Best Things to Do in Montreal, Canada
Canada Travel

11 Things Not to Miss in Montreal

January 20, 2019

No city mixes the charm of Old Europe with the New World’s modernity quite like Montreal. Cultural capital of Quebec and second largest city in Canada, the cosmopolitan city has so much to offer that it can be hard to pinpoint the must-dos on a weekend getaway in Montreal. I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks there for the making of a documentary and managed to thouroughly explore the city in my free time so without further ado, here are 11 of the best things to do in Montreal!

Warning: The Québécois’ friendliness and the city’s overall welcoming atmosphere might make you want to come back for more.

One of the best things to do in Montreal  is to explore the streets of Vieux Montreal

Go back in time in Vieux Montréal

Wander the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, the historical district, long enough and you’ll forget that you’re actually in North America. Its French-inspired eclectic architecture makes for some of the city’s most charming streets. Make sure to stop by the Chateau Ramezay, Marché Bonsecours and Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal along the way!

Place d'Armes located in Vieux Montreal, Canada.

Sit down in Place d’Armes

Place d’Armes is one of the most notorious squares in the city among tourists and locals alike. It’s a great place to relax by the fountain and listen to street performers in the summer while contemplating local life unfold before your eyes.

Must-Visit Place in Montreal: Basilique Notre Dame de Montréal off the Place d'Armes

Contemplate the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal

Right off Place d’Armes, at the corner of Saint Sulpice Street, the Notre-Dame Basilica was built in 1657 in the Gothic Revival style. Admission costs $8 but it is worth stepping in to witness the stunning deep blue vaults decorated with golden starts and the hundreds of wooden carvings and religious statues.

The Best Thing to do in Montreal is going up Mont-Royal and enjoy the view over the city.

Go up Mont-Royal

The one place you cannot miss in Montreal. Overlooking the city, Montreal actually owes its name to Mont-Royal. Hike up the hill at sunrise or sunset for the best views! And yes, I mean hike. Unless you go by bus, wear a good pair of shoes and be ready to go up many stairs… The view will only be better for it!

One of the best things to do in Montreal is to cross the Jacques Cartier bridge

Cross Jacques-Cartier Bridge

Did you know that Jacques Cartier is considered to be the founder of Canada?! Unlike the navigator, we might not discover and map new rivers but if you cross the bridge that bears his name, you’ll get a magnificent view over not only Montreal but also the Jean-Drapeau parc and neighboring residential area Longueuil.

Visit Jean Drapeau in Montreal

Take a Break at Jean-Drapeau

I mean, if you’re going to cross the bridge, you might as well stop at Saint Helen’s Island. Between the entertainment parc, the Biosphere, a museum shaped like a globe dedicated to the environment, and hectares of pure nature to walk around, there’s something for everyone. Once you’re deep enough in the parc, it’s really hard to believe you’re minutes away from the heart of Montreal!

Montreal's Old Port is a must do

Explore the Old Port

Le Vieux Port is my favorite neighborhood in Montreal. Its charming old streets, the port in itself and ever-changing projects surrounding it make it a great family attraction. Expect open-air activities and exhibitions in the summer.

Walk around in Plateau Mont-Royal

Take a walk in Plateau Mont-Royal

At the foot of Mont-Royal is located Plateau Mont-Royal, a colorful trendy neighborhood. The residential area features very interesting architecture, small boutiques and coffee shops. If you have spear time and feel spendy, head to Mile End for some shopping.

Must visit places in Montreal

Get lost in the Montreal Botanical Garden

Montreal’s Botanical Garden is considered one of the most important in the world. Its greenhouses are home to exotic plants from around the world and are accessible year-round. It is, however, the thematical outdoor gardens that I find most impressive. General admission costs $20.50 and the garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am until 5 pm.

Best Things to Do in Montreal in 48 Hours

Go Underground

If like me, you visit Montreal in the summer, it might be hard to picture the city under the snow. But you better believe it gets cold though. So cold in fact that the Montréalais built a whole city underground with shops, tunnels, and supermarkets. Exploring the Underground Montreal is a little odd in the spring and summer, but it must be interesting seeing it come to life in the winter time!

Ferry from Longueuil to Montreal

Eat Poutine

You didn’t really think you were going to leave Québec without trying Poutine?! Even if you go in summer and it’s 35°C, you have to give it a go. Granted, it’s a little heavy on the stomach but delicious none the less! I mean imagine a mix of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy… Need I say more?

As always, I would love to read your thoughts about the city and what your must-do activities are in Montreal in the comments!

Safe travels,

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11 Things Not to Miss in Montreal



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