Free Things to do in Ottawa

Canada’s capital city of Ottawa is also proud to be one of North America’s fastest growing cities. Often overlooked by visitors in favour of other Canadian cities, it is home to a great number of attractions and a fantastic night life. It also has a very welcoming and friendly feeling, so it is a great place to add to any Canadian trip itinerary. With a fair amount of free things to do in Ottawa, a visit need not cost a huge amount either! Discover this vibrant city before it becomes overly visited.

Some terrific free things to do in Ottawa include:


Ottawa has some lovely city beaches that are perfect for some relaxation in the warmer months. Open between June and August, there are lifeguards present at the peak times. You can do a number of activities at the beaches, and they include Mooney’s Bay Beach, Petrie Island Beach, Brittania Beach, and Westboro Beach.

Museums and Galleries

Some of Ottawa’s museums and galleries always have free entry, whereas others have cheaper periods. For ones where you must pay it is worth finding out whether there are any times that will cost less to make the maximum savings on your trip. Thursday evenings are a popular time for places to offer free or discounted entry.

The Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada is free to look around at all times, as is the Library and Archives Canada. For art, check out the Karsh Masson Gallery and ASP Gallery, and legal eagles can enjoy a free tour of the Supreme Court, although you must book in advance. Another free place is the Central Experimental Farm, where you can see lots of agricultural research projects as well as a variety of different creatures.

Parliament Hill

You can see the inner workings of the Canadian parliament with a free tour. The buildings themselves are very pretty, with some incredible architecture and fine details. Sitting on top of the hill, you can wander around the nice grounds and enjoy the views.

Giant Spider

This is definitely not an attraction for arachnophobes! Located outside the National Gallery of Canada, you can view this awesome and gigantic spider for free at any time. If you time your visit for a Thursday evening you will also have free admission to the gallery!

Historic Markets

As well as window shopping in the city’s trendy shopping areas you can also take a wander around the city’s different markets. The ByWard Market is one of the biggest and oldest markets in the whole of Canada, and you will see an interesting array of goods for sale. In addition, there are often various street events to add to the lively atmosphere.

Rideau Canal

Running through the centre of the city, the Rideau Canal is a nice place to take a peaceful walk. It is especially magical during the winter months when it freezes over. If you have your own skates you can enjoy excellent ice skating for free.

Rideau Hall

Rideau Hall is where Canada’s Governor General lives and works. Free guided tours are available throughout the year, and you can see the lovely grounds, the great art collections, and inside the building itself.

Check out some of these excellent free things to do in Ottawa to make your money go further in the Canadian capital.

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