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12 really fun things to do in Ottawa

A capital city with a small town feel, it’s hard to believe that Ottawa was ever known as “the city that fun forgot.” Beyond its bureaucratic facade, this government town is home to myriad festivals, a growing restaurant scene, beautiful green spaces, comfortable hotels and interesting indie shops. As Canada’s capital, Ottawa also offers plenty of world-class cultural attractions and unique museums. Some seasonal attractions—like skating along the Rideau Canal in the winter time or admiring the thousands of blooming bulbs during the spring’s Tulip Festival—are hard to miss (and you shouldn’t!). But no matter the season or the weather (and there are some extremes here), the city is anything but boring, as proven by this list of awesome things to do in Ottawa. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The 19 best restaurants in Ottawa

If poutine and BeaverTails are the main things that come to mind when you think of Ottawa food, then trust us – you’ve got some culinary exploring to do! Luckily, the local food scene has grown exponentially in recent years, giving rise to upscale casual eateries, chef-run restaurants and speciality shops focusing on everything from ice cream to charcuterie.  It would be easy to stick to one neighbourhood: there’s a row of great restaurants along Wellington West in Hintonburg, and plenty to choose from in Little Italy. Great things are popping up just east of downtown and you can’t miss the gems just across the Ottawa River in Québec. You’ll find a diverse array of cuisines (at diverse price points) across the capital city, which means that traveling to eat at the best restaurants in Ottawa will help you explore local sights and things to do that you should have on your bucket list.