The magnificent metropolis of Montreal is situated in the Canadian province of Quebec. Along with being the second-largest city in Canada, it serves as the cultural and economic center of Quebec, and there are a lot of things to see in Montreal. This vibrant metropolis is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world and draws a huge number of French-speaking tourists because of its history and legacy. If you are thinking about visiting Canada, you should go to the lovely city of Montreal, where you can immerse yourself in the rich culture and legacy that makes Canada truly come alive. The tourist attractions in Montreal provide their tourists with captivating experiences.
This captivating city’s history began in 1535 when Jacques Cartier first set foot on its soil. Since then, Montreal has grown to be recognized as a historical monument with fascinating churches, zoos, observatories, museums, galleries, and more.
Learn more to find out the most beautiful things to see in Montreal.
Here are the 15 Most Beautiful Things to See in Montreal:
1. Notre-Dame Basilica
The oldest church in Montreal is Dame Basilica of Montreal, established in 1656. This church’s artistically crafted interior draws tourists from all over the world.
One of the best things to see in Montreal is to go to this location, which is a major draw for travelers.
The stained glass windows tracing Montreal’s history are also housed in this magnificent church. It is the location of the stunning carving created by well-known sculptor Louis-Philippe Hebert. The organizers offer a 20-minute tour where you can see the incredible collection of this church.
The Notre Dame Basilica of Montréal is situated in the Ville-Marie neighborhood of Montréal at the junction of Notre Dame Street West and Saint-Sulpice Street. The Sulpicians constructed this gem of Québec’s ecclesiastical history from 1824 to 1829 to use it as a parish church.
It is one of Canada’s first instances of ecclesiastical Gothic Revival architecture. It was a massive, audacious building at the time of its construction, unmatched anyplace else in North America. James O’Donnell, an Irish immigrant to New York City, was the architect. Visitors are truly amazed by its one-of-a-kind interior decor, which Victor Bourgeau oversaw, as well as its lavish embellishments. One of the top tourist destinations in Montréal is also the Basilica.
2. Wander Through Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal)
This place which houses some of the best things to do in the city was established by French settlers in 1642. Many of the original New France foundations and architectural features are still there in what began as a citadel and town but has since developed into the city we know and love today.
A popular destination for tourists, this place is among the top things to see in Montreal.
While the cobblestone streets above have long been occupied by artisan markets, renowned galleries, fine dining, swanky clubs, and nightlife hotspots, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum is a major focus for learning about that through conserved ancient ruins. Visitors and locals alike flock to this area all year long for events like Igloofest in the winter and its beach beside the Old Port clocktower in the summer.
Old Montreal smoothly connects the past and present of the city. It is a historically significant neighborhood that dates back to the early 1600s. The top activities in the district are listed below.
2.1. Place d’Armes
The second-oldest public location in the city, Place d’Armes, is a historic public area in the center of Old Montreal. Today, it is a well-liked location where visitors can take in the brilliant street performers and some of Montreal’s most stunning buildings which surround the square.
The former Bank of Montreal is located on the north side of Place d’Armes, and the Art Deco Aldred Building and the New York Life Building are located on the western side. The renowned Notre Dame Basilica, where Canadian celebrity Céline Dion got married, sits on the southern side.
2.2. Montreal City Hall Building
The Hôtel de Ville in Montreal is a striking structure. The Hôtel de Ville Tours in France served as inspiration for Henri-Maurice Perrault and Alexander Cowper Hutchison’s Second Empire design, which they created between 1872 and 1878. Trust me on this, it is one of the top things to see in Montreal.
The mayor’s office has moved to the nearby Lucien-Saulnier Building, but Montreal City Hall, which is close to Vauquelin Square and its lovely fountain, is still a landmark worth seeing.
2.3. Bonsecours Market Bar, Market, Restaurant, Canadian
The Bonsecours Market, which opened in 1847 and is now a National Historic Site of Canada, used to be Montreal’s biggest open-air market. 15 boutiques that sell accessories, fashion, art, and other products manufactured in Quebec are now housed in the dome-shaped building.
Additionally, a variety of trade shows and events are held at the Bonsecours Market, which also has restaurants and a patio (in the warmer months). The market opens each day at 10 a.m.
2.4. Building on Saint-Paul Street, Historical Landmark
Saint Paul Street is one of the prettiest streets in Montreal. It was first paved in 1672 and is home to numerous iconic greystone structures from Montreal’s past. You can find a variety of stores, galleries, and eateries when strolling down Saint-Paul Street.
Walking down the winding roadway parallel to the Old Port waterfront is very enjoyable. Place Jacques-Cartier, a square named after the explorer who claimed Canada for France in 1535, will eventually come into view.
3. Mount-Royal Park
The captivating park, Mount Royal Park, is situated not far from the city’s core. This charming park, which is located 233 meters above the city, allows you to see the statues of King George IV and Jacques Cartier. One may take in the tranquil western hills of the city, where ethnic groups from various backgrounds have long since rested peacefully. A popular destination for tourists, this place is among the top things to see in Montreal.
Additionally, Mount Royal Park offers breathtaking views of St. Lawrence and the entire Île de Montréal from a vantage point that will make you fall in love with the city. On a clear day, you can also see the vast Adirondack Mountains in the United States if you travel here.
4. Montreal’s Underground City
Montreal’s Underground City, also known in French as La Ville Souterraine or le RÉSO (réseau, which translates as “the network” or “the network”), is among the city’s main tourist destinations. The tales and legends surrounding “La Ville Souterraine” have expanded along with its fame.
There are 33 kilometers of tunnels to explore beneath the center of Montreal. As a matter of fact, underground complexes offer access to ice rinks, banks, museums, and educational institutions. It’s one of the top attractions in Montreal and a popular destination for tourists.
The residents of this underground metropolis, however, are not underground. No one actually lives in the so-called Underground City, despite its name. In actuality, the term “subterranean city” is somewhat misleading because much of the network is above ground.
The Metro in Montreal and the RÉSO network run on the same timetable. Due to this, the majority of Underground City is open from 5:30 am to 1:00 am, the same hours as the metro.
5. Montreal Science Center
Since its founding in 2000, this science and technology center has become renowned for its approachable and engaging style as well as for displaying indigenous innovation and know-how.
The Old Port of Montreal is where you’ll find the Montréal Science Center. Its ambitious goal is to give every visitor an entertaining opportunity to learn how they can utilize science and technology to construct their future, making it one of Canada’s most well-liked science centers.
The center has numerous interactive exhibits that are both permanent and temporary, as well as a sizable theater with a seven-story-high screen. About 350 corporate events and weddings are held at the Science Center each year in magnificent spaces with breathtaking views of the city and river. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the center welcomes over 700,000 people annually.
The Montreal Science Center is renowned for its distinctive and enjoyable ways to discover science and technology, thanks to the financial backing of Canada Lands Company and the Montreal Science Center Foundation.
Additionally, the center is renowned in Canada and other countries for its avant-garde strategy that encourages scientific learning. It distributes its expertise and internationally acclaimed exhibitions made in Quebec. The Fabrik, Musik, and Indigenous Ingenuity shows, for instance, have been or will be shown all around Canada or abroad.
6. Jean-Talon Market
One of Montréal’s oldest public marketplaces is Jean-Talon Market, which is located in Little Italy. It was first opened in May 1933 under the name Marché du Nord, but in 1983 Jean- Talon, the first intendant of New France, had his name changed. It is a community-like, welcoming location where generations of business owners and consumers have grown up. This area, which is a significant draw for tourists, is among the top things to see in Montreal.
With its numerous regional fruit and vegetable growers, variety of small store owners (butchers, bakers, fishmongers, grocers, etc.), and restaurant owners that are sure to whet your stomach when you visit, Jean-Talon Market stands out.
Come down and participate in the festivities at Jean-Talon Market, where they love to celebrate at all times of the year with a variety of events planned, including cooking demos, gourmet “walkabouts,” cinq à septs, and seminars.
7. St. Lawrence River
Together with the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River comprises a vast estuary and river system that extends 3,058 kilometers (km) into North America. The actual river, which is 1,197 km long, rises in Lake Ontario and passes past Montreal and Quebec City before entering the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A popular destination for tourists, this place is among the top things to see in Montreal.
The St. Lawrence River had a significant role in the early history of Canada as the path of early explorers and the primary axis of New France, and it continues to be the center of settlement for much of the province of Quebec. It continues to be Canada’s most significant commercial waterway and a source of electricity as well as scenic beauty.
8. Botanical Garden
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 captivating botanical garden, Jardin Botanique, will enchant you and make you fall in love with Montreal. It has approximately ten showcase greenhouses and 30 themed gardens. Amazing Japanese and Chinese gardens may be found in Jardin Botanique’s outdoor gardens. Even uncommon hazardous plants and their existence in their natural habitat can be observed here. A popular destination for tourists, this place is among the top things to see in Montreal.
The exquisite assortment of several rose types is also on display here. The greenhouses in this garden, which include tropical rainforest, bonsai, ferns, and orchids, are another pleasant surprise.
9. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
In Montreal, Quebec, Canada, there is an art museum called the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (French: Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal). It is Canada’s largest art museum in terms of gallery space. The museum may be found in Sherbrooke Street’s Golden Square Mile section. Exploring this area, which is a significant magnet for tourists, is one of the top things to see in Montreal for art lovers.
One of the top 15 most frequented museums in North America is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), which was founded in 1860. The museum’s encyclopedic permanent collection, which spans some 43,000 works and includes everything from European Masters to the MMFA’s stunning Napoleon collection, is housed in the city’s historic Golden Square Mile.
The majority of this collection is on display in the museum’s five interconnected pavilions. The MMFA also designs and organizes popular traveling exhibitions. The 460-seat Bourgie Concert Hall, a movie theater, a shop, a library, and the Beaux-Arts Restaurant are all part of the MMFA complex.
10. Food Tours
The culinary culture of a place is one of the best ways to explore it. Several businesses provide food tours of Montréal that visit its marketplaces and historic districts. These excursions are a great way to spend a few hours biking or walking around, sampling some delectable foods, and learning about Montréal’s history, whether you’re a tourist or a native.
Exploring this area, which is a significant magnet for tourists, is one of the top things to see in Montreal for foodies. A couple of the locations are listed below.
10.1. Global DMC VDM
For the past 40 years, VDM Global DMC has offered thorough tours of Montréal, the province of Québec, and beyond to both visitors and residents. Meet some local purveyors and chefs while learning about Old Montréal’s gastronomic heritage under the guidance of professionals. There is also an electric scooter street food tour that travels through Little Italy and Mile End.
10.2. Montreal Craft Beer Tours
This tour is for you if you’re a beer connoisseur! With the help of Montreal Craft Beer Tours, you can explore the city’s brewpubs while also learning about the history of the area and meeting the makers of the beer. Along with those beers, you may sample poutine, local charcuteries and cheese, and more.
10.3 Local Food Tours in Montréal
The Mile End and Old Montreal are the major subjects of the two walking food excursions offered by Local Montréal Food Tours. The tours take visitors on a historical, cultural, and gastronomic journey of these two prominent Montréal neighborhoods. Each tour includes six or more food stops, making them satisfying in every way.
10.4. Spade & Palacio Tours
The “Beyond the Market” trip from Spade & Palacio takes you on an excursion of Montréal’s Jean-Talon Market and beyond if you’re a food enthusiast and would want more than just a nibble. Every trip offered by Spade & Palacio includes a snack, beverage, picnic lunch, or something else.
11. Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
The Montreal Planetarium, which was first built in 1966 as a component of the Montreal Expo, reopened in 2013 following a two-year renovation and improvement period. Children and adults can experience the cosmos in a contemporary, imaginative way at the brand-new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.
This consists of two complementing plays in two different theaters, as well as ongoing and recurring exhibitions, all housed in a cool, futuristic architecture that uses minimal energy. One of the best things to see in Montreal, this location is a favorite among travelers.
The Montreal Planetarium is one of four buildings that make up Space for Life, Canada’s biggest complex of natural sciences museums. The Biodome, Insectarium, and Botanical Gardens complete this quartet of family-friendly attractions, which are all situated at the Viau metro station next to the Olympic Stadium and within a 10-minute stroll of one another.
Each display at the Montreal Planetarium lasts for half an hour. One is a more realistic tour through the cosmos that takes place from the comfort of a bean bag chair, while the other is a more fantasy journey that accurately describes the sky and constellations.
12. Chinatown and Chinese Garden
Chinese gates delineate the core of Montréal’s Chinatown, which is located along Rue de la Gauchetière. This vibrant area was established in the late 1860s when many Chinese immigrants who had come to the country to work in the mines and on the railroad moved into the city in quest of a better living. Chinatown is now home to a variety of Asian eateries and retail establishments and is a popular dining destination for both locals and visitors.
The Montreal Chinese Garden may appear rustic and asymmetrical at first glance, yet it was designed by strict aesthetic rules. It is a place where harmony and contradiction coexist and it should be visited by you as it is one of the nicest things to see in Montreal. The layout of the space and the architecture of the pavilions, the choice of plants and minerals, the presence of water, and the contrast of yin and yang are all manifestations of the universal principles of Chinese landscape design.
Chinese gardens upend Western conventions and viewpoints. Their constituent parts are richly symbolic. Designers recreate nature by interpretation rather than imitation by building a three-dimensional representation of it. Masses and shapes are utilized to create contrast and evoke feelings.
13. Square Saint-Louis and Rue Denis
One of Montréal’s beautiful historic squares and top things to see in Montreal, Square Saint-Louis, is located close to the Sherbrooke Metro Station and is situated in a pre-war French-Canadian neighborhood. There are still a few charming Victorian homes in the small lanes that surround the square, which is covered by trees. Several now contain inviting restaurants. Of all the things to see in Montreal, this place is a gem.
One of Montréal’s trendiest retail, dining, and entertainment districts are Rue St. Denis, which runs parallel to St. Laurent and borders the square to the east. Boutiques, bistros, and cafés have been incorporated into old structures.
At one end, St. Denis begins in the student-friendly Quartier Latin district (next to the Grande Bibliothèque and the Université du Québec à Montréal) and travels west into the hip Plateau neighborhood with its independent designers and chef-run eateries.
14. Explore the Old Port (Vieux-Port)
You’ll find yourself in the Old Port neighborhood near the Saint Lawrence River while you explore Old Montreal (Vieux-Port), where you can do a lot of fun things, like ride the enormous Ferris wheel or climb the well-known clock tower, or ziplining on terrifying heights. This is among the most exciting things to see in Montreal.
The area’s ten unique public art installations can be viewed while strolling around; alternatively, you can watch a performance at the IMAX or brush up on your knowledge at the Montreal Science Center.
Boat trips leave from these docks during the summer. There is even a man-made beach with views of the city or the river at the base of the clocktower if you want to soak up the sun.
15. Saint Helen’s Island (Île Sainte-Hélène)
The Saint Lawrence River contains the island park known as Saint Helen’s Island (Île Sainte-Hélène) in Montreal. St. Helene’s Island and Round Island are the two little islands that make up Saint Helen’s Island. The name of the island honors Samuel de Champlain’s spouse. Together with Notre Dame Island, it is a part of Montreal’s Jean-Drapeau Park.
15.1. And Saint Helen’s Island: Expo ’67
The location of Expo 67, a World Fair with the theme of “Man and His World,” was various parts of Saint Helen’s Island. The island was extended in advance of Expo ’67. Except for the Biosphere, many of the Expo 67 structures were demolished after the event. The American Pavilion for Expo ’67 had previously existed as the Biosphere.
The Biosphere presently houses water and the Saint Lawrence River museum.
15.2. St. Helen’s Island Attractions
Saint Helen’s Island is home to several well-known Montreal attractions and is one of the top things to see in Montreal. On Saint Helen’s Island, sights to see include Montreal’s Biosphère, a huge geodesic dome that debuted during Expo ’67.
It is one of the most beautiful things to see in Montreal.
La Ronde, a Six Flags theme park, is another attraction on Saint Helen’s Island. The L’International des Feux Loto-Québec International Fireworks Competition is held in this theme park. The Stewart Museum is one of the Island’s additional attractions. Throughout the year, Saint Helen’s Island is also used for a variety of performances.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading about the fascinating, enjoyable, and distinctive places to see in Montreal.
There are a ton of fantastic tourist attractions and fascinating historical facts in Montreal. The magnificent churches, zoos, observatories, museums, galleries, and other locations in Montreal offer excellent opportunities. Plan your trip to Montreal as soon as possible!