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National Gallery of Canada

Explore art through the ages in this impressive collection of national and international works of art.

The National Gallery of Canada is home to a significant collection of national and international art from across the ages. The gallery houses over 30,000 works of art and is the perfect place to learn about Canada’s rich artistic heritage, from the carvings of the First Peoples to the nation’s latest contemporary arts. 

Enter the gallery and walk through the light-filled Colonnade to the Great Hall where soaring windows perfectly frame Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River. At 141 feet (43 meters) high, the building pays homage to the Victorian Gothic Revival of the Parliamentary Library. 

The gallery is divided into multiple collection areas. The first features Canadian paintings, objects and artifacts from the 18th century, while the Indigenous galleries include totem poles and Inuit stone carvings. View 17th-century paintings from masters such as Rubens and van Dyck in the European Collection. Admire the sculptures throughout the gallery with works from the second century to the present day. Wander through installation works and video art in the Contemporary Art galleries. See an impressive range of religious prints and drawings that date back to the 15th century. 

The National Gallery’s design is a masterpiece in itself. The glass-and-granite building with its angular towers celebrates the city’s position as the capital of the country. The landscaping in the Taiga Garden is based on the painting Terre Sauvage by A. Y. Jackson, one of the Group of Seven, famous Canadian artists whose paintings broke from European traditions, defining a new distinctly Canadian identity. 

Enjoy lunch at the Café l’Entrée or dine under the glass rotunda in the Cafétéria des Beaux-Arts to enjoy views of the Ottawa River. Then stock up on books on Canadian art at the excellent gift shop.

Gallery opening hours vary, so check in advance. Free general admissions are on Thursday evenings and some national celebratory days during the year. The gallery is easily accessible from downtown Ottawa. It is walking distance to the ByWard Market, Parliament Hill and Château Laurier. There is on-site parking available for a fee.


Guide to Exploring around National Gallery of Canada


Best Lodging Options Near National Gallery of Canada

See all 338 properties near National Gallery of Canada
Fairmont Chateau Laurier CA $251
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.

    Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt CA $152
    Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt

    Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt

    325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, ON
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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

      Les Suites Hotel Ottawa CA $155
      Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

      Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

      130 Besserer St, Ottawa, ON
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shaw Centre and Byward Market Square. University of Ottawa and National Gallery of Canada are also within 15 minutes.

        Days Inn by Wyndham Ottawa CA $94
        Days Inn by Wyndham Ottawa

        Days Inn by Wyndham Ottawa

        319 Rideau St, King Edward and Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Lowertown, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Ottawa Art Gallery, Byward Market Square and University of Ottawa. Rideau Centre and Shaw Centre are also within 15 minutes.

          The Westin Ottawa CA $170
          The Westin Ottawa

          The Westin Ottawa

          11 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shaw Centre, Byward Market Square and Parliament Hill. University of Ottawa and Canadian Museum of History are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Novotel Ottawa City Centre CA $115
            Novotel Ottawa City Centre

            Novotel Ottawa City Centre

            33 Nicholas St, Ottawa, ON
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Ottawa Art Gallery and Rideau Centre. Byward Market Square and Shaw Centre are also within 10 minutes.

              Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Ottawa CA $127
              Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Ottawa

              Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Ottawa

              350 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Byward Market Square and National Arts Centre. National Gallery of Canada and Bytown Museum are also within 15 minutes.

                Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Downtown East CA $94
                Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Downtown East

                Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Downtown East

                235 KING EDWARD AVENUE, Ottawa, ON
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Lowertown, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Byward Market Square and National Gallery of Canada. University of Ottawa and Parliament Hill are also within 1 mi (2 km).