When to fly to Ottawa
As with most cities, Ottawa is a year-round destination with something to do even in the depths of winter. However, winter can get very cold — in January, Ottawa ranks as the third-coldest capital in the world (after Ulan Baatar and Astana). If you can brave the cold, cheap trips to Ottawa and discounted hotel rates are available otherwise, book Ottawa flights during the summer months when the temperatures are relatively warm. The average July temperature is around 26C.
The most popular season to visit Ottawa is during its summer, roughly from June to late August.
Winter time (November through February) is the least popular time to visit Ottawa. Cheap flights to Ottawa are found in spring and fall as temperatures and weather are unpredictable. Heavy snow has been known to fall as late as May. However, there is still much to do in the city: most attractions are open year-round and there are annual events and festivals taking place. Check the events and festivals page of the Ottawa city website for detailed information.
Canadian travellers booking flights to Ottawa not only go to explore Canada’s capital city, but a trip to Ottawa is also a historical and cultural experience. Ottawa was chosen as capital in 1857 by Queen Victoria and since then has welcomed millions of tourists each year. The city is located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, opposite the French-speaking city of Hull and less than an hour’s drive from the border with the States. Ottawa itself is bilingual, with most residents speaking both French and English, so it’s likely you’ll hear a few different dialects on your Ottawa flight.
It’s only the fourth-largest city in Canada, but Ottawa packs a lot of sightseeing into this compact province. Bring your walking shoes with you – once you leave your Ottawa flight the best way to see the attractions and tourist destinations is to walk the city. The country’s parliament is housed in three spectacular gothic buildings perched atop Parliament Hill on the west side of the Rideau Canal. Museums, galleries and theatres occupy the cultural centre, including the National Gallery, the Museum of Civilization and the National Libraries. Eco-friendly travellers will be quiet pleased with Ottawa – it’s ranked one of the country’s greenest cities, with many public parks and spaces easily accessible, including a lush surrounding countryside waiting to be explored.
Ottawa has a vast range of temperatures between summer and winter, and is subject to unpredictable weather conditions. Winters are generally snowy and icy. Temperatures in winter can drop as low as -25 degrees Celsius at night, but averages are misleading because days can be much warmer. Ice storms can occur. Summer weather in Ottawa is warm and humid, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees fairly often, sometimes as early as April and as late as October. Summers are usually short, though, and spring and autumn are unpredictable, with early or late snowfalls possible or even unseasonal heat waves.
The easiest way to get around Ottawa is by foot. Most of the city’s attractions are close to each other. If you don’t feel like a walk, you can hop on the O-Train, a light rail transit system covering eight kilometres. The buses are an excellent option, since there are many routes and the buses move quickly through traffic in dedicated bus lanes. Taxis are cheap and accessible, and you can also take summer boats on the Rideau Canal.