From Bern, Switzerland, to Canberra, Australia, capital cities often get a bad rap. Although they are frequently museum- and gallery-rich, travelers routinely dismiss them as provincial, dull, squeaky-clean and overrun by bureaucrats and diplomats.
Ottawa may share that ho-hum rep, but you may want to reconsider a visit to the Canadian capital. The city offers the promise of transformative cultural experiences and intriguing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, art enthusiasts, shoppers and history buffs.
Visitors can go boating at a UNESCO World Heritage site, inspect an impressive collection of totem poles, partake in beer tastings and explore formerly grungy neighborhoods that have transitioned into hipster zones.
What’s more, Ottawa’s position as the country’s cultural and political hub, coupled with its up-and-coming coolness, make it an ideal epicenter for celebrations tied to Canada’s 150th birthday this year.