This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Ottawa.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada and it can be a very rewarding destination. If you cannot stand politics, then you have come to the wrong city. Parliament Hill is unmissable both as a landmark and photo opportunity. If you want to go inside, it is open for tours, climbing the Peace Tower, and observing Question Period in the House of Commons. Other national institutions like the Royal Canadian Mint also run tours. There are enough museums to fill a week. The Canadian War Museum is probably the most well known. The Canadian Museum of Civilization, across the river in Hull-Gatineau, Quebec, should also be high up on your list. Culture lovers should stop at the National Gallery and check to see if any concerts are on at the National Arts Centre.
While there are not too many Ottawa hostels to choose from, those that exist provide a wide range of possibilities -- there are some major differences in size, atmosphere, and clientele. Be sure to compare the hostels in Ottawa, so that you find the best fit for you. Location is another important factor, especially if you visit during the cold winter. It is much more comfortable to stay close to the places you want to see.
Whichever Ottawa hostel you end up staying at, ask for advice to help you see beyond the monumental city and check out the everyday urban life. A typical place to start is Byward Market. The city and surroundings are great for cycling and walking. One good place to do this is the river path system, from where there are ever changing views of the centre. Get out of town and visit Gatineau Park for a more natural experience. A good thing about winter is the chance to skate on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Written by local enthusiast for Ottawa hostelsJonathan A