Montreal Tourist Attractions offer beautiful things to do and spectacular places to explore, including fascinating museums, exhilarating nightlife, iconic cuisine, fine dining in great restaurants, and lively festivals. Tourists coming from different countries get awestruck by the beauty of Montreal, and locals are smitten with it.
Montreal, the economic and cultural capital of Quebec, is a cosmopolitan city with an eclectic blend of old European charm and modernism, located on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Due to its stunning architecture, Montreal is named after Mont-Royal, the triple hill at its heart. Compared to other Canadian cities, the city is highly bilingual, with English and French being widely spoken. It is one of the most vibrant areas in North America, with plenty of things to do and places to visit throughout the vast metropolis.
Montreal tourist attractions offer the best tourist destinations compared to any other Canadian city. Now it’s time to check out the 21 top-rated and best Montreal tourist attractions and places to visit and learn about them.
21 Amazing Montreal Tourist Attractions
1. Explore Mount Royal Park
Mount Royal is a small mountain in the city of Montreal, just west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Hypothetically, it is believed that the origin of the name Montreal was taken from the word Mont-Royal. The mountain is home to Mount Royal Park, one of Montreal’s largest greenspaces, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Hike up Mount Royal Park- Mont-Royal, enjoy the lookout point from Mount Royal Park- Parc du Mont-Royal, visit Le Plateau Neighborliness – Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, and checkout tam-tams drumming on Sunday in Mount Royal Park. It is a part of the magnificent Mount Royal Park and an ideal site for admiring various plants and birds or enjoying outdoor activities. It is one of the best Montreal tourist attractions, which offers a lookout point from Mount Royal Park.
2. Visit the Historic Site of Old Montreal(Vieux-Montréal)
Being home to an Old port and many archaeological structures dating back to the era of New France, Old Montreal was founded by the French settler as Fort Ville-Marie back in 1642. Old Montreal is one of the major tourist attractions in Montreal. Many remarkable buildings can be found around it, including Montreal City Hall, Bonsecours Market, Notre-Dame- Basilica, and Notre-Dame-de- Bon- Secours Chapel.
The Pointe-à-Callière Museum, located southwest of the old Montreal, houses important archaeological relics of Montreal’s early settlement. At the same time, cobblestone streets have been famous for their crafts market, art galleries, fine dining restaurants, and many more. It is one of the Montreal tourist attractions showcasing archaeological structures, marvelous museums, and many more.
3. Wander through the Old Port of Montreal – Vieux-port de Montréal
The old port of Montreal is a historic port of Montreal that sits along the waterfront and stretches for over 2 kilometers along the Saint Lawrence River. The port dates back to 1830, but since then, it has been redeveloped into a recreational and historic area that attracts more than 6 million people every year.
Locals and visitors alike can access hiking, biking, inline skating, quads, pedal boats, and Segway rentals at the riverfront, including the Montreal Science Center with the IMAX Theater and the Montreal Tower in Old port, making it unforgettable Montreal tourist attractions to explore. Lachine Canal has undergone extensive refurbishment, making it a popular destination for cyclists, inline skaters, and pleasure boaters.
4. Quartier des Spectacles / Place des Festivals
Famous for an arts and entertainment district and designated as a hub of Montreal’s cultural events and major festivals, Quartier des spectacles is located in the eastern part of Downtown Montreal. Proposed in 2002, this area features 30 performance halls with a total capacity of about 28,000 seats (including the Place des Arts cultural complex), international festivals, art galleries, and numerous cultural exhibition and broadcast facilities making it one of the best Montreal tourist attractions to enjoy Canadian culture and fests.
Many of Montreal’s main events currently take place in this area, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Francofolies, and the Just for Laughs Comedy Fest. Explore Édifice 2-22, which is a cultural center famous for contemporary art.
You can buy tickets from the ticket office located at the end of Saint Catherine Street and Saint Laurent Boulevard. It is also an area where locals and visitors alike can enjoy new cultural spaces over the Saint-Laurent Metro station, theatres, Montreal symphony house, and many more.
5. Montreal Science Centre
Established in 2002, Montreal Science Centre, a science museum, is situated on King Edward Pier in the Old Port of Montreal. The center is dedicated to the exploration of science and technology and IMAX theatre. It is one of the best Montreal tourist attractions to be explored with family and friends.
6. The Underground City
Montreal has the biggest Underground City in the world. Montreal has long, brutal winters, and this is when the Underground City(formerly known as RESO) plays an important role. Most of the downtown area is interconnected by underground paths and shopping areas, so you don’t have to be out in the cold. It provides access to malls, museums, theatres, workplaces, banks, universities, and metro stations during the city’s harsh winter.
7. Montreal Botanical Gardens
The Montreal Botanical Garden is a 75-hectare thematic garden and greenhouses located in Montreal’s Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Borough. In 2008, it was named a National Historic Site of Canada and one of the most significant gardens in the world. There are 10 large greenhouses, each tailored to a specific theme, with 22,000 species on show. The stunning Japanese and Chinese gardens are among the Jardin Botanique’s outdoor gardens.
The Montreal Botanical Garden is one of four nature-themed attractions in the Espace pour la vie museum district located in the City of Montreal. The Biodome, Insectarium, and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium are the others that are located close to the Olympic Stadium.
8. Notre Dame Basilica
The Notre Dame Basilica, located in the historic district of Old Montreal, soars high over the city’s cobblestone streets. The city’s most splendid Catholic Church was built from 1824 to 1829 to serve as a Parish church.
It is one of the oldest examples of Gothic Revival religious architecture in Canada. It is known for its intricately designed interior, which includes stained glass windows chronicling the history of the city. Every year, around 11 million people visit Notre Dame Basilica, making it one of the most popular Montreal tourist attractions in Montreal as well as in entire North America.
9. Oratoire Saint-Joseph (St. Joseph’s Oratory)
Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is a Roman Catholic Basilica, and the national shrine is located on Mount Royal’s western summit in Montreal. The oratory is one of the largest churches in Canada and boasts the third largest dome in the world. It is one of the best Montreal tourist attractions to explore and visit with family and friends.
The basilica’s interior is adorned with ornately carved murals and hundreds of votive candles that lead to the crypt. The Oratory is Montreal’s tallest structure, rising more than 30 meters above Mount Royal’s top and visible from many miles away.
10. Musée des Beaux-Arts: Montreal Museum of fine arts
Montreal’s most prestigious art museum has been building its collection of fine arts for more than 150 years and is located on the historic Golden Square Mile stretch of Sherbrooke Street. It is the oldest art museum in Canada, established in 1860. The Musée des Beaux-Arts houses an outstanding collection of world cultures as well as vibrant Mediterranean archaeology.
The MMFA, which spans five pavilions, occupies a total area of 53,095 square meters (571,510 square feet), of which 13,000 (140,000 square feet) are exhibition spaces. This spacious museum showcases Quebec and Canadian visual works in addition to international contemporary art. It is one of the greatest Montreal tourist attractions to learn about the art and culture of Canada.
11. Parc Jean Drapeau
Parc Jean-Drapeau, located on the Saint Lawrence River to the east of downtown Montreal, is made up of two islands, namely Saint Helen’s Island and the artificial island Notre Dame Island. In 1999, the Parc des Îles de Montréal was renamed Parc Jean-Drapeau in honor of Jean Drapeau, the former Mayor of Montreal who remodeled the islands, built the Montreal Metro, and hosted Expo 67
It is one of the best Montreal tourist attractions to be explored with family and friends. On your trip to Parc Jean Drapeau, don’t forget to stop by La Ronde Amusement Park, Stewart Museum, the Montreal Casino, Bassin Olympique, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and many more. Without question, Parc Jean Drapeau is one of the best sites to visit in Montreal, offering visitors a unique experience.
12. Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium in Quebec City’s largest covered amphitheater, with approximately 56,000 seats and up to 60,000 spectators when the floor is utilized. Built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, this new multi-purpose stadium houses state-of-the-art facilities making it one of the best Montreal tourist attractions to visit.
With a 45-degree angle elevation, the Montreal Tower, which stands near the stadium, is the world’s tallest inclined tower. Visitors can take a stadium tour that starts from the museum, where there are model design replicas and the Olympic torch that lit up at the games, then continue around the grand complex and uncover its secrets and history.
13. Sainte Catherine Street
Sainte Catherine Street is the main commercial thoroughfare located in downtown Montreal, Quebec City. The Sainte Catherine street runs for 11.2 kilometers and serves as the backbone of Montreal’s downtown area. It runs from west to east across the central business area, starting at the Claremont Avenue and de Maisonneuve Boulevard intersection in Westmount and terminating at the Grace Dart Extended Care Centre near the Cadillac metro station.
Whether you’re looking for high-end designers, chain store names, local businesses, or basic souvenirs, this street has it all. It is one of the Montreal tourist attractions to explore, walk for hours on the street, roam around every corner of the street, enjoy food tours, and many more.
14. Jacques Cartier Bridge
The Jacques-Cartier Bridge is a cantilevered steel truss bridge that crosses the St. Lawrence River from Montreal Island in Montreal to the South Bank of Longueuil. At the center of the river, the bridge crosses St. Helen’s Island, which gives you access to Jandrapo Park and La Ronde Amusement Park. The bridge has become a tourist attraction in recent years.
The bridge gets adorned with 365 chromatic lights, one for each day of the year that changes to suit the seasons in honor of the city’s 375th anniversary, and it will remain that way until 2027. Most people enjoy it during the International Fireworks Festival when the road is closed for cars, and the area becomes exclusively pedestrian making it one of the greatest Montreal tourist attractions to enjoy the festive vibes with family and friends.
15. Marché Jean-Talon Market
Jean-Talon Market is a farmer’s market located in the Little Italy district in Montreal. The market is encircled 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 is Montreal’s largest market and North America’s largest open-air market. One of the Montreal tourist attractions allows exploring the farmer’s market that provides fresh vegetables and fruits to their customer.
Even during the harsh winters of Montreal, the market is open all year round. During the peak summer season, May-October, the outdoor arcades are home to about 300 vendors, most of whom are rural farmers in Montreal. The open-air market is surrounded by meat, fish, and cheese stores, wholesale markets, spice and import dealers, bakeries, restaurants, and other grocery stores
16. Saint Laurent Boulevard
Saint Laurent Boulevard, also known as Saint Lawrence Boulevard is the main street in Montreal. The street is a commercial hub and cultural heritage site of Montreal and is also called La Main, which stands for “Main Street.”
Saint Laurent Boulevard is one of Montreal’s busiest thoroughfares and one of the Montreal tourist attractions, lined up with shops, restaurants, eateries, and bars. Historically, Saint Laurent Boulevard was a line divided between various classes and ethnic groups.
17. Montreal Biodome (Biodome de Montreal)
Montreal Biodome is one of the facilities at the Olympic Park in the Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve in Montreal. Visitors can stroll through models of four different ecosystems found in the Americas.
The Montreal Biodome is one of four ecosystems that are part of Space for Life, Canada’s largest natural science museum complex, including the Montreal Insectarium, the Montreal Botanical Garden, and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. It is one of the most popular Montreal tourist attractions among the locals and visitors.
18. Pointe-à-Callière Museum
Pointe-à-Callière is a museum of archaeology and history located in Old Montreal. This museum complex, which was opened in 1992 to highlight and enhance understanding of Montreal’s history and archaeology, is a prominent attraction in Old Montreal.
Museum consists of six buildings and structures that facilitate both the exhibition of the complex and its archaeological excavations. Archaeological excavations reveal the basis of the original settlements of Montreal, founded in the 17th century, allowing visitors to trace the development of Montreal from its early colonial era to the present. Visitors from all over the world and locals come to explore this one of the best Montreal tourist attractions with their family and friends.
19. Mary, Queen Of The World Cathedral
Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, is a minor basilica in Montreal and home to a Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal. It is a mini replica of St. Peter’s of Rome. It is the province’s third-largest church after Saint Joseph’s Oratory and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré east of Quebec City. The church building is 101 meters long and 46 meters wide, and the dome can be up to 77 meters high and 23 meters in diameter.
Inside the church, there is a chapel, an altar, a burial chamber, paintings, statues, texts, and a baptistery. Tourists from all over the world come to visit this one of the famous Montreal tourist attractions.
20. Habitat 67
Habitat 67 is one of the most iconic residential buildings in the world. It was initially built as the Canadian pavilion at the 1967 world fair by a very famous architect Moshe Safdie. It is one of the most popular Montreal tourist attractions, attracting visitors for its marvelous architecture and design. It is an exciting place to live with ample shared and private outdoor space in addition to the beautiful view of both the city and the St. Lawrence river.
158 residencies are created by connecting 365 building modules. These homes range in size from 600 square feet- one-bedroom to 1,800 square feet- four bedrooms. There are 15 types of apartments in all, and every apartment has its roof. It is one of the most remarkable buildings in Montreal.
21. Lachine Canal National Historic Site
The Lachine Canal connects the city with nature and is located in the southwestern part of Montreal. Its 14.5 km city route runs between Old Port and Lake Saint-Louis. Lake Saint-Louis is a navigable waterway separated by five locks. The canal has been recognized as a Canadian National Historic Site, known as the Lachine Canal National Historic Site.
Near the canal’s western end lies the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site. A varied series of activities throughout the year makes this historic landmark a fantastic spot to visit with family or friends. Enjoy recreational activities like boating and bicycling, visit Lachine Visitor Services Centre, and many more to explore.
I hope this article helped you to find the best Montreal tourist attractions to explore with your family and friends. Enjoy your vacations and weekends in this beautiful city of Quebec.