Planes, trains and automobiles!  Most visitors from outside of Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec will choose air travel as their primary method of transportation to reach Ottawa.

By Air

The airport that the majority of visitors will arrive and depart Ottawa from is the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport located in the south end of the city.  The airport is easy to navigate, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties finding your luggage!  Travellers arriving on flights directly from the US or overseas will have to clear Canadian customs at the Ottawa airport.  If you're flying to Ottawa and connecting through another Canadian city (e.g. Montreal or Toronto), you will have have to clear customs there before catching your connecting flight to Ottawa, so be sure to allow ample time between these connections.

While airline schedules are frequently changing, at the time of writing there were non-stop international flights to Ottawa from the following cities: Frankfurt, London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Boston, Chicago (O'Hare), Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, New York (LaGuardia), Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Washington (Dulles and Reagan). Ottawa is also connected with non-stop flights to most large and medium-sized Canadian cities, including international gateways such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Once you arrive, there are various methods of transportation available to get you to your destination such as car rental, taxi, public transit (OC Transpo bus # 97) and hotel shuttle services.  A taxi to the city centre costs C$25-30.

For departures from Ottawa Airport, it's important to note that passengers on flights direct to the USA go through U.S. Customs at the Ottawa Airport before boarding their flights - be sure to allow extra time.

By Train

Ottawa’s train station is located just east of the downtown core and is serviced by Via Rail, providing several daily trains east to Montreal and west to Toronto.  From the airport, the city centre can be accessed via taxi or public transportation (OC Transpo bus #95 westbound towards Baseline or Fallowfield).

By Bus

The Ottawa Bus Terminal, which is located in downtown Ottawa on Catherine Street at the corner of Kent, is serviced by Greyhound Canada.

By Car

  • From Toronto, take the 401 eastbound to Highway 416, which will bring you north to Ottawa connecting at the 417 in the west end of the city.  Take the 417 east towards the downtown core.
  • From Montreal, take AutoRoute 40 westbound to Ottawa.  At the Quebec border, highway 40 turns into highway 417 that will bring you into the east end of the city. 
  • From Sudbury and North Bay, take Highway 17, which is part of the TransCanada, east towards Ottawa.  This turns into highway 417 to the west of the city in Arnprior.
  • From Syracuse, NY and points south, take Interstate 81 north to the Canadian border.  After clearing customs, continuing following the highway until its end 3 miles to the north at the junction of Highway 401.  Take the 401 eastbound to Highway 416, which will bring you north to Ottawa connecting at the 417 in the west end of the city.  Take the 417 east towards the downtown core

Once in Ottawa, the Hwy 417 which runs east/west through the city, is commonly referred to as the Queensway.  Before heading out, especially during the winter months, make sure you check out the road conditions.