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Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

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Ireland
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234 posts
31 reviews
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Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Hello All,

I'll be in Ottawa for two days and was wondering if it would be best to take a bus tour of the city to cram in lots together.

I've seen a website for Grand City Tour (C$23 ) but it seems to only last 1.5 hrs stopping at the Choc.factory (Can't be bad).

Could anyone recommend if A) This is a good idea and B) Is this a good tour to take or recommend a better one.

Thanks a lot.

ottawa
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474 posts
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1. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Ottawa's downtown is fairly concentrated.

While I'm sure the tour would give you extra info about certain sights, many attractions are within walking distance of each other so you can probably see what you want faster walking than having to wait for a bus to take you to the next attraction.

If you have no interest in seeing the interior of any of the sights a bus tour may be better.

I find the Rocky mountain chocolate factory is an overpriced tourist trap.

Munster
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46 posts
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2. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Would there be a "top five must see"attractions in Ottawa and what would they be?? thanks

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Hi IrishLadyIrl,

The central downtown core is probably 15 blocks by 15 blocks in size, and can be divided into a couple of areas: Business - Government - Canal - Byward Market - Museums.

Most of the hotels are in the Canal or Byward Market areas. The Canal area being the middle of the central downtown area, so as another poster said everything is within walking distance.

I would recommend the following activities while you are in Ottawa:

MUST SEE:

1 - CHANGING OF THE GUARD - Happens daily during the summer on Parliament Hill

2 - TOUR OF THE PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS - Various times available throughout the day

3 - THE CANAL - Visit the Bytown Museum which is just below the Parliament Buildings (between them and the Chateau Laurier). The museum gives the history of Ottawa and Colonel By's magnificent contribution to the development of the city with the building of the canal.

4A - THE VALIANTS MEMORIAL - Across the Street from the Chateau Laurier, check out the bronze busts & statues at the Valiants Memorial.

4B- CENOTAPH & TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER - Across the street again, and see the Canadian Cenotaph and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

5 - BYWARD MARKET - Wander around the Byward Market area. There are lots of good restaurants and shops. Also a large indoor mall called The Rideau Centre.

6 - SUSSEX DRIVE - Walk along Sussex Drive as far as the Traffic Circle. You'll see a different view of the Parliament Buildings as well as some interesting architecture (Chateau Laurier, the convent that now houses upscale condos upstairs and quaint shops downstairs, The Connaught Building Canada's first government office, the American Embassy and the National Gallery of Canada).

7 - CANADA'S PEACEKEEPING MONUMENT - At the traffic circle.

8 - RIDEAU HALL - Take a cab to Rideau Hall, the home of Canada's Governor General, take a tour or walk the grounds. Ask the cab driver to take Sussex... you'll see the sights listed above plus pass by Canada's Mint (the one with the BIG Fence), the Japanese Embassy, the Saudia Arabian Embassy, Canada's Foreign Affairs Building, Old City Hall, The Prime Ministers Residence.

OTHER THINGS;

Museums, Ottawa has a collection of them. IMO the best are the National Gallery (art) and the Canadian War Museum. But lots of people like the Canadian Museum of Civilization (across the river from the Gallery - take a cab or enjoy a longish walk), Science & Technology (out on St Laurent Blvd - take a cab or a bus) or the Museum of Nature (down on Metcalfe - take a cab).

NATIONAL GALLERY - Has numerous collections. The Quebec collection is very interesting in it's history and variety. The Canadian Collection includes works from the Group of Seven. The Inuit Collection is the best collection of native art in the world. There is also sections dedicated to The Masters and Modern Art. And also a gallery that features a touring exhibit.

THE WAR MUSEUM - Follows the history of conflicts that Canada has participated in... everything from inter tribal skirmishes before European settlement, to The Seven Years War, The War of 1812, The Boer War, WWI and WWII, The Korean War, The Cold War, and modern day Peacekeeping. The basement is a favourite with many because of its collection of vehicles and tanks... they even have Hitler's Staff Car. Be sure and see the Hall of Honour, where an unknown soldier is laid to rest in a room that can only be described as somewhere between a crypt and a chapel... one lone tiny window is positioned so that exactly at 11 AM on Remembrance Day, November 11th a ray of light shines on the tombstone that is attached to the wall that was installed in the Museum from a graveyard in Europe. Amazing.

THE MUSEUM OF CIVILIZATION - There is a variety of exhibits depicting Canadian Civilization. The most popular are those dedicated to the Natives, with representation from all the tribes that once inhabited Canada. There is also a very impressive collection of totem poles. It is worth taking the guided tour in this section, because the guide can answer questions and give additional info.

That's them in order... ok there is more than 5, but a lot of them don't take a lot of time, and they are very close together.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Hello, Irish Lady. I remember taking a bus tour when I moved here a few years ago and finding it kind of dull.

However, there's a "haunted walk" tour that leaves from Sparks Street that I took a few years ago. It was fun and an interesting way to learn a little about the history of Ottawa. You might consider that.

Hope you have a good trip.

Ireland
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234 posts
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5. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Thank very much for all the advise.

Best regards.

northern Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Quebec City
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6. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

I agree... walking would be your best bet. Ottawa is very easy to get around in. Besides all the recommendations above, if you get a chance to see something at the National Arts Centre, I would highly recommend it.

ottawa
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474 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

Depends what you see at the NAC. Just because it's at the NAC doesn't make it good. I've seen some mediocre stuff there in the past. Maybe you can give some specific show reccomendations, Northern Decorator so we don't waste our money.

8. Re: Best City/Attractions Tour to take ?

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