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Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

4.6
#1 of 17 in Museums in Ottawa
Emotional, educational, and enlightening, Canadian War Museum brings to life the stories that shaped Canadian military history. Housed in one of the country's architectural landmarks, the museum displays a comprehensive collection that includes artworks, weapons, military vehicles, uniforms, and other war-related items. Through numerous large multimedia exhibits, including a replica World War I trench, you'll feel immersed in the experience of war. Visit the gallery dedicated to recent conflicts, where an interactive space provokes visitors to form their own conclusions about war and peace. At night, the building's facade lights up with messages spelled out in Morse code. For Canadian War Museum and beyond, use our Ottawa itinerary maker to get the most from your Ottawa vacation.
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Canadian War Museum Reviews
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3,577 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 15, 2017
    I really like that visitors to the museum can touch many of the pieces on display. It was very interesting and at times even emotional to see the displays. Staff were friendly and helpful.  more »
  • August 15, 2017
    Visited this museum for the first time and it exceeded my expectations by far; turned out to be my favourite museum in Ottawa. The museum has an unexpectedly rich collection with very strong focus on ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    I definitely wasn't expecting to be as absorbed and enthralled as I was at this museum, although I have always been interested and proud of our Canadian role in keeping the world a safer place. Howeve...  more »
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  • June 7, 2017
    They have a whole room with just tanks. TANKS!!!! There is also an Enigma machine there. I could stay there all day but just to walk through and see everything is just about 2hrs max. That's why they have those coin operated parking at the front of the entrance. However the cafeteria for breakfast/lunch was the best deal. I mean I went there for breakfast even though I wasn't visiting the museum. It was good.
  • July 2, 2017
    The museum is a beautiful collection of history, machinery and Canadian humanity. Yes it is was wonderful but in the same foot note it is heart-wrenching and filled with the gruesome reminders of what civilization must participate in. In closing yes the collections were beautiful and educational but many of the interactive exhibits were malfunctioning. The displays were all extremely dated and directed towards a dwindling demographic. I recommend they update the way museums engage the attendees.
  • May 20, 2017
    I went on a trip to Ottawa with my husband and thought "Canadian War Museum" sounded like a nice place to check out. We didn't know what to expect when we came in. It was fascinating. The way things are presented, in chronological order, makes you see the way warfare has evolved over the years. From tomahawks to tanks, submarines and planes. There are many many real life guns, tanks, anti-air flak cannons, etc. I recommend this museum to anybody. It was truly a unique experience.
  • June 6, 2017
    The tactful nature of this museum is really what puts it over the top. Everythign is clean and polished and in working order - there is a tangible sense of respect by all the employees and guides. We bought tickets in advance, not realizing that CF members got in free, but it was easily worth the $13. I had been through once before back in Basic, and not much had changed since then other than an exhibit on Flanders and fighting in Belgium. Having the synthesized smells of chlorine and mustard gas really made the exhibit hit home. All in all the museum does a great job walking visitors through Canada's military history and our part on the global stage. It would have been great to see a little more emphasis on the culture and traditions of the CF as they stand today...regimental histories, etc. But with the space they have, they do an excellent job.
  • June 13, 2017
    Went with little ones (aged 1, 3, 5) and we all loved it. The exhibits on WWI and WWII are great very instructive. As long as parents explain things well, children should not get scared (i.e. I think it's appropriate for all ages). Oh, and go to the tanks room last, if not it will be hard to get kids out of there to see the rest!

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Where to stay in Ottawa

For the best access to restaurants and shops, stay in the historic central neighborhood of ByWard Market, where you can choose from a range of comfortable hotels. Options also abound just south of the canal in Centretown, where you can enjoy easy access to the best attractions in Ottawa. You can explore the city's diverse heritage by staying in one of its many cultural hubs--Chinatown, Little Italy, and Quartier Vanier offer a distinctive taste of China, Italy, and France respectively.
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