Fly To Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa is the bilingual capital of Canada, and is as beautiful as it is multicultural. Set at the confluence of three major rivers, its scenery is verdantly green in warmer months and sparklingly white in winter. Gorgeous architecture, fabulous museums and gourmet restaurants, added to the abundance of outdoor activities, make Ottawa not just a wonderful place to visit, but an increasingly popular place to live.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders do need a Visa to visit Ottawa, or anywhere else in Canada. You’ll also need to make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The South African High Commission to Canada is situated in Ottawa, Ontario. 15 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1M 1M8. Phone: + 1 613 744 0330. Website: southafrica-canada.ca.
See and do
One of the best ways to see Ottawa is on foot, and there are several companies offering walking tours of the historical downtown core. Parliament Hill is a popular starting point, and the tours of the Gothic Revival building come highly recommended. Booking in advance will guarantee you a place on the Parliament Hill tour, but same-day tickets are free if you’re lucky enough to get them. Other walking tour highlights include the National War Memorial, Sparks Street, Major’s Hill Park, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, the Bank of Canada, Rideau Canal and many more.
If walking around town hasn’t tired you out, there are a number of outdoor activities that’ll burn off some extra energy. Walk one of the paved, riverside trails, or hire a bike and explore Gatineau Park.
If you’re in Ottawa in winter, make sure you bring your skates, because they have the largest outdoor ice rink in the world – the Rideau Canal. Grab a “beaver tail” to nibble on while you’re on the ice. It’s a local specialty resembling fried dough, a bit like a funnel cake, that’s served with lemon and sugar.
When it’s time to pick up a few souvenirs and gifts for those back home, pay a visit to the ByWard Market. You’ll find loads of fresh produce here, but the best part is the maple syrup, which is half the price of that sold in the souvenir stores.
Public transport in Ottawa consists of Transitway buses and the O Train – a light rail pilot project running 8km in total. It’s cheaper to buy prepaid passes or tickets, rather than using cash to pay for public transport. You can buy them in most grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores. Ottawa isn’t huge though, so do consider spending at least some of your time on foot, or bicycle – it really is the best way to experience the city.
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport – YOW
Food and beverage: Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Second Cup, and Senate Chambers Bar.
Currency Exchange: ICE Currency Exchange has bureaus on Level 1, in the arrivals hall, and on Level 2, in the domestic/international and trans-border hold-rooms.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Items lost or found within the airport terminal can be reported to the Lost & Found office on Level 1.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Hilton Garden Inn, Days Inn, and Holiday Inn Express.
Car Hire: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.
Airport Hub: Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (code YOW) is a focus city for Air Canada.