Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. Ottawa and Gatineau (along with a number of nearby municipalities) collectively constitute the *National Capital Region, which is considered a single metropolitan area.
Traditionally the ByWard Market (map), Parliament Hill (map) and the Golden Triangle (map) have been the focal points of the cultural scenes in Ottawa.
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ByWard Market (map) Among other things, this is a farmer’s market; in summer, stalls selling fresh produce and flowers line the streets, and maple syrup bought at the farmer’s market costs half the price of the same bottle sold at souvenir shops elsewhere in the Byward Market or anywhere else in the city. It is also a craft and tourist market with a range of shops and the city’s busiest entertainment district with restaurants, pubs, bars and many street performers.
The Byward Market area has a wide selection of different cuisines; the Chinatown are (map) a is along Somerset West (#2 bus from downtown) between Bronson Ave. and Preston St; Little Italy (map) runs along the length of Preston Street, from Carling Avenue to Albert Street (#2 to Somerset & Preston or #3 along Preston).
National Gallery of Canada (map) – The museum’s permanent collection includes over 93,000 works from European, American, and Asian, Canadian, and Indigenous artists.
Canadian Museum of History (map) – The museum’s primary purpose is to collect, study, preserve, and present material objects that illuminate the human history of Canada and the cultural diversity of its people.
Sparks Street (map). A pleasant pedestrian street one block off Parliament Hill. Along this street you’ll find the majority of the tourist shops selling postcards, magnets, and maple syrup.