Ottawa is located in the Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 5 hours) time zone. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March as clocks are switched forward one hour. It ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November, when clocks are switched back to Standard Time.
Once you’re in Canada’s Capital, getting around is easy in any season! Take full advantage of Ottawa’s many transportation options such as public transit, light rail system, taxi services, ride sharing and more!
Public and private transportation options in the Ottawa-Gatineau region include: Public transit (bus and light rail), Shared e-scooters, Taxi, Ride-sharing, Limousine/executive car service, Motor coach and bus rental and boat. More information on: https://ottawatourism.ca/en/plan-your-visit/getting-around
Currency can be exchanged at banks or at currency exchange stations. Some hotels and other merchants accept foreign currency, but it is recommended that visitors exchange currency before they arrive.
Outlets and voltage (110 volts) are the same as in the United States. Small appliances such as hair dryers, irons, and razors can be used in Canada. For those from other countries, adapters are required for electrical appliances. The frequency of electrical current in Canada is 60 Hz.
English and French are commonly spoken, as well as many other languages including Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
For good service at a restaurant, a tip of 15% of the pre-tax bill is customary. Some restaurants add a service charge to the bill, especially in large groups, in which case further tipping is not expected. Tipping is also customary in bars, salons/spas, and taxis.
Banking hours differ by bank and branch, but are generally the same as common working hours (9am to 5pm). Some banks are open later or on weekends or Thursday evenings. Most businesses accept debit cards as a form of payment. Most major credit cards are accepted in Ottawa. WeChat Pay and Alipay is accepted at select businesses.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are located in banks and in various other locations throughout the city. They are usually available during and outside of regular banking hours, although often with an additional service fee.
In case of emergency, use the following telephone numbers:
Passports and visas:
A valid passport is required for travel in and out of Canada for residents of all countries, including the United States if travelling by air. Residents of some countries may also require a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
See more information: Visa Page
Embassies and High Commissions:
Many foreign embassies are located in Ottawa.