Ottawa is Canada's gorgeous capital, often cited as one of the best places to live in the country. The many features — stately natural beauty and a small but cosmopolitan population, to name just a few — that make Ottawa a desirable place to live, also serve to make it a delightful place to travel.
Book discount flights to Ottawa, and spend your days exploring the ByWard Market or The Glebe; connect with Canada's past at hundreds of historic sites and museums of all kinds including the Canadian Museum of Nature, National Gallery, and the Canadian War Museum; or splurge on tickets to a Sens game or a performance at the National Arts Centre. Strap on some skates and glide down the Rideau Canal in winter, or grab your camera and capture the sights and sounds of the annual Tulip Festival — there's always something happening in Ottawa no matter when you drop in.
Ottawa is a secondary hub for both Air Canada and WestJet. Many regional airlines, including Porter Airlines, Bearskin Airlines, Canadian North, and First Air, also offer Ottawa lights. American Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways are the main US airlines that serve this city. For international flights between Ottawa and points in Europe, Asia, etc., it's generally necessary to make a connection in one of Canada's larger cities, typically Toronto or Montreal. So, when booking international flights, it's wise to book well in advance in order to obtain the best connections.
Summer is high season in the city, and Tulip Festival time is also popular, so book airline tickets well in advance for flights to Ottawa at these times. Even when travelling within Canada, your flights might involve a connection, because Ottawa's airport is relatively small in comparison to those in the country's larger cities.
Cheap flights to Ottawa are popular at any time of year. Hot and humid in summer, cold in winter, pleasant in spring and fall... this pretty much describes Ottawa weather, which fits perfectly into what's typical of Canada's four seasons. Temperatures often drop well below freezing in winter, with -15°C being quite common in January, the coldest month. There's often a windchill which makes it feel even colder. July and August are sunny, with temperatures averaging in the mid 20s Celsius. Late summer and early fall are the rainiest periods, but pack an umbrella whenever you fly to Ottawa, because there can be rainy periods throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
The capital comes alive on Canada Day and peak tourist season, as with most Canadian cities, is the summer, but winter comes a close second because when the Rideau Canal is frozen, and the skaters are out in full force, the city becomes a winter wonderland. So, go in the summer, go in the winter, go in the spring for Tulip Festival, or go in the fall when the colours are stunning. Any season is a great time for a trip to Ottawa.
Flights to Ottawa will take you to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW), which is located about 10 kilometres south of the city centre. From the airport you will have the following options for getting into the city:
Hotel Shuttle: If you are staying at an airport hotel while visiting Ottawa, your hotel may provide a complimentary shuttle pick-up from the airport. Inquire whether your hotel it offers this service. If you are staying at a downtown hotel, the YOW Airporter provides transportation to most of the downtown hotels for a one-way adult fare of about $15 CAD, and a round-trip adult ticket costs around $25.00. The YOW Airporter departs outside the arrivals area of the airport terminal, at post #10
Taxi: Taxis are easy to find at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, and will take you anywhere you need to go. The average cab fare from the airport to downtown Ottawa is approximately $30 CAD, and takes about 20 minutes.
Car Rental: Put away your plane tickets and grab some wheels after your flight to Ottawa lands. Vehicles can be rented at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National/Alamo. All are conveniently located in the airport parkade, just across the street from the airport terminal.
City Shuttle: You can use the YOW Airporter to reach the city centre. Arrange to be dropped off at the downtown hotel that is most convenient to where you would like to go after your flight to Ottawa.
Public Transportation: Public transit is definitely the cheapest travel option from the Ottawa airport. OC Transpo operates one bus route between the airport and the downtown area. It's Route #97, and it departs outside the arrivals area of the airport terminal, at post #14. Adult tickets cost approximately $3.25 CAD.