The airport is Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International, 15 km south of the city. Quite small for a more than one million inhabitants capital.
- Domestic and US flights are frequent but expensive. A flight to Toronto will hardly be found for less than CAD $ 115, and New York is around CAD $ 295.
- There are few other international direct destinations: currently only to London (United Kingdom, 2 daily), Frankfurt (Germany, 1 daily) and Varadero (Cuba, 1 weekly).
- Some airlines offer free shuttles buses to Montreal airport (2 hours) if conecting to another flight of the same company. Via offer a similar service through a combination of train and bus.
How to get from or to the airport:
- Bus line 97 (OC Transpo). It takes 40 minutes to the center.
- Shuttle: Shuttle Service Ottawa; shared costs CAD $ 59 for two people or CAD $ 69 for four.
- A taxi to the center costs between 20 and 30 CAD $.
As the capital of the country and being at reasonable distance from the main route Montreal-Toronto, many of the buses and trains stop in Ottawa. However, there are many who do not pass through the city on their way between the other two, continuing the path parallel to Lake St Lawrence, which marks the border with the United States. This triangle formed by the three cities makes the frequency and prices vary, sometimes incomprehensibly, between the one way or the round trip; for example, going from Toronto to Ottawa is cheaper and less frequent than make the journey in reverse.
Round trip tickets are not usually cheaper than one-way, but sometimes there are discounts. On weekends and holidays they are less frequent.
Central Station is Ottawa Station. It is approximately 5 km east of both ByWard Market and Parliament Hill. 94 and 95 buses run every 15 minutes and make the trip in about 15 minutes.
The Canadian long distance railway company is Via. BOOKING ONLINE ON ADVANCE IS VITAL to get cheap rates: those not getting the cheapest fare called “Escape” will pay more than double.
Popular destinations are cited:
|“Escape” fare (CAD$)||Frequency||
|10 daily||4 h 30 min|
|Kingston (1.000 Islands)||
|8 daily||2 h|
|6 daily||1h 50 min|
|4 daily||6 h|
Bus Central Station (different from the train central station) is just 2 km south of Parliament, on the southern edge of downtown, so if the traveler will stay in this area, can walk or take bus No. 4.
The only long distance company in Ottawa is Greyhound. As in the train, BOOKING AHEAD IN INTERNET CAN SAVE YOU 50% OR MORE.
|“Web” fare (CAD$)||Frequency||
|13 daily||5-6 hours|
|Kingston (1.000 Islands)||
|3 daily||2 h 30 min|
|22 daily||2h 30 min|
|Quebec City||No direct route|
You can reach the city browsing the Rideau Canal from Kingston in 3-5 days:
- With your own or rented boat. There are many companies in Ottawa and around Kingston that rent boats of different sizes and prices.
- In a one-week cruise starting at CAD $ 1200.
HOW TO GET AROUND THE CITY
Unless it is intended to further explore the sprawling city, with its many green areas, the best deal is to stay in downtown or in ByWard Market and walk. Most attractions are less than 30 minutes away on foot.
If you want to use a transport:
- In good weather the best is to rent a bike, as the city promotes the use of it (there are over 170 km of bike lanes).
- Advise against both taxi and rental car. Do not turn out profitable considering the distances and prices.
- Public transport is managed by OC Traspo. It is a network of buses and light rail. It is expensive, a single adult ticket costs CAD $ 3.65 on board (you must bring the exact amount) or 3.30 if purchased in advance in approved establishments; it allows transshipment for 90 minutes. There are day passes for CAD $ 8.50. Please note that the north side of Alexandra Bridge is not Ottawa but Gatineau, belonging to Quebec, so you’ll have to pay extra.