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Your Guide to an Unforgettable First Week in Ottawa 

August 28, 2023

New to Ottawa and trying to find the best ways to get to know the city? 

The first week in any new city presents a wonderful opportunity to explore and settle in. Getting out to experience the best of the city right off the bat will set the tone for this exciting new stage of your life!  

To help you get started, we’ve created a daily itinerary to satisfy your appetite for adventure!  


Start your week off by taking in the light show at Parliament Hill! We recommend grabbing a few friends, a cozy blanket, and take out from one of the incredible Rideau Street businesses to make the most of the experience. During the show, you’ll see historic buildings come alive with a spectacular display of lights and colours. 

📍 111 Wellington Street 

⏰ Thursday to Monday 9:30 PM 


Chase away the Monday Blues with a zip around the city on an e-scooter! We recommend checking out Major’s Hill Park and enjoying the scenic views.  

📍 Mackenzie Avenue 


Tickets for two please! Treat yourself to a movie night at Bytowne Cinema. This venue allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of blockbuster movies and relax into the charming world of independent theatre. Grab your popcorn and jumbo drink, sit back, and relax!  

📍 325 Rideau Street 

⏰ Sunday to Saturday 1:00 PM to 11:00 PM  

📞 613-789-4600


Grab a few pals and explore the iconic ByWard Market. This vibrant neighbourhood offers a delightful mix of local shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Make sure to indulge in a classic Canadian culinary delight by grabbing a BeaverTail during your visit. 

📍 55 Byward Market Square 


Get a taste of some art and culture and take advantage of the National Art Gallery’s free general admission offered on Thursdays after 5pm! Explore the gallery’s extensive collection of Canadian and international art. Witness different forms of art including paintings, sculptures, installations and much more. It’s a perfect opportunity to appreciate and be inspired by artistic expressions and a great way to spend a Thursday evening.  

📍 380 Sussex Drive 

⏰ Sunday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

⏰ Thursday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM 

📞 613-990-1985 


Friday funday! Get your shopping fix at the Rideau Centre, the premier shopping destination in downtown Ottawa. This mall has 3 levels with over 150+ stores including Uniqlo, Nike, Lululemon and more favourites. You’ll find everything you need and more. Treat yourself to some retail therapy and discover the latest fashion trends; make sure you shop till you drop!  

📍 50 Rideau Street 

⏰ Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM 

⏰ Sunday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

📞 613-236-6565 


Wrap up your week by enjoying a delightful dinner at Metropolitan Brasserie and enjoy a taste of Paris in the heart of Ottawa. Known for its delectable cuisine and elegant atmosphere, sit indoors or enjoy a wonderful patio dinner and take in the views of iconic Ottawa buildings such as the Fairmont Château Laurier. Indulge in delicious dishes while creating lasting memories with friends.  

📍 700 Sussex Drive 

⏰ Monday to Wednesday 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM 

⏰ Thursday to Friday 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM 

⏰ Saturday 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM 

⏰ Sunday 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM 

📞 613-562-1160