Things To Do In Ottawa In 48 Hours

Can you believe I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and never visited my countries capital Ottawa? I know, it’s shameful but all that is about to change. This year New Year’s day falls on a long weekend which means Ottawa in 48 hours!

Ottawa is definitely one of the best places to stay or spend a getaway. Like Toronto and most big Canadian cities, the lifestyle can be expensive. O-Town as its passionately nick-named is no different. Plus, there are no breaks from our national airline Air Canada either. It’s ridiculously costly to fly within Canada.

This left us with option two or option three; take the train or drive.

Although I love taking trains we opted to drive so would have a car to get around in when we arrive. Now, I’m not a huge fan of driving long distances but since it’s only about four hours from Toronto, I sucked it up and hit the road…

Day One

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

A great place to start your 48 Hours in Ottawa is Notre Dame. The Norte-Dame Cathedral Basilica is a beautiful Roman Catholic minor basilica that was once the home to the small wooden St. Jacques Church built in 1832. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

National Gallery of Canada

Byward Market

Down the street from Notre-Dame and the National Gallery of Canada is the Byward Market. The name refers to the old ‘By Ward’ of the City of Ottawa. The district comprises the main commercial part of the historic Lower Town area of Ottawa.


The history of the market dates back to 1826, centered a man named Lieutenant Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers who was sent from England to oversee the construction of the Rideau canal system.

Parliament of Canada

Since we are in Canada’s capital city, the next stop on the list of things to do in Ottawa has to be the Parliament of Canada, up on Parliament Hill.

Parliament Hill also know as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings is the home of the Parliament of Canada and has architectural elements of national symbolic importance. Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year. Originally it was the site of a military base in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 
The Grand

In 1882 construction of the building at the corner of George & William was completed & the Grand Hotel officially opened for business. On May 1st, 2009 in the same historic location “The Grand” was reborn.

The restaurant combines old world traditional recipes with a modern décor, in an authentic southern Italian Restaurant with the centerpiece being traditional Napoletana Pizza from Naples.

Now I’ve been to Naples and I have to say it’s pretty close.

Day Two

Rideau Canal

One of the must things to do in Ottawa is The Rideau Canal which connects the city of Ottawa, Ontario on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston, Ontario, on Lake Ontario. It is 202 kilometers in length and was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States.

It remains in use today primarily for pleasure boating during the warmer months and ice skating in the winter months. During winter this section of the canal officially becomes the world’s largest skating rink with a cleared length of 7.8 kilometers.

I was hoping to put my roller blading skills to good use but it was empty. I was later informed by the locals that the canal needs to has 10 consecutive days of -10 weather for the river to be deemed safe to skate on. Arghhh oh well. Maybe next time.

Landsdowne Park
Horticulture Building
One of the final things to do in Ottawa is to try Beavertails. Beavertails is a pastry that has been stretched to resemble a beaver’s tail. For those who don’t know the beaver is Canada’s national animal. The topping choices and combinations are endless but my personal favorite Salted Caramel.

A truly Canadian treat! #beavertails in #ottawa #canada 🇨🇦

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Things to do in ottawa


Darryl apartment is a clean basement apartment with all the amenities located in Gatineau, Quebec. It’s close to the Ottawa River bike path, downtown Ottawa, and the Gatineau Park.

If you're thinking of using Airbnb for the first time, we have a $50.00 credit from us to use towards your first booking 🙂

Add a tour to your 48 Hours In Ottawa.
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The average person doesn’t need to think twice about getting out of town for a 48-hour travel adventure or a long weekend. The only thing keeping you grounded on the tarmac is finding cheap flights. Personally, I’m all about, do -it-yourself simplicity so I amongst a few other apps I use Skyscanner, a quick way to search the best rates in flights.


Beavertails was the sweetest way to end my 48 Hours in Ottawa but I know there is still so much more to see, I’ve only just scratched the surface. Luckily, my friends over at The Crazy Tourist have a compiled a fantastic list of the 15 Best Things To Do In Ottawa.

If 15 is too much and you are looking to limit your time to the Top 5 Tourist Attractions In Ottawa I wrote a post about it over on my brothers website The Cap Guys. Enjoy!

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About Me:
Using the latest travel apps, technology, and gear, I take a city; see the sights, taste the food, smell the roses, hear the stories and feel the love. All in 48 hours. Then, using videography & editing, photography and writing I retell and share those stories with my readers and viewers.

I'm Christopher Rudder and welcome to Rudderless Travel.

Read more about me here: Being Rudderless With Christopher Rudder
here Rudderless Travel gets nominated for the Leibster Award
and here: A Consultant for Special Needs Students, AND a Travel Blogger!

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