2-Day Itinerary: Exploring Ottawa, Canada’s Capital (Part 2)

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Continuing on our tour in Ottawa… For the second day in Canada’s Capital city, let’s take it easy and explore a few national museums that offer an interesting look into Ottawa’s history. I’ve got a few activities planned out for you, and I promise there will never be a dull moment!

Exploring Ottawa in 2 days

Day 2 Itinerary

8:00 AM| Eat Breakfast at Elgin Street Diner

Elgin Street Diner in Ottawa, Ontario

Chili Poutine ($11.99) and Reuben Club Sandwich ($14.99)

As one of Ottawa’s most recommended restaurants, Elgin Street Diner is a gem that must not be missed. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the diner offers a great range of breakfast items, comfort food (such as burgers and sandwiches) and a wonderful selection of milkshakes that are known to be “the best in the city”! Word on the street is their poutine and smokey burger are the things to order. At an extremely reasonable price, you can get retro diner food in a generous portion. Seriously, there’s no better way to start your day in an old-school diner with a nostalgic vibe!

9:30 AM| Fly Up High at Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Spread your wings and soar through the fascinating world of air and space at Canada Aviation and Space Museum! With approximately 130 military and civilian aircraft on display, the museum has the finest aviation collection in the country and one of the most comprehensive in the world. To make the most of your time on your trip to Ottawa, I recommend joining a guided tour (free with admission) to enjoy the wonder of flight and explore the rich Canadian aviation and aerospace heritage!

To enrich your experience, look into these two exciting activities: flight simulators and biplane rides. Climb aboard a replica of an F-16 cockpit or into a Redbird FMX simulator and experience the thrill of flight, fun, and adventure without leaving the ground. Or take a real flight over Canada’s Capital Region on a biplane and feel what it was like in the 1930s! You will have a blast!

Reminder: both activities requires an additional cost and are advised to book in advance.

Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

Vintage Biplane Ride

Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

River Tour ($80pp) took us above the picturesque Ottawa River

12:30 PM| Lunch at El Camino

Go to El Camino for a quick treat at lunch time! This Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant is best known for its fresh, unusual take on the taco. Simply prepared and exploding with flavours, many consider it serves up the best tacos in the city. Fillings range from crispy fish to ox tongue, to tuna tartare, priced at $4.5 to $10 each. Don’t forget to bring some cash for those yummy tacos as their take-out window takes cash only!

El Camino, Ottawa, Ontario

1:30 PM| Take a Tour at Royal Canadian Mint

Curious about how coins are made? Then Royal Canadian Mint is worth a visit. Sign up for a 45-min tour ($6 on weekdays, $4.5 on weekends), which will take you through the rooms where the coins are produced and show you the step-by-step process of how coins are transformed from blocks of silver and gold. Please note that the Ottawa location is only responsible for producing hand-crafted collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, medals, and medallions. To see how circulation coins are produced, you must go to the high-tech, high-volume manufacturing facility in Winnepeg.

Although photography is strictly prohibited during the tour, you’ll get a chance to preserve the memory of lifting up a 24k gold bar that weighs 28 pounds!

Pro tip: Book in advance if you plan to visit during summer months!

Royal Canadian Mint, Ottawa, Ontario

Royal Canadian Mint

2:45 PM| Get a Glimpse of the Parliament Hill from Major Hill’s Park

Remember that we start our trip at Parliament Hill? It only makes sense to take a final look at the Parliament Hill before leaving. The perfect place to catch a glimpse of the government buildings is Major Hill’s Park, which is just around the corner from Royal Canada Mint. Walking all the way up to the Colonel By statue will give you scenic views of the Rideau Canal locks, the Ottawa River, Parliament Buildings, and Gatineau, Quebec across the river! You can even see the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Laurier from there!

Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, Ontario

Wonderful Views of Parliament Hill and Rideau Canal

Major Hill's Park, Ottawa, Ontario

Overlooking Gatineau, Quebec

I hope you’ve enjoyed the walkthrough of a 2-day Ottawa trip with me! The itinerary compiles the best activities to take you on a getaway and explore both the natural and historical aspects of the city. Now, you’ve got everything planned out for you. What are you still waiting for? Book a flight and let’s go to Ottawa!!


Traveling to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada? Here's a local guide on how to tour the city in 2 days!



Planning a weekend trip to Ottawa, Canada? Wondering what must see attractions, best restaurants, and outdoor activities you can’t miss? Click through to get your inspiration from this carefully curated 2-day itinerary. #ottawa #ontario #Canada #travelcanada #travelguide #tripplanning #traveltips #itinerary #thingstodo #traveldestinations #summertravels #instagramspots #photospots #Parliament #BywardMarket #RideauCanal


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48 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Ottawa looks really beautiful. I particularly like the Parliament building. 

  2. Wow, what beautiful views from Major Hills Park, I would head for that straight away 🙂 Lots to see and do in Ottawa – love the Space museum!! #WeekendWanderlust

  3. Ottowa seems like a lovely place to spend a couple of days. The Tacos and Poutine look awesome and it would be interesting to compare the museum to the Smithsonian version in Washington! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow – that photo of Parliament Hill is beautiful! I notice there’s a chain on that bar of gold…too bad, eh? That would make quite a travel fund! Fun stuff – thanks for all the cool stops!

  5. I like the format of this post and Ottowa wasn’t on our 2010 itinerary although I would love to visit it on our return. Those breakfasts were huge!

  6. Would be exciting to visit Canada as I have never been to that part of the world

  7. Flying an F-16 in a flight simulator?  Oh, yes please!  And that 1930’s biplane flight sounds awesome!  I have not been to Ottawa yet, so maybe we have to add that to our bucket list!

  8. I have not been to Ottawa, but your post here has intrigued me! It’s always amazing to me what a person can see in a couple days when you put your mind to it.

  9. Ottawa looks like a great city to explore! Food looks good too 🙂

  10. Looks like a great itinerary to explore. I haven’t been in Canada or Ottawa so far. It’s the first time I hear the dish called poutine. Breakfast seems just tooo big. Love flying would definitely give a try. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Pingback: 2-Day Itinerary: Exploring Ottawa, Canada's Capital (Part 1) | For Two, Please

  12. Pingback: Exploring Ottawa in 2 Days (Part 1) | For Two, Please

  13. This makes me more excited to visit Ottawa – my girlfriend is from there. Perhaps I can surprise her with the chilli poutine breakfast at Elgin Street Diner!
    Can’t say I’d be a fan of the Asian-Mexican fusion though – they try that here in Korea to often disastrous effect!

  14. El Camino sounds like a must-try. Mexican/Asian fusion: yes! I would also enjoy the views of Parliament Hill: so austere and natural at the same time!

  15. The Space museum looks fantastic! I had no idea that the biplane flight is an option, I definitely want to do that! What a great adventure in Ottawa.

  16. I have never been to Canada but I have always wanted to go as there is so many places I would love to visit. Ottawa has now been added to that list, so thank you. I love the looks of that Reuben Club Sandwich yumming. The biplane right looks so cool to do and my husband would definitely be up for that if he knew. Great post

  17. wow that looks like a cool program to do. i d love to visit ottawa. and the food looks so delicious.

  18. Ottawa looks lovely! I’d love to go. I’ve only ever been to Toronto and Niagara Falls when I went to Canada. BTW can we just take a moment to talk about how delicious poutine is?!? I’d love me some chili poutine!

  19. Ottawa looks so inviting. Fantastic pictures and vivid description. I particularly liked the Parliament Hill view from the Major Hill’s Park.

  20. Love the idea of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum – I’ve never been in a simulator before, but it sounds epic – I would love to! Have been really impressed by every flight museum I’ve stopped by in the past – it’s quite fascinating learning about different aircraft, and offers a surprising amount of insight and history into each country’s past 🙂

  21. Ottawa has not really been on my destination list but it sure does look pretty. I love the spider type scuplture

  22. Sounds like a great 2 day plan! The views are stunning. Vintage plane! Now that’s something we had not thought of. Want to pack our bags and go now!

  23. I loved the Space Museum – would love the experience of a simulator! I would also love to check out Canadian mint. I love Mexican food and this street looks fabulous 🙂 Great guide.

  24. Ottawa seems like such a cool city! I like the look for the restaurants your suggested for the tour. Sounds like it has a good mix of culture with all those amazing museums. I LOVE that view of the parliament hill at the end! It’s so beautiful.

  25. Ottawa looks amazing judging by your photos. I would love to explore that museum and also go on that river tour. That view is spectacular and an amazing way to see the city from a different perspective.

  26. Your post is very detailed. Ottawa looks beautiful in your photos. I especially love the picture of food , the one with Chili Poutine and Reuben Club Sandwich 🙂

  27. Is that statue a spider? Eww! Crazy that you had fries for breakfast, I could never. Sounds like a fun day!

  28. Poutine for breakfast? YES sign me up! I love eating greasy, heavy food first thing in the morning- I don’t know why people are against it 😛 Was the biplane experience scary? I’m already scared of flying as is so I don’t know how I’ll fare with the OG of planes.

  29. Ottawa looks like a lot of fun! I have so much more of Canada left to see 🙂 That Chili Poutine looks so good right now and I think the Asian-fusion taco place sounds great too!

  30. This day sounds perfectly planned! The food at the Elgin diner is mouthwatering and the portions are huge! I haven’t tried poutine in Canada so I would definitely want to do that. I”m also a huge fan of planes, so the aviation museum sounds very interesting. And that view from Major Hill’s Park is just perfect! What a great way to end the day. 🙂

  31. Ottawa looks like a beautiful place. Canada on a while itself is so beautiful. I visited only Niagara Falls last year. I would definitely love to explore more of this amazing piece of Earth and yes I will refer back to the itinerary when I decide to visit this country. Thanks for this, I am bookmarking it for future.

  32. Chili poutine looks a lot like American Chili Cheese Fries, just a lot more chili! I think I prefer the more typical poutine, though. Their parliament building is simply stunning. It sounds like a great day of exploration! 

  33. Love you blog by the way! Glad to have discovered it! A 28-lb gold bar?? No kidding! I had no idea that Ottawa was filled with so many treasures, enough to warrant a two-part series. That chili poutine looks like a heart attack waiting to happen but poutine is my favorite food in the world so count me in!

  34. Good job on this 2-day itinerary! I love Ottawa and there really is so much to do here. I love the Canadian Mint and holding the gold brick. The food featured also looks delicious.

  35. Mmmm yummy food before an eventful day. Which one weighed you down more, that gold or the food? Haha sorry my hunger for comedy isn’t very golden 😉

  36. Wait is that a huge spider on the streets? haha, thats so fun. I love the space museum – looks like my kind of thing for sure. Haven’t been to Canada yet but when I do make it there, def wanna check out these places.

  37. Ottawa looks so quaint! I love the photo of you near the airplane. I really want to try those french fries — yum! I would love to travel around Canada someday. Are you from there?

  38. So much fun things to do in Ottawa in this beautiful city! I love the food scenes too!

  39. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun in Ottawa!! My son loves planes so the aviation museum would be a fun place to explore!

  40. What a great and quick guide to Ottawa! Also, that plate of chilli poutine is ENORMOUS! Did you eat all of that? Also, the “spider” looking sculpture reminds me of something that is similar in the Basque Country in Spain! They have a sculpture that looks just like this!

  41. Ottawa’s bringing home the bacon once again (is that too American of a saying for the world?) I’ve gotta say the biplane ride looks pretty amazing, and it’s certainly given a signature look to some of your online presence hasn’t it Cat? So why not try it myself?!

  42. Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your website by chance (stumbleupon).
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  43. Pingback: 5 Travel Tips and Tricks To Visit More Cities On Your Next International Trip Without Spending More | For Two, Please

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