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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Canada > Ontario > Ottawa

Ottawa Weather

-4°C

Local time Ottawa

Currency

C$

Travel to Ottawa

Flying to Ottawa

Air Canada operates direct flights from the UK to Ottawa. Airlines offering direct flights from the USA include Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta and United. Prices tend to be highest in July and August, while cheaper deals are available during the cold winter months. 

Flight times

From London - 7 hours 50 minutes; New York - 1 hour 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 7 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 1 hours; >Sydney - 21 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

The speed limit on major highways is 100kph (60mph), while in the city, the speed limit is generally 50kph (30mph). Traffic drives on the right. The minimum driving age is 16 years. Proof of insurance is compulsory.

North American and European visitors may use national driving licences, while visitors from other countries are often required to carry an International Driving Permit as well. Many streets in Ottawa, especially downtown, are one-way. Signs displaying a white arrow on a black background indicate a one-way street.

Some Ottawa streets have adopted second names, which can be confusing. For example, Preston Street is also known as Corso Italia, and Gladstone Avenue is also called Via Marconi.

Many major roadways (called the Transitway) in Ottawa are dedicated to OC Transpo buses only. These are marked with a diamond in the lane and/or a sign above the lane. Do not drive in these lanes. There is a three-hour parking limit on all streets unless otherwise marked; overnight parking restrictions come into effect during the winter.

CAA North & East Ontario (tel: +1 613 820 1890; www.caaneo.on.ca) provides a breakdown service and has partnership agreements with various motoring organisations, such as the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Emergency breakdown services

CAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).

Routes

Excellent highways link Ottawa with major Canadian cities and the United States. You can reach Toronto in a little over four hours on Highways 401 and 416. Montreal is two hours to the northeast on Highway 417. The border to America's New York state is less than two hours' drive south.

Coaches

Greyhound (tel: +1 800 661 8747; www.greyhound.ca) provides services throughout North America. Buses depart from Ottawa Bus Terminal, 265 Catherine Street.

Time to city

From Toronto - 4 hours 30 minutes; Montreal - 2 hours; New York state - 1 to 2 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Ottawa's railway station is at 200 Tremblay Road, which is just a 10-minute drive from downtown by car, taxi or bus. It offers rail service throughout the region. It also connects with rail and bus travel into the United States.

There is a second station, Fallowfield Station, at 3347 Fallowfield road, Barrhaven, where trains from Toronto arrive and where buses are available to connect to the city.

Operators

Passenger trains are run by VIA Rail Canada (tel: +1 888 842 7245; www.viarail.ca). There are several daily trains to both Montreal and Toronto.

Journey times

From Montreal - 2 hours; Toronto - 4 hours 30 minutes.

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Featured Hotels

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Fairmont Château Laurier

Reminiscent of a French chateau exuding old world elegance and luxury, the historic Château Laurier is a favoured destination of dignitaries and celebrities. Ideally located next to the Parliament Buildings, the hotel has 426 newly renovated rooms filled with antiques, three restaurants, a business centre and a spectacular art deco swimming pool.

The Metcalfe Hotel

A serene oasis in the heart of the city, this brand new boutique hotel, formerly Hotel Indigo, features soaring skylights, cool colours, running water and scents that change with the season. Plush bedding, hardwood floors, spa-inspired showers, indoor pool, high-speed internet and an adjoining gourmet, fast and casual restaurant provide for every need.

Rideau Inn

This Edwardian home offers budget accommodation amid elegant surroundings. There are 10 classically furnished rooms, some of which have ensuite bathrooms; a smart dining area for breakfasts and a cute decked area for a drink in the summer. The inn is located in a leafy downtown residential neighbourhood known as the Golden Triangle close to lively Elgin Street, home to restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs.

Econo Lodge Downtown

The Econo Lodge Downtown offers air-conditioned rooms, some of which feature fridges, microwaves and whirlpool baths. Free continental breakfasts and internet access are offered. The lodge itself is close to Parliament Hill, the Royal Canadian Mint, the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Canada.

Brookstreet

Nestled in Ottawa's Silicon Valley North, this boutique hotel overlooks the Marshes Golf Club, cross-country ski trails and jogging paths. Relax in spacious, sleekly elegant rooms, dine in two upscale contemporary restaurants or soak up the pampering at the Naturel Wellness Spa.

Avalon Bed and Breakfast

This simple but friendly B&B is located close to major attractions and bistros, cafes and restaurants. It offers three rooms plus a spacious, two-room suite on the third floor. Parking is available and a full breakfast is included.