The National Gallery is one of my favourite places in Ottawa.
Coffee and Parking
If you see complimentary street parking anywhere in your coffee search, grab it! Otherwise, it's best to swallow the cost and park directly underneath the Gallery to avoid running back and forth to feed the meter.
Tickets and Tours
If purchasing a membership is something you're considering, keep an eye out for Groupon offers. We obtained our membership last year for about half the regular price through Groupon.
When purchasing your tickets, be sure to ask about Docent Talks and special events that might be happening that day. There are often special art film screenings and workshops. Sadly, the Gallery no longer seems to offer complimentary daily tours of the permanent collection but tour tickets can be purchased for an additional fee.
Canadian, International, Or....?
My second stop is usually the European masters in the International collection. This is a perfect stop for visitors who are a bit lukewarm about art. There are many well known, popular pieces by famous artists and even the most philistine among visitors will be happy to see Van Gogh and Monet on the walls.
While I'm normally not drawn to modern art, the Contemporary gallery has always been a bit of a favourite of mine and I always take the time to quickly walk through on every visit. There are some spectacular pieces by Jackson Pollock that I just love!
A Meal with a View
If you do want to step outside for lunch, my favourite spots include the Blackthorn Cafe (15 Clarence Street) for innovative, thin crust pizza, while La Bottega Nicastro (64 George Street) sells made-to-order, massive deli sandwiches for a mere $5 and is my favourite spot for a cheap eat downtown.
Time to Head Outside
No trip to Ottawa would be complete without a visit to the National Gallery of Canada. It's one of the places that always makes me feel happier after I've visited and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this special building to anyone visiting the National Capital region.
I'd love to hear from you! Where is your favourite gallery located?
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