Parliament Hill and Buildings

Parliament Hill and Buildings

Parliament Hill and Buildings
4.5
About
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.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Plan your visit
The area
Address
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Dubes13
    Peterborough, United Kingdom114 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Book the free tours in advance
    Parliament building is under renovation until 2032 so at the moment you are unable to go inside. We did take the three tours of the current homes to Parliament and the Senate and the East Block. Definitely book in advance online. The tours are free but get booked up quickly. The Parliament tour was the best, closely followed by the Senate. The guides were knowledgeable and entertaining and there was a lot to see. The East Block tour was supposed to be 50 minutes but was over in 30 and we only saw around five rooms. It was OK if you have a spare half an hour to kill. Definitely check out where the entrances are in plenty of time as they aren't easy to find and you have to be there 25 minutes before to go through stringent security.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Mark H
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin3,857 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The House of Commons tour was great
    We booked our free tour of the House of Commons about a week in advance and we're glad we did. Our guide was an earnest young woman who had her talking points down pat and provided a great overview of how the national legislature works. The House of Commons is in a temporary location while restoration work takes place in its normal home. Do not let that discourage you from doing the tour. The temporary chamber is stunning. It'll be a shame for it disappear a decade from now. We also caught an army regimental pipe and drums performance outside as well at 10 a.m. Not sure it it's every day, but be sure to ask.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 24, 2023
  • Michelle H
    Novi, Michigan250 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    House of Commons Tour Guide Justin is Fantastic!
    Couldn't have asked for a better House of Commons tour guide than Justin! He was enthusiastic, energizing and did a great job explaining how the Canadian government works. We also did the East Block tour, but our guide was not nearly as engaging and the tour was not as interesting. Tip: Reserve your free tours online ahead of time. Tip: Go see the night laser show on Center Block if they are still showing it - interesting depiction of Canada's history.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 5, 2023
  • PhotoDudeIII
    Toronto, Canada106 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't Overlook the Senate Building Tour
    Over the years, I have toured all the Parliament buildings, and wanted to tour the temporary Senate building for a while. Located in the old railway station building across the street from the Chateau Laurier, they have done a remarkable restoration job. I loved the old Senate chamber in Centre Block (preferring it over the House of Commons), but they did a good job here while the renovations happen in Centre Block. If you enjoyed touring the other buildings, put this on your list. FYI - you have to go through airport-style security to enter the building. And show up early for your online pre-booked tour to go though said security screening.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 5, 2023
  • MrsDonnaW
    Blairgowrie, United Kingdom120 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Light show and Military Band
    We didn't do the guided tours of the buildings. We watched the light show, which was spectacular, taking the audience through Canada's history and not shying away from the more negative aspects. We went back the following morning to view the changing of the guard - as we were aware - but essentially it was a military band playing tunes, narrated so you knew what was playing and who wrote it. The Star Wars theme was the highlight for me. How the personnel didn't melt in the heat in their military outfits amazes me. It was around 10am in the morning and it was rather hot.
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 8, 2023
  • KayLee H
    39 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent tour
    I booked in advance to take all three tours (West Block, East Block, Senate) in one morning. The tours were excellent and informative, and I would highly recommend. My one small complaint is that the website strongly advised to leave a certain amount of time between each tour, and that ended up being unnecessary, so we were stuck waiting for almost an hour between each tour, when we easily could have visited the three sites with much less time in between. It is also worth noting that the tours are shorter than the website indicated. West Block was supposed to be 40 minutes, but was over in 30, and East Block was supposed to be 50 minutes, but was also done in 30 minutes. Security to enter is quite stringent. They searched our bags by hand, which included going through wallets. I'd recommend bringing as little as possible with you.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Linda S
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful tours of Parliament Hill!
    We visited the old parliament building, the House of Commons (temporary), and the senate. Our guides, in order, were Matthew, Haley, and Sasha. All three were wonderful. We’re from the U.S., so we don’t totally understand the parliamentary system of government. Our guides changed that! They were so knowledgeable and also patient with everyone who had questions. I recommend these tours to all Ottawa visitors! Another nice part of the visit to Parliament Hill is the 10:00 military band performance. The band wear the bright red uniforms that are very similar to British uniforms. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear great music!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 21, 2023
  • nwaynesworld
    2,294 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Parliament Hill
    The Parliament of Canada comprises three buildings, East Block, West Block and Centre Block or Parliament Hill. Centre Block is under construction until 2031. As a result, a temporary Parliament has been constructed within West Block. A free tour of the temporary Parliament is available; however, you must obtain your ticket in advance (online). Arrive before you tour time as you must pass through a security check. The tour lasts just over an hour. Our tour guide, Kennedy, was very knowledgeable. Kennedy was well spoken and very professional. Photographs are permitted inside and around the outside of the buildings. The building has stairs and elevators. In addition, there is a gift shop.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 7, 2023
  • SonnySY
    Vancouver, Canada33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good to see where our laws are passed
    Good walking tour of the capital. Parking around the area is rather difficult with lots of one way streets. Overall, a great walk. Parliamentary building is undergoing upgrades. Tour inside the buildings are limited and must be booked ahead
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 9, 2023
  • Dimitris L
    Sydney, Australia49,170 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful architecture
    We visited the Parliament buildings and were pleasantly surprised by the lovely architecture. There are several buildings on "the Hill", but pre-booking is required in order to enter and tour any of them. As we were in Ottawa only for one day we missed out!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles9,622 reviews
Excellent
6,404
Very good
2,640
Average
449
Poor
80
Terrible
50

LydVictoria
Victoria, Canada35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
Our guide, Beatrice, led our group through the West Block with professionalism and humor. She made the whole experience both informative and enjoyable. A muck looked forward to visit and it did not disappoint.
Written June 22, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ana Maria L
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
It was very nice, the guide was very good, and explained well the place and its history. I went with my family and we really enjoy this visit
Written June 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Horace L
Hamburg, Germany227 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Booked tickets months ago on-line. Arrive 20 mins early to pass through security checks and take in some of the old railway station's features. Very informative guide (Grace) who spent about 30/40 minutes walking us round the Senate and answering questions. In the afternoon did the immersive Parliament tour on Sparks Street which was OK (and free too)
Written May 28, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

retireeVancouver
Vancouver, Canada1,829 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We spent a morning doing a 40 minute small group pre-booked tour of the House of Commons in the West Block and a 30 minute tour of the Senate building. At each tour, there is a 20 minute waiting period in which ticket holders go through an airline security type check. Tickets are free but only available online. I recommend booking far in advance of one's visit to Ottawa.

The Visitor Center is located outside in a separate building - signs on Parliament Hill show the way - between the West Building and the center block which is surrounded with construction fences. Ticket holders wait outside the Visitor Center to be let into that building for a check- in like going through an airport security system. After, while waiting inside for the tour to be called, visitors can browse the various selections of tourist items in the boutique shop - pens, pencils, pins, maple syrup, puzzles, cups, etc. Tour guides could be university students doing a summer job. In each tour, visitors are shown the hall where debates occur and another room where Committees meet. Photos are OK and questions are welcomed.

After the tours, we walked around the Parliament buildings to view the many statues of past Prime Ministers. Lester Pearson was the last one to have his statue placed on the Hill. Each state identifies the person and his contribution to Canadian history. This Hill walk is on a paved path behind the parliament buildings with wonderful changing views across the Ottawa River to Gatineau and its Canadian History Museum, the Ottawa River bridges and Falls, and the National Art Gallery with Bytown and the US Embassy. Out front of the Parliament Buildings along Wellington Street is the ever burning Central Flame with emblems of each Canadian province around it. While the Central building is undergoing a reno, the construction fence offers photos of the interiors of Parliament with diagrams showing the make-up of Canadian federal government.
Written May 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Olav V
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Was Just outside, since its closed on Sundays - but the buildings are amazing! We had beautiful sunshine and People relaxing in the sun
Written May 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dominiquemariscotes
Hermitage, TN33 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Center Block is under massive construction, so inaccessible. Western and Eastern Blocks are open for tours. Great tour guide, very quick. Some opportunities for photos, but have to hurry. Plenty of time to roam around the campus on the outside for pictures.
Written April 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mabellejee
Mount Vernon, IL148 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Book a tour to see how Canadian Parliament operates. Currently being held in West Block as they complete major renovations on Centre Block, Guide was informative. The newly created structure was beautiful and so many aspects to take in. For free, this tour was appreciated by all of my family. A win!
Written March 31, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Helen E
London, UK66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We booked a tour of the House of Commons (West Block), online several weeks in advance, but unfortunately had to cancel the day before the tour due to sickness (see my review of Zak’s diner in the Byward market). The cancellation process was very easy- just a phone call. During the call I was told not to worry about rebooking because additional tickets always become available overnight. Sure enough at 8:00 am on the day we decided to go, there were four places available for each time slot. Again, the online booking process was easy. When we finally did the tour we were well-rewarded. It was simple, straightforward, informative and definitely worth the time investment!
Written March 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bea
974 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Wonderful complex of Gothic revival buildings situated on the southern banks of the Ottawa River. it is a place where Canada's federal government is located.
Peace Tower is absolutely amazing. The bronze clock was crafted in its present form in 1879.
All is situated on a beautiful, well-taken of ground.
Written December 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brenda S
Winnipeg, Canada134 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We saw the awesome Winter display on the parliament buildings (Ottawa) in December last year (2022). . Sadly there were none this year (December 2023)….pity…it really was something too see.
Written December 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 7,485
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Parliament Hill and Buildings, Ottawa

All Ottawa HotelsOttawa Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Ottawa
All things to do in Ottawa
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars