The most popular season to book flights to Ottawa is summer, roughly from June to late August. Temperatures are warm during this period, with the average July temperature usually sitting around 26°C. As the majority of tourists visit over this time, travellers should expect higher hotel rates and larger crowds. Book flights to Ottawa and accommodation in advance to get the best deal.
Winter, from December through February, can get very cold — Ottawa ranks as the third-coldest capital in the world (after Ulan Bator and Astana). Average high temperatures rarely surpass -6.6°C. If you can brave the cold, cheap flights to Ottawa and discounted hotel tend to be easier to come by during these months. Tourists can still find plenty to do, for instance, visiting the National Gallery or the Museum of Civilization.
Spring and autumn can be great times to visit. The city is less crowded than the peak summer months, lower hotel rates are available as well as discounted flights. Although travellers won’t have to experience the cold winter, the weather can be unpredictable. Spring temperatures usually range from the 2-18°C, while fall generally welcomes 5-20°C.
Ottawa is Canada’s fourth-largest city, selected as the capital by Queen Victoria in 1857. The city is located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa river, opposite the French-speaking city of Hull and less than an hour’s drive from the border with the US. Ottawa itself is bilingual, with most residents speaking both English and French.
The city is home to the country’s parliament – housed in three spectacular gothic buildings perched atop Parliament Hill on the Westside of the Rideau Canal – and something of a cultural centre.
Museums, galleries and theatres abound, including the National Gallery, the Museum of Civilisation and the National Libraries.
Lying on the confluence of three rivers (the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau), it is also one of the greenest cities in Canada, with many public parks and spaces as well as easily accessible surrounding countryside.
Its compact size makes it all the more appealing for visitors as most attractions are within easy walking distance.
Public transport in Ottawa is provided by OC Transpo (buses and the light rail O-Train). Driving is pretty easy and parking spots are freely available. Ottawa is a great city for walking and cycling too. Most of the sights in the Downtown area are within walking distance of each other. Taxis, tour buses and riverboats are all other ways of seeing the city.
The airport, Ottawa International, at which flights to Ottawa land, is well connected by public transport as well as by taxi and limousine. There are hotel shuttle and limousine services available to the centre of Ottawa. Buses depart from outside the Arrivals area. Taxis are also available.