Boat rides on the Rideau Canal, tours of Parliament Hill, encounters with the iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Mounties… Canada’s capital city is full of unique adventures. First, book into a great B&B – we’ve rounded up some of the finest in town. Now head out to admire works by Canada’s celebrated Group of Seven painters at the National Gallery; or stock up on edible delights at ByWard Market. You can’t really say you’ve been to Ottawa until you’ve eaten a beaver tail (relax, it’s a deep-fried pastry). Here’s our guide to the best bed and breakfasts in Ottawa, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Fragrant apple pie and freshly brewed tea are part of the warm welcome at Ashbury House, an antique-filled historical home within walking distance of the snaking Rideau Canal. It has just four characterful rooms, plus one family-size apartment with a dining area and balcony, and there’s an intimate, familial feel. Breakfast? Blueberry pancakes or asparagus omelettes, served up on an elegant, polished wood table.
Its prime location – steps from the Rideau River and an easy stroll from restaurant-lined ByWard Market and Parliament Hill – is a major draw. But this B&B also has character, from its half-timbered exterior to its climbing roses. Set on a leafy street surrounded by embassies (including those of Russia, Switzerland and Kenya), it puts you right in the capital’s political heart. Borrow the free bikes and you can zip about Ottawa’s many sights with ease.
Oozy eggs benedict smothered in hollandaise sauce; home-made crêpes with plenty of pure maple syrup; mellow Kona coffee from Hawaii… However you like your brekkie, you’ll enjoy the spread on offer in McGee’s sun-splashed parlor room. Ask the owners to fill you in on the colorful history of the 1886 property – featuring both a founding father and famous hockey player – before you bed down in one of 14 comfy bedrooms, prettied up with Victorian touches.
This B&B on the Gatineau – or Quebecois – side of the city, decorated with a grand-columned clapboard exterior, will wow you the moment you set eyes on it. With views to the Laurentian Mountains, beloved by both skiers and hikers, and a setting among a smattering of golf courses, it’s dreamy for an active break. Rooms burst with fun splashes of color, including checkered blue and yellow duvets and, depending which space you stay in, a hot-pink bathtub.
Upbeat restaurants and lively bars are on your doorstep in the Golden Triangle, a district just south of postcard-perfect Parliament Hill. Yet the Edwardian Rideau Inn channels a relaxed, homey vibe: with its cushy leather sofas, potted plants and soft lighting, it’s an escape from the full-on thrills of city sightseeing. Each room is different, although all include a daily all-you-can-eat breakfast and access to a lounge space stuffed with books.
If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors that Canada excels at, consider this homey B&B, driving distance from Ottawa’s city center. With polished floors, patterned rugs and historic knick-knacks, the ambience is that of a refined great aunt’s home. This mood extends to its three rooms, complete with wicker porch furniture, Tiffany-style lamps and sturdy timber beds. The hosts are happy to point you towards the best local restaurants or the popular nearby outlet mall.
With four classic suites of paisley print bedspreads and dark-wood headboards, this grand old brick house – complete with double-decker balcony – provides an elegant base for your Ottawa holiday. Vintage sofas and a gramophone in the lounge enhance the period drama, but step out the door and you’re thrust back into modernity – after all, you’re mere minutes from the University of Ottawa campus and the busy ByWard Market.
Canada’s capital straddles the border between two provinces, Ontario and Quebec, and this gîte touristique sits on the Quebecois side of the Ottawa River, gazing across to Ontario’s Rockcliffe Park. It’s a great pick for those who love the outdoor lifestyle, with plenty of cycle paths on your doorstep, plus a spacious garden and the beauty of Parc de la Baie nearby. Expect a well-stocked breakfast bar and the opportunity, on sunny mornings, to dine on the terrace overlooking the water and nesting geese.
An enthusiastic hello from goldendoodle Sandy is just one thing you’ll love about this central B&B, which inhabits an exceptionally well-kept Victorian building, complete with turret. Soaring ceilings, stained-glass windows and pretty heritage archways make this one of the city’s finest heritage stays, augmented by the lush array of plants – including a towering palm – Tiffany-style lamps and framed sketches. Visit in spring for an impressive display of tulips, when the whole front yard is awash with rainbows.
History buffs will love the pedigree of this house, constructed for Sir Alexander Campbell, one of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation. It was built in 1868, but don’t expect stale interiors: the owners have struck the perfect balance between heritage features – exposed brick, marbled fireplace – and modern comforts, with bedrooms starring updated bathrooms and stylish bedside reading lamps. A breakfast of organic eggs comes with a side of host Oscar’s live jazz piano.
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meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.