Ottawa often finds itself being dubbed one of the most boring cities in the world, and being born and raised here,...

Ottawa often finds itself being dubbed one of the most boring cities in the world, and being born and raised here, I used to think so too. That couldn’t be further from the truth because although small, the city is teeming with culture and charm - as long as you know where to look. So when you’re finished touring Parliament, perusing the stalls in the Byward Market, and you’ve grabbed a beaver tail, these are the places you should check out.

In the downtown core, the Ottawa Art Gallery often goes overlooked. Their exhibits feature works from contemporary artists that are both local and foreign, and they also have pieces that display the history of Ottawa’s art scene. Usually located on Daly street, they’re currently undergoing renovations, and their exhibits are being shown at City Hall. Despite that, it still has the same charm and continues to captivate visitors.

If you like the stalls of the Byward Market, with their beautiful art and clothing, then you’ll want to venture down Bank street until you make it to the Glebe! It’s home to dozens of speciality shops that are sure to satisfy even the most picky of shoppers. From a cat boutique to various vintage shops, this strip of Bank is always a lively and refreshing place to shop.

Looking for a place to eat? Stop by Chinatown along Somerset West to have your pick of the many amazing restaurants featuring food from all across Asia. Most famously are the pho restaurants that line the streets, and each of them offers delicious pho and other Vietnamese dishes (I’ve tried them all). If you’re thirsty, you can grab some bubble tea from My Sweet Tea or a mango lassi from Kaashi Food Centre. If you’re looking for something quick, stop by Kowloon Market and take a look at their various snacks, produce, and other groceries!

At the end of the day, relax and unwind by catching a film at either the Mayfair Theatre on Bank. As the city’s oldest movie theatre, they often show films that aren’t blockbusters, but are still worth watching! They also occasionally show some bigger productions, as well as many Canadian films. Not only that, but the snacks are cheap and the building itself is beautiful.

If you want to explore the city but don’t fancy doing all that tourist stuff, these places should satisfy your wanderlust needs and expose you to another side of the Ottawa.