Situated in southeast Ontario, Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the fourth-largest city in the country. With a number of economic, educational, and cultural institutions, the city is a popular destination for business and leisure travellers alike. Use the Skyscanner app to find affordable hotels, rental cars, and flights in Ottawa and discover what makes this city so fascinating.
Ottawa Car Rental Options
For those flying into Ottawa, renting a car at the Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport is the easiest and most convenient option. Head to level one near the baggage claim to find counters for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. Additionally, there's a Routes Car Rental located on Leitrim Road, which is about six minutes from the airport, and a Discount Car and Truck Rentals located on Bank Street, which is about seven minutes from the airport. Both of these car rental companies offer a shuttle to and from the airport.
Helpful Information for Driving in Ottawa
Ottawa is a relatively easy city to navigate. Drivers will typically experience congestion when travelling from the suburbs to the city centre on weekday mornings between 6:30 and 9 and when leaving the downtown area from 3 to 6 p.m. The main thoroughfare through Ottawa is Highway 417, also known as the Queensway. It runs east to west across the city and passes just south of the downtown core.
Drivers can turn right on red after a complete stop but should watch for one-way streets in the city centre. Another thing to note is that gas prices in the city can fluctuate significantly within the same day. It's common to see prices increase or decrease by 5 to 10 cents a litre in a 24-hour period or increase on the weekends and come back down by Tuesday.
Also keep in mind that directly across the Ottawa River is Gatineau, Québec. Most of the road signs in Québec are in French, but the rules of the road are typically the same as they are in Ottawa.
What to See in Ottawa
Travellers interested in exploring some of the outdoor attractions in Ottawa shouldn't miss the opportunity to explore the Rideau Canal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site winds through the centre of Ottawa before spilling into the Ottawa River over a series of stepped locks. In the warmer months, boats travel up and down the water as people stroll along the sidewalks. In the winter, the canal turns into the world's largest naturally frozen skating rink.
To see some of the best cultural sites the city has to offer, make time for a visit to the National Gallery of Canada, which is one of the top art galleries in the country. There's also the Canadian War Museum, which dramatically showcases artifacts from Canada's military past.
With so many unique attractions available in Ottawa, travellers will find themselves visiting again and again to see it all. Use Skyscanner to discover the best deals on rental cars, flights, and hotels and enjoy everything the city has to offer.