Tourism is on the rise across Canada, and Ottawa is no exception. While Ottawa has a reputation for being a dull city, there are many enjoyable things to do in the city, from epic treks and waterfront experiences to outdoor festivals and fine dining restaurants. It truly is worth a visit.
It’s usually easy to detect a tourist in the city, and there are some big faults that visitors make. Here are 6 Serious Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Ottawa:
Only hangout in the Byward Market – Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Ottawa
Sure, Ottawa’s historic Byward Market is packed with stores and restaurants and is a must-see for first-time visitors, but the city has so much more to offer. Don’t spend your entire day in one place.
Many visitors are locked in the downtown center while there are some fantastic spots to dine and explore in neighboring neighborhoods. Visit Hintonburg, Westboro, and The Glebe on your next trip to Ottawa (just to name a few). If you have more time, there are some charming tiny villages nearby such as Almonte, Perth, and Chelsea, Quebec that are worth a day trip.
The locals reveal the best things to do in Ottawa!
Don’t dress for the changing weather – Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Ottawa
To say the least, the weather in Ottawa is unpredictable, and many visitors appear to be unprepared. On certain days, neither do we.
Summers can be exceedingly hot and humid, with storms and odd chilly days that appear out of nowhere. Winters are bitterly cold, and every mild day is appreciated. Forget about spring and fall; those seasons hardly last long enough to be labeled seasons.
Layers are your greatest friend when visiting the capital. Don’t forget a sweater for those colder summer nights, while gloves and a toque are needed in the winter. A raincoat is usually a wise investment.
Use Tim Hortons instead of local coffee.
Yes, Tim Hortons is a Canadian institution, but if you’re in Ottawa, you shouldn’t limit yourself to double-doubles and Timbits. We have so many excellent local coffee shops with quality espresso drinks, handcrafted sweets, and comfortable atmospheres that are destinations in their own right.
Look into local cafés the next time you go for a coffee run; there is bound to be one within a similar distance as the coffee chains.
Come only for Canada Day – Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Ottawa
Canada Day is a huge event in Ottawa, given it is the capital, but it is not the only reason to visit. Crowds flock to Canada Day, which can be viewed positively or negatively depending on your perspective. Downtown streets will be closed, hotel rates will rise, and people will be everywhere.
It is easier to explore and go around the city faster if you visit outside of the nation’s birthday. Throughout the year, there are several other festivals in Ottawa where you may witness performances, fireworks, and other events without the huge crowds of tourists.
Become perplexed by public transportation
To be honest, Ottawa’s transit isn’t the fastest, and it’s become a bit of a local joke whenever the new OC Transpo light rail train is delayed. It’s just too traditional at this point. If you expect public transportation to be as frequent as in a metropolis like Toronto, think again.
Many visitors might be unaware that we have a modern train system. It’s not finished yet, but it can get you from the downtown center to smaller areas in Ottawa’s west end (like Westboro) faster than the bus (if there aren’t those delays I mentioned).
However, Ottawa is a vehicle-centric city, so depending on the length of your stay and your plans, you may want to consider renting a car. If not, ready to put your patience to the test. Getting an Uber is also rather simple around the city.
Buy inauthentic souvenirs
Some souvenir stores downtown sells low-quality and counterfeit Canada T-shirts, Indigenous artwork, and other goods. If you’re seeking something truly Ottawa to carry home, Ottawa is full of fantastic artisans and makers from whom you may shop in local boutiques and markets.
If there is a 613 Flea or Freewheeling Craft market occurring on during your weekend visit, those are always full of unusual Canadian-made presents. Indigenous products can also be found at Beandigen Cafe, as well as Canadian apparel and accessories in boutiques like as JV Studios, Victoire Boutique, and Maker House Co., among many more.
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