Ottawa is a great place to have fun and unwind - whether you’re here for a visit or a resident of our community, there are unsurpassed cultural assets to enjoy, professional sports teams to cheer on, and a wealth of parks, beaches, golf courses, waterways, ski trails, bicycling, jogging paths and entertainment venues to help you relax.
Arts and culture
In Ottawa, there are dozens of cultural assets to enjoy, from the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Canada to the Canadian Museum of History and the many other museums, libraries, archives and historic monuments that showcase the region's history, its culture and its heritage.
Ottawa is always alive with the sounds of music - from music festivals to live performances of pop, folk, blues, rock, celtic, jazz, alternative and classical music. There is always something to listen to in Ottawa!
Live Performance Venues
Ottawa is also home to many performing arts organizations who bring theatre, comedy and dance to life on stages around the region.
Shopping, dining and nightlife
In Ottawa, there are several major shopping centres and districts, and a wide variety of fine dining establishments for all tastes. Learn more about shopping and dining in Ottawa by visiting Ottawa Tourism’s website.
Ottawa supports an active night life in a wide variety of venues around the region. From live music and pubs to fine dining and dancing, Ottawa has a lot to offer. There are several major nightlife districts to choose from; all offer a number of choices for nightly entertainment, from sophisticated bistros and elegant bars to Celtic pubs and alternative music venues. Visit Ottawa’s Tourism site to learn more.
The Ottawa region boasts professional sports teams and plenty of community athletic and leisure centres that offer a variety of sports choices for participants and spectators alike.
For upcoming games and tickets:
To participate in Ottawa sports, learn more by visiting the following links:
A healthy and active lifestyle becomes second nature with Ottawa's wealth of parks, forests, waterways and open spaces. Covering an area of 4,662 square kilometres (1,800 square miles), the Ottawa region conveys a luxurious sense of space. Hundreds of kilometres of cross-country ski trails and bicycling, rollerblading and jogging paths crisscross the region, and wind alongside the three rivers and canal that converge on the heart of the city.
Surrounding the urban core is a 532-square-kilometre (205-square-mile) "emerald necklace," a unique and precious preserve of federally owned open space - parkland, forests, wetlands and even a working farm. No wonder Ottawa is widely praised as one of the greenest capitals of the world. And yet, as all the locals know, one of the best things about the Ottawa region is that it's easy to get around! Just minutes from downtown are some of the region's finest beaches, golf courses, ski hills and whitewater rafting spots, while not far away lie the hundreds of lakes of cottage country. In just a few minutes, you can reach the beautiful forests, trails and walkways of Gatineau Park - a great place to visit any time of year. For a change of pace, try hot air ballooning, a sunset ride on a bicycle built for two, skating on the world’s longest outdoor rink, or even taking a romantic gondola ride on the Rideau Canal! For more daring adventurers, Ottawa also offers skydiving, bungee jumping, windsurfing, skateboard parks, kayaking and scuba diving!
Learn more about outdoor activities by visiting Ottawa Tourism’s “Sports and Recreation” page.