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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the
National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is one of the world's most renowned art institutions, with a collection that encompasses more than 65,000 pieces from around the globe. Established in 1880, the NGC is located in Ottawa, Ontario, and is home to Canadian and international artworks spanning various movements and times. The gallery mounts rotating exhibitions throughout the year, as well as special exhibitions that are often tied in with major cultural events taking place in Canada. Some of the most famous pieces in the NGC's collection include Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" and Marc Chagall's "I and the Village".

Image of plaster sculpture representing a yellow bull skull.

The address is 380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4.

Visiting hours:
The National Gallery of Canada is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except for Christmas Day.


Fascinating Facts about NGC:

-It was the first national art gallery in Canada and has the world's largest collection of Canadian art.

-The building was designed by architect Moshe Safdie.

- The gallery contains over 1 million works in its collection, including pieces by Rembrandt, Monet, and Picasso, and also a large collection of Inuit art.

- The gallery's most famous part is the interactive "Skywalk" that offers stunning views of Ottawa from atop the museum.

-The NGC's sculpture garden is the biggest in North America, with over 200 sculptures on display.


Public Transit:

Public transit is a recommended way to get around a city, and it's also environmentally friendly. In Ottawa, the public transit system is called OC Transport. There are buses, streetcars, and O-Train lines that cover the entire city. The fares are affordable, the transit is free for under 18 people, and give discounts for seniors and students.

The accessible by bus routes 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17, and 18. If you're traveling from another part of the city, take the O-Train to Parliament Station or Rideau Center Station and transfer to one of the buses mentioned above.


Via Car:

When you go to the NGC, you can park your car in the underground parking garage. The entrance to the garage is on Wellington Street, just south of the gallery. There is a large sign that says "National Gallery of Canada Parking." The cost is $10 per day. The garage has 819 spaces, and it's open from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. The exit is on Sussex Drive, just north of the gallery.

Via Bike:

The gallery is located just south of Parliament Hill, on Wellington Street, and is easily accessible by bike. Bikes can be parked right in front of the gallery.

By Foot:

Start by walking down Wellington Street. You'll find plenty of shops, and restaurants along the way. When you reach Confederation Square, you'll see the NGC in front of you.



Here are some tips to help you snag a spot:

- Arrive early

- Check alternate side streets

- Use the app Parkopedia

- Utilize public transportation

Nearby Locations


If you're finding for something outdoorsy, Gatineau Park is nearby and offers plenty of hiking and biking trails. Also, the Canadian Museum of History is across the river in Gatineau.

Just across the street from the NG is Parliament Hill, the house of Canada's government and legislative branch.



The NGC has a boutique that sells exclusive art prints, stationery, and other gifts. The items in the boutique are all designed by Canadian artists and feature images of Canadian landscapes and wildlife.

A few miles away is Sparks Street, a pedestrian-only shopping district that stretches for several blocks.




The Gallery's restaurants offer a wide variety of food options, from classic Canadian dishes to international fare. Some are given below:

·  Gallery Bistro, which serves up delicious comfort food like burgers and fries.

·  Terrace Restaurant.

·  The Simcoe Street entrance leads visitors to two options: The Keg Steakhouse + Bar or Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill. Both restaurants are casual and serve Canadian comfort food. The Keg is known for its steaks and seafood, while Swiss Chalet specializes in rotisserie chicken and ribs.

·  L’Atelier is a French restaurant that serves classic dishes like onion soup, beef bourguignon, and crème brûlée. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and is perfect for a date night or special occasion.

·  La Bottega is an Italian restaurant that offers homemade pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and traditional desserts like tiramisu and gelato. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and is perfect for a family dinner or group get-together.

·  Beckta Dining and Wine is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in Canadian cuisine.




If you're searching for a luxurious hotel, the Ritz-Carlton is the best option, as it is located right across the street from the gallery. But for an affordable option, several chain hotels exist close to the gallery.


1. Hampton Inn by Hilton

2. Holiday Inn Express Ottawa

3. Western Plus Ottawa City Center Hotel


Visiting Cost

 Admission is free for everyone, but some exhibits require an admission fee. Overall, a visit to the NGC is a relatively affordable option for tourists in Ottawa.


Kid-friendly Place

NGC is the best place for kids, but be aware that it can be quite close and famous. There are many activities for children to enjoy, like; an interactive gallery, an Art stop program, and the Family Room.


What do Travelers think of the NGC?

The consensus seems to be the best place for art lovers and anyone interested in Canadian culture. "The architecture and collection of the National Gallery of Canada are stunning," writes one TripAdvisor reviewer. "It's a beautiful building with great art inside." One visitor said: "This is one of my favorite places in Ottawa. Art is always changing and it's the best spot to relax.

Security guard standing off to the side in an art gallery.

Pro Guide

1. Give yourself enough time to explore the galleries. There's a lot to see!

2. Check out the schedule of upcoming events and workshops. There's always something new happening at the gallery.

3. Take benefit of the free guided tours offered on weekends and holidays. You'll learn a lot about the art on display.

4. Stop by the gift shop on your way out for unique souvenirs from your trip.

Looking for more fun things to do while SMC Demolition works on your constriction project? Check out the Rideau Canal next!