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Canadian War Museum

The country’s museum of military history features collections of weapons and vehicles that cover hundreds of years of conflict.

See tanks, artillery pieces and a fighter jet and learn about Canada's military history when you visit the Canadian War Museum. Through art, photographs, personal stories, medals and uniforms, understand more about the human cost of conflict.

Much of the museum’s vast collection is spread across four chronological galleries. Go to the first gallery to see tomahawks, bows, arrows and other artifacts that cover the history of conflicts in Canada up until 1885. 

Find out what life was like in World War I trenches when you tour the second gallery. Here you can also discover little known military strategies that were adopted during the South African War and World War I. They include the use of animals to carry supplies and messages.

At the gallery devoted to World War II, look over the black armored Mercedes-Benz limousine that chauffeured Adolf Hitler during parades. Then step into the fourth gallery which concentrates on the Cold War, peacekeeping and recent battles.

Visit the Memorial Hall which features just one artifact, the headstone of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Every Remembrance Day it is illuminated by daylight to mark the hour when hostilities officially ended in 1918. 

When you leave the museum, spend a few moments looking over its architecture. The vegetation-covered roof, which slopes towards the Peace Tower, represents nature’s ability to renew after times of war. If you understand Morse code, you may recognize that the arrangement of the windows spells out "Lest we forget" in Canadian and French.

The Canadian War Museum is about a 5-minute walk away from downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill. You can also arrive by public transport and there is metered covered parking for cars. 

The museum is open daily, but closes for some holidays. Opening times vary across the seasons, so look at the museum's website before your visit. The admission fee includes access to permanent and special exhibitions and there are reductions for seniors, students and children. General admission is free on Thursday evenings.

Get the most out of your time spent at Canadian War Museum. Here is a list of the top things to do:

Why not think about purchasing a Canadian War Museum? It's one of the best activities on offer here.

If you're looking for even more options, have a look at our Ottawa things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Canadian War Museum


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Best Lodging Options Near Canadian War Museum

See all 359 properties near Canadian War Museum
Lord Elgin Hotel CA $125
Lord Elgin Hotel

Lord Elgin Hotel

100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National War Memorial, Rideau Centre and Parliament Hill. Rideau Canal is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away.

    Fairmont Chateau Laurier CA $186
    Fairmont Chateau Laurier

    Fairmont Chateau Laurier

    1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Ottawa, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of National War Memorial, Shaw Centre, and National Arts Centre. Byward Market Square and Parliament Hill are also within 10 minutes.

      Capital Hill Hotel and Suites CA $99
      Capital Hill Hotel and Suites

      Capital Hill Hotel and Suites

      88 Albert St, Ottawa, ON
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Arts Centre, Parliament Hill and Rideau Centre. Byward Market Square and Shaw Centre are also within 15 minutes.

        Albert At Bay Suite Hotel CA $112
        Albert At Bay Suite Hotel

        Albert At Bay Suite Hotel

        435 Albert St, Ottawa, ON
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Library and Archives Canada, Canadian War Museum and National Arts Centre. Parliament Hill and Rideau Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km). Bayview Station is 19 minutes by foot.

          Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre CA $116
          Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre

          Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre

          101 Lyon Street, Ottawa, ON
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Parliament Hill, Canadian War Museum and Byward Market Square. National Gallery of Canada and Canadian Museum of History are also within 1 mi (2 km). Bayview Station is 23 minutes by foot.

            The Business Inn CA $111
            The Business Inn

            The Business Inn

            180 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Centretown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canadian Tribute to Human Rights and Museum of Nature. University of Ottawa and National Arts Centre are also within 15 minutes.

              Ottawa Marriott Hotel CA $135
              Ottawa Marriott Hotel

              Ottawa Marriott Hotel

              100 Kent St, Ottawa, ON
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Ottawa hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Currency Museum and Parliament Hill. National Arts Centre and Shaw Centre are also within 15 minutes. Bayview Station is 26 minutes by foot.

                Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown CA $149
                Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown

                Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown

                361 Queen Street, Ottawa, ON
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Library and Archives Canada, Parliament Hill and National Arts Centre. Byward Market Square and Rideau Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km). Bayview Station is 22 minutes by foot.