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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 15 attractions in Montreal

#1
Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port de Montréal)

Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port de Montréal)

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Once a busy shipping hub, the Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port de Montréal) is now an entertainment center stretching along the St. Lawrence River. In addition to the promenade, the port is also home to the Montreal Science Centre, La Grande Roue de Montréal, an observation wheel, a boat spa, and seasonal outdoor attractions including an urban beach and an ice rink.More
#2
Montreal Olympic Park (Parc Olympique de Montréal)

Montreal Olympic Park (Parc Olympique de Montréal)

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Built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the Montreal Olympic Park (Parc Olympique de Montréal) now houses several attractions that form Montreal’s Space for Life museum district. There’s the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, the 56,000-seater Olympic Stadium, the Biodome, an indoor zoo with around 4,500 animals, as well as the Botanical Gardens and Insectarium in neighboring Maisonneuve Park.More
#3
Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)

Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)

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Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal) charms visitors with its picturesque squares, grand old-world architecture, and winding cobblestone streets. Whether in the Old Port or walking down the main street Rue Saint-Paul, it’s easy to feel transported back in time—in fact, some architectural remains date back to New France. The historic site is considered to be the best preserved Old Town in North America.More
#4
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal)

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

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Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) is the city'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.More
#5
Mount Royal

Mount Royal

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Mount Royal (Mont Royal), a 764-foot (233-meter) “mountain” in the midst of urban Montreal, is much-loved by locals and visitors alike, with Montrealers frequenting the leafy slopes as if the area were their own backyard. Cyclists, joggers, sunbathers, picnickers, and strollers abound in summer, while snowshoers, tobogganers, ice skaters, and cross-country skiers dominate in winter. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted—the creative force behind New York City’s Central Park—the 470-acre (190-hectare) Mount Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal) encompasses forest trails, manmade monuments, and grassy meadows for picnicking. On a clear day, the views from the Mount Royal summit lookout can’t be beaten.More
#6
St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal (L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal)

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
#7
Montreal Chinatown

Montreal Chinatown

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Montreal Chinatown was established in the late 19th century with the arrival of Chinese immigrants from western Canada who came to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Though just a couple of blocks long, the district offers a wide selection of Asian eateries and shops selling traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.More
#8
Mile End

Mile End

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Situated at the northernmost point of Montreal’s Plateau, Mile End is known for its array of independent shops, cafés, and underground music venues. The vibrant neighborhood, a cultural hub since the 1980s, is teeming with highly-rated restaurants and historical landmarks, from classic bagelries to scenes from the novels of Mordecai Richler.More
#9
Montreal Science Centre (Centre des Sciences de Montréal)

Montreal Science Centre (Centre des Sciences de Montréal)

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Situated on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the Montreal Science Centre (Centre des Sciences de Montréal) is a museum committed to educating the public about science and technology through hands-on learning. Its IMAX theater, daily programs, and interactive exhibits help make the Science Centre a popular attraction for both visiting and local families.More
#10
Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon)

Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon)

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First opened in 1933, Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon) is a local institution. Montrealers come to shop farm-fresh ingredients, from Quebec-reared pork and seafood from the country’s east cost to colorful vegetables, everything from purple carrots to orange cauliflower and strangely shaped gourds—all of which are artfully stacked in sellers’ stalls.More
#11
Plateau-Mont-Royal (the Plateau)

Plateau-Mont-Royal (the Plateau)

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Artsy and laid-back, Plateau-Mont-Royal, aka the Plateau, captures the spirit of Montreal perhaps more than any other neighborhood. Spiraling iron staircases crawl up Victorian-era residences on tree-lined streets, while magnificent street murals add color to commercial thoroughfares. Restaurants, cafés, bars, and boutiques abound.More
#12
Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours)

Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours)

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Built in the 1840s, this neoclassical silver-domed building has served as a farmers market, theater, and for a brief stint as Montreal's city hall. It was threatened with demolition before being converted into the current market complex, which contains cafes, restaurants, galleries, and shops selling Quebec-made crafts and design items.More
#13
Jacques-Cartier Square (Place Jacques-Cartier)

Jacques-Cartier Square (Place Jacques-Cartier)

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Named after a 16th-century French explorer, Jacques-Cartier Square (Place Jacques-Cartier) is one of the main squares in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal). It was laid out in the early 19th century, and is lined with cafe terraces where visitors can watch as street performers and caricature artists vie for the attentions of passing tourists.More
#14
St. Lawrence River

St. Lawrence River

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The historic and scenic St. Lawrence River flows 743 miles (1,196 kilometers) across a vast chunk of North America, from the Great Lakes all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The lifeblood for Ontario and Quebec, the mighty river has long sustained communities of both native tribes and European colonizers who settled along its banks. Its waters play host to a vast variety of wildlife, including a number of whale species such as sperm, minke, fin, blue, North Atlantic right, and endangered belugas.More
#15
Dorchester Square (Le Square Dorchester)

Dorchester Square (Le Square Dorchester)

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Since its completion in 1892, Dorchester Square (Le Square Dorchester) has been a cultural and political focal point for protests, social gatherings, and pedestrian traffic in Downtown Montreal. Adjacent to the Dominion Square Building and Place du Canada, the public park is home to four historic monuments, including a Robert Burns statue and the Boer War memorial.More

Trip ideas

A Spooky City Guide to Montreal

A Spooky City Guide to Montreal

Quebec City Day Trips From Montreal

Quebec City Day Trips From Montreal

Haunted Montreal

Haunted Montreal

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Montreal

star-5
A must-do Montreal experience!
Sean_M, Aug 2022
Montreal Bagel Making Workshop
Our bagel-making experience was one of the highlights of our summer vacation.
star-5
Perfect intro to a fascinating city and story
Don_E, Aug 2022
Explore Old Montreal - Small-Group Walking Tour
Lots of fun wandering old town Montreal and learning about what to do next.
star-4
A Great Experience
Ed_D, Aug 2022
Quebec City and Montmorency Falls Day Trip from Montreal
Great view of the falls.
star-5
Intro to Old Town Montreal
vicki, Aug 2022
Explore Old Montreal - Small-Group Walking Tour
She was very knowledgeable, friendly, kept a good pace and gave us a wonderful orientation to Montreal as well as recommendations for further activities.
star-5
Family Tour in a Cadillac
Kevin_D, Aug 2022
1 Hour Tour of Old-Montreal in Vintage Convertible Cadillac
It was a unique way to see the sites of Old Montreal.
star-4
We had a wonderful time....
Pietrina_A, Aug 2022
Quebec city & Montmorency Falls 1 Day Tour
We absolutely loved visiting the old Quebec; the AML cruise, St Anne s Cathedral and Falls were absolutely enchanting.
star-5
Wonderful Full Day Tour of Montreal
Sara_M, Aug 2022
Full-Day City Tour Montreal with Pickup and Local Specialties Tasting
We got to see and learn about so much of the city.
star-5
Wonderful
Seema_S, Aug 2022
Montreal City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
After getting 2 days tour you will finish all wonderful places to see in montreal.
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Fun facts
Amy_R, Jul 2022
History Walking Tour of Old Montreal
Both guides: Mathieu (East in French) and André (West in English) were knowledgeable and easy to understand and listen to!
star-5
Got ghosted!
David_H, Jul 2022
Old Montreal Ghost Walking Tour
Nice way to see old montreal.
star-5
The best !
Chang_K, Jul 2022
Montreal City Sightseeing Tour with Live Commentary
It’s nice to see around the Montreal with Gide that knows city well I have Jhon for Gide and driver for cris they both did wonderful job Super nice people and love what they do !
star-5
Best way to enjoy the heart of Montreal!
Diane_G, Jul 2022
Guided Scooter Sightseeing Tour in Montreal
Great way to see the heart of Montreal.
star-5
A wonderful experience, highly recommended!
Lulu_Z, Jul 2022
Beyond the Basilica a Walking Tour in Montreal
Not only did we get to see some beaten-path attractions, but also got to try some delicious snack in Chinatown and ice coffee/tea at a local brewery.
star-5
Great Tour
Sean_D, Jul 2022
Old Montreal Walking Tour
This is a very good way to see some of the highlights of old Montreal in a couple of hours.
star-5
Excellent tour option!
Arthelia_B, Jul 2022
Montreal City Sightseeing Tour with Live Commentary
This is an excellent way to see Montreal and all it has to offer.
star-5
Great way to see the city.
Ashley_A, Jul 2022
Guided Scooter Sightseeing Tour in Montreal
This was a great way to see the different neighborhoods on Montreal.
star-5
Great tour guide, a variety of spots
natalie_F, Jul 2022
Full-Day City Tour Montreal with Pickup and Local Specialties Tasting
Montreal has a lot of things to see and do and this tour covers a lot!
star-4
Good introductory tour of Montreal
Mindy_S, Jul 2022
Montreal City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Guide spoke both French/English.
star-5
Montreal walking tour
Chris_B, Jul 2022
Old Montreal Private Walking Tour
Her English was superb and she had detailed historical information to share.
star-5
A great way to learn about Old Montreal
Robert_A, Jul 2022
Old Montreal Private Walking Tour
He was very knowledgeable and had a lot of great recommendations of places to visit while in Montreal.
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All about Montreal

When to visit

Montreal does winter in style. From December through March, a heated Underground City pops up, and there's an exciting program of festive holiday events such as Merry Montreal, Igloofest, and the Fête des Neiges. After the thaw, the city comes out to play with a gamut of festivals including Osheaga, MUTEK, Montreal Pride, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

People Also Ask

What is Montreal famous for?

Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, and is famous for its French heritage (visible in the historic Vieux-Montreal, or Old Montreal) and bilingual sensibility. The city is renowned for its lively nightlife, acclaimed museums, and destination-worthy dining scene, and for having hosted the Expo 67 and 1976 Summer Olympics.

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What is there to do in Montreal for 1 week?

One week is enough time to see top attractions like Mount Royal Park, Notre Dame Basilica, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as wander neighborhoods like Old Montreal and Mile End (known for its bagel shops), dine in eclectic restaurants—and even plan a day trip to Ottawa.

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What attractions are there in Montreal?

Montreal is home to dozens of top attractions, from the highlights of its Old Montreal neighborhood (including Notre-Dame Basilica), to Mount Royal Park (plus the St. Joseph's Oratory), the Olympic Park, and Montreal Botanical Garden. Other highlights include the Biodome, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Underground City.

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What is the best month to visit Montreal?

While Montreal is a city that can handle the cold, its deep winter freeze can be a shock to the system for visitors. Instead, visit Montreal in June to enjoy beautiful weather (sans humidity) and a full calendar of festivals, from the Montreal Jazz Festival to the Grand Prix Weekend.

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Do they speak English in Montreal?

Yes, Montreal is a bilingual city, and English and French are both widely spoken. However, local etiquette dictates that French first is a preference, and not all locals are as comfortable speaking English. Even if you don't speak French, it's polite to add a few greetings and phrases into your rotation.

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What do locals do in Montreal?

To see Montreal like a local, escape from the Old Port (Vieux Port) and head to the Plateau, where you can nosh on international fare and relax in hip wine and beer bars. Be sure to explore Jean-Talon Market, stroll the Lachine Canal, and go to a cabaret show.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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