Things to do in Gatineau

Our most recommended things to do in Gatineau

Ottawa: Hop on Hop off Winter Tour by Vintage Bus

1. Ottawa: Hop on Hop off Winter Tour by Vintage Bus

Step into a cozy, vintage bus on this sightseeing tour of Ottawa and Gatineau. Listen as a live guide provides facinating context about the sights you pass along the way. Take in Ottawa’s historic scenery in the national capital area like the Rideau Canal. Hop aboard a bus that looks like an old-fashioned red trolley. Take a seat in a wooden bench and travel thorugh Ottawa and Gatineau in this well-preserved piece of nostalgia. See as much of the city as you can in a short period of time. Experience Ottawa from the local perspective with a live guide on board. This unique multilingual tour of Canada’s capital lets you appreciate Ottawa’s historic scenery from every possible angle. Pass by sites like the Rideau Canal which connects the city to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River. Cruise by the lush Confederation Park and take in the Modern architecture of the Canadian War Museum. View where the money is printed as you pass the Royal Canadian Mint.

Ottawa: Sightseeing River Cruise

2. Ottawa: Sightseeing River Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of the region that captured the imagination of the first European explorer Samuel de Champlain. Climb aboard the 'Paula D' for a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise on the Ottawa River. This must-do experience offers an entertaining glimpse of the region's rich history and leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your stay. For your convenience, there are two departure docks, one located in Gatineau and another in Ottawa. Once boarded, sit back and relax as you cruise down the river. Enjoy spectacular views of the city and learn about the river's past life as a watery highway for transporting resources with your guide's engaging and informative commentary in both English and French. During your cruise, you'll have the opportunity to see the Parliament Buildings, the Rideau Canal Locks, and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau from the river. You'll also be able to spot some sights that are only visible from the water or from Gatineau. While you're taking in the sights, savor a nice cold beverage (at your own expense) on the large open-air upper deck. Alternatively, escape the elements and visit the closed-in lower deck to take advantage of the on-board canteen with a bar.

Ottawa: Bilingual Guided City Tour by Amphibious Bus

3. Ottawa: Bilingual Guided City Tour by Amphibious Bus

Climb aboard a unique vehicle that can travel on land and water and discover the historical attractions of Ottawa and the Ottawa River from different perspectives. Spend 40 minutes on land and 20 minutes on the water. Admire landmark monuments and attractions such as Lake Dow, Landsdowne Park, and Byward Market. Get a magnificent view of the city as you cruise along the river aboard the amphibious vehicle. See all the important sights of Ottawa and the city of Gatineau, located just across the water. Avail of an activity that is both fun and educational for the entire family, and ideal for those who are short of time but want to see it all.

Gatineau: Canadian Museum of History Admission

4. Gatineau: Canadian Museum of History Admission

The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s national museum of human history. Located in Gatineau, Quebec, along the scenic riverfront across from Parliament Hill, the Museum is housed in an iconic building designed by Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal. The Museum is one of Canada’s most popular cultural institutions, with a collection of more than 4 million items — including archaeological material, cultural objects, works of art, documents, and audiovisual material. In collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Museum shares the stories of the resilience and diversity of Indigenous cultures and histories across Canada. The Museum has the world’s largest indoor display of monumental poles, six traditional Native house fronts arranged in the shape of a 19th-century Northwest Coast village, contemporary works of Indigenous art, and a gallery dedicated to the achievements and traditions of Indigenous Peoples. The Museum is also home to the popular Canadian History Hall — a stunning showcase that provides access to 15,000 years of social history through personal stories and 1,500 authentic artifacts, many of which are national treasures. The Museum’s exhibitions examine the events, personalities and cultures that have shaped Canada. Sharing stories through multiple perspectives and voices, the Museum celebrates Canadian achievements while also exploring some of the country’s darker chapters. The Museum is also a destination of choice for major international exhibitions, which are often produced in partnership with the world’s most renowned institutions. In addition, you can explore the world through play with your children at the Canadian Children’s Museum and watch an inspiring, larger-than-life documentary films at Ciné+.

Foresters Falls: Adventure Rafting on the Ottawa River

5. Foresters Falls: Adventure Rafting on the Ottawa River

Enjoy a thrilling rafting adventure on the Ottawa River. Paddle, splash, and rollover rapids. Follow challenging routes through the white water, led by an expert guide on this 8-hour adventure. Begin your experience at the local partner’s location with an in-depth safety briefing. After a short bus trip to the start location, meet your guide and board your raft for a day of white water adventure. Paddle with your crew as you take in views of the Ottawa River valley. Take a break for snacks and drinks, and savor a BBQ lunch at the end of your trip. Return to the meeting point and watch a video of your rafting trip, filmed by a video kayaker.

Ottawa: Afternoon, Sunset, or Night Yacht Tour with 1 Drink

6. Ottawa: Afternoon, Sunset, or Night Yacht Tour with 1 Drink

Cruise along the Ottawa River for a mellow tour aboard a classic yacht. Meet some new people or opt for an intimate experience by booking all 12 spaces. Relax in the breezy open-air deck to see landmarks such as the Chateau Laurier, the Rideau Canal Locks, the Parliament Buildings, and Rideau Falls. Meet the captain and first mate of the modest Everly or the more spacious Dolce Far Niente and get a quick safety briefing before setting sail. You can also grab dry bags for your electronics. These yachts are proudly maintained by a Canadian-owned tour company that’s accredited by Transport Canada. Kick back and take in the sights and sounds of Ottawa’s busy riverside at your ideal time of day with options in the afternoon, at sunset, or by night. Enjoy alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages served on board with one drink included or bring your own drinks which staff will be happy to serve to you. Alcoholic drinks: • Cantina Trevigiana Prosecco • Barefoot Pinot Grigio • Grand Sud Chardonnay • Bombay Tonic • Jose Margarita • Sainte- Marie Mojito • Smirnoff Ice Cans • Smirnoff Vodka Soda Raspberry • Johnny Whiskey Old Fashioned • Fling Vodka Soda Cucumber Mint Non-alcoholic options: • Clever Pink G and Tonic Premium Mocktail (0% alc) • Clever G and Tonic Premium Mocktail (0% alc) • Clever Mojito Premium Mocktail (0% alc) • Grüvi Dry Secco • Grüvi Golden Lager • Grüvi Juicy IPA • Töst Sparkling Rosé Whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, the first drink is included. Additional alcoholic drinks are available for $8. Additional non-alcohol drinks are available for $5. Pop and juices are sold for $2 each. Unlimited bottled water is available for free.

Foresters Falls: Soft Adventure Rafting on the Ottawa River

7. Foresters Falls: Soft Adventure Rafting on the Ottawa River

Discover the Ottawa River valley on a gentle rafting tour. Cruise down the river and splash over rapids to get an introduction to the world of white water rafting. Make your way to the local partner's location to begin your activity. After an in-depth safety briefing, board the bus for a short drive to the boats. Meet your guide, then hop aboard your raft to start your white water adventure. Enjoy the trip as you and your guide steer the raft over rapids. Admire the scenery and take a short break to enjoy some snacks and drinks. At the end of your rafting experience, a BBQ lunch is served on the boat and you can watch a video of your trip, filmed by a kayaker.

Ottawa: 2 or 3.5-Hour Sightseeing Bike Tour

8. Ottawa: 2 or 3.5-Hour Sightseeing Bike Tour

Get on a bicycle for a 2 or 3.5-hour guided tour to discover many of downtown Ottawa’s major attractions, must-see spots, and hidden gems. Choose your own adventure from two tour options and the option of a French, German, Spanish or Dutch speaking guide. 2-Hour Express Tour A fun and short sightseeing tour ideal for newer or easy-going bicyclists, who want to learn about Ottawa’s downtown and beyond. All ages will enjoy the leisurely 8.5-mile ride, stopping at major attractions for sightseeing and photos. Highlights include Parliament Hill, War Memorial, Rideau Canal Pathway, Rideau Hall, Rideau Falls, Quebec province, the National Art Gallery, the Museum of History, the Rideau Locks and Bytown Museum. 3.5-Hour Highlights Tour Discover more of Ottawa’s must-see spots and hidden gems on a slight longer 3 to 3.5-hour tour, with 95% of the route on bicycle paths. This 12-mile bike tour includes short stops along the way for sightseeing and photos plus a power bar snack. Highlights include Rideau Canal, War Memorial, Love Lock Bridge, Rideau Canal Locks, the Glebe, Lansdowne Park, Arboretum, Dow’s Lake, Little Italy, Ottawa River, province of Quebec, Museum of History, Rideau Hall, Rideau Falls,  National Gallery of Canada, Byward Market, and Parliament Hill.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gatineau

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What people are saying about Gatineau

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,382 reviews

Very emotional experience in learning the dark history of Canada's indigenous population being persecuted and oppressed, which still is ongoing today. But the overall, museum experience was fantastic in every way and suitable for all ages, also very good value for money.

Lovely views of the Ottawa river tour, the guide has been very informative in both English and French, and the ship sailing was very comfortable. Duration of the event was very satisfying.

Booking was super easy. Having everything on your phone made checking in and boarding very smooth.

Our river cruise was so fun. It was a colder day but good The tour guide was excellent

Very fun tour! Sights were beautiful and tour was informative!