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Things to do in Montreal

Things to do in  Montreal

Welcome to Montreal

The capital of French-speaking Canada boasts an enviable combination of history, cuisine, and nonstop cultural happenings. Walking and biking tours are among the best ways to explore the city’s neighborhoods—from Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal) to Chinatown—and hit must-see landmarks such as Notre-Dame Basilica, Mount Royal, and St. Joseph’s Oratory. Ascend Montreal Tower Observatory for panoramic city views, or book a food tour to immerse yourself in the internationally influenced culinary scene. Montreal is also ideally located for day trips to Montmorency Falls, Quebec City, and Quebec’s wineries, as well as Rivière-du-Loup whale-watching excursions.

Top 10 attractions in Montreal

#1

Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port de Montréal)

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The epicenter of the city’s sea trade back in the 17th-century, Montreal’s Old Port lost its role as a trading post in the 1970s, falling temporarily into ruin until a major renovation transformed it into one of the city’s most important entertainment centers in the 1990s. Today, the vibrant waterfront district is home to an IMAX cinema, the acclaimed Montréal Science Centre and a landmark Clock Tower, as well a large outdoor skating rink in winter and an urban beach in summer. The scenic Old Port makes an atmospheric spot for walking, cycling and Segway tours, but other popular pastimes for visitors include river cruises, renting a paddleboat (pedalo) to paddle around the calm waters of Bonsecours Basin Park or soaring overhead in a seaplane for a unique bird’s eye view of the historic waterfront.More
#2

Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)

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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 facilMore
#3

Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours)

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Bonsecours Market, in Vieux Montreal, is a bustling gallery of shops selling arts and crafts, leather goods and garments. The sprawling 19th century neoclassical building - with its long facade, a colonnaded portico, and a silvery dome - makes a visit worthwhile. Since it was built, the imposing structure has been everything from a farmers market to a concert theatre to a brief stint as city hall. Inside, shops stock everything from Inuit art and locally made jewelry to luxurious made-in-Canada beaver coats. Over at the Diffusion Griff' 3000 boutique, you can browse the creations of some of Québec's finest designers. Also here is an exhibition hall, which showcases displays on history and culture; three restaurants, which line the facade on rue St-Paul; and a dozen or so art galleries.More
#4

Mount Royal

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The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park, the work of New York Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted. It's a sprawling, leafy playground that's perfect for cycling, jogging, horseback riding, picnicking; in winter, miles of paths and trails draw cross-country skiers and snowshoers. On clear days, you can enjoy panoramic views from the Kondiaronk lookout near Chalet du Mont Royal, a grand old white villa that hosts big-band concerts in summer; or from the Observatoire de l'Est, a favorite rendezvous spot for lovebirds. En route you'll spot the landmark Cross of Montréal, which is illuminated at night. Other features of the park include Lac des Castors (Beaver Lake), a sculpture garden, a lush forest, with numerous sets of stairs, and two cemeteries.More
#5

St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal (L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal)

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St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal (L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal) located in Montreal’s Westmount neighborhood, is Canada’s largest church and a registered National Historic Site. Started as a small chapel in 1904, the Roman Catholic basilica has grown to contain a cryptic church, a museum, gardens, a 56-bell carillon, and one of the largest church domes in the world.More
#6

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal)

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One of Montreal's most enduring symbols, the Notre Dame Basilica occupies a site rich with three centuries of history, with its most recent claim to fame being the baptism of Céline Dion's son. Inside, one of the highlights is the altar, which displays 32 bronze panels representing birth, life, and death. The west tower houses one massive bell, which when rung, vibrates right up through your feet. The Chapelle du Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart Chapel) located behind the main hall is nicknamed the Wedding Chapel and is so popular that there is a two years wait to tie the knot. Tuesday through Saturday, an evening sound and light display called "Et la lumière fut" ("And then there was light") uses cutting-edge technology to tell the story of the church and the city.More
#7

Montreal Olympic Park (Parc Olympique de Montréal)

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Site of the 1976 Olympic Games, Olympic Park is now a family-friendly destination packed with sites and activities. The four attractions are the Olympic Stadium (State Olympique), the Montreal Biodome (Biodôme de Montréal), the Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanique), and the Montreal Insectarium (Insectarium de Montreal). Plus, they are all within walking distance of each other. Olympic Stadium is mainly used for baseball, festivals, fairs, and shows. It’s one of the most visited stadiums in the world. A platform at the top affords panoramic views of Montreal and its surroundings. At the Montreal Biodome, you can an amble through a rainforest, the Arctic Circle, rolling woodlands, or along the raw Atlantic oceanfront - all without ever leaving the building. Inside the Botanical Gardens you can wander around 10 large, fragrant conservatory greenhouses, each with a theme, from orchids and begonias to ferns and rainforest flora.More
#8

St. Lawrence River

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As one of the longest and most historic rivers in the world – penetrating 3,058 kilometers into North America- the St Lawrence River is omnipresent everywhere visitors look. Stretching from the mighty Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes of Ontario, the land on either side of it has been occupied by Native tribes for almost 10,000 years. And although many studies suggest Vikings were the first European explorers to navigate its waters, the river was only officially discovered by Jacques Cartier in the 16th century – which turned out to be one of the most important turning points in North American history. Indeed, the Saint Lawrence River served as the main route for European exploration of the North American interior in order to establish a lucrative colonial empire resulting from the trade with the Montagnais, the Etchemin and the Algonquin people.More
#9

Montreal Place d'Armes

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Nestled in the heart of historic Old-Montreal, Place d’Armes is the second oldest public site in Montreal. The Sulpicians, who played a major role in the founding of the city and built the still-existing Saint-Sulpice Seminary on the southern side of the square, called it Place de la Fabrique as it was used as a hay and wood market. The name was, however, changed to Place d’Armes in 1721 when it became the stage of various military events. Place d’Armes more or less kept it actual size and allure since the completion of Notre-Dame Basilica in 1830, with the notable exception that it is now flanked by the city’s first high rise buildings -representing major periods of Montreal's development- the New York Life Insurance Building as well as the Art deco gem and Empire State Building lookalike Aldred Building.More

Trip ideas

Quebec City Day Trips From Montreal

Quebec City Day Trips From Montreal

Haunted Montreal

Haunted Montreal

Recent reviews from experiences in Montreal

star-5
Best tour of Montreal
PROMISE_U, Sep. 2020
City tour; afternoon in Montreal
We got to see so many beautiful places in montreal.
star-5
Scooter Girl and David
Nancy_K, Oct. 2020
Guided Scooter Sightseeing Tour in Montreal
Got to see some neighbourhoods that I hadn't visited before.
star-5
Beautiful Mont-Réal at night on electric scooters
Lisette_S, Sep. 2020
Guided Scooter Sightseeing Tour in Montreal
We took the English tour at 19:30.
star-5
The Notre-Dame basilica
Clint, Feb. 2020
Old Montreal Walking Tour + Notre-Dame Basilica (Small Group)
Provided more than enough information about old Montreal to make us want to come back in the summer to further explore the area.
star-5
Amazing tour and tour guide!
Danielle B, Dec. 2019
Winter Charms of Old Montreal & Notre-Dame Basilica Small Group Tour
My friend and I booked this 3 hour walking tour to get to see the beautiful Old Montreal.
star-5
Excellent tour around the Old Town
Megan11111111, Nov. 2019
Old Montreal Walking Tour + Notre-Dame Basilica (Small Group)
She was lots of fun and took the time at the end of the tour to mark out other places around Montreal to visit on a map which was appreciated.
star-5
Great tour!
lavender5923, Nov. 2019
History Walking Tour of Old Montreal
This tour was a great way to see Montreal!
star-5
Love it!
Traveler630782, Oct. 2019
History Walking Tour of Old Montreal
Looking to visit this great city again!
star-4
Montreal in a nutshell
jamesbX2215AL, Oct. 2019
Montreal City Sightseeing Tour with Live Commentary
Was a good way to see the whole city.
star-4
A good overview
efp2019, Sep. 2019
Montreal City Sightseeing Tour with Live Commentary
What the tour does is give you a sense of what you might want to visit in more depth.
star-5
Great way to see Montreal
Tami I, Aug. 2019
Montreal Bike Tour: The Essentials
Such a beautiful way to see the city, Our guide Catherine was just great, full of facts along the way.
star-5
excellent!!!!
Flyer62960, Oct. 2018
Small-Group Quebec Wine Tour from Montreal
Sain, our our guide , was fluent in French and English.
star-5
Most fun day in Montreal. Learned so...
rdhd224, Jun. 2016
Beyond the Bike Lanes Bike Tour
Learned so much and got to see neighborhoods in the city that I otherwise would have missed.
star-5
We enjoyed this tour largely based...
Carl M, Sep. 2017
Old Montreal Private Walking Tour
When we go back to Montreal, we will again request Andre's services as a guide to things we have yet to see and learn about.
star-5
Old Montreal walking tour
LightPacker667164, Oct. 2019
Old Montreal Walking Tour + Notre-Dame Basilica (Small Group)
Fran our guide was an expert gives us a good history of Montreal and gave recommendations on restaurants and other highlight places to visit with our minimum time.
star-5
This was a great tour with some...
Shirley H, Jun. 2017
Flavors of Old Montreal Food and Culture Walking Tour
Loved the one about the French and English statutes on the square in front of the Basilica of Norte Dame Montreal take the tour to hear the story.
star-5
Darren was an excellent guide. Our...
TimC, Aug. 2017
Flavors of Old Montreal Food and Culture Walking Tour
Was also a great way to see old town Montreal
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walking tour of old montreal - east & West
Casey9163, Sep. 2019
History Walking Tour of Old Montreal
Her suggestions for additional areas to explore or cafes to visit were spot on.
star-5
This was a fabulous way to see...
Karen M, Nov. 2016
4 Hour Montreal Architecture & City Bike Tour with Wine or Beer
This was a fabulous way to see Montreal!
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Comprehensive Overview of Montreal
Erika F, Jun. 2019
Montreal City Sightseeing Tour with Live Commentary
In a few hours you get a very comprehensive tour of Montreal and get to get off the bus to see the highlights.

Frequently Asked Questions