Where to stay in Ottawa [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

If New York and the English Cotswolds had a baby, it would be called Ottawa. Situated on the Southern banks of the Ottawa River in Eastern Ontario.

Map of Ottawa & Locations to stay in Ottawa

The city is surrounded by hills reminiscent of Tuscany, lush forests similar to California, and picturesque waterways, providing a stunning backdrop for its diverse neighborhoods and landmarks. 

This guide is all about where to stay in Ottawa 2024, providing ideas for accommodation in Ottawa Canada, showcasing all the places to stay in Ottawa Canada.

❤️ Best Area first timersDowntown Ottawa
💸 Best Luxury HotelFairmont Chateau Laurier
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesArc The Hotel
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelHoliday Inn Express & Suites – Ottawa Downtown East
🛏️ Best Budget HotelThe Business Inn
✨ Best HostelSaintlo Ottawa Jail Hostel

Below are 8 of the best neighbourhoods in Ottawa Canada to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best areas to stay in Ottawa for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible to find the best hotels in Ottawa.

We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Ottawa so you can use this as a go to guide.

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Want A Quick Video Overview?

Discover the best areas to stay in Ottawa in this informative video! Whether you’re looking for luxury, budget-friendly options, unique local experiences, or you’re unsure what neighborhood to stay in Ottawa, our guide covers it all.

Dive into and find your perfect home away from home. Watch now for insider tips and make your trip unforgettable!

Downtown Ottawa – where to stay in Ottawa for first timers

The origins of modern-day Ottawa can be traced back to the early 19th century when Lieutenant Colonel John By supervised the construction of the Rideau Canal.

The canal, completed in 1832, connected the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario, providing a strategic military waterway and spurring the growth of the region. The construction of the canal brought workers and settlers to the area, establishing the foundation of what would become Ottawa.

Alongside its cool history, Ottawa is pretty on the eye too, featuring a harmonious coexistence of historical landmarks, government buildings, cultural institutions, and picturesque natural settings.

Why Stay in Downtown Ottawa?

Looking for best place to stay in Ottawa downtown? Many of Ottawa’s most famous landmarks and attractions are located in Downtown. Parliament Hill, with its stunning Gothic Revival buildings and the iconic Peace Tower, is a must-visit destination, offering guided tours and panoramic views.

The ByWard Market, a vibrant district filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife, is another popular attraction that showcases the city’s dynamic energy. It’s the best area to stay in Ottawa for sightseeing.

Downtown Ottawa is home to numerous cultural institutions and art galleries. The National Gallery of Canada, located near the ByWard Market, houses an impressive collection of Canadian and international artwork.

The National Arts Centre, situated on the edge of the downtown core, hosts a wide range of performances, including theater, music, and dance, showcasing Canada’s thriving arts scene.

Downtown Ottawa is well-served by public transportation, making it easy to explore the city and its surroundings.

The central location of Downtown allows for convenient access to major highways, train stations, and the Ottawa International Airport. Additionally, the area is highly walkable, allowing you to discover many attractions on foot.

All the above makes Downtown Ottawa the best place to stay in Ottawa for first timers!

Things to do in Downtown Ottawa

  • Visit the iconic Parliament Hill, the seat of Canada’s government, and take a guided tour of the historic buildings. Enjoy the architecture, learn about Canadian democracy, and admire the beautiful views of the Ottawa River.
  • Witness the impressive Changing of the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill, which takes place daily during the summer months. This traditional ceremony features the iconic red-coated Canadian guards as they perform precision drills and a musical accompaniment. It’s a captivating display of Canadian heritage and military tradition that shouldn’t be missed.
  • Explore the impressive National Gallery of Canada, which houses an extensive collection of Canadian and international artwork. Admire works by renowned artists such as the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson, and European masters. Don’t miss the gallery’s stunning architecture and the panoramic views from its rooftop terrace.
  • Experience the beauty of the Rideau Canal by taking a scenic boat tour. Marvel at the picturesque waterway, learn about its history, and pass by landmarks such as Château Laurier and Dow’s Lake. In winter, you can even lace up your skates and glide along the frozen canal.
  • Step back in time at the Bytown Museum, located near the Rideau Canal. Learn about the early history of Ottawa, once known as Bytown, and discover the city’s development, including its role in the construction of the Rideau Canal. The museum offers fascinating exhibits and insightful stories of the area’s past.
Map of Downtown Ottawa

Best places to stay in Downtown Ottawa

Budget accommodation in Downtown Ottawa

Mid range accommodation in Downtown Ottawa

Family Friendly accommodation in Downtown Ottawa

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Downtown Ottawa

Ottawa, Canada - Sparks street in downtown of Ottawa city in summer

ByWard Market – where to stay in Ottawa for Nightlife

The ByWard Market is a historic neighborhood located in Downtown Ottawa, adjacent to the Eastern edge of Parliament Hill. It is not only a popular destination for locals and visitors but also one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets.

ByWard Market is a mix of historic and contemporary architecture. The district is dotted with heritage buildings that date back to the early 19th century, showcasing various architectural styles. As you explore the streets, you’ll encounter charming brick buildings, cobblestone alleys, and inviting outdoor patios.

The heart of the ByWard Market is the outdoor market itself. The market is home to a diverse array of vendors, offering an impressive range of products. From fresh produce, artisanal goods, and international delicacies to flowers, clothing, and unique crafts, there is something for everyone. 

Why Stay near ByWard Market?

As the night develops, the fresh fruit from the market turns into spiked, punchy, cocktails. ByWard Market is renowned for its vibrant nightlife scene, offering a plethora of bars, clubs, and pubs to suit various tastes and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for trendy cocktail lounges, lively nightclubs with live music, or cozy pubs with a laid-back atmosphere, the area has it all. Staying nearby ensures easy access to a wide range of nightlife options within walking distance.

Beyond bars and clubs, the ByWard Market area is home to numerous entertainment venues. You can catch live music performances, comedy shows, and theater productions at venues like the National Arts Centre, as well as smaller venues scattered throughout the neighborhood.

The area’s vibrant cultural scene ensures there’s always something happening to suit your nightlife desires. The ByWard Market is not only a nightlife hotspot but also a culinary haven that caters to late-night cravings.

ByWard Market is also the best area to stay in Ottawa for sightseeing due to it’s centralised location to all the hot tourists spots in Ottawa.

Many restaurants and eateries in the area extend their hours to accommodate the bustling nightlife crowd. Whether you’re seeking a late-night snack, a gourmet meal, or international cuisine, you’ll find a diverse range of dining options available even after the sun sets.

Things to do near ByWard Market

  • The ByWard Market boasts several nightclubs where you can let loose and dance the night away. These venues often feature resident DJs or guest performers playing a variety of music genres, catering to different tastes. Get your groove on, mingle with fellow party-goers, and enjoy the energetic vibes.
  • Many bars and music venues in the ByWard Market showcase live music performances, ranging from local bands to renowned artists. Whether you prefer rock, jazz, indie, or any other genre, you’re likely to find a venue that offers live music to suit your taste. Enjoy the talent of musicians and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
  • To make the most of the ByWard Market’s nightlife scene and explore multiple venues in one evening, consider joining a pub crawl or a guided night tour. These organized experiences often include visits to popular bars and clubs, along with drink specials and the opportunity to socialize with fellow participants.
  • Enjoy evening entertainment at The Bourbon Room, which  is a popular entertainment venue in the ByWard Market, known for its live music performances and DJ sets. Step into this lively establishment and immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere. Dance to the beats of local and international artists, enjoy themed parties, or simply relax with a drink.
  • The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) showcases contemporary art by Canadian and international artists. Explore the gallery’s exhibitions and collections, which include paintings, sculptures, photography, and multimedia installations. The OAG also hosts engaging programs, artist talks, and events throughout the year.
Map of Byward Market

Best places to stay in ByWard Market

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in ByWard Market

Budget accommodation in ByWard Market

Mid range accommodation in ByWard Market

Family Friendly accommodation in ByWard Market

Affordable Luxury accommodation in ByWard Market

People walking on William street near Byward Covered Market

Centretown – where to stay in Ottawa on a budget

Centretown is a trendy neighborhood located in the heart of Ottawa, adjacent to Downtown and just west of the Rideau Canal.

The landscape of Centretown features a combination of architectural styles, ranging from heritage buildings to modern high-rises.

The neighborhood is adorned with tree-lined streets, sidewalks, and parks, creating a pleasant and walkable environment. The tree canopy and green spaces add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the area. 

Centretown’s history dates back to the early days of Ottawa’s development as the capital of Canada. In the mid-19th century.

The area was primarily residential, with many of the city’s prominent figures residing in grand Victorian-style homes. Over time, as the city grew, Centretown evolved into a more diverse neighborhood with a mix of residential, commercial, and institutional uses.

Why Stay in Centretown?

Centretown is located in close proximity to Downtown Ottawa, making it convenient for accessing major attractions and landmarks.

Many popular tourist sites, including Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Rideau Canal, are within walking distance or a short transit ride away. By staying in Centretown, you can save on transportation costs while still being near the heart of the city.

Centretown offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. You’ll find a mix of budget-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and hostels that provide comfortable and affordable stays.

These accommodations often offer competitive rates and can be more budget-friendly compared to some of the upscale hotels located in other parts of the city.

Centretown is well-served by public transportation, including buses and light rail transit (LRT). This allows you to easily explore other parts of Ottawa without the need for a car.

Public transportation in Ottawa is relatively affordable and efficient, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for getting around the city.

Things to do in Centretown

  • Bank Street runs through Centretown and is known for its electric atmosphere and array of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Take a leisurely walk along the Bank Street Promenade and discover unique shops, indulge in delicious food, and breathe in the ambiance of this popular shopping and dining district.
  • Centretown is home to several parks and green spaces where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors. Major’s Hill Park, located near Parliament Hill, offers wonderful views of the Ottawa River and is a great spot for picnics or leisurely walks. Jack Purcell Park and Dundonald Park are also popular destinations, featuring green lawns, benches, and recreational facilities.
  • While not technically within Centretown, the Canadian Museum of Nature is just a short distance away and worth a visit. Explore the museum’s fascinating exhibits on natural history, including dinosaurs, minerals, mammals, and more. The museum also features beautiful architecture, engaging programs and special exhibitions.
Map of Centretown

Best places to stay in Centretown

Budget accommodation in Centretown

Mid range accommodation in Centretown

Family Friendly accommodation in Centretown

OTTAWA, CANADA - Typical north American residential street in autumn in Centretown, Ottawa, Ontario, during an autumn afternoon, with cars parked

Chinatown – where to stay in Ottawa foodies

Chinatown in Ottawa is located in the Somerset Street West area, between Bay Street and Rochester Street. It is a significant cultural enclave that showcases the traditions, cuisine, and heritage of the Chinese community in the city. 

Chinatown in Ottawa has a history dating back to the late 19th century when Chinese immigrants began arriving in the city.

Many of these early Chinese immigrants came to Canada to work on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Over time, they established businesses and settled in the area, forming the foundation of Ottawa’s Chinatown.

Initially centered around Albert and Booth Streets, Ottawa’s Chinatown gradually shifted to its current location on Somerset Street West.

The community faced challenges and discrimination, especially during the early years, but persevered and created a thriving village which tourists and residents have come to adore over the years.

Why Stay in Chinatown?

Chinatown is a haven for food lovers, offering a diverse range of culinary delights. From authentic Chinese cuisine to Asian fusion dishes, you’ll find a multitude of restaurants, eateries, and food stalls serving up delicious and flavorsome meals.

Explore the vibrant food scene and indulge in dim sum, noodles, barbecue, dumplings, bubble tea, and much more.

Chinatown caters to various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re craving Cantonese, Szechuan, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, or other Asian cuisines, you’ll have a wide selection of restaurants to choose from.

The neighborhood also embraces fusion cuisine, where East meets West, resulting in unique and innovative culinary experiences.

Chinatown is home to specialty grocery stores and markets where you can find a wide range of fresh and exotic ingredients.

These markets offer an opportunity to explore a variety of produce, herbs, spices, and other ingredients commonly used in Asian cooking. Foodies can stock up on supplies, try new ingredients, or even attend cooking classes to learn traditional recipes.

Things to do in Chinatown

  • Chinatown in Ottawa has so many restaurants that you’ll find it hard to decide which one to sink your teeth into. Take your taste buds on a culinary journey and indulge in authentic Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and other Asian flavors. From casual noodle shops to fine dining establishments, you’ll find an array of options to satisfy your cravings.
  • Dim sum is a must-try experience in Chinatown. Head to one of the dim sum restaurants and enjoy a traditional brunch-like meal with a variety of small plates, including steamed dumplings, buns, rice rolls, and more. Dim sum is not only delicious but also a social and interactive dining experience.
  • Explore the Asian grocery stores and markets in Chinatown to discover a wide range of ingredients, spices, and specialty products. Take the opportunity to expand your culinary repertoire by purchasing unique items and experimenting with new flavors in your own kitchen. You can also find pre-made sauces, snacks, and other Asian food items to take home as souvenirs.
  • Quench your thirst with a refreshing bubble tea, a popular Taiwanese drink. Numerous bubble tea shops in Chinatown offer an assortment of flavors and variations, allowing you to customize your drink with different types of tea, fruit flavors, and toppings like tapioca pearls or jelly.
  • Don’t miss the chance to visit the Asian bakeries in Chinatown, where you’ll find an array of delectable pastries, buns, and cakes. From flaky egg tarts and custard-filled buns to sweet red bean cakes, these bakeries offer a delightful selection of treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Already swooning? You’re not the only one!
Map of Chinatown

Best places to stay in Chinatown

Budget accommodation in Chinatown

Mid range accommodation in Chinatown

Family Friendly accommodation in Chinatown

A royal imperial arch was unveiled in Ottawa's Chinatown. The arch since became one of the attraction for tourists.

Bells Corner – where to stay in Ottawa like a local

Bells Corner is bordered by the Greenbelt, the Queensway (Highway 417), Moodie Drive and Old Richmond Road.

The neighborhood is primarily residential, with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartment complexes.

It offers a suburban setting with a range of amenities and convenient access to major transportation routes. Don’t be fooled though, this is a pretty special suburb.

Bells Corner dates back to the early 19th century. The area was originally settled by Scottish immigrants in the 1820s.

The community was named after Hugh Bell, an early settler who operated a tavern and general store at the intersection of what is now Robertson Road and Moodie Drive.

In the early days, Bells Corner served as a stopping point along the Richmond Road, a key transportation route between Ottawa and Richmond. The community grew slowly but steadily over the years, with agriculture being the primary economic activity in the area.

Why Stay in Bells Corner?

By staying in Bells Corners, you can immerse yourself in the local community and get a sense of the daily routines and rhythms of the area.

Bells Corner is home to a variety of local businesses, shops, and services. By staying in the neighborhood, you’ll have the opportunity to support local establishments and interact with friendly shop owners and residents.

Explore the small boutiques, cafes, and restaurants in the area, and discover hidden gems that may not be as well-known to tourists.

Located near the Greenbelt, is a vast network of protected green spaces, forests, and trails. By staying in Bells Corner, you’ll have easy access to these natural areas, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or picnicking.

This provides an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Ottawa and engage in recreational pursuits enjoyed by locals.

Things to do in Bells Corner

  • The Nepean Museum offers a glimpse into the local history and heritage of the area. Discover exhibits that showcase artifacts, photographs, and stories related to the community’s past. Learn about the early settlers, the development of Bells Corners, and the traditions that have shaped the neighborhood.
  • Andrew Haydon Park is a beautiful riverside park located nearby in Nepean. The park also features walking paths, gardens, and a playground, making it a lovely place to spend time outdoors.
  • Bells Corner Mall is a local shopping center that offers a variety of retail stores and services. Explore the shops to find unique items, browse through clothing boutiques, and discover local businesses. After shopping, grab a bite to eat at one of the mall’s restaurants or cafes, which offer a range of cuisine options.
  • Bells Corner is located close to the Greenbelt, a vein-like network of trails and green spaces that gives off Stranger Things vibes. Take advantage of the proximity and explore the trails for walking, jogging, or cycling. Enjoy the tranquility of nature, spot local wildlife, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Ottawa region. 
Map of Bells Corner

Best places to stay in Bells Corner

Budget accommodation in Bells Corner

Mid range accommodation in Bells Corner

Family Friendly accommodation in Bells Corner

Sunrise at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa as seen from Nepean Point

Kanata – where to stay in Ottawa for Hockey Games

Kanata has a relatively recent history, as it was primarily farmland until the late 20th century.

The area’s transformation began in the 1960s when entrepreneur Bill Teron developed the Beaverbrook community, which became the foundation for the modern-day Kanata.

The community was designed with a focus on innovation, green spaces, and quality of life. 

Why Stay in Kanata?

Grab your supporters shirts, pucks and cheer attire… You’re heading to the home of ice-hockey.

Kanata is home to the Canadian Tire Centre, the main sports and entertainment venue in Ottawa. By staying in Kanata, you’ll be just a short distance away from the arena, making it convenient and easy to attend hockey games. You can enjoy the energy and atmosphere of live NHL action without having to travel far.

Kanata offers a range of entertainment options before and after hockey games. Kanata Centrum, a large shopping complex located near the Canadian Tire Centre, provides numerous dining options, bars, and entertainment venues. 

Kanata has a strong hockey culture, with many residents and businesses embracing the sport. By staying in Kanata, you’ll be immersed in a community that shares your passion for hockey. You can connect with fellow fans, engage in hockey-related discussions, and feel a sense of camaraderie during your stay.

Things to do in Kanata

  • As the home of the Ottawa Senators NHL team, the Canadian Tire Centre is an obvious must-visit destination if you’re a hockey lover. Catch an exhilarating game, immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere, and cheer for your favorite team. The venue also hosts other sporting events, concerts, and shows throughout the year.
  • Explore the Carp River Conservation Area and its beautiful natural surroundings and scenic trails. Take a hike, go for a bike ride, or simply enjoy a peaceful walk along the river. The conservation area provides an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors.
  • If you’re the spouse or friend of someone who is a die-hard hockey fan and has to see every single game while you’re on vacation, and you don’t share the same enthusiasm for the game, this one’s for you. Located in the John Mlacak Centre, the Kanata Civic Art Gallery showcases a variety of artwork created by local artists. Explore the rotating exhibitions and appreciate the talent and creativity of the local art community. The gallery also hosts workshops and events, providing opportunities to engage with the art scene.
  • The Walter Baker Sports Centre is a multi-purpose facility that offers a range of recreational activities. Try out swimming, ice skating, fitness classes, or team sports at this state-of-the-art facility. Just don’t try to replicate what you’ve just seen out on the ice.
  • Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round at Loch March Golf & Country Club, located just a short drive from Kanata. This 18-hole championship golf course offers scenic views, challenging fairways, and well-manicured greens. Spend a relaxing day on the golf course and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Map of Kanata

Best places to stay in Kanata

Budget accommodation in Kanata

Mid range accommodation in Kanata

Family Friendly accommodation in Kanata

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA - The Canadian Tire Centre hockey arena and entertainment venue in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is home to the Ottawa Senators NHL team.

Ottawa International Airport – where to stay in Ottawa near the airport

The Ottawa International Airport is located in the Southern part of Ottawa, Ontario, just a short distance from Downtown.

The immediate area surrounding the airport is primarily commercial and industrial, with a mix of hotels, restaurants, and office buildings catering to travelers and business visitors.

Despite its proximity to the airport, the area provides a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere for those looking for accommodation near their point of arrival or departure.

Why Stay near Ottawa International Airport?

Staying near the airport eliminates the stress and hassle of commuting long distances to catch an early morning flight or after a late arrival.

By staying close to the airport, you can save time and energy, ensuring a smooth start or end to your trip. This is particularly beneficial for business travelers, those with tight schedules, or individuals who prefer the convenience of being near transportation hubs.

The area surrounding Ottawa International Airport offers a range of services tailored to travelers’ needs. You’ll find a variety of hotels, motels, and accommodations that cater to different budgets and preferences.

Many of these establishments provide complimentary airport shuttle services, making it easy to transfer to and from the airport. 

If you’re visiting Ottawa for business purposes or attending a conference or event, staying near the airport can be advantageous.

Many corporate offices and conference centers are situated in the surrounding area, allowing for convenient access without the need for extensive travel.

Map of Ottawa International Airport

Best places to stay in Ottawa International Airport

Budget accommodation in Ottawa International Airport

Mid range accommodation in Ottawa International Airport

Family Friendly accommodation in Ottawa International Airport

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Ottawa International Airport

The Airport Radar Tower at the Ottawa International Airport

Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Ottawa

While Lowertown is undergoing revitalization efforts and has many charming areas, there are some pockets that have higher rates of property crime and drug-related activities. It’s advisable to remain vigilant, particularly at night, and take necessary precautions like locking your car and securing your belongings.

Vanier is another neighborhood that has had its share of challenges related to crime and social issues in the past. While efforts have been made to improve safety and community engagement, it’s advisable to stay aware of your surroundings and exercise caution, especially in less-traveled areas.

Did you know that otters fall asleep holding hands so that they don’t float away by themselves down the stream? Well, traveling to Ottawa is like being embraced by an otter (local Ottawa residents) and led down a river (the Rideau Canal) on a journey of history, entertainment and natural wonder.

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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