in a group, when you need affordable accommodations, check out the best alternative hotel in Ottawa: RCC Ottawa West.