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Ottawa Parliament Hill Tours

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6 Reviews
Ottawa Parliament Hill
A concentrated cluster of grand government buildings overlooking the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill is the centerpiece of Downtown Ottawa. At the heart of the complex is Centre Block, a neo-Gothic riot of greening copper turrets, stone-carved gargoyles, and pointed arches built around a soaring central campanile (bell tower) known as the Peace Tower. Parliament Hill is not just a pretty sight; it’s also home to Canada’s most important democratic institutions, including the Library of Parliament and the chambers of the House of Commons and the Senate.

The Basics
Parliament Hill is an essential sight for anyone interested in the history and politics of Canada. Visitors can see the complex via city bike tours, hop-on hop-off bus tours, and amphibus tours (over land and water), as well as on guided day trips from Montreal. Access to all Parliament buildings is ticketed, with same-day-only tickets issued on a first-come, first-served basis at the ticket office at 90 Wellington Street, across from Parliament Hill. Tours of Centre Block are offered year-round, while tours of East Block, the historic hub of the 19th-century Canadian government, run from July until early September. Visitors can also embark on a self-guided ascent up the Peace Tower or an independent visit to the Memorial Chamber.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Visitors can observe debates in the Senate and the Commons. Check ahead to make sure the chambers are sitting during your visit and be prepared for lengthy security checks. 
  • Centre Block tours last between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on parliamentary activity, while East Block tours are typically 30 to 40 minutes long.
  • Visitors to Parliament can carry one small bag; other bags must be checked in at the ticket office.
  • Tours and access points are wheelchair-accessible.
  • State visits and other parliamentary activity can occasionally prevent public access.
 
How to Get There
As there is no parking on Parliament Hill, it’s best to use public transport. Buses 6, 7, 9, 11, and 12 stop nearby.
 
When to Get There
Arrive early in the morning and head straight to the ticket center of Wellington Street to ensure access. Tours regularly fill to capacity, particularly in summer.
 
Special Events at Parliament Hill
During summer, visit the front lawn at 10am to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony. On summer nights, Parliament Hill hosts the Northern Lights Sound and Light Show, which tells the story of Canada through images projected onto the Gothic exterior of Centre Block. From early December to January, Parliament Hill hosts a festive Christmas light spectacle. The complex is also a focal point for Canada Day celebrations on July 1.
Address: Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario ON K1A 0A9, Canada
Admission: Free
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10 Tours and Activities to Experience Ottawa Parliament Hill

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See the sights in Canada’s Capital from the Ottawa River during this narrated tour onboard the Paula D. Look out at Canada’s Parliament Buildings from the river and snap photos of the spectacular city views. Marvel at the mix of natural beauty and modern, urban development while enjoying refreshments or cocktails from the boat’s canteen.
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Experience the beauty and history of Ottawa on a bike tour in and around the city. Explore some of the city's trendiest and most vibrant neighborhoods and get a sense of local life as you travel through Centretown, the Glebe, and Hintonburg among others. On route, see all the major sites while enjoying the natural pathways and waterways of Canada’s capital city, and enjoy a snack as you travel.
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Are you planning a visit to Ottawa? Our tourist treasure hunt will take you from Chateau Laurier to the Supreme Court and the Byward Market, passing by the Parliament Hill of course! You will have to solve challenges at every step to discover your next destination and earn points. At each step, you will learn a little history as well as interesting facts about what surrounds you. t takes 2-3 hours to complete, do it whenever you wish - you select your own date and start time, no scheduling or reservation needed. 20+ challenges, games and enigmas to solve as you walk through this historic neighborhood.
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Exploring the Heart of Ottawa

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We are the founders and curators of loveOttawa, a photographic social media project that celebrates Ottawa, along with its rich and dynamic community. As connoisseurs of the great things that make our city so special, our exclusive photowalks not only highlight and celebrate our city’s beauty but also its many hidden gems, generous spirit and wonderful people. On this photo tour, you’ll take home not only memorable imagery of what you’ve seen, but also come away with the importance of looking at the familiar with curious and creative eyes.
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Experiencing Ottawa's Vibrant Lights

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Ottawa Bike Tour: The Essentials

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See the best of Ottawa by bike! Picturesque neighbourhoods, waterways, and scenic nature right in the city. We'll explore by using Ottawa's extremely impressive bike lane network! This introductory ride shows you the essential sights of Ottawa's core, and the whole experience feels like you are on a casual ride with a local friend that loves telling stories. We even keep the groups sizes small for a more intimate, personalized experience. This intro tour covers the must-see spots, shares the history, offers stunning views, and sets you up with ideas of things to do for the rest of your stay. Everyone has been loving our included Norco Scene bikes - they are super comfortable and so much fun to ride - we both now use these as our personal bikes! If you've never taken a bike tour before, you are more than welcome. We stop every 10-15 min or so to hear local stories & info, check out public art, or snap photos. Join us and our team to see more of Ottawa in less time - by bike!
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Private 8-hour Tour to Ottawa from Montreal - Hotel pick up and drop off

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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Ottawa Parliament Hill?