Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada
Visit Canada's Parliament Buildings. Just a short walk from any downtown Ottawa hotel, the Parliament Buildings are home to Canada's federal government. Located on a scenic tree-covered promontory that overlooks the rolling Ottawa River, the neo-Gothic and Gothic structures were built between 1859 and 1927.
The Parliament Buildings include East Block, West Block and the most impressive Center Block, which is the one every visitor wants to see. Center Block is home to the 92.2 meter (302 foot) Peace Tower, an intricately carved stone bell tower that keeps time for the city's downtown core with the help of 53 bells. Take an elevator to the Peace Tower's observation deck to enjoy a dramatic 360-degree view of the city and on your way, stop by the Memorial Chamber, a gently lit and intricately carved room built to commemorate Canadians who have died in Canada's armed conflicts since the country's Confederation in 1867.
Or go on a guided tour of Center Block that visits the Victorian-style Library of Parliament, as well as the House of Commons and the Senate, where Canada's laws are debated and made. Guided tours of Center Block are offered on a daily basis and admission is free.
You can also opt to explore the grounds of Parliament Hill on your own, which are home to many statues and the ever-burning Centennial Flame. And don't miss the Whispering Wall monument! Sit at one end of the wall and whisper. The person at the other end of the wall will be able to hear exactly what you're saying. This is one of Ottawa's best kept secrets!