On the edge of the St Lawrence River, Old Montreal (or Vieux Montréal) is the city’s birthplace with picturesque squares, grand old-world architecture, and a dense concentration of locals and visitors. The narrow Rue St-Paul, the old main street, teems with art galleries, shops, and eateries. The broad concourse of the Old Port is lined with green parkland and cafes along Rue de la Commune.
The area’s pulsating center is Place Jacques-Cartier. From here, its center promenade slopes down from rue Notre-Dame to Old Port, lined with 18th century stone buildings. At the base of the plaza are horse-drawn carriages, outdoor cafes, and street performers. Nearby are such highlights as the Bonsecours Market and the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel. West of Place Jacques-Cartier is Place d’Armes, dominated by the Notre-Dame Basilica.
As you walk south, you’ll reach the Place Royal and the St. Lawrence River, which is completely taken up by Old Port (Vieux Port). Here you’ll find maritime facilities alongside a variety of museums and attractions, including the Montreal Museum of Anthropology & History. But the most fun of visiting this historic area is ambling along the cobblestone streets and marveling at the architecture. You’ll really feel transported from the modern era.
Great way to get to know the city in a short amount of time. If you have time, take both tours (East and West Old Montreal), one in the morning and one in the early afternoon. Both are very interesting. Our guide, Sara M., was wonderful: Very knowledgeable and kind. I definitely suggest making the time for it, when offered.
I've been on a walking food tour in our home city of Chicago (which is also a great food city, by the way!), but this tour in Old Montreal was really something special. Our guide Ronald Poire was witty and knowledgeable, helping us understand more of the history of Historic Montreal. The charm of the city comes through in the food samples, starting the day with macaroons and hot coffee, sampling some different pates and cheeses, and finishing with some delicious maple syrup gelato. A great way for new comers to get an intimate look at one of the most romantic and people friendly parts of Montreal.
Old Montreal is bounded by rue Bern to the west, rue Saint-Antoine to the north, rue McGill in the east, and Old Port and the St. Lawrence River to the south. The area is easily accessible from downtown via the Underground City, and is also served by several bus routes and Metro stations.