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“3 free tours and free light & sound show” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Parliament Hill and Buildings

Parliament Hill and Buildings
Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6, Canada
613-996-0896
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Top Rated
$35*
and up
Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ranked #2 of 102 Attractions in Ottawa
Type: Government Buildings, Historic Sites, Cultural
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: Three Gothic Revival-style buildings, located on a 170-foot bluff overlooking the Ottawa River, house the offices of the members of Parliament, the House of Commons and the Senate. Free guided tours delve into Canadian history and explain the workings of the political system.
NJ
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“3 free tours and free light & sound show”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Ottawa's Parliament Hill area has historic buildings, Changing of the Guard show (daily at 10AM), and summer night light & sound show (extremely impressive technology to project intricate lights/patterns on the Parliament's Central Block building).
Suggest that you plan a day of touring there as follows:
- arrive at/after 9AM at the Capital Visitor Ctr (across the street from the Parliament)
to get timed tickets to free tours of the Parliament: there are 2 sep tours and the suggested start is go for the shorter/simpler tour of the Eastern Block building first (after the conclusion of Changing of the Guard at 10:30AM), and a short break before starting the longer tour of the Central Block.
Our tour guides were all enthusiastic and had lots of Canada history Q's for the visitors to keep the format interesting & interactive, so it's not just like a guide lecturing.
- Changing of the Guard: line up for it by 9:45AM as the 1st band (bagpipes/drums) & soldiers
actually start marching out (from the back of East Block) at around 9:50. Then a larger marching band & 2 grps of soldiers march up the street to the show ground.
The ceremony is interesting and there are various music interludes in between.
- After all timed tours, line up for the free self-guided tour to the Peace Tower with a fantastic 360 degree view of the city, Ottawa River, Rideau Canal, and many important landmarks.
Be sure to stand near the back door of the elevator so you get a view of the carillon bells on the way up & down the tower.
The tour ends at Memorial Chapel commemorating all Canadian soldiers who died in wars
dating back to the 1860's(?).

Finally after all the above if you want a fantastic view of the area, and how the Canal meets the River, go to Major Hill Park for a walk & views.
From the Visitor Ctr area, there is a 4-block pedestrian mall lined with shops & places to eat.

Visited July 2014
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Chicago
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“informational tour but”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

I visited here in May 2013 and took the parliament tour. The tour was very informational but lots of wait in lines because of so many visitors. It was under restoration and so not much to see outside and hard to walked around then.
We visited again at end of June this year. The Parliament Hill was still under restoration. The appearance was not a pretty sight.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014 via mobile

This is a must visit site in Ottawa. Being on Parliament hill and taking in all the old and stunning architecture is a great experience. Even if you go without a guide, there is still a wonderful time to be had taking in sights. The lookout area which showcases the Alexandra Bridge is breathtaking. Also, you may just run into some interesting international tourists (we mingled with a couple from Japan). Totally an essential stop in a visit to the Capital.

Visited July 2014
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Midhurst
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A must when in town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

A visit to Parliament Hill and the surrounding buildings is a must when in town, especially if it is your first visit. I have been many times and will continue to go when ever in town.

Visited May 2014
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Maputo, Mozambique
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“It's a must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

This is an historical landmark in Ottawa . I had a chance to watch a light show where you get a festival of lights while learning the history of Canada. It is awesome . Don't miss it, half an hour, and it's free.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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