A Ranking Of The Top 2023 Travel Spots Dropped & Ottawa — Somehow — Was The Only Canadian City

Ottawa?!

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
People skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Right: A view of the Parliament in Ottawa.

People skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Right: A view of the Parliament in Ottawa.

With three years of ongoing travel disruptions and complications, it's no surprise that travellers are eager to jet off to one gorgeous spot after the next. Well, turns out one of those destinations is right here in Canada, but it isn't Montreal, Toronto… or even Vancouver.

It's Ottawa.

CNN released its list of Top Travel Destinations in 2023 and Canada's capital made the cut. In fact, it was the only Canadian city to land on the list.

This might certainly come as a shock considering Canada's urban trinity (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) are often regarded as the country's premier destinations. CNN admits as much.

"It doesn't have Montreal's French flair or Toronto's international oomph, so the Canadian capital can get overlooked. That would be a mistake. Graceful and understated, Ottawa has its own draws," CNN wrote.

The publication highlighted Ottawa's jazz festivals, which take place in February and again in June. The Rideau Canal, which transforms into the world's largest winter starting rink, is also a hotspot.

Getting a glimpse of Ottawa's Parliament Hill and even catching an Ottawa Senator's game are two other activities CNN recommends.

While Ottawa's charm might be worth a quick visit, its placement among the other top travel destinations on the list is a real head-scratcher.

Here's the complete list of CNN's Top Travel Destinations in 2023:

  • Poland
  • Western Australia
  • Liverpool, England
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Fiji
  • Manaus, Brazil
  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Rwanda
  • Gothenburg Sweden
  • Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
  • Laos
  • Gruyères, Switzerland
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Bogotá, Colombia
  • Mustang Valley, Nepal
  • Tanzania
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Naoshima, Japan
  • Belize
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Uganda
Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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