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Ottawa often tends to be overlooked at the profit of its two big neighbours, Toronto and Montreal. Still, the Canadian capital has a lot to offer.
From lush green parks to a great river shoreline, the city is full of nature. Visitors will enjoy a green stroll in the summer and a skiing or ice skating session over the frozen canal during the winter time.
However, knowing which area to stay in when coming to Ottawa can be a headache. But no need to worry!
This is the reason why our team of travel experts has put together this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Ottawa.
Whether you are a first time visitor, a party lover or a parent with small kids, there is an area fitted right for you. After reading this article, you will be the ultimate expert on where to stay in Ottawa, and choosing a hotel for your next trip will be the easiest thing in the world!
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Are you looking for a hotel specifically? We have got you covered! These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Ottawa.
Rideau Inn is located in downtown Ottawa and offers great affordable accommodation in Canada’s capital. The comfortable rooms include air conditioning, a flat screen TV and a seating area.
Some rooms at the Rideau have a private bathroom and others have a shared bathroom. The hotel has a real family feel and the staff are helpful and friendly.
Alt Hotel Ottawa is a great option for where to stay in Ottawa. It is located close to the Federal Parliament buildings in the centre of the city and offers comfortable rooms fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom and a free WiFi connection.
The Alt Hotel also offers a fitness centre as well as an on-site café.
The Andaz Ottawa is the best luxury hotel in Ottawa and a great choice for where to stay in ByWard Market. Rooms are spacious and feature a private bathroom, air conditioning and a flat-screen TV.
The hotel serves a tasty buffet breakfast every morning and offers a fully equipped fitness centre.
Ottawa is the federal capital of Canada. It is a very diverse city, and home to more than eighty different neighbourhoods within its borders. Neighbourhoods located in the heart of town are much smaller than residential ones.
The most popular areas in Ottawa surround the centre of town, and border the beautiful Ottawa River.
Visitors usually stick to what is dubbed as Centretown, which is quite a compact area easily toured by foot or using public transport. Several distinct neighbourhoods can be identified within that area.
ByWard Market is a tourist’s favourite, boasting restaurants, local shops and a vibrant nightlife. The actual market is also very popular with locals. By the Rideau Canal, theatres and museums are legion. During the summer, festivals are held in this area.
Hotel Jules Insider TipPedestrians will love the car-free Sparks Street, where they will be able to find shops, restaurants, and street artists looking to entertain the crowd. Popular festivals such as the Capital Ribfest are also held there.
Outside of the centre’s borders, the Glebe offers an independent vibe filled with independent shops and restaurants. There, visitors will find relaxing parks, historic architecture and markets selling local products.
Ethnic communities are well represented in the centre of the city, with a bustling Little Italy and a lively Chinatown. Local specialities and a blend of Canada and its immigrants are a feast for the soul there.
With so many different atmospheres vibing in the city, visitors can get confused when it comes to deciding where to stay in Ottawa. Don’t worry, we have done the groundwork for you.
Sparks Street is our top pick for where to stay in Ottawa your first time.
Sparks Street is located in the heart of Ottawa and brands itself as North America’s first pedestrian street. You will see no cars running here, and yet the area is one of the most vibrant parts of Ottawa.
International brands and independent shop owners are lined up at Sparks Street, providing a great experience for shopping lovers.
The nearby Parliament Hill will let visitors admire the beautiful neo-Gothic architecture of the Canadian Parliament. Guided tours of the buildings are available.
Sparks Street is also home to many popular festivals over the year, such as Ottawa Ribfest, where 13 of the best rib makers from North America come to showcase their best meat and sauce.
Come and see who gets the Champion Belt at RibFest for the best ribs of the year! And let’s not forget the very Canadian Poutinefest and indulge into the best fries of your life during the month of April.
Street artists are very popular on Sparks Street, and live statues even have their own annual event there.
In a nutshell, Sparks Street is the perfect place to get the first glimpse of Ottawa while staying in the heart of the city.
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel is located just on the other side of the Rideau Canal from Sparks Street. This unique hotel is housed in an old prison and has kept rooms in the style of prison cells.
The private rooms at the HI Ottawa Jail Hotel feature a comfortable bed, heating and a free WiFi connection. A good breakfast is included with the room.
The Radisson Hotel Parliament Hill is located a couple steps away from Sparks Street.
The comfortable rooms at the Radisson Hotel Parliament Hill all feature a private bathroom with a bathtub, air conditioning, a flat screen TV and a tea and coffee maker. The hotel also offers a fitness centre and an in-house bar.
The Sheraton Ottawa is one of the best choices you can make when it comes to where to stay in Sparks Street.
There is an indoor swimming pool, a restaurant serving grilled meats and a fitness centre at the Sheraton Ottawa. The comfortable rooms are fitted with air conditioning and a private bathroom.
The Glebe is an up and coming neighbourhood located just outside the centre core of Ottawa. It is often qualified as the city’s best kept secret and is bustling with independently-owned shops and restaurants.
It is the perfect place to stay in if you love to find unique, one of a kind products you will not find anywhere else. In addition, dozens of small restaurants in the Glebe will let you sample some of the best food the city has to offer.
Craft beers, locally roasted coffee and tasty snacks will provide the perfect pit stop after a long day out wandering around Glebe.
During the summer, the popular Escapade music festival gets the beats going and will swoop you in for a rave. If you are more of a sports fan, TD Place is home to the Ottawa Redblacks in football and the Ottawa Fury in soccer.
Finally, as the Glebe neighbourhood borders the Rideau Canal, visitors will enjoy a stroll or a bike ride along the water.
Angela’s Bed and Breakfast is our top pick for where to stay in the Glebe on a budget. All rooms are spacious and include a hairdryer, a fan and heating. The bathroom is shared.
Family rooms at Angela’s accommodate up to four people and a free WiFi connection is provided.
Glencree House offers comfortable rooms in the heart of the Glebe neighbourhood. The rooms are fitted with a private bathroom with a bathtub, air conditioning, a seating area, a flat screen TV and a garden view.
A full English breakfast is served to Glencree House guests every morning. A free WiFi connection is available in the property.
This Best Western hotel is located just outside the neighbourhood of the Glebe, which is easily reachable after a short walk.
The Best Western rooms are spacious and fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning, heating and a refrigerator. A good continental breakfast is served in the morning.
ByWard Market is one of the most popular places to stay in Ottawa. It is centrally located, just across the Rideau Canal from the Parliament Hill and Sparks Street.
ByWard Market is a historic place as it used to be one of Canada’s first and largest public markets. Today, the market is actually dozens of outdoors vendors flocking to the area and stay there between around 9 a.m and 5 p.m, depending on the weather.
One of the must-tries in the outdoor market in the famous Beavertail, a Canadian whole-wheat pastry that has been stretched to take the shape of an actual beavertail. Any toppings can be added on top, from the traditional maple syrup to chocolate and peanut butter!
Hundreds of little shops, restaurants and café have also settled in the neighbourhood, creating a vibrant atmosphere where something is always going on!
The area is also very popular with night owls, as many bars and clubs have opened up in the ByWard Market neighbourhood.
On weekends, the party usually goes on until the wee hours of the night. It can get very crowded quickly, so if you are coming with a car, it is highly recommended to leave it at your hotel!
ByWard Blue Inn is our top choice for where to stay in ByWard Market on a budget. The rooms feature a private bathroom, air conditioning, a flat screen TV and a tea and coffee maker.
The in-house café at ByWard Blue Inn serves a tasty breakfast in the morning, as well as an afternoon tea.
MUST READ – Heading to Toronto next? Check out our post about some of the most fun day trips from Toronto, Canada!
The Swiss Hotel Ottawa is an adult-only hotel located less than minutes walk away from ByWard Market and its outdoor vendors.
The modernly decorated rooms are fitted with a hardwood floor and feature a private bathroom, air conditioning, a flat screen TV and a coffee maker.
Are you dreaming of living the castle life in Ottawa? Look no further! Fairmont Chateau Laurier is located in a stunning castle and features an indoor swimming pool, fine dining options and cocktail bars.
The castle’s rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the staff give world-class service.
Westboro Village is a trendy Ottawa neighbourhood and the coolest place to stay in Ottawa. Located in the Western part of the city, it is located away from the centre of town and offers a much different feel.
It has always been a very diverse neighbourhood and has undergone significant urban rejuvenation since the 1990s.
While it is now mostly residential and a favourite of families, Westboro is also full of small restaurants, independent shops and boasts lots of green areas.
Visitors will love walking or cycling on the river shoreline, and getting a real Ottawa feel in the streets from which tourist are mostly absent. During the winter, those activities turn into snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
While walking around, admire the murals painted by local artists and stop at one the neighbourhood’s iconic restaurants.
Every year in August, the one of a kind dining experience Westboro offers is celebrated with the Fuse Street Festival.
There is a price to pay for this newly found fame, however, as the prices around Westboro have hiked up quite significantly in the past few years.
Located on the southern end of Westboro, the Travelodge Ottawa West is the best choice for where to stay in Westboro on a budget.
All rooms at the Travelodge by Wyndham Ottawa West feature air conditioning and a private bathroom, as well as a tea and coffee maker. A water park is available on site at an extra cost.
The Best Western Plus Ottawa City Centre is an eco-friendly hotel offering spacious rooms featuring a private bathroom, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a city view.
The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool and a free WiFi connection for all guests.
The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Gatineau Ottawa is located in Gatineau, just across the river from Westboro Village. The neighbourhood is easily accessible via a bridge.
The hotel offers luxurious amenities such as an 18-hole golf course, a spa centre, an indoor saltwater swimming pool and a restaurant.
As its name suggests, the neighbourhood of Downtown Rideau is located right in the heart of the city, along the Rideau Canal. It is squeezed between the lively areas of ByWard Market and Sparks Street, being just East of the Parliament Hill.
The Downtown Rideau neighbourhood is hustling and bustling all year round and is a great place for families to stay in Ottawa.
Lots of fun activities are available in Downtown Rideau, such as walking or cycling in the park or taking a cruise alongside the canal to learn how canal locks work. The Rideau Canal locks are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
During the winter, as the water freezes, the Rideau Canal turns into the largest ice skating rink in the world. Come have fun for a few hours and come mingle with locals who go to work…skating!
Arts lovers will appreciate Downtown Rideau as it is home to the National Arts Centre, where concerts, ballets, musicals and other artistic shows are performed almost every day.
If you are more into painting than drama, the Ottawa Art Gallery displays the work of some of the best Canadian artists and is free of charge.
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All the rooms at the Capital Hill Hotel and Suites feature a private bathroom, air conditioning, heating and a flat screen TV with satellite channels.
The hotel is located really close to the Parliament Hill and is the perfect base to explore the centre of Ottawa.
Not sure where to stay in Downtown Rideau? Novotel Ottawa is a great choice!
Novotel Ottawa’s spacious rooms can accommodate up to 4 adults, and children under the age of 16 cans stay for free in their parents’ room. All bedrooms are fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning and heating.
Lord Elgin Hotel is the best luxury hotel in the Downtown Rideau neighbourhood of Ottawa. The hotel features a 24-hour fitness centre, a lap swimming pool and a gift shop.
The rooms at the Lord Elgin are spacious, comfortable, and offer a private bathroom, heating and air conditioning.
Ottawa is a compact yet diverse city that has absolutely no reason to envy its bigger sisters Montreal and Toronto.
Each neighbourhood offers a lively and friendly vibe and offers a lot of activities, from fine dining to craft shopping, from ice skating on a canal to dancing the night away in a trendy Canadian club.
ByWard Market probably remains our favourite area, with its unique outdoor market. And, we must admit, we cannot resist a sweet Beavertail! In this neighbourhood, the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market is our top hotel choice, offering luxurious comfortable rooms and an overall super comfortable experience.
Have we missed one of your favourite spots or activities in Ottawa? Let us know in the comments and we will add it to the list right away!
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Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.