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15 Best Things to do in Montreal (Canada)

15 Best Things to do in Montreal (Canada)

Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Montreal (Canada), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.

Montreal is one of the largest cities in Canada with a total population of 3,675,219 people living within its urban area.

Old Montreal

The historic district of Old Montreal is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The old-world architecture, beautiful galleries, and plentiful shopping opportunities make it one of Montreal’s top attractions.

Wander around cobble-stoned streets, taking in historical buildings spanning the last 400 years. There’s also an abundance of independent shops, boutiques, charming cafes, and restaurants to discover.

Be sure to visit the Old Port for beautiful views across the city and the St Lawrence River.

Old Montreal

Jean-Talon Market

Discover Montreal’s dual heritage at Jean-Talon Market, a wonderful combination of French and Canadian cultures. Situated in the Little Italy district, the market is one of North America’s largest and has attracted visitors since its opening in 1933.

Sample an array of tasty treats, from traditional Quebecoise cuisine to fresh cheese, meats, and pastries. The market’s offerings change with the seasons; buy blooming flower bouquets and freshly-tapped maple syrup in Spring or pick up sweet strawberries in Summer. Jean-Talon Market is a gourmet delight!

Jean-Talon Market

Photo: Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

Montreal Biodome

Montreal Biodome showcases some of the Americas’ environments through a spectacular indoor display of ecological systems. This one-of-a-kind experience is a must-do on any Montreal itinerary.

The unique attraction is one of the only places in the world where you can experience all four seasons under one roof.

You’ll see some of Canada’s indigenous animal and plant species across five recreated ecosystems and temporary exhibits, each with specially regulated temperatures to make it feel as though you’re really there.

Montreal Biodome

Photo: R.M. Nunes / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the nightlife

With some of the best nightlife in Canada, Montreal sure knows how to party. The huge variety of venues across the city each offer a different genre or music style, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Catch a performance from a world-famous DJ at superclubs such as New City Gas or Stereo Nightclub. Head to a pub or microbrewery for a tasty pint in a buzzing atmosphere, or make your way to a lounge or restaurant bar to hear jazz music, which is renowned in Montreal!

Hike Mount Royal

Mount Royal Park is Montreal’s best and most popular green space. Designed by the same architect responsible for creating Central Park in New York, Mount Royal is a perfect blend of city life and nature.

From Mont-Royal’s summit, you’ll be able to see spectacular views of the city skyline and the surrounding 470 acres of parkland. Climb up to the viewpoint from either Avenue du Parc or Peel Street to look out, or take in the natural surroundings on a short hike.

Mount Royal

Photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Basilique Notre-Dame

The Basilique Notre Dame is, quite simply, breathtaking. The basilica offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in history and religion, all the while surrounded by stunningly beautiful interiors.

A guided tour allows you to understand the construction, art, and architecture of the building, though a self-guided tour is just as enjoyable.

See exquisitely detailed stained-glass windows, and opulent decor adorned in gold leaf, or take a seat at the majestic Casavant organ, which offers a magnificent view of the basilica.

Basilique Notre-Dame

Photo: Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock.com

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the top-visited arts museums in all of Canada, and once you visit, it’s not hard to understand why. Across a vast array of temporary exhibitions, you’ll be able to see works of fine art, music, film, and fashion from across the globe.

Interactive programs allow you to learn more about the art on display, whether that’s through digital tours, podcasts, interviews with artists or virtual tours. The museum also houses a concert hall, auditorium, and cinema offering immersion in the arts.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Photo: Inspired By Maps / Shutterstock.com

Ride the Observation Wheel

See Montreal from a new perspective aboard La Grande Roue de Montreal, the tallest structure of its kind in Canada. This year-round attraction carries you 60 meters above the city, offering breathtaking views across Montreal and beyond.

See panoramic views from your climate-controlled gondola cabin, taking in the picturesque landscape of Old Montreal, St. Lawrence River, and the cityscape.

Observation Wheel

Photo: Marc Bruxelle / Shutterstock.com

Montreal Botanical Garden

Montreal Botanical Garden is a haven away from the bustle of city life. The garden, built to bring humans and nature closer together, is a fantastic display of biodiversity, flora, and fauna.

The gardens are great for a family day-out, a place for quiet contemplation, or for those looking to discover the world of plant life.

See over 22,000 plant species from all corners of the globe, learning more about natural resources as you go. There are 30 themed gardens, ten greenhouses, and beautiful cultural gardens to explore too.

Montreal Botanical Garden

Photo: Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

Check out Habitat 67

Initially built for Expo 67, Habitat 67 is a unique urban housing complex that went on to gather international acclaim. The complex is the brainchild of architect Moshe Safdie, who thought up the revolutionary design during his time as a master’s student at McGill University.

The 12-story complex is inspired by Safdie’s upbringing in an Israeli kibbutz and has become a much-loved landmark of Montreal’s skyline. On a guided tour of the housing complex, you’ll learn more about the avant-garde design and how the unusual blocks were constructed.

Habitat 67

Photo: Pinkcandy / Shutterstock.com

Wander around Le Plateau

The trendy neighborhood of Le Plateau is one of Montreal’s most characteristic. The area, located at the foot of Mount Royal, has a distinctly suburban feel and exudes charm from its tree-lined streets.

The young, vibrant area is home to a number of quirky bars, restaurants, and boutiques, and locals and visitors are entertained by over 100 local events every year. This walkable borough offers a plethora of outdoor spaces, just a short distance from the city center.

Le Plateau

Photo: Iris van den Broek / Shutterstock.com

Saint Joseph’s Oratory

Saint Joseph’s Oratory, sitting high above the city, is the world’s largest place of worship dedicated to Saint Joseph. The sanctuary attracts over 2 million visitors every year, each coming to see this world-famous pilgrimage site.

Inside, you’ll find a stunning basilica made to hold nearly 2000 worshippers, a majestic 97-meter-high dome, and numerous religious artifacts.

The vast building houses a museum, and, outside, you’ll find the splendid Garden of the Way of the Cross, housing magnificent sculptures in a tranquil outdoor oasis.

Saint Joseph's Oratory

The Montreal Tower

Montreal’s answer to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Montreal Tower, is a unique attraction rising 165 meters into the city skyline. The astonishing 45-degree angle of the building makes it the world’s tallest inclined tower and offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Take a two-minute ride in a glass funicular to the observatory, where spectacular panoramic views of Montreal greet you. See some of the city’s landmarks, from the Botanical Gardens to the St Lawrence River; on clear days, you’ll be able to see as far as 80 kilometers away.

Montreal Tower

Photo: meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Bonsecour Market

Housed in one of Canada’s most beautiful buildings, Bonsecour Market is a place to see works from Quebec’s creatives.

The neo-classical architecture of the building makes it a must-see for history and culture buffs; this piece of Montreal history boasts imported English columns and a Greek Revival-style portico.

Make your way around the 15 boutique stores showcasing artistry, design work, and artisan produce, then stop at a cafe for a coffee and some locally-produced tasty treats.

Bonsecour Market

Barbie Expo

The Barbie Expo at Les Cours Mont-Royal is home to the world’s most extensive collection of Barbie dolls. Kids and big kids alike will love the opportunity to see over 1000 dolls, each dressed in a unique outfit.

The fascinating museum is a combination of history and fashion, with some Barbies dressed in designer gowns from the likes of Ralph Lauren and Christian Dior.

See Barbies dressed as Hollywood stars. Then head into the Barbie box and strike a pose as a doll yourself!

Barbie Expo

Photo: c.I.I.o / Shutterstock.com

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