What to Do in Ottawa This Summer: Your Ultimate Guide!

Summer in Ottawa is amazing! The city comes alive with sunshine, festivals, and tons of activities. Whether you love exploring the outdoors, getting lost in museums, or chilling with friends, Ottawa has something for you. So ditch the textbooks, grab your shades, and get ready for an awesome summer with this guide!

For the Culture Lover:


  • Museums & Art Galleries: Ottawa is bursting with incredible museums and galleries. Explore the National Gallery of Canada with its iconic spider sculpture and diverse art collection. Dive into Canadian history at the Canadian Museum of History or the Canadian War Museum. Check out local artists at the Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court.
  • Historical Buildings: Immerse yourself in Canadian history by touring Parliament Hill, the Senate, and Rideau Hall. See where laws are made, learn about Canada’s government, and discover the country’s rich heritage.

For the Outdoor Adventurer:


  • Gatineau Park: Escape the city and head to Gatineau Park! Hike through scenic trails, swim in beautiful lakes, and have a picnic surrounded by nature.
  • Cycling: Rent a bike and explore Ottawa’s extensive network of bike paths. Ride along the Rideau Canal, explore different neighborhoods, or enjoy the scenic views of the Ottawa River.
  • Whitewater Rafting: Get your adrenaline pumping with a whitewater rafting adventure on the Ottawa River. Experience the thrill of navigating rapids and enjoy the stunning scenery.

For the Festival Fanatic:


  • Canada Day: Celebrate Canada’s birthday on July 1st with fireworks, concerts, and festivities on Parliament Hill and throughout the city.
  • Bluesfest: Groove to the sounds of blues, rock, and more at the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, one of the largest music festivals in North America.
  • Ottawa International Buskerfest: Be amazed by street performers from around the world showcasing their talents in music, acrobatics, comedy, and more.
  • HOPE Volleyball Summerfest: Join the fun at the world’s largest one-day volleyball tournament while supporting a good cause.

For the Foodie:


  • ByWard Market: Explore the ByWard Market, a bustling hub with fresh produce, local treats, and diverse restaurants. Grab a BeaverTail pastry, indulge in poutine, or try international cuisine.
  • Sparks Street: Discover trendy restaurants and cafes on Sparks Street, a pedestrian-friendly area perfect for outdoor dining and people-watching.
  • Breweries and Wineries: Sample local craft beers at one of Ottawa’s many breweries, or enjoy a wine tasting at a nearby winery.

For the Student on a Budget:


  • Free Events: Ottawa offers tons of free events throughout the summer, including outdoor movie nights, concerts, and festivals.
  • Student Discounts: Many attractions offer student discounts, so don’t forget your student ID!
  • Picnics in the Park: Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic in one of Ottawa’s many parks.

For the Internationally Minded:


  • Maison Internationale/International House: Connect with other international students and participate in events and activities organized by this welcoming community.
  • Cultural Festivals: Immerse yourself in different cultures at festivals celebrating diversity throughout the summer.
  • Language Exchanges: Practice your language skills and meet new people through language exchange programs.

Remember, this is just a starting point! With endless possibilities, your Ottawa summer is sure to be unforgettable.

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