Notre-Dame Basilica is Montreal’s oldest Catholic church and the venue of Quebec hero Celine Dion’s wedding. The Gothic Revival-style church is one of Canada’s most lavish cathedrals, with stained-glass windows, intricate wood carvings, frescoes, sculptures, and a 7,000-pipe organ all vying for attention beneath a blue ceiling studded with gold stars.
Notre-Dame Basilica is a major city attraction featured on hop-on hop-off bus tours and walking tours of Montreal. French and English guided tours are offered daily and are included in the admission price. Tours last 20 or 60 minutes, with the longer guided tour granting access to otherwise out-of-bounds areas in the intricately designed interior, such as the second balcony and part of the crypt. Some tours even allow you to get close to the famous Casavant organ.
Sightseers can also visit independently. After paying admission at the door, take one of the informational leaflets to guide you around the beautiful church.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The basilica is a must-see for architecture fans.
- Dress conservatively to ensure access to the religious site.
- Notre-Dame Basilica is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Notre-Dame Basilica is located on Notre-Dame Street West, overlooking the Place d’Armes plaza in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal). To get there, ride Montreal’s orange metro line to Place d’Armes.
When to Get There
The basilica is open year-round, but occasionally closes for special events such as weddings or funerals. Check ahead of time to make sure it’s open during your visit. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel (Chapelle Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur frequently closes during midday mass and on Saturdays for weddings. For your best chance of viewing it, try visiting in the early morning or late afternoon on a weekday instead.
Seeing Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel (Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur)
Located behind the main altar, the Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur is one of the most eye-catching parts of the church. Rebuilt using traditional methods after the old chapel was destroyed by fire in 1978, it is dominated by a huge 32-panel bronze altarpiece by Quebec sculptor Charles Daudelin.