Museums in Ottawa

THE 10 BEST Museums in Ottawa

Museums in Ottawa

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51 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
Showing results 1-30 of 51

What travellers are saying

  • Gardiner W
    Vancouver, Canada416 contributions
    Who knew? Comprehensive, thought provoking and very much "tell it like it was". Fascinating collections. Particularly liked the historical aspect of the museums offerings....tracing conflict from the earliest days...skirmishes amongst first nations peoples, to contact with European explorers and eventually settlers. And then of course Canada's participation in conflicts over the years...English vs French (the battles of these two great colonial empires), Canadian (comprising English, French and indigenous) with our big neighbour to the south. And then Canadian participation as the loyal British dominion in WW1 and WW2. A lot more history here than most Canadians realize. And if you are a military machinery fan, lots of tanks and armaments to gaze at. You really need 3 -4 hours to do the museum proud..or plan to come back another day. Underground parking ($13..pretty reasonable). The tours I had hoped for not available (staffing shortages) so check first by phone.
    Written December 12, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • PookyCake
    Victoria, Canada13,884 contributions
    Founded in 1880, the current edifice that houses the National Gallery of Canada opened in 1988. It was designed by Moshe Safdie as a contemporary and postmodern take on the architecture of Canada’s Parliament buildings, which it strategically faces across the Rideau Canal. I think this is quite apt because any art gallery that calls itself a “national” one should look and feel the part. Thankfully, our National Gallery of Canada does just that. It is grand in scale, but – and almost contradictorily – understated in its presentation of the artworks, modern and classical, inside. True to form, the National Gallery gives nearly equal weight to traditional heavyweights – the Group of Seven and Emily Carr, for example – and emerging voices, including from our diverse Indigenous and multicultural communities. It’s a beautiful thing and one could easily spend hours ambling about this space and learning about this place.

    The National Gallery of Canada represented the second major stop during our all too brief visit to Ottawa. All told, we spent about three hours here and could’ve easily spent longer, but time was of the essence. While I enjoyed looking at the works of Carr and Group of Seven, the Indigenous artworks – and especially those by the Inuit – really captured my attention. The amount of detail carved into bone and tusk was nothing short of amazing. I also enjoyed a rather large installation called “Non Orientable,” which used scrap materials to comment upon capitalism and commodity. In some ways it reminded me of works by Douglas Coupland (I know this was not his).

    In any event, when it’s all said and done, the National Gallery of Canada succeeds in one of its primary goals; that is to say, it does an exceptional job of walking us through the nation’s history and its ever-expanding cultural development. In short, the gallery is a physical manifestation of our beautiful mosaic.

    Oh! And while you’re outside the gallery, be sure to spend a few moments admiring Maman – the giant spider (see my earlier review on this site). At a micro level, Maman is a protector of the National Gallery; at a macro level, it comments upon our country as a symbol for shelter and home. Now we’re getting deep . . . ;)
    Written December 14, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Susie G
    Cumbria, UK12 contributions
    Such a great find! Amazing tour guide! Would highly recommend for all! Good way to spend an hour or two in Ottawa. Great price and lots to see.
    Written February 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BCNY100
    New York178 contributions
    Lovely and manageable museum with many exhibits. Great for kids who can read, a little less fun for those who can’t.

    The Dino extinction movie is very scary for kids. The owl special exhibit was a big hit
    Written February 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Robert E
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada165 contributions
    Great museum with a very wide array of aircraft on display. Nicely laid out in large hanger-like hall. Need at least 2 hours to get through.
    All staff friendly and helpful. Museum a bit out of the way, so used the Hop On Hop Off Bus to get there.
    Written October 13, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • PhilipLeic
    Leicester, UK1,538 contributions
    This is a free museum that is great for children to learn about all aspects of finances and currency. Many of the exhibits are interactive and the museum is larger than I was expecting. Overall well worth a visit.
    Written December 2, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Edwin F
    Calgary, Canada1,777 contributions
    Five of us went to the science and technology museum. The day we went it was swarming with kids. Still my granddaughter had a great time. Expensive for what it is.
    Written July 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • FuzzyBeaver
    Montreal, Canada1,260 contributions
    This is an excellent way to get glimpse into the personal lives of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King. I had no idea they lived in the same house at different times. The house has been restored to almost exactly what is was like in the late 1800s / early 1900s. This is not what we studied in our history books. The docents are incredibly knowledgeable and could answer any and every question. Their background info also added a lot of interesting background for the visit. Be sure to watch the video in the visitor center since it provides a lot of background info as well. Overall, definitely worth a visit.
    Written August 17, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Dimitris L
    Sydney, Australia45,296 contributions
    Ottawa Art Gallery is a wonderful place to spend time looking through and enjoying some wonderful works of art, and it's all free. It's worth your while checking in.
    Written October 15, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • AmarilisVos
    Jabbeke, Belgium2,318 contributions
    We visited the museum on July 3. There is parking at the museum (9 CAD for the day). Kids will like the animals and adults will like the rapeseed and aquaculture exhibit. There is explanation for young and old at certain hours. These are in different locations, so you need to be well organized if you want to see them all. Making ice cream with an old 19th century ice cream machine with tasting is not to be missed.
    Written August 18, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Dubes13
    Peterborough, UK29 contributions
    The museum itself is very small but had a few interesting artifacts and the staff were friendly and welcoming.

    The gift shop is small but sensibly priced. We got an ice cream and sat by the locks watching the world go by.

    Nice if you are passing but I wouldn't go out of your way to visit.
    Written July 22, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Dahlia G
    1 contribution
    Thank you! We weren't sure what to expect and the kids had a great day! There was something for everyone in our family from the school house experience to the village feel complete with apple trees it was a special day. My younger children especially loved being given a guided tour with the farmer Val I believe. She made the experience very interactive and livey for my young kids - 3 and 1 years old.
    Written August 2, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • futtock21
    London, UK11,616 contributions
    I’m used to London galleries not recognising Sundays and Mondays. Ottawa galleries tend to have a weekly retirement from Sunday to Tuesday inclusive. But when I walked past Cube last week I saw a notice on the door indicating it was now permanently shut save for occasional hirings. This it was a pleasant surprise this Saturday lunchtime to find it open, or rather a gentleman sitting in a chair outside ready to open it to anyone showing an interest. What was on display seemed to be an exhibition put on by the gallery because many of the most striking pieces were not for sale because part of the gallery collection. There was an impressive selection of works in different media, including oil and acrylic paintings, prints and sculptures.

    Written August 3, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Yvan Magnus H
    Ottawa, Canada68 contributions
    I went in blind, not knowing what to expect and came out a lover of glassblowing. Every aspect was well explained, and demonstrated, the instructor was very knowledgeable and let you take the lead. I went to 2 classes in the same day, produced 2 lovely colorful pieces which I gave to my mother as gifts. Such an inexpensive class with such a rewarding result. I am doing a third class and am considering the week long course, it was that pleasant!
    Written August 25, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vandana K
    Chennai (Madras), India32 contributions
    We enjoyed the freshly baked warm scones and cream along with some dainty finger sandwiches and cookies once again! Tea on the Lawn is an experience, it's not a restaurant serving refreshments but a heritage site providing visitors a taste of times gone by. One needs to book well in advance for the tea as they have limited seating arrangements and specific days and timings for the tea service. There is a set menu which gives an option for a variety of tea blends. We loved the Billings Blend and Orange Caramel flavours. Lawns are well maintained and one can spend time just strolling leisurely.
    Written August 26, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.