Insider's Guide to Ottawa

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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The Rideau Canal is a signature Ottawa landmark, dividing the city’s downtown into eastern and western segments. Opened in 1832, it’s the oldest still operational canal system in North America. In winter, the 8 km (5-mile) stretch of canal ... 

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Certified reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

Fabulous combination of Hop On Hop Off Bus and River Cruise (no hop off recommended unless you swim well)
Lots of landmarks to see at all levels and from different perspectives

Really enjoyed both elements...highly recommended

Add on a free trip around Parliament building too!

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2014

This tour was amazing!

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2014

I loved it. In hindsight, it should be done over a 2 or 3 day tour as everything is so spread and you need the time at each stop to fully appreciate this beautiful city.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2014

My wife and I completely enjoyed the bus tour we were badly put off our efforts to find the canal we ended the bus tour at 11:30 took us until 1:30 to find the canal trip and thought it did not compare to the bus tour only seen the back of the buildings and far obstructed view by the tree canopy

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

Very good way to get around all the main sightseeing places. Lovely well put together itenerary.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

This tour was amazing!

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

The Ottawa bus tour and cruise was very generic but informative. The guide did speak very good English and French. He was very easy to understand. The bus and cruise took us to a lot of places. I was disappointed in the boat though as I thought it would be open air. Instead it was basically a closed in bus in the water. On the whole though, this was a good tour, impersonal but good.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

Staff informative and helpful
Canal cruise was down and back something needed on way back or change route if posasible.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2014

We were travelling from Montreal via train so we arrived in Ottawa late morning. When we got to the kiosk to pick up our tour tickets, we learned that there are up to 2 hour intervals in between the hop off/hop on again. We only got as far as the bayward market, had lunch and rushed to the cruise due to time constraints. We ended up missing the first cruise and had to take the second one. It was very enjoyable! But since we had to get the train back to Montreal by 5 p.m., we never got a chance to get back on the hop on/hop off. Unfortunately we ended up seeing very little of the city. I would recommend doing this but stay in Ottawa overnight and not try to do this as a day trip. It's a very pretty city! I would also recommend going there on Canada Day (July 1st) to get the full experience of Canada's "4th of July."

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

An excellent way to see the city and visit the attractions.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

An excellent way to see the city and visit the attractions.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

The only hiccup is that we were not picked up at Les Suites Hotel after calling and confirming that we would be by Grey Lines. I called them when we arrived home to put in a complaint, we were in their computer system, but the left hand did not let the right hand know what was going on. We eventually had to take a taxi, because we did not know where the kiosk was. Good bilingual guides, funny, especially the one on the Hop-on Hop-off.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

Everything was OK. Nice trip, beautiful weather and lovely people. Thanks.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2013

A very enjoyable experience. Buses were on time and we'll kept. Guides were knowledgeable and amusing. Good value for money.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2013

This tour is a brilliant way to see a multitude of Ottawa's places of interest in a 2-hour time span. Furthermore, you can hop on and hop off at about 20 sites. The guide was a young dude, but he was nevertheless fluent in French and English and more importantly informative and knowledgeable in a entertaining way. I personally recommend people to hop off at the Canadian war museum, a must see if you are interested in historical warfare.

Doing what: Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour and Cruise

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