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Top Rated Attractions in Ottawa

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Canadian War Museum

This museum was established in May 2005, to commemorate the men and women of Canada's armed forces. The museum's mandate is to advance the study of Canada's military history, including the effects of war and conflict on the nation and its citizens. Within its walls are a number of artifacts and exhibits portraying Canada's military history from its earliest days along with Vimy House, the Museum's collections and research facility.

Dominion Arboretum

Located on the grounds of Central Experimental Farm is the Dominion Arboretum. It houses a wide array of shrubs and plants as old as 1889. The arboretum is home to over 1,700 varieties of trees and bushes. It spans over 64.24 acres (26 hectares) and is home to the Ornamental Gardens where there is an annual showcase of plants, flowers and hedges.

National Gallery of Canada

Arguably one of the most beautiful structures in the nation's capital, the National Gallery of Canada is a striking mesh of fused glass and granite that is home to an impressive art collection. The entrance of the gallery is dominated by Louis Bourgeois' Maman, a gigantic arachnid sculpture that shelters its 26 marble eggs from prying eyes. Once inside the building, visitors proceed along a long, glass concourse with a vaulted ceiling that leads to the Great Hall. From the hall, visitors can access the gallery's many rooms, each associated with an artistic style or period. Home to nearly 40,000 works of art and an astounding collection of Canadian creations, the National Gallery of Canada is acknowledged as one of the most eminent institutions of fine art in the world. Some of the gallery's most soul-stirring and evocative pieces of art include the religious artwork of New France, the Group of Seven paintings, Inuit sculptures, and Andy Warhol's masterpieces, as well as paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Claude Monet.

Canadian Museum of Nature

A walk through this heritage building, which chronicles Canada's natural history, will take you back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the landscape and glaciers covered 80 percent of the country's landmass. Exhibits at Canadian Museum of Nature examine the country's biodiversity, the history of Canada's aboriginal people and life in the far north. One of its key highlights is the expansive Bird Gallery, which showcases more than 450 species of Canadian birds, apart from interactive and multimedia experiences.

Diefenbunker Museum

Perhaps Canada's greatest artifact of the Cold War, this 30 square kilometer (100,000 square foot) bunker is located less than an hour west of Ottawa in Carp. Diefenbunker was constructed at the height of nuclear tensions between 1959 and 1961, and named after then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Built on springs to absorb explosive shockwaves, the bunker can accommodate more than 500 people for 30 days. Presently a museum, this National Historic Site offers its visitors a peek inside the government rooms and living quarters.

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Come see one of the finest collections of vintage aircraft in the world at Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Creative exhibitions and programs in this delta-shaped building make learning about aviation fun. Experience hang gliding on a simulator, sit at the controls of a Cessna, watch films of aircraft in action, tackle the helicopter studio or test your skills at video games and computer quizzes. You can even soar over Ottawa in a historical aircraft for a small fee. The museum is located along the Eastern Parkway near Rockcliffe.

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