Best Things To Do In Montreal Best Things To Do In Montreal

Montreal Adventures: 10 Best Things To Do

This is a short and sweet list of the best things to do in Montreal.

Montreal can quite arguably be considered the cultural capital of French Canada, which is reflected in its architecture, Basilicas, and divisions from its French colonial history.

One can enjoy the Montreal international jazz festival, Montreal fireworks festival, Montreal botanical garden, beaver lake, Montreal tower, contemporary art museum, Montreal science center and saint Laurent boulevard.

The city is open and progressive for the art community, which can be seen due to the sheer importance given to art, architecture, and art museums in Montreal.

French is the official language in Montreal. It is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the developed world after Paris.

Best Things To Do in Montreal

1. Vieux-Montréal

Old Montreal is a historic Montreal neighbourhood founded by French settlers in 1642. It features many New France-era architectures and historically significant structures.

You will feel like you are in Paris or Marseille when you are in the old neighbourhood.

The centre of the city’s culture is located in Vieux-Montréal, which is reachable from the Champ-de-Mars and Place-d’Armes métro stations on the Orange Line.

The neighbourhood hasn’t changed much despite the city’s expanding urbanization.

Horse-drawn carriages travel cobblestone streets as they pass famous locations, including the Basilique Notre-Dame, the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), the Vieux-Port (Old Port), and the Marché Bonsecours (Bonsecours Market).

Here, visitors can socialize with locals at outdoor cafes while taking in views of the river or take in the summertime street entertainment at Place Jacques-Cartier. Despite the tacky gift shops, this is a much-liked shopping district as well.

Like Vieux-Montréal, One can also visit and shop at the Underground city. At night, a large number of bars and clubs make Vieux-Montréal come alive.

Recent tourists praised this region for being a must-visit for eating, strolling, and learning about Montreal’s history. The area also feels quite European because of the stunning architecture. A national historic site, it is.

While visiting historical locations like Notre Dame Cathedral and the Pointe-au-Callière museum, as well as when strolling or cycling down the riverbank to see more recent sights, Old Montreal is necessary.

Interesting businesses can be found along cobblestone lanes like Rue St. Paul. A truly fascinating museum. It is very well set out, with much of it underground, and excellent use of holograms and other visual aids.

I wish there had been a bit more focus on current affairs, but it is unquestionably recommended for anyone with an interest in history and archaeology.

Many buildings here date to the 17th century and 18th century! One of the best things to do in Montreal when you are in this particular part of the city is, to take an old-fashioned map, get your walking shoes, camera, and water bottle on, and just explore some of these historical architectures.

It includes but is not limited to Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, colonial mansions like Château Ramezay, the former Bank of Montreal Head Office, and the old port quays.

2. Notre-Dame Basilica

If you love the architecture of ancient Roman Basilicas, gothic and basque churches, then you will love visiting the Notre Dame Basilica.

It is the oldest church in the city of Montreal, located in the old Montreal neighbourhood, next to the Saint-Sulpice Seminary, the second oldest structure in Montreal.

The Old Montreal historical neighbourhood of Montreal, Quebec City, Canada, is home to the Notre-Dame Basilica, also known as the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal.

You may find the church at the junction of Saint Sulpice Street and 110 Notre Dame Street West. It is situated next to the Saint-Sulpice Seminary and faces the Place d’Armes.

The church’s interior is regarded as a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture and is among the most spectacular in all of human history.

The sanctuary is painted with deep blue paint, golden stars on the vaults, and highlights in azure, scarlet, purple, silver, and gold. It is covered with several religious statues and innumerable exquisite wooden carvings.

Stained-glass windows in the sanctuary depict scenes from Montreal’s religious history rather than biblical scenes, which is unusual for a cathedral.

On the east wall adjacent to the entrance, a Christ on the Cross attributed to Paul Jourdain né Labrosse (1697–1769) hangs, and six other antique Notre-Dame paintings have been rescued and added to the current design.

The Saint Margaret of Youville-themed side chapel now contains the high altar from the former church. It is a prime example of ecclesiastical Gothic Revival architecture in Canada.

At the time of its construction, it was the largest and most daring structure ever built in North America. The architect was James O’Donnell, an Irishman.

The Notre Dame Basilica is the product of brilliant Gothic revival French-style architecture. It features deep blue vaults decorated with golden stars.

The sanctuary is decorated in colors of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver & gold. The holy shrine is filled with wooden carvings and religious statues.

The stained glass of the Basilica features the religious history of Montreal. A nominal entry charge is levied on visitors.

One of the best things to do in Montreal would be to visit this historical place and take in the religious energy.

3. Parc Jean-Drapeau

Formerly called Parc des Îles, it is situated on the east of downtown Montreal and comprises two islands Saint Helen’s Island and the artificial island Notre Dame Island.

Parc Jean-Drapeau forms a part of the Hochelaga Archipelago, a group of small Montreal Islands.

The third-largest park in Montreal, Quebec City, Canada, is officially known as Parc Jean-Drapeau (formerly known as Parc des Îles).

Off the coast of Old Montreal in the Saint Lawrence River, it consists of two islands: Saint Helen’s Island and the man-made Notre Dame Island.

The world’s fair, known as Expo 67, was held on the islands. Saint Helen’s Island was artificially enlarged at its north and south ends, while Notre Dame Island was built specifically for the exposition. The late Montreal mayor and architect of Expo 67, Jean Drapeau, was honoured with a park renaming.

The City of Montréal created the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau to maintain, plan, promote, and develop this significant urban park, ensure its users’ peaceful coexistence, and preserve it for present and future generations.

The distinctive parc Jean-Drapeau, located only 5 minutes from downtown Montreal and renowned for its varied cultural and sporting programming, is perfect for trips with friends, families, and couples.

The park hosts the Fête des Neiges de Montréal, a free event that offers a range of winter activities over the course of several weekends throughout the winter.

In addition, the islands have a tonne of bike lanes, big sports fields, and other amenities and conveniences.

In addition to the aforementioned attractions, a wide variety of free and paid activities are provided on a weekly basis during the milder months.

Additionally, a monthly electronic dance festival is held directly beneath Alexander Calder’s “Man” sculpture, which was created for Expo 67.

Saint Helen’s Island has many attractions for visitors, mainly the Stewart Museum, La Ronde amusement park, and the Montreal Biosphere, which is a museum dedicated to the environment in Montreal.

Notre Dame Island is famous for hosting the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One on one of its circuits. It is also popular among ice skaters and gamblers at the casino in the winter.

Parc Jean-Drapeau is one of the best things to do in Montreal because you can do various activities.

4. Pointe-à-Callière

It is a museum of archaeology in old Montreal. The museum has a collection of artifacts and archaeology that summarizes how the French and British regimes influenced the culture, history, and legacy of the territory of Montreal.

A historical and archaeological museum, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum is located in Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Its French name is Musée Pointe-à-Callière. As a part of the 350th-anniversary festivities for Montreal, it was established in 1992.

The museum’s collections of First Nations artifacts from the Montreal area show how many civilizations coexisted and interacted as well as how the French and British empires affected this region’s history over time.

Since its establishment in 1924, Pointe-à-Callière has been a part of Montreal’s Birthplace National Historic Site.

The Pointe-à-Callière, Place Royale, and 214 Place d’Youville ancient monuments, the archeological and historical field school at Fort Ville-Marie, the William Collector Sewer, an archaeology crypt at Place Royale, a historical and cultural building, the erstwhile Youville Pumping Station, 165-169 Place d’Youville, the Mariners House, and archaeological collections totalling more than a million objects are all included in the museum complex.

The museum has received more than 50 national and international awards for museographers and archaeology.

An underground museum walk can explore the city’s history, which preserves the 17th Century stone pavement streets, drainage channels, and the archaeology field school at Fort Ville Marie.

Visiting Pointe-à-Callière is one of the best things to do in Montreal because it will broaden your perspective on French Canada and the French culture brought to the New World.

Don’t forget to explore the artistic monuments, sculptures, writings, and architectural remnants.

By Awana JF on Shutterstock

5. Mont-Royal

It is a small volcanic mountain, present to the immediate west of Downtown Montreal. The first European who scaled this mountain was Jacques Cartier in 1535, who claimed Canada for France.

He named the mountain “Mont Réal” in honour of his patron, Francis I of France, then King of France. The city of Montreal derives its name from this very mountain.

In the Canadian city of Montreal, immediately west of Downtown Montreal, is Mount Royal, also known as Mont-Royal. The name Montreal is thought to have been derived from Mount Royal, which is the most widely accepted theory.

The Monteregian Hills, which are located between the Laurentians and the Appalachian Mountains, include the hill. It provided the Monteregian chain with its Latin name, Mons Regius.

The hill has three peaks: Westmount Summit at 201 m (659 feet), Colline de la Croix (or Mont Royal proper) at 233 m (764 feet high), and Colline d’Outremont (or Mount Murray, in the town of Outremont) at 211 m (692 feet high).

A large variety of flora and wildlife can be found on the lush, clean, and pleasant mountain.

The urban fauna, otherwise known as Montréalers, are numerous and engaged in a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year, including jogging, cycling, boating, skating, skiing, and tobogganing, in addition to dog walking, picnics, and sunbathing.

The fauna is rich in the land of Mont royal, including the animal species of marmot, fox, gray squirrel, and various bird species. Some notable landmarks on the mountain include the Mount Royal cross, which was placed there in 1643, the Mount Royal Park, one of Montreal’s largest greenspace.

In the months of winter, the snow-covered landscape of the mountain is a popular destination for snow tubing, skiing, and and tobogganing, which implies the application of sleds to slide across the snow. It is one of the best things to do in Montreal.

By vmargineanu on Shutterstock

6. Jacques Cartier Bridge

The Jacques Cartier Bridge is a steel truss cantilever bridge crossing the Saint Lawrence River from Montreal Island to the south shore of the city of Longueuil, Quebec.

The bridge also crosses Saint Helen’s Island in the center, where offramps provide access to Parc Jean-Drapeau and La Ronde amusement park.

The Saint Lawrence River is crossed by the Jacques-Cartier Bridge (French: Pont Jacques-Cartier), a structural steel cantilevered bridge, from Montréal Island in Montreal, Quebec, to the south bank at Longueuil, Quebec, Canada.

In the middle of the river, the bridge passes across Saint Helen’s Island, where exits lead to Parc Jean-Drapeau and La Ronde amusement park.

The Jacques-Cartier Bridge is one of Montréal’s most recognizable landmarks today, reflecting the city’s numerous changes. The Jacques Cartier Bridge, it goes without saying, is no conventional bridge.

In 2017, it was fitted with a state-of-the-art lighting system that pulsates to the rhythm of Montréal, making it the world’s first “connected” bridge.

Enjoy the summertime at the Village au Pied-du-urban Courant’s beach. You can ascend the Old Port Clock Tower to see the massive cruise ships sailing by, or you can take in the expansive city views from the Mount Royal belvedere.

Don’t forget that you may ride your bike or walk across the bridge for even more eye-catching perspectives.

The bridge construction was finished in the year 1930, and it was renamed “Jacques Cartier Bridge” as an honour on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Canada by the French explorer.

Visiting this location will be one of the best things to do in Montreal because it will give an excellent view of the illumination of the bridge, which lights up in different colours every day, and also serves as the best place to view the fireworks is film festival in Montreal.

Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

7. Au Sommet Place Ville Marie

This is the second-tallest skyscraper in the city of Montreal. Visiting this observatory will be one of the best things to do in Montreal because it offers a complete 360-degree view of Montreal.

You can see the views of the city from 185 meters, from the 46th floor!

The Au Sommet Place Ville Marie project, which will use some of Montreal’s best creative talent, will provide locals and visitors with a brand-new dining and entertainment destination in the city’s core.

The consortium is also pleased to announce a partnership with restaurants run by Les Enfants Terribles, which will provide a dining experience.

The most breathtaking view in Montréal may be found at the Au Sommet Place Ville Marie observatory.

The 360° Observation Deck at Place Ville Marie provides breathtaking views of Montreal. It lets locals and visitors alike get a fresh perspective on the city’s most iconic structures and cultural icons.

View the Olympic Stadium, Old Montreal, Mount Royal, Quartier des spectacles, and the Saint Lawrence River, to name a few sights, from 185 metres above the ground.

Participate in some fantastic events, such as a cocktail party on Montréal’s highest terrace.

This building’s 44th story is the location of a weekly gathering where food and drink are provided together with a DJ and an incredible view.

Au Sommet Place Ville Marie has a variety of entertaining events, including Full Moon Yoga, Evening Sunset Views, art exhibits, Sunday brunch, and more.

Also, on the 45th floor of the building contains a museum that features many videos and images, which give a detailed background about the culture and history of Montreal and its famous citizens.

The terrace on the 44th floor opens up when the fireworks festival in Montreal is held, providing the most magnificent of views.

Some other notable landmarks that can be explored from the observatory are Mont-Royal Park, the illuminated huge Ferris wheel, the quay, the St Lawrence River, and the Olympic Stadium.

An underground shopping plaza is also present in the building.

8. Jean-Talon Market

A farmer’s market in the Little Italy district of Montreal, the market covers the area of two city streets. It is the largest market in Montreal and the largest open-air market in North America!

A farmer’s market called the Marché Jean-Talon is located in Montreal. The market, which is situated in the Little Italy neighbourhood, is bounded to the north by Jean-Talon Street, to the south by Mozart Avenue, to the west by Casgrain Avenue, and to the east by Henri-Julien Avenue.

It has two Place du Marché du Nord-named streets that the city maintains. Between the De Castelnau and Jean-Talon metro stations is where the market is.

One of the biggest open-air marketplaces in North America, it is also the biggest market in Montreal. The Jean-Talon Market showcases regional and ethnic food as well as a wide variety of vendors, staying true to its culture and spirit.

Along with a great selection of specialty stores offering spices, oils, cheeses, meats, pastries, and other exquisite Québec items, fruit, vegetable, and flower markets line the sidewalks.

Fishmongers and butchers aggressively promote their products, always willing to offer a recipe or suggest something new.

The market is open all year and undergoes seasonal modifications. It blossoms in the spring with a variety of annuals, perennials, and seeds, and the sweet aroma of maple delights tempts the taste buds.

Fresh strawberries and asparagus usher in the summer season, which develops into a veritable cornucopia of daily selected fresh produce.

The market comes alive in the fall with the bounty of the harvest, and in the winter, it comes alive with Christmas trees, wreaths, and all the other holiday trimmings.

The Jean-Talon Market is more than simply a location to buy groceries; it also provides workshops, gourmet discovery circuits, cooking demos, and more.

The market was opened to the public in 1933 and has seen a massive footfall of enthusiastic public since then. One of the best things to do in Montreal is open year-round, even during the severe winter months.

The open-air arcades are occupied by more than 300 vendors, who are mostly farmers from the countryside around Montreal. Various flowers, meat, fruits, vegetables, spices, and French Canadian Cheese are sold here.

By Kiev.Victor on Shutterstock

9. Musée des Beaux-Arts

An art museum in Montreal, it is the oldest museum in Canada as well as the largest art museum in Canada, occupying a total floor area of 53,095 square meters (571,510 sq ft), 13,000 (140,000 sq ft) of which is exhibition space!

In Montreal, Quebec, Canada, there is a museum of art known as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA; French: Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, MBAM).

By gallery space, it is Canada’s largest art museum. The museum may be found in Sherbrooke Street’s Golden Square Mile section. The shows of the MMFA include works from archaeology, the fine arts, and current activities.

A public sculpture park, an auditorium, a cinema theatre, the Boutique and Bookstore, an internal publishing division, more than 80 exhibition halls, and the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy are all part of the museum complex.

The MMFA, a forerunner in art therapy, collaborates with organizations in the community, education, health, and technology sectors to introduce art to all people via welcoming and stimulating experiences.

The architecture of the various buildings of the museum features modernist and classical elements, contrasting with each other. It houses a collection of more than 10000 objects of World culture.

The collection of more than 1500 artworks of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and models is featured in the museum, credited to geniuses like Monet, Kandinsky, Picasso, El Greco, Poussin, Rembrandt, and Veronese.

Even if you are not much into fine art or looking at cultural artifacts, visiting this art museum is one of the best things to do in Montreal because it will instantly appeal to your soul and give you a sense of calmness and reverence.

By Inspired By Maps on Shutterstock

10. Botanical Garden Montreal

Also called in French as the Jardin Botanique de Montréal, it is a huge Botanical garden that spans 190 acres of land of thematic gardens, greenhouses, and lots of green spaces.

The garden is located in the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, facing Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Founded in 1931, the garden contains a greenhouse complex filled with various species of plants from around the world and outdoor gardens with their own themes.

The grounds are also home to the natural history museum dedicated to different species of insects called the Montreal Insectarium. Visiting the Botanical garden is one of the best things to do in Montreal!

The Montreal Botanical Garden, or Jardin Botanique de Montréal, is a sizable botanical garden with 75 hectares (190 acres) of themed gardens and greenhouses located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Due to the size of its collections and infrastructure, it is regarded as one of the most significant botanical gardens in the world and was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008.

The Montreal Space for Life, Canada’s largest natural museum science complex and Montreal’s top must-see site, includes the Botanical Garden in addition to the Biodome (which will be closed for restoration until spring 2020), the Insectarium, and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.

One of the city’s gems is the Montreal Botanical Garden, which is regarded as one of the best botanical gardens in the entire world. It provides a vibrant schedule of events, exhibitions, and activities all year long.

It’s also the ideal location to take in the fresh air, and the beauty of nature with its collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, Frederic Back Tree House, and more than 20 thematic gardens spread out over 75 hectares.

The Montreal Botanical Garden is a living museum of plants from all over the world, conveniently located minutes from downtown Montreal, close to the Biodome, and only a short distance from Olympic Park. The insectarium, which is located on the grounds of the garden, is extremely enjoyable.

The botanical garden is situated in Maisonneuve Park, in the Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood of Montreal, at 4101 Sherbrooke Street East, on the corner of Pie-IX and Sherbrooke Streets, directly across from the Olympic Stadium.

It has a greenhouse complex filled with exotic plants as well as other sizable outdoor gardens, each of which has a different theme. In addition to helping protect endangered plant species, it also serves to educate the community and horticultural students.

The Montreal Insectarium, the Société d’astronomie de Montréal, and a botanical research institute are also located on the grounds. Off-site, the park staff manages the Ferme Angrignon educational farm and petting zoo.

The various types of gardens housed in the complex are the Chinese garden, the Japanese garden, the First Nations garden (indigenous species to Canada), and the Alpine garden.

The Butterflies Go Free is an annual exhibit from February to April that is hosted at the Botanical Garden Montreal. It features the release of thousands of live butterflies and moths in the Grand Serre of the greenhouses.

By Richard Cavalleri on Shutterstock

Some Honorable Mentions:

  • Plateau-Mont-Royal: Have the Montreal classic Bagels, Poutine, and Smoked Meat. in its high-rated restaurants.
  • Street Market: Shop your hearts out at the street markets in Chinatown, Little Italy, and the very best, Old Montreal.
  • Bell Centre: If you have never been to an Ice Hockey Stadium, now is your time! Feel the chills at the Bell Centre and watch a game if you have to carry your thickest, warmest sweater/jacket!
  • Cirque du Soleil: The largest Circus in the world originated in Montreal! Grab a beer as you watch the incredible tricks that follow in the circus.

Indeed, Montreal is the cultural capital of French Canada! Which was one of the best things to do in Montreal that you loved? Comment! If you have never been to Montreal, maybe it is time.

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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