Whether you’re visiting Montreal for the first time or you’re a lifelong resident, there’s always something new to discover in our vibrant city. 

From historical sites to exciting festivals and outdoor adventures, Montreal has something for everyone. 

To help you make the most of your visit (or staycation), we’ve put together a list of the top 58 things to do in Montreal.

Explore Old Montreal

Dating back to the foundation of our city in the 17th century (1642, to be exact), the historic district of Old Montreal is a great place to experience Montreal’s past.

Its narrow cobblestone streets and heritage buildings like the Notre-Dame Basilica and the Bonsecours Market are a testament to the European roots of our city.

Keep those two names – the Notre-Dame Basilica and the Bonsecours Market – in mind, as we will revisit them in a while.

Vying for attention with the historical attractions are designer shops, upscale cafes & restaurants, and shopping promenades.

Looking for somewhere to have a romantic evening with your significant other? Head to the pathways along the Saint Lawrence River.

It’s well-known as a prime destination for couples looking for a romantic evening.

At night, the various buildings transform into dazzling beacons thanks to innovative lighting effects.

Pro tip: There are far too many attractions in this quaint corner of Montreal to explore in a single visit. That being said, there are multiple walking tours that will take you past the most iconic places like the Notre-Dame Basilica.

Important details

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Visit the Old Port

Montreal Old Port is a great destination for a day out in Montreal

Located next to Old Montreal, the Old Port is our historic port, which has been in use in some form or other since 1611.

It is currently a top historical attraction in Montreal, drawing millions of tourists every year.

With its unique architecture, stunning views and green spaces, our OId Port has something for everyone anytime during the year.

Wanna explore? Take your pick – walking, biking, zip lines and even Segways!

Come here for the culture, and stay for the mouthwatering ware on offer from the cafes, bistros, restaurants and food trucks that dot the area.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: information@oldportofmontreal.com

Phone: 514-496-PORT (7678)

What’s the difference between Old Montreal and the Old Port?

Lots of folks use them interchangeably, and it’s difficult to get any information about exactly where the boundary between the two sites is.

However, the official version seems to be that it’s the train tracks that are the border between the two.

In other words, everything between the water and the railway is Old Port territory, and anything on the other side of the tracks is Old Montreal.

How you use this information – to infuriate friends as the insufferable know-it-all or to impress that someone you’ve been trying to be noticed by for a while – is entirely up to you.

Go on a thrilling adventure at Ezkapaz (i.e. with us!)

Ezkapaz escape room in St Laurent Boulevard, MTL

Dare you ascend the stairs?

We are Montreal’s most unique and exciting real-world adventure game, in which you and your group will find yourself immersed in a secret mission.

You’ll have to work as a team, sharing ideas and helping each other to solve mysteries and accomplish your mission.

The place in Montreal to go, whether you’re looking for a night out in the city, a bonding opportunity with loved ones or a thrilling team building activity.

There are two kinds of adventure games for you to choose from:

Manoir Escape Rooms

The Cadavera family has invited you to their manor. Their hope – that you’ll be able to unravel the three bizarre mysteries that plague the estate.

  • The Cadavera Affair: Can you solve the murder of Lord Fitzgerald Cadavera that occurred a hundred years ago?
  • Opus Luminum: A  strange office deep inside the manor is rumoured to have been a sanctuary for a cult. Can you find out if the rumours are true?
  • The Barber: Recent restoration work has revealed a barber shop hidden behind a brick wall. Dare you uncover its secrets?

These adventures take place inside themed rooms at our St. Laurent Boulevard location. You’ll have to work as a team to crack riddles and manipulate props to find clues on how to proceed.

Can you solve the mystery in the escape rooms before time runs out?

Braquage

This is an event for larger groups that takes place in the Le 4ᶱ Mur speakeasy and bar.

You and your group are the jury in a murder trial. Our actors will interact with you to set the atmosphere whilst you deliberate amongst yourselves on whether those in the dock are guilty or not. 

One of the best immersive theatre experiences in Montreal.

* At the moment, this is ONLY available in French.

Important Details

Website: Visit the home page

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@ezkapaz.com

Phone: (514) 548-2507

Shop your way through Saint Laurent Boulevard

St Laurent Blvd is pretty much on every list of Montreal attractions!

Although the phrase might have become somewhat antiquated in the vast modern-day metropolis that is Montreal, Saint Laurent Boulevard is what we Montréalers like to call our “Main Street”.

And why not?

Running through the centre of the city, Saint Laurent is frequently used as a reference point for giving directions around Montreal.

With everything from retro & vintage shops to brand boutiques, restaurants, and various other attractions, it’s one of the best places in Montreal to get your shopping done!

(News flash: it’s where Ezkapaz itself is located)

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@sdbsl.ca

Phone: (514) 286-0334

Try the world-famous smoked meat at Schwartz’s Deli

Established way back in 1928, Schwartz’s Deli is a Montreal institution and a testament to the vibrant Jewish community of  Montreal.

You haven’t had the full St. Laurent experience if you haven’t stood in line at Schwartz’s for a chance to taste their famous smoked chicken. 

Did you know? We’ve heard they let the chicken marinate for over 10 days, smoke it for 12 hours and steam it for 4 – with such an extensive process, you can guess just how good it tastes!

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@schwartzsdeli.com

Phone: (514) 842-4813

Go shopping at Marché Bonsecours

One of Marché Bonsecours’ famous domes.

Remember we said that along with the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Bonsecours Market is one of the top attractions in Old Montreal?

Marché Bonsecours is a two-storey, domed public market that used to be the main public market in Montreal.

Its key attraction is 15 specialty boutiques featuring top-notch “Made In Quebec” items – from art and fashion to jewelry and accessories, reproduction Quebec furniture and a whole lot more!

Once you’re done with the shopping and are laden with heavy bags, enter one of the chic restaurants and terraces (during the warmer months), to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of one of Montreal’s busiest neighbourhoods while sipping on a cafe au lait.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 872-5547

Check out the coolest street in the world – Rue Wellington

News Flash: This year (2022), a global survey judged Rue Wellington as the coolest street in the world.

So, if you want a completely unique status update for social media, you know where to head – after all, how many people know that the “coolest street in the world” is even a thing?

So, what makes Rue Wellington such a cool place to be?

This is just a guess – but the over two hundred and fifty businesses lining the Promenade Wellington strip just might have something to do with it.

  • From Bossa (a much-loved family-run sandwich shop) to Les Street Monkeys (one of Montreal’s highest-rated restaurants)…
  • From Verdun Beach (surprise! It’s a wine bar) to Verdun’s Beach (a beach pavilion that’s a short walk away)…
  • Add up a tuk-tuk service and a smattering of family-friendly spots all over…

And you know where Rue Wellington gets its cool factor from.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@promenadewellington.com

Phone: (514) 766-6437

With the coolest street covered, it’s time to check out one of Montreal’s oldest streets.

Explore Rue Saint-Paul – one of Montreal’s oldest streets

Rue Saint-Paul feels almost like a step back in history.

You can almost feel the centuries of history…

Old Montreal is the oldest neighbourhood in Montreal. And Rue Saint-Paul is the oldest street in Old Montreal, making it one of Montreal’s oldest streets.

It happens to be named after Paul de Chomedey, the founder of our city.

Paved with cobblestones and with historical buildings looming on its narrow visage, Rue Saint-Paul offers a rare opportunity to step back in time and experience the charms of Victorian Europe.

Notable landmarks along the street include the Bonsecours Market and the Notre-Dame De-Bonsecours Chapel.

Apart from steeping yourself in the atmosphere, there are opportunities aplenty for shopping and dining.

In particular, trips to the Galerie d’art Blanche (an art gallery focusing on modern art) and Dubarry Furs (a family-owned fur and leatherwear boutique should prove satisfying.

Location

Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Right.

We’re about to take a look at some of the different Montreal tours that you can join, but you know what is a must-have before a long tour?

A good brunch.

Have brunch!

Ask anyone, and they will tell you how good the brunches are in Montreal!…

From rich and creamy eggs benedict to an absolutely mouth-watering stack of pancakes, French toast and patata bravas…

Plus, of course, the mandatory Montreal bagels…

Enjoying a proper brunch with friends is a citywide favourite. Especially during summer, at one of our famous terrases.

Our 5 favourite spots in Montreal to grab a spot of brunch

  • Arthurs Nosh Bar on Notre-Dame West Street; a Jewish deli known for its latkes and Moroccan bread.
  • L’Avenue (multiple locations); known for its eggs benedict and milkshakes.
  • Saint-Houblon In Little Italy in St. Laurent Boulevard; a micropub famous for its beer (duh!) and poutine.
  • Foiegwa, again on Notre-Dame West; a contemporary place best known for its truffle and spaghetti.
  • And, Le Café Bloom on Centre Street; famous for its locally-sourced menu of salads, sweets & sandwiches.

Go on a guided walking tour

You could certainly roll the dice, pick up a map and plan your Montreal walking tour by yourself.

HOWEVER

From Mount Royal Cross to Notre-Dame Basilica, from Little Italy to Chinatown – there are hundreds of things to see in Montreal.

Figuring out where to go and what to see could turn out a hassle.

Avoid all that by opting for a guided walking tour of Montreal.

Location

Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Did you know? Montreal is the ONLY CITY in Canada (apart from Quebec City) where tour guides have to undergo rigorous training before becoming certified.

Some guided walking tours of Montreal for you to choose from

Go on a ghost tour

With all our bustling shopping centres and boutiques, electrifying nightlife, and joie de vivre, there are also darker aspects to Montreal that merit their own exploration.

As a city that goes back centuries, Montreal has more than its share of unexplained and mysterious happenings.

Montreal ghost tours you should check out

These are the Montreal tours that will send a shiver down your spine and perhaps open up a whole new meaning to the phrase Montreal After Dark.

Explore Montreal on a scooter

Montreal has a lot to offer, but if you want the authentic local experience, take an off-the-beaten-path scooter tour. 

It’s one of the best (and greenest) ways of exploring our city.

You’ll see those parts of the 514 that don’t fall in the usual things to do in Montreal list, and get in touch with your inner Montrealer while exploring side streets lined with chic boutiques!

Tour Montreal on a segway

The most iconic sights of Montreal are just one eco-friendly ride away!

Take a segway tour and discover the most breathtaking views the city has to offer.

Never ridden a segway before?

Don’t worry – your tour operator’s staff will give you all the help you need to segway like an expert.

Website

Catch up on sightseeing from atop a bus

From atop a bus is one of the best ways to take in Montreal’s most exciting sites.

In particular, the hop-on hop-off tours, in which you can get on and off the bus as you please to sight-see at your own pace, are one of the best ways to have a great afternoon discovering Montreal on your own.

Go on a boat tour down the St Lawrence River

St Lawrence River, Montreal

You could catch a sight of Beluga Whales just like this, on your boat tour!

With all that goes on in our bustling metropolis, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we are, after all, on an island in the St Lawrence River.

A boat tour around Montreal Island (three-fourths of which is the city) from the Old Port is a great way to experience Montreal.

Gaze at landmarks like Habitat ’67, the Jacques Cartier Bridge and the Olympic Stadium, and learn about the fur trading posts of the late 18th century (like the Hudson Bay Company) that set the ball rolling for the development of Montreal into one of the most vibrant and prosperous cities in the world

Take a hot air balloon ride

A hot air balloon flight over Montreal is certainly a novel experience. Fly with the winds and enjoy sweeping views of the skyline.

The most popular rides start at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which is a short distance away from the city.

Pro tip: Try to catch the sunrise and the sunset on your ride.

Catch up on sightseeing from atop a bus

From atop a bus is one of the best ways to take in Montreal’s most exciting sites.

In particular, the hop-on hop-off tours, in which you can get on and off the bus as you please to sight-see at your own pace, are one of the best ways to have a great afternoon discovering Montreal on your own.

Head “underground” (for the Underground City)

Tourists and newcomers who haven’t heard of it before inevitably look a bit staggered when we talk about heading underground, or visiting the Underground City.

We’ve even caught one or two bemused comparisons to The Hive – the underground research facility from Resident Evil.

But our actual Underground City (a.k.a. RÉSO) isn’t quite so nefarious.

It’s simply a vast underground shopping centre linked to numerous subway stations.

If you’re ever at a loss for things to do in Montreal with friends, head here and explore all there is…from movie theatres to food courts, from specialty shops to tailors, cafes and a whole lot more!

Pro tip: We don’t know if you know this, but a fragment of the Berlin Wall is on display in the Underground City. See if you can find it!

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Enquiry form: Go to the contact page

COL at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival

I know what you’re thinking.

What in the name of all that’s holy is COL?

COL. Chortle Out Loud.

Something I came up with as a stronger version of Laugh Out Loud. Hasn’t quite caught on yet…but I do have high hopes.

That apart, even if you don’t keep up with the world of comedy, you must have seen some of these skits on YouTube:

The company behind these also organises the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal every year.

It’s the largest comedy festival in the world.

Past editions have featured comedy legends like George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman.

Any show they’ve got going is well worth a visit.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Catch up on the latest in jazz at Montreal Jazzfest

The Jazzfest is a top Montreal festival.

Come summer, thousands of music lovers from all over the world congregate in Montreal for the jazz festival that has become a city staple for decades.

During this fortnight-long event, you’ll find bars and venues all over the city hosting artistes both local and global.

The centrepiece of the Jazzfest is the Quartier des Spectacles, which becomes the largest jazz club in the world, with over five hundred shows, both indoors and outdoors.

By some estimates, over three thousand performers from 30 countries take part in the Montreal Jazzfest.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Email: commentaires_jazz@equipespectra.ca

Phone: Montréal: (514) 492-1775 / North America: 1 (855) 219-0576

Attend Les Francofolies de Montréal

Yet another festival that takes over Montreal during the summer.

This event is a celebration of French music, art and culture, both local and international.

Most of the events are free and are held outdoors, on stages erected in and around the Place des Arts in our city’s “Centre-ville.”

Some shows (these are typically paid) are hosted in local pubs and other closed venues.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Email: info-francos@equipespectra.ca

Phone: Montréal: (514) 492-1775 / North America: 1 (855) 219-0576

Go DAD at the Piknic Electronik

DAD – As in Dance All Day. Is that one of the best Dad Jokes of all time or what? #DadJokes

Piknic Electronik is yet another music festival that forms part of our city’s best-known summer events.

Every Sunday during the summer months, Parc Jean-Drapeau becomes THE place for DJs and artistes – whether local or international – to gather and enthral fans with their performances.

Typically, shows start in the morning and wrap late evening with a high-profile headliner.

If you’re looking for somewhere to show off those dancing skills that you’ve been bragging about – and to meet new folks, this is the event you should attend!

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Email: info@piknicelectronik.com

Phone: (151) 4904-1247

Relax at Mount Royal Park

Isn't that a gorgeous view?

Spread out over 200 hectares, Mount Royal Park is a sanctuary where we escape to seek peace and quiet, enjoy stunning views of the city’s skyline, and revel in a cornucopia of flora and fauna.

From jogging to cycling, from skating to skiing & tobogganing, dog walking, bird watching, and picnicking…there are opportunities for numerous recreational activities here.

Montrealer insight: If you’re looking for an awesome place to “pop the question”, Kondiaronk Belvedere in the park is well-known as one of Montreal’s top spots to get down on one knee and…you know.

Did you know? Mount Royal Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted – the same guy who designed New York City’s Central Park.

Visit the Mount Royal Cross

In 1643 when Montreal was faced with widespread flooding, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve (the founder of Montreal), promised to carry a wooden cross to the top of Mount Royal if the then newly-established colony of Montreal were not to be swept away.

Montreal withstood the floods, and Maisonneuve kept his word, bearing a wooden cross to the summit.

The original cross didn’t survive the test of time, but in 1924 a crucifix was erected on the summit as a homage of sorts to the original, which is what we can see today.

The short hike to the summit is worth it, considering the many pictures you can snap of the cross and the views.

Did you know? Buildings in Montreal are forbidden by law from being taller than this landmark, which translates to a maximum height of 233 m (764 ft) above sea level. This is why Montreal doesn’t have any uber-high skyscrapers.

Visit the Mount Royal Cross

In 1643 when Montreal was faced with widespread flooding, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve (the founder of Montreal), promised to carry a wooden cross to the top of Mount Royal if the then newly-established colony of Montreal were not to be swept away.

Montreal withstood the floods, and Maisonneuve kept his word, bearing a wooden cross to the summit.

The original cross didn’t survive the test of time, but in 1924 a crucifix was erected on the summit as a homage of sorts to the original, which is what we can see today.

The short hike to the summit is worth it, considering the many pictures you can snap of the cross and the views.

Did you know? Buildings in Montreal are forbidden by law from being taller than this landmark, which translates to a maximum height of 233 m (764 ft) above sea level. This is why Montreal doesn’t have any uber-high skyscrapers.

Go boating on Beaver Lake

A man-made lake inside the park, Beaver Lake is the perfect place for a picnic.

Looking for stuff to do in the lake itself?

You can rent a paddleboat and tour the lake in the summer.

During winter, of course, that is swapped for ice skating.

Important Details

Can you swim in Beaver Lake? No. There are no swimming facilities in Mount Royal Park.

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 843-8240

Bike through La Fontaine Park

Spread out over 40 hectares of greenery, Parc La Fontaine is a major draw for cyclists, sports enthusiasts (it’s got sports facilities like baseball fields), picnickers and dog walkers (there’s a dog park inside).

A major attraction of the park is its walking and biking trails, making it a great summer destination for a leisurely hike.

In the winter months, swap your normal shoes with snowshoes and trek the snowy paths. You can also skate across the pond.

One of the squirrels of La Fontaine Park.

Montrealer insight: If you go picnicking, keep an eye out for the squirrels as they can be very daring and could make off with mouthfuls of your food.

Special tip for bird lovers: Take along your binoculars and cameras as many different kinds of birds – ranging from cormorants to herons – gather here. Keep an eye out for the European starling, that’s well-known for its ability to mimic the songs of other birds.

Important Details

Website: Visit the Montreal city website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

View animals from all over the world at Zoo de Granby

One of Canada’s most significant zoos, Zoo de Granby houses nearly one and a half thousand animals from all over the world.

There are three main parts to the zoo:

  • The Zoological Garden, where all those animals, including elephants, gorillas, macaques and lions, are housed. They have five different sections representing the animals’ native environments – Africa, Asia, South America, Oceania and the South Pacific.
  • The Amusement Park, where folks like Ranger Rob, Robocar Poli, and the Shopkins play host while you go on various kinds of rides ranging from bumper cars & a Ferris wheel to the Kimbunga pirogue & the Python Panic roller coaster.
  • The Amazoo Water Park…as authentic an Amazon village as you can get in Montreal, complete with palm trees, waves and a beach!

They also have seasonal events (like Winter At The Zoo, Spring At The Zoo and so on).

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@zoodegranby.com

Phone: (450) 372-9113

Learn all about Quebec’s indigenous wildlife at Ecomuseum Zoo

The Zoo de Granby features animals from all over the world.

If you’d rather view species like arctic foxes, bald eagles, river otters, snowy owls and even wolves – Quebec’s native wildlife, that is…

You need to travel to West Island, 30 minutes from downtown Montreal, and visit the Ecomuseum Zoo.

They keep the animals in natural settings in huge enclosures and are well-known for ensuring their (the animals’) well-being.

Many of the animals housed here are rescues.

If there are kids in your group, sign them up for Breakfast With The Animals, where they (the kids) get a chance to prepare and serve breakfast for the zoo’s residents!

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@ecomuseum.ca

Phone: (514) 457-9449

Gaze in awe at the living plant sculptures in the Montreal Botanical Garden

A living plant sculpture at the Montreal Botanical Garden.

Look at that face rising from the Earth.

A stunning work of art, isn’t it?

If you want to see more of these, spend a serene afternoon at the Botanical Garden (the Jardin Botanique).

Explore some twenty-two thousand plant species, ten thematic greenhouses (like the Arid Regions greenhouse and the Ferns greenhouse) and twenty gardens (like the Alpine Garden and the Aquatic Garden).

Halloween activities

Visiting during October? 

Make sure you check out their Halloween activities including the pumpkin decorating contest, the obstacle course and exhibitions hosted by sorcerers, ghost trees and vampires!

The Chinese Garden

Another major draw is the Chinese Garden which includes a large pond with a stone boat, a bonsai collection, pagodas and pavilions.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 868-3000

Get an authentic rainforest experience at the Biodome

Remember I said the Zoo de Granby has five different sections representing five different environments?

Imagine that, only with an enhanced multisensory experience that makes you feel like you’re actually in the middle of wild spaces.

Sort of like how we immerse players in our game environments using set design and special effects.

That’s what the Biodome is all about.

Explore different ecosystems at the Biodome

It underwent a major renovation in 2020 and now has five different sections simulating all five ecosystems found in the Americas:

  • The Tropical Rainforest
  • The Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • The Laurentian Maple Forest
  • The Labrador Coast, and
  • The Sub-Antarctic Islands

Overall, the site is home to 2500 animals from two hundred species and more than 800 different kinds of plants.

Some of the most popular of their animals are the penguins, otters, lynxes, and parrots.

Did you know? The Biodome – which means “house of life” – is a part of the Montreal Space For Life, the largest natural sciences complex in Canada.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 868-3000

Light a candle for a loved one at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal

St Joseph's Oratory is one of Montreal's most famous cathedrals.

In 1904, a healer named Brother Andre set out to build a small chapel for his patron saint, Saint Joseph.

Over the decades, that simple wooden structure would develop into the largest domed cathedral in North America – Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal.

Apart from the original chapel, it includes

  • A majestic basilica that can house two thousand of the faithful,
  • A Votive Chapel with a spectacular display of lit candles in front of an effigy of St Joseph, and 
  • A crypt where lies Brother André, canonised in 2010 as Saint André of Montréal.

You can light a candle of prayer for a loved one.And, if you’re feeling particularly worshipful and want to stay overnight, the Pavillon Jean XXIII offers accommodation with breakfast.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@osj.qc.ca

Phone: (514) 733-8211

Gaze in awe at one of the world’s most beautiful churches – the Notre-Dame Basilica

Located in Old Montreal, the Notre-Dame Basilica is our city’s oldest church.

It’s also one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

From the high ceilings to the intricate wood carvings, the rows of pews, the stained glass windows and the massive organ…

This splendid example of Gothic Revival architecture will simply blow your mind away.

Choirs congregate here from all over the world, performing splendid performances backed by the majestic organ.

During your visit, sign up for the basilica tour that will guide you to 24 points of interest. And then stay on for AURA, a light and sound event.

Pro tip: There is a small chapel that’s sort of hidden behind the altar. You can walk right up to it.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Enquiry form: Visit their contact page

Email: basilique@fabriquenotredame.ca

Phone: (514) 842-2925

Visit Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral – Quebec’s third largest church

Queen of the World Cathedral - Quebec’s third largest church

The Notre-Dame Basilica is located in Old Montreal.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a church in downtown Montreal…

Head to Rene Levesque Boulevard and Metcalfe street, and you’ll come upon Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral – Quebec’s third largest church.

Built in the late 19th century, the cathedral is a replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The layout is in the shape of a Latin cross. At the top are statues of the patron saints of thirteen Montreal parishes, keeping a watchful eye on the faithful who enter.

One of the main points of attraction inside the Church is a majestic baldachin of red copper and gold leaf that overlooks the high altar.

Important Details

Website: Visit the webpage on the Montreal Diocese website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 866-1661

See the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel

The Notre-Dame Basilica is our oldest church.

Now, if you were to be asked what is Montreal’s oldest chapel, what do you think the answer would be?

Nope, not Notre-Dame.

Instead, it’s the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel.

Or rather, the chapel you see before you sits atop the ruins of a chapel built in 1655 – Montreal’s very first chapel.

The chapel’s interiors are certainly stunning, with a golden statue above the entrance and majestic stained glass windows and painted ceilings.

And it’s all in honour of Marguerite Bourgeoys – a French nun and the founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal.

Did you know? The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is also known as the Sailors’ Church as it was a favourite place of prayer for sailors back in the 19th century.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@marguerite-bourgeoys.com

Phone: (514) 282-8670

Visit Château Ramezay

The house of Claude de Ramezay, one of the earliest governors of Montreal, Château Ramezay is the first building in Quebec to be declared a historical monument.

Tread in the footsteps of Ben Franklin (he visited the house in 1776) and explore over five centuries of history through thirty thousand permanent exhibits plus temporary events and multimedia presentations.

When you visit, make sure to visit the basement that’s been constructed to resemble what it would’ve looked like when the house was originally built.

The French colonial-style garden is also worth a stroll.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@chateauramezay.qc.ca

Phone: (514) 861-3708

Experience Montreal’s cultural diversity through a food tour

As we said before, Montreal is a melting pot of cultures, and there are few ways of experiencing this better than going on a food tour.

From delis traditionally owned and run by members of our historic Jewish community (like Schwartz’s) to pizzerias in Little Italy and family-owned outlets and food trucks dishing out the best in Canadian fare…

You’ll be hard-pressed to choose between smoked meat, lasagna & calamari, poutine, Montreal-style bagels and many other mouthwatering goodies!

Whether you’re looking for an upscale restaurant for a Michelin-approved dining experience, a romantic cafe to take your significant other to, or a brunch destination to hang out at with mates…

You’re sure to find what you’re looking for on your food tour!

Include Plateau-Mont-Royal in your itinerary

The Plateau includes some of Montreal’s most iconic restaurants like Le Filet (well-known for its seafood menu), Le Majestique (whose oyster specials are to die for) and Chez Claudette (a popular destination for comfort foods like poutine and cheese curds).

Important Details

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Sample our wines

Perhaps in keeping with its European roots, 

Or perhaps just because wine can make just about anything better…

Montreal’s wine scene is thriving and well worth checking out.

There are over twenty places in and around Montreal that produce some of the world’s finest vino.

Which makes Montreal one of the best places in the world to start your journey towards becoming an oenophile (a connoisseur of wines).

Begin your search for Montreal wine tours with The Wine Route.

Follow up on the wine tour with a beer trip

Looking for something a little more laid back than a fine wine experience?

You don’t need to venture afar – Montreal has no shortage of breweries serving up oodles of ale.

A beer tour is a great way to explore our neighbourhoods from a unique perspective, learn about the city’s history, make new friends…

And, of course, swig down cold, refreshing beverages.

Montreal’s top beer tours for you to choose from

Visit our beer gardens

While it’s still warm enough to venture outside without layers, beer gardens are some of the best places in Montreal to catch up with mates over a couple of cold ones.

Some of our favourites are:

Go on a Montreal pub crawl

With our world-famous nightlife – which has led some to dub the 514 the “party capital of Canada” – is it any wonder that we have so many places to include in your next pub crawl?

  • If you’re looking for pointers to get started, may we point you in the direction of Pub Crawl MTL?
  • Want some spooky to go with your pub crawl? Check out the Haunted Pub Crawl by Haunted Montreal.

Explore Chinatown (the cuisine will be your biggest draw, amirite?)

Walk through the giant arch, and you’re in a completely different world.

Dating back to the 1800s, Chinatown has an abundance of sights to check out.

From community centres to a Chinese hospital, 

From a square named after Sun Yat Sen to souvenir shops, grocery stores and of course…RESTAURANTS.

Here are our favourite Chinatown tours to get you started

Did you know? The giant arch that marks your entrance into Chinatown is called the Paifang Gates.

Important Details

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Explore Little Italy (it’s a suggestion you can’t refuse)

Located just north of Mile End, Little Italy (Piccola Italia, if you’re feeling very Italian all of a sudden) is a multicultural neighbourhood full of art boutiques, shops, cafes and ristorantes

But we understand that most people who visit Little Italy are only interested in the latter two, i.e. the cafes and ristorantes.

From GEMA and Elio Pizzerias (famous for their pizzas, if you hadn’t cottoned on), to Alati Caserta’s cannoli and Impasto’s porchetta – you’ll have a hard time deciding where to have your lunch!

And that’s just the Italian places. Explore a little deeper, and you’ll find a whole lot more, from NYC-style hot dogs to places serving Syrian and Armenian cuisine.

Little Italy is truly a foodies’ paradise!

The 3 best Little Italy tours

As always, you can begin your journey with one of these Little Italy tours:

Important Details

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Remember to drop in at the Jean-Talon Market

A landmark of Little Italy, and in operation since 1933, Jean-Talon Market is well-known for its wide selection of fresh produce, sourced both locally and globally…and also for its lively atmosphere.

Stalls hawking fruits, vegetables and flowers line the paths while an array of specialty shops have everything from oils and spices to cheeses, pastries and meats on offer.

Important Details

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 937-7754

Sample Montreal’s street food at First Fridays (May to October)

Looking for a place to catch up with friends, enjoy the view and indulge in some delicious street food?

Then this is a festival you REALLY can’t pass up on!

Every year – from May to October – food trucks line up at the Esplanade of the Olympic Park for a food extravaganza unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Dance to live music from DJs while you look for your favourite dishes!

The only drawback of this is that it takes place only one day a month – the first Friday of each month from May to October.

Important Details

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 252-4141

Drop in at the Japanese Garden for a tea ritual

Earlier, we took a look at the Montreal Botanical Garden (the Jardin Botanique, if you will) where we saw that it has twenty different thematic gardens.

One of those is the Japanese Garden.

In the middle of this Japanese Garden is a pavilion that showcases different aspects of Japanese art and culture.

A walk through this pavilion – which is quite rewarding in itself – ends at a tearoom where you can partake in a tea-drinking ritual.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 872-0607

Browse through the exhibits at the Montreal Science Centre

Located in the heart of the Old Port, the Science Centre houses an impressive array of uniquely interactive exhibits that seek to demystify various aspects of science – from the basics, such as light, air and water, to more complex topics like the planets and coding.

It’s aimed primarily at younger kids and children.

Particularly popular among the kiddies is the IMAX theatre.

When you visit, make sure to check their website for any temporary exhibitions or events that are ongoing.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: information@oldportofmontreal.com

Phone: (514) 496-4724

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

Founded in 1860, our Museum of Fine Arts is the oldest art museum in Canada.

The museum consists of five buildings (which they call pavilions) which are all connected underground and house over forty-five thousand permanent exhibits showcasing Canadian heritage and international art.

In particular, their mummy exhibits are always packed.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 285-2000

Drop in at the Museum of Archaeology and History at Pointe-à-Callière

If you want to really understand the history of Montreal – from the time of the First Peoples to the present-day metropolis – then this is the place you need to visit.

To begin with, Pointe-à-Callière is home to the birthplace of Montreal, so it’s fitting that it houses a museum dedicated to unravelling the story of our city.

They have several permanent exhibitions, including 

  • Where Montréal Began, 
  • Memory Collector, 
  • Building Montréal, 
  • Crossroads Montréal, 
  • Archaeo-Adventure, and 
  • Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers…

…backed up by periodic temporary events.

Of special interest would be the actual walls of the old city, several pieces of which are on display.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@pacmusee.qc.ca

Phone: (514) 872-9150

Explore key moments in Canadian history at the McCord Stewart Museum

The McCord Stewart Museum has over one and a half million exhibits from various walks of life, such as:

Dress, fashion and textiles, photography, indigenous cultures, paintings, prints and drawings, decorative arts, and textual archives.

It’s aimed at showcasing and celebrating different parts of Canadian history and life.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@mccord-stewart.ca

Phone: (514) 861-6701

Walk around the McGill University campus

Known for its world-class library and museum facilities, McGill University in Canada is one of the world’s leading universities.

They currently have three campuses: the Downtown campus, the MacDonald campus and the Gault Nature Reserve.

All three are worth a visit!

You may well chance upon an event that you’ll really enjoy taking part in.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Uncover the secrets of the universe at the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan

The Planetarium is part of the Montréal Space for Life and is in fact, right next to the Montreal Biodome.

This means you can transition from exploring ecosystems found in the heart of deep jungles to exploring environments located in the outer reaches of space within minutes!

The heart of the event is two shows inside vast 360°domes.

They have regular programs on topics like the history of the solar system and the science behind phenomena like the Aurora Borealis.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 868-3000

No blog on things to do in Montreal would be complete without taking a look at the best things to do in Montreal during winter.

Here are our picks of the top five wintertime activities in Montreal!

Visit the Christmas markets

As one of Canada’s leading cultural centres, Montreal is home to numerous artisans and craftspeople who contribute to richly multicultural Christmas markets all around the city.

Whether you’re looking for luxury items for a special gift, quirky accessories that only a special friend will love, or a charming little something for a special someone, you’re sure to find it at one of these events!

Go snowshoeing

One of the most popular wintertime activities in Montreal.

A cardio workout, an exciting activity, a bonding opportunity with family & friends and a chance to meet new people – all in one!

Our five favourite snowshoeing spots in Montreal:

  • Mount Royal Park
  • La Fontaine Park
  • Morgan Arboretum
  • Maisonneuve Park
  • Angrignon Park

Try your hand at ice fishing

Quebec allows you to ice fish in any lake, so if you’ve never tried this unique activity before, slip it into your list of things to do in Montreal this winter!

Some of the best ice fishing spots in and around Montreal are:

  • The Pêche Blanche Ice Fishing Village at the Old Port
  • The Mont Tremblant Activities Centre
  • The Lake of Two Mountains

Dance your heart out at Igloofest

Billed as the “coldest music festival in the world”, Igloofest is our wintertime answer to summer’s Picnik Electronic.

DJs and performers from all over the world create musical magic amidst the freezing temperatures to bring huge crowds together.

Have a spa day

The ultimate way to grab some rest and relaxation when its ice cold outside.

Relieve the strain of carrying all those bags of holiday shopping, let go of all the stress of wintertime planning and rejuvenate your skin with saunas, special baths, massages and other treatments.

Finally, let’s round off this post with some unique Montreal activities that you should really try out.

Drink maple syrup at a “cabane à sucre” (a sugar shack)

OK, A. the science behind Ross’ maple sugar high is unproven.

And B. he was eating the candy all the way from New York to Vermont. And it’s probably a safe bet to say you’re gonna be having a lot less syrup than that!

So find yourself a sugar shack and find out how the stuff is made while drinking Canada’s most yummy treat.

Go apple picking

Nothing says Fall in Montreal like crisp & breezy weather, leaves taking on stunning colours and heading out to pick some apples.

Whether you’re looking for an exciting day trip, or stocking up to make your own cider, here are our five favourite places to go apple picking around Montreal:

Channel your inner Jack Sparrow at Voiles en Voiles

Voiles en Voiles is a pirate-themed amusement park in the Old Port whose primary point of attraction is a collection of life-sized pirate ships.

They offer different activities, most of which are pirate-themed, like Mutiny and The Gunnery.

One of their most popular games is Archery Tag.

They also have a 3D pirates movie theatre.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Enquiry form: Visit the contact page

Phone: (514) 473-1458

Catch stunning views of the city from atop La Grande Roue de Montreal

La Grande Roue. The Giant Wheel, in English.

The Ferris wheel that can reach a height of 197 feet is one of the top draws of the Old Port.

Pro tip: The wheel is open all year, but winter nights are the best time to visit. The air-conditioned cabins of the wheel make for a snuggly ride (especially against the cold outside), and the fantastic view includes the ice skating rink with the frozen river behind it.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: info@lagranderouedemontreal.com

Phone: (514) 325-7888

Try your luck at Montreal Casino

Think you’ll emerge with winnings?

Located on Notre Dame Island, Montreal Casino is one of the largest establishments of its kind in the world.

Looking for an authentic casino experience? Sit down at one of the tables for a round of blackjack, poker or roulette. Or, try your luck at one of the three thousand slot machines.

Hanging out with friends? Head for the Zone, an immersive gaming space with as many as 80 terminals.

You’d rather avoid the games? Check out the Cabaret, which features a medley of high-quality shows.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: mtlsacren@casino.qc.ca

Phone: (514) 392-2746

Catch up on your reading at the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is a Mile End bookstore specialising in graphic novels, comics and other literature.

They often organise readings by the authors. 

Visit in May, and you can participate in the Montreal Comic Arts Festival.

They also have a good selection of children’s books.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Email: librairie@drawnandquarterly.com

Phone: (514) 279-2224

View the city skyline from the Leaning Tower of Pisa Montreal (the Montreal Tower Observatory)

NB: As of October 1st 2022, the facility is closed indefinitely for renovation. This is why we’ve placed it as the very last item on our list of things to do in Montreal.

A marvellous piece of architecture, the Montreal Tower is one of our city’s most iconic attractions.

At 165 metres high, the Montreal Tower (a.k.a. The Olympic Tower) is the tallest leaning tower in the world (take that, Pisa!).

A glass-enclosed funicular takes you to the top of the Tower, where you can catch panoramic views of the Montreal skyline.

Important Details

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (514) 252-414

58 things to do in Montreal – which ones did you like the most?

That’s it from our end on the best activities and experiences in Montreal.

Now, over to you.

Which of these did you like the most?

Which are you planning to include in your next Montreal day out?

Would you like any other things to do added to our list?

Let us know!