Top Reasons to Visit Ottawa Over the Holidays!

Couple walking on a snowy night at ReStays Ottawa


Ottawa is a magical city. There is always something to do and things to enjoy. If you're looking for a fantastic place for your holiday travels, consider some of our favourite things to do in Ottawa this time of year.


Winter Lights Across Canada


One of the best parts about the holiday season in Ottawa is the Pathway of Lights that takes you throughout the heart of Downtown in the most enchanting way. Visit Parliament Hill and gaze in amazement at a multi-media projection show and a delightful musical score and digital image dance created by Montreal-based Multimedia Studio the Moment Factory. The reStays SkyLounge boasts some of this show's best and most comfortable views, and our courtyard lights and gigantic Christmas Tree make picture-perfect backdrops!





Picture Perfect Backdrops


Are you looking for the perfect backdrop for your Christmas photo? Downtown Ottawa is filled with spots that allow you to make memories and capture the moment forever. The most famous place for amazing photos is the Rideau Canal; skate or walk down one of Ottawa's most iconic attractions and snap amazing pics with a hot chocolate and a beaver tail. The Byward Market is fabulous this time of year. All the shops and restaurants are within walking distance, and you can even take photos with the iconic 'Ottawa' sign. Next to reStays, you'll find the beautiful Sparks Street pedestrian mall. Take amazing photos in the themed frames.



Holiday Markets and Fairs


Another excellent spot in the city is the Lansdowne Christmas Market, from local produce to high-end restaurants, fun photo opportunities and outdoor craft stalls. During the holiday season, this fantastic spot transforms into a little Christmas wonderland that is fun for the whole family, and is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.


The Food Scene


Ottawa has an AMAZING food scene that often goes unnoticed. We are highlighting some of our favourite restaurants so that you can know the best spots to enjoy a meal. If you're in the mood for outstanding menus and festive vibes, why not check out restaurants like Riviera, Aiana, North & Navy and Gezellig. If you're in the mood for classic European dishes, there are many unique pubs like the Cheshire Cat, Churchill's and more. Das Lokal, a German-inspired restaurant with phenomenal food and cocktails, is one of the only places in the city to get mulled wine. Ask us to reserve you a spot at neighbouring Stolen Goods, Ottawa's latest and greatest when it comes to delicious cocktails.


Outdoor Fun!


The Ottawa River Pathway is most enchanted when covered in snow, transforming into a cross-country skiing dream. NCC winter trails and skating on the Canal are classic fun things that tourists and locals love. Another great place to check out is the Arboretum, where you can gaze at the beautiful trees day and night.


Museums & Shows


One of the best ways to spend time with family in Ottawa is by visiting one of the many museums throughout the city. Whether you want to learn, play or explore, there is something for everyone. Learn about Canada's history at the War Museum, the Diefenbunker or the Museum of Civilization. You could also learn cool new facts about how the world works at the Museum of Science or the Museum of NatureFor those that have young ones, you might be interested in visiting the Canadian Children's Museum. This fantastic interactive experience is an excellent way for children to interact and explore the world around them. The museum is one of Ottawa's most exciting attractions, gathering more than half a million visitors yearly.


The National Art Gallery gives you the chance to see some of the world's most famous paintings, sculptures, and other masterpieces. And last but not least, the National Arts Centre offers traditional classics such as the Nutcracker Ballet to modern showstoppers in theatre, dance and music.




The Ultimate Spa-Cation + NYE deal!


Get into the holiday spirit in your suite and at the spa. Enjoy warm and cozy experiences with loved ones. Our package includes two passes to the Koena Spa, in-suite champagne, french pastries and free parking.


So yes, there are many reasons to visit Ottawa over the Holiday season. And yes, reStays offers the perfect home for curious travellers, extended family members and staycationers wishing to escape the madness and relax for a day or two or, even better, a whole week! Those wishing to stay for NYE will enjoy a special deal and treat! We look forward to hosting you during the holidays, and do ask us how we can make it extra magical for you!


Updated on Dec 14, 2023


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