We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Sylvia, a member of the Solo Travel Society . Sylvia lives in Canada, and submitted the following report about her nation's capital, Ottawa. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a photo or two, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: English and French
Reasons to go: Ottawa is a very walkable city, and the public transit system is very reliable and efficient.
At Nepean Point, you can climb up to see a statue of Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who was the first white man to travel these parts. Samuel has a gorgeous view of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River, and its eight working locks. Bytown Museum, next to the locks, gives a perspective of Ottawa's early history.
Do visit Parliament Hill, or as it is known to locals, “the Hill”. You must go through security just like at the airport. There is a free guided 45-minute tour inside the Parliament building. After the tour take the elevator up the Peace Tower for a 360-degree view of this magnificent capital of Canada.
Not far from “the Hill” is the National War Memorial honouring Canadians who lost their lives serving their country. Ottawa is also home to the Canadian War Museum.
Across the street from the Parliament is a statue of Terry Fox, a Canadian hero who ran for cancer research. He died due to the spread of cancer in 1981 but every year in September Canadians keep his dream alive to beat cancer by walking, running, or biking.
Next to the statue of Terry Fox is a pub called Parliament. Solo travelers can eat outdoors as well to enjoy the warm days and the people passing by.
Decorated with the flower emblem and coat of arms of each of the ten provinces and three territories of Canada, the Gardens of the Provinces and Territories provides a lovely place to sit amid tulip and daffodil displays enjoying the gentle sounds of fountains.
Commissioners Park, next to Dow Lake, has the largest tulip display, a dazzling sea of reds, yellows, whites, purples. What started with the Netherlands' gift of 100,000 bulbs has grown to millions of blooms during the Tulip Festival each spring. In ongoing appreciation for Canada's war effort, the Netherlands continues to send 20,000 bulbs to Ottawa each year.
Byward Market is a great place to pick up a snack, put together food for a picnic or just stop by one of the many restaurants. Most have outdoor patios so if the weather is on your side, you can soak up the sun and the atmosphere of the market.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 1 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)