Ottawa by Winter on the Cheap

Ottawa is the ideal place to enjoy the magic of a Canadian winter, whether you enjoy skating on the canal, snowshoeing through snowy parks, or exploring Canada’s museums and heritage buildings. However, as with any city, Ottawa has its fair share of pricey hotels and fancy restaurants. And while some may enjoy a taste of Ottawa’s elegance, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is an itinerary for free or cheap fun that will allow you to enjoy the wonders of winter on a budget. Thursday and Friday are designed so you don’t need a car (assuming you’re a good walker), but Saturday's activities are car-dependent.

Insider Tip: On Saturdays and Sundays, the World Exchange Plaza shopping centre offers free downtown parking and is just two blocks from Parliament Hill. Also, many of Ottawa’s must-see attractions are located on Confederation Bouelvard, a discovery route that encompasses several downtown streets in the National Capital Region. The best way to see it is on foot via a self-guided walking tour. Visit the Capital Information Kiosk at 111 Albert St. or the National Capital Commission’s website to print out a map, and start exploring. Points of interest include Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial, Rideau Hall and more.

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Day 1 of 3

Morning

A trip to Ottawa isn’t complete without visiting the copper-roofed wonders on Parliament Hill. Take a guided tour through these hallowed halls and e...

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Lunch

This famed greasy spoon is around the corner from the Museum of Nature. If you can stomach it, go for the all-day breakfast – the Blue Plate special...

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Afternoon

The ambassadors’ homes (and mansions of Ottawa’s rich and somewhat famous) of Rockcliffe Manor Park make for a fun winter drive. Test your knowled...

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Rideau Hall is the stunning manor home and workplace of Canada’s Governor General. Free guided tours of the gardens, residence and art collection ar...

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Dinner

University of Ottawa students pack this Sandy Hill vegetarian establishment, proving it is affordable and filling. Start with the rainbow salad with l...

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Evening

They don’t make buildings like this anymore! Half the fun of the Museum of Nature is admiring the expert craftsmanship displayed on the exterior and...

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Accommodation

This lovely Victorian home offers three well-priced rooms, two of which share an ensuite bathroom. The most affordable is the Green Room at $100. The ...

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