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City trip Ottawa | What to do with 48 hours in the Canadian capital

The most famous cities in Canada are undoubtedly the pleasant metropolises of Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. The capital of canada may be more unknown: Ottawa. Although the Canadian capital has a huge offer, the distances between activities are small. This allows travelers to see much of Ottawa in 48 hours bucketlist. cross off. To make the most of those 48 hours, we perform the perfect program for a weekend in Ottawa. With 7 national museums, 800km of bike paths and many culinary highlights, Ottawa is an excellent destination for a diverse city break!

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DAY 1 

Breakfast at restaurant Mazarine

There's nothing like starting the day with a good breakfast! Especially if you are in a city for 48 hours and have a full schedule… Mazarine is the answer. With a 4,7 rating on Google and the Mediterranean cuisine combined with local Canadian ingredients, this is a wonderful place to be. The menu includes dishes such as Avocadao Toast, Shakshuka and Eggs Benedict. But what Mazarine is best known for are the 'Ashta Pancakes', fluffy pancakes with homemade jam, Ashta (a decadent clotted cream), topped with pistachio and honey.

Pancakes at restaurant Mazarine | 48 hours in Ottawa
Pancakes at restaurant Mazarine | 48 hours in Ottawa

Cycle tour along the Rideau Canal

With more than 800 km of cycle paths, a cycling tour in the Canadian capital should not be missing from the program. From challenging routes through the nearby Gatineau Park nature reserve to a tour of all the architectural highlights; there is a route for every cycling enthusiast! To get the most out of the 48 hours, we recommend the route along the Rideau Canal. Book here a bike ride from 2 to 3,5 hours! The four-mile trek takes you along the UNESCO-listed canal, Parliament Hill and Fairmont Château Laurier, a beautiful castle where you can also spend the night.

Parliament | Cycle tour along the Rideau Canal
Parliament | Cycle tour along the Rideau Canal
Cycle tour along the Rideau Canal | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip
Cycle tour along the Rideau Canal | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip

Lunch at Kettlemans Bagel

The bike ride ends at Dows Lake Pavilion, which is about a 25-minute walk from Kettleman's Bagel. Here the Montreal bagels are baked in a wood oven. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Choose from 14 different bagels such as garlic, herbs & cheddar or cinnamon & raisin, topped with smoked salmon, homemade cream cheese, tomato, red onion and garlic olives. In addition to the delicious bagels, you can see the bakers at work here in the open kitchen. They roll the bagels by hand and then boil them in honey water.

Sandwiches: Kettleman's Special
Sandwiches: Kettleman's Special

Canadian Museum of Nature

Ottawa is known worldwide as the museum capital of Canada. Not surprising, because in the city you will find 7 national museums. One of them is it Canadian Museum of Nature, an interactive museum about all things nature. Fun for kids and adults! There's the Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, where you can learn all about indigenous traditions, polar bears, toandra flowers and more in an icy space. In the Water Gallery is a huge skeleton of a blue whale and further in the museum you can learn how earthquakes are formed.

Canadian Museum of Nature | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Canadian Museum of Nature | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Canadian Museum of Nature | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Canadian Museum of Nature | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Canadian Museum of Nature | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
48 hours in Ottawa| City trip | Canadian Museum of Nature
Canadian Museum of Nature, Fossil Gallery
Canadian Museum of Nature, Fossil Gallery

Freshen up at the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel

For the real Ottawa experience, a stay at the Fairmont Château Laurier (prices and availability here ) are not missing. This beautiful castle overlooks the Rideau Canal and ByWard Market. In the hotel you will find an Art Deco swimming pool that is open from 06:30 in the morning to 09:00 in the evening. The hotel also offers a renowned Afternoon Tea and at La Terrasse, one of the restaurants, you can enjoy cocktails, wine and beers overlooking the canal.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Dinner at El Camino

After a short refresher, it is time for dinner. Ottawa is not only seen as the museum capital but also as a culinary highlight. So choosing from one of the many excellent restaurants can be tricky! The restaurant that you should definitely not miss is The Road. This trendy taco bar with roof terrace is just an 8-minute walk from Fairmont Château Laurier. They offer a crispy Chorizo ​​taco, cauliflower taco with peanut and macha salsa and local specialty beers.

Taco bar El Camino | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Taco bar El Camino | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip

Kayaking at sunset

When visiting Ottawa, a spectacular spot to watch the orange/pink sunset is a must. Rent a kayak at Dow's Lake and paddle to Parliament Hill. Prefer to relax and enjoy the sunset? Go to Somerset Bridge, find a spot and enjoy!

Plan your vacation to Canada here

DAY 2

Rafting the Ottawa River

After a splash in the pool and a delicious breakfast in the hotel, it's time for action! Ottawa is the only capital worldwide where you can whitewater raft within the city limits. In 2,5 hours you can be carried away through class II and III rapids while a hawk soars above you. Availability and prices are here to find.

Ottawa City Rafting Parliament
Ottawa City Rafting Parliament

Food tour ByWard Market 

C'est Bon Ottawa offers guided food tours of the ByWard Market district, one of Canada's oldest markets since 1826. From stalls selling fruit of all colors to trendy restaurants and food trucks; there's a lot to discover here! The guides of C'est Bon Ottawa know all the hidden gems and will take you to these places in 2,5 hours. During the tour you will taste the famous Beavertails and Lebanese highlights.

Byward Market
Byward Market
C'est Bon Cooking & Tours
C'est Bon Cooking & Tours

Visit to Parliament Hill

Paliament Hill is certainly Ottawa's most famous landmark and therefore it should not be missed in the program! The complex, which lies along Byward Market, consists of three buildings, where you can spot beautiful historic paintings and architecture decorated with typical Canadian motifs. It has been the heart of Canada's democracy for over 100 years. A fun way to discover Parliament Hill is through a virtual reality tour. You then stroll through the center of the parliament building with an Oculus and see through your glasses how historical spaces come to life.

Parliament | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Parliament | 48 hours in Ottawa| city ​​trip
Downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip
Downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip

Dinner at 'The Laff'

A typical Canadian bar is 'The Laff' or Château Lafeyette is Ottawa's oldest bar and is located in the ByWard market. From specialty beers from local breweries to pub fare and live music, it's buzzing here. 6 days a week you can enjoy live blues & jazz, R&B and rap music.

Beer and dinner at 'The Laff' or Château Lafeyette | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip
Beer and dinner at 'The Laff' or Château Lafeyette | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip

Cocktail bar on the 16th floor – Copper Spirits and Sights

And to complete the Ottawa adventure, end the 48 hours with a cocktail at a high altitude at the Andaz hotel. On the 16th floor is 'Copper Spirits and Sights', a famous Ottawa cocktail bar. The indoor and outdoor lounge offers spectacular views of the city. Try the National Capital Ceaser, Ottawa's most unique cocktail, made with vodka, hot sauce, wine-aged tomatoes, and clam juice.

View of Byward Market from Copper Spirits and Sights | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip
View of Byward Market from Copper Spirits and Sights | 48 hours in Ottawa | city ​​trip

Learn more about Ottawa here:

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