Best things to Do in Montreal, Canada (ULTIMATE 2023 Travel Guide)

Montreal is a vibrant and culturally rich city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. From exploring the city’s historic neighborhoods and cultural institutions, to enjoying its outdoor spaces and nightlife, there is always something to do in Montreal.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a list of the top 15 things to do in Montreal, so you can make the most of your trip to this amazing city. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just want to have some fun, there is something for everyone on this list. So come along as we explore the top 15 things to do in Montreal:

What are the best 15 things to do in Montreal?

  1. Take a stroll through the historic Old Montreal neighbourhood
  2. Visit the Notre-Dame Basilica
  3. Explore the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
  4. Check out the Montreal Biodome
  5. Visit the Montreal Botanical Garden
  6. Take a walk along the Promenade des Artistes
  7. Explore the Montreal Science Centre
  8. Take a tour of the Marché Bonsecours
  9. Visit the Montreal History Centre
  10. Check out the Montreal Forum
  11. Take a stroll through the Plateau neighbourhood
  12. Visit the Montreal Olympic Park
  13. Explore the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History
  14. Visit the Maison St-Gabriel
  15. Take a walk along the Lachine Canal

1. Old Montreal neighbourhood

Old Montreal is a historic neighbourhood located in the heart of the city. It is known for its charming cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and vibrant atmosphere, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

One of the main attractions in Old Montreal is the Notre-Dame Basilica, a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. Other notable landmarks in the neighbourhood include the Château Ramezay, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, and the Montreal City Hall.

Old Montreal is also home to a number of charming squares and public spaces, including Place Jacques-Cartier, Place d’Armes, and Place Royale. These squares are popular destinations for shopping, dining, and entertainment, and are often filled with street performers and other entertainment.

In addition to its historic buildings and landmarks, Old Montreal is also home to a number of restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to enjoy a meal or a drink. The neighbourhood is also home to a number of art galleries and studios, as well as a number of cultural institutions, such as the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History.

Overall, Old Montreal is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Montreal. Its charming atmosphere, rich history, and vibrant culture make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

One of the best ways to see all the sights is with an app. Explorial offers a Scavenger Hunt / Sightseeing Tours.

If you are interested in the most iconic sights in the old town of Montreal, then you should check out this tour:

Montréal Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour
Get to know the city. Solve puzzles. Have fun!

2. Notre-Dame Basilica

The Notre-Dame Basilica is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture located in Old Montreal. It is considered one of the finest examples of this architectural style in North America and is a popular tourist destination in Montreal.

The basilica was designed by architect James O’Donnell and construction began in 1824. It was completed in 1829 and consecrated as a cathedral in 1852. The basilica is known for its stunning interior, which features beautiful stained glass windows, intricate wood carvings, and ornate altar pieces.

One of the most impressive features of the Notre-Dame Basilica is its grand organ, which has over 7,000 pipes and is considered one of the finest in the world. The basilica also boasts a number of famous works of art, including a painting by French artist Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, who was commissioned to create several works for the basilica in the mid-19th century.

The Notre-Dame Basilica is a popular location for concerts and events, and it is also a popular venue for weddings and other ceremonies. In addition to its religious and cultural significance, the basilica is also an important historical site, as it was the first church to be built in Montreal and has played a central role in the city’s history.

Today, the Notre-Dame Basilica attracts thousands of visitors each year and is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Montreal. Its beautiful architecture, rich history, and cultural significance make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

3. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is a world-renowned museum that houses a collection of over 45,000 works of art from around the world, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more.

The MMFA is divided into several pavilions, each of which is dedicated to a different theme or period of art. The Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion, for example, is home to the museum’s collection of European art from the 14th to the 20th centuries, while the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion is home to the museum’s collection of contemporary art.

The MMFA is also home to a number of temporary exhibitions, which showcase the works of contemporary artists or focus on specific themes or periods of art. Past exhibitions have included works by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt, as well as exhibitions on topics such as ancient Greek art and the art of the First Nations.

In addition to its art collection, the MMFA also hosts a variety of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and concerts. It is also home to a number of amenities, including a café and a gift shop.

Overall, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is an essential destination for anyone interested in art and culture. Its impressive collection and diverse range of exhibitions make it a must-see destination for visitors to Montreal.

4. Montreal Biodome

The Montreal Biodome is a nature museum and home to a number of replicas of different ecosystems, including the Tropical Forest, the Laurentian Maple Forest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Polar World. These ecosystems are home to a variety of plant and animal species, many of which are native to the regions they represent.

The Montreal Biodome is a popular destination for families and nature enthusiasts, and it is known for its commitment to conservation and sustainability. It is home to a number of research and education programs, which aim to promote understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

In addition to its live animal exhibits, the Montreal Biodome also features a number of educational displays and interactive exhibits. These displays provide visitors with information about the different ecosystems and the plant and animal species that live there, as well as the challenges they face.

The Montreal Biodome is a unique and fascinating destination that offers visitors the chance to learn about and experience different ecosystems from around the world. It is a great place to spend a day learning about the natural world and getting up close and personal with a variety of plant and animal species.

Overall, the Montreal Biodome is an essential destination for anyone interested in nature and conservation. Its impressive collection of ecosystems and diverse array of plant and animal species make it a must-see destination for visitors to Montreal.

5. Montreal Botanical Garden

The Montreal Botanical Garden is home to a variety of plant species, including trees, shrubs, flowers, and more, as well as a number of gardens that showcase different styles of gardening and plant arrangements.

The Montreal Botanical Garden is divided into a number of themed gardens, including the Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the First Nations Garden. Each of these gardens is designed to showcase the plants and gardening styles of a particular region or culture.

In addition to its gardens, the Montreal Botanical Garden also features a number of other attractions, including a greenhouse that is home to a variety of tropical plants, a butterfly exhibit, and a number of educational displays and interactive exhibits.

The Montreal Botanical Garden is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and families, and it is known for its commitment to conservation and sustainability. It is also home to a number of research and education programs, which aim to promote understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Overall, the Montreal Botanical Garden is a beautiful and peaceful destination that offers visitors the chance to learn about and experience a variety of plant species and gardening styles. It is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Montreal.

6. Promenade des Artistes

The Promenade des Artistes is a street located in the Old Montreal neighbourhood. It is known for its vibrant atmosphere and its focus on the arts, and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The Promenade des Artistes is home to a number of galleries, studios, and other cultural institutions, as well as a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars. It is also a popular destination for street performers and other entertainers, who often perform in the square or on the sidewalks.

In addition to its galleries and cultural institutions, the Promenade des Artistes is also home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks, including the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel and the Place d’Armes, a beautiful square that is home to a number of statues and fountains.

Overall, the Promenade des Artistes is a lively and vibrant destination that is known for its focus on the arts. It is a great place to explore and discover new artists, or simply to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. It is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Montreal.

7. Montreal Science Centre

The Montreal Science Centre is a museum dedicated to science and technology. It is a popular destination for families and science enthusiasts, and is known for its interactive exhibits and educational programs.

The Montreal Science Centre is divided into several exhibition areas, each of which is dedicated to a different aspect of science and technology. These exhibitions cover a wide range of topics, including space, health, environmental science, and more.

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the Montreal Science Centre also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions, which focus on specific topics or themes. These exhibitions often feature interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that allow visitors to learn about science and technology in a fun and engaging way.

The Montreal Science Centre is also home to a number of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and demonstrations. These programs are designed to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of science and technology and to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

Overall, the Montreal Science Centre is a great destination for anyone interested in science and technology. Its interactive exhibits and educational programs make it a must-see destination for visitors to Montreal.

8. Marché Bonsecours

The Marché Bonsecours is a beautiful market building located in Old Montreal. It is known for its architectural beauty and its rich history, and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The Marché Bonsecours was built in the mid-19th century and was originally used as a market for farmers and merchants to sell their goods. Today, it is home to a number of shops and restaurants, as well as a number of cultural and artistic institutions.

One of the main attractions of the Marché Bonsecours is its stunning architecture, which features a beautiful glass roof, ornate columns, and intricate details. The building is also home to a number of historical exhibits and displays, which provide visitors with information about the history of the market and its role in the city’s development.

In addition to its shops and restaurants, the Marché Bonsecours is also home to a number of galleries, studios, and other cultural institutions, making it a great place to discover new artists and learn about Montreal’s artistic scene.

Overall, the Marché Bonsecours is a charming and vibrant destination that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and commerce. It is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Montreal.

9. Montreal History Centre

The Montreal History Centre is dedicated to showcasing the rich history of Montreal and its surrounding region, and is a popular destination for history buffs and tourists alike.

The Montreal History Centre is home to a number of permanent exhibitions, which cover a wide range of topics related to Montreal’s history. These exhibitions feature a variety of artifacts, documents, and multimedia displays, and provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of the city’s history from its founding to present day.

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the Montreal History Centre also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions, which focus on specific periods or themes in the city’s history. These exhibitions often feature rare and unique artifacts and documents that provide insight into the city’s past.

The Montreal History Centre is also home to a number of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours. These programs are designed to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Montreal’s history and its place in the world.

Overall, the Montreal History Centre is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history of Montreal and its surrounding region. Its impressive collection of artifacts and multimedia displays make it a unique and fascinating destination for visitors to the city.

10. Montreal Forum

The Montreal Forum is known for its rich history and its role in the city’s cultural and sporting life, and is a popular destination for sports fans and history buffs alike.

The Montreal Forum was built in the 1920s and was originally home to the Montreal Canadiens, a professional hockey team. The Canadiens played at the Forum for over 70 years, and the venue was known as one of the most iconic and beloved hockey arenas in the world.

In addition to hockey, the Montreal Forum has also played host to a variety of other sporting events, concerts, and other entertainment events over the years. It has welcomed a number of famous performers, including the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Who, and has hosted a variety of other events, including boxing matches, wrestling matches, and more.

Today, the Montreal Forum is a popular tourist destination, and it is home to a number of exhibits and displays that provide visitors with information about its history and its role in the city’s sporting and cultural life. It is also home to a number of shops and restaurants, and is a popular destination for sports fans and history buffs alike.

Overall, the Montreal Forum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in sports and entertainment history. Its rich history and iconic status make it a truly unique and memorable destination for visitors to Montreal.

11. Plateau neighbourhood

The Plateau neighbourhood is a vibrant and lively area located that is known for its bohemian atmosphere, its diverse population, and its thriving arts and culture scene, and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The Plateau neighbourhood is located on a plateau overlooking downtown Montreal, and is home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks, including the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Church and the Mont-Royal Park. It is also home to a number of small, independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a number of art galleries and studios.

The Plateau neighbourhood is known for its vibrant and diverse culture, and is home to a number of cultural festivals and events throughout the year. It is also home to a number of music and performance venues, which host a variety of concerts and performances.

In addition to its arts and culture scene, the Plateau neighbourhood is also known for its lively nightlife, with a number of bars and clubs that stay open late. It is a popular destination for young people and is known for its vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

Overall, the Plateau neighbourhood is a must-see destination for anyone interested in arts, culture, and nightlife. Its vibrant atmosphere and diverse population make it a truly unique and unforgettable destination.

12. Montreal Olympic Park

The Montreal Olympic Park is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex. It is home to a number of sporting facilities, including the Olympic Stadium, the Saputo Stadium, and the Montreal Biodome.

The Olympic Stadium is the main attraction of the Montreal Olympic Park and was built for the 1976 Summer Olympics. It is a multi-purpose stadium that is home to the Montreal Alouettes football team and the Montreal Impact soccer team. It is also used for a variety of other sporting events and concerts.

The Saputo Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium that is home to the Montreal Impact soccer team. It is known for its intimate atmosphere and its close proximity to the action on the field.

The Montreal Biodome is a nature museum that is located within the Montreal Olympic Park. It is home to a number of replicas of different ecosystems, including the Tropical Forest, the Laurentian Maple Forest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Polar World.

In addition to its sporting facilities, the Montreal Olympic Park is also home to a number of other attractions, including the Montreal Tower, which is the tallest inclined tower in the world, and the Montreal Insectarium, which is a museum dedicated to insects and invertebrates.

Overall, the Montreal Olympic Park is a must-see destination for anyone interested in sports and entertainment. Its diverse array of facilities and attractions make it a truly unique and memorable destination.

13. Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History (also known as Pointe-à-Callière) is dedicated to showcasing the rich history and archaeology of Montreal and its surrounding region, and is a popular destination for history buffs and tourists alike.

The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History is home to a number of permanent exhibitions, which cover a wide range of topics related to the history and archaeology of Montreal and its surrounding region. These exhibitions feature a variety of artifacts, documents, and multimedia displays, and provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of the city’s past.

One of the main attractions of the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History is its archaeology gallery, which showcases a number of artifacts that have been excavated from the city’s historical sites. These artifacts provide visitors with a unique window into the city’s past and its development over time.

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions, which focus on specific periods or themes in the city’s history. These exhibitions often feature rare and unique artifacts and documents that provide insight into the city’s past.

The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History is also home to a number of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours. These programs are designed to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Montreal’s history and its place in the world.

14. Maison St-Gabriel

The Maison St-Gabriel is a historic house museum that is dedicated to showcasing the history of the city and its surrounding region, and is a popular destination for history buffs and tourists alike.

The Maison St-Gabriel was built in the 17th century and was originally used as a farmhouse. It was later turned into a museum, and today it is home to a number of exhibits and displays that provide visitors with information about the history of the city and its surrounding region.

One of the main attractions of the Maison St-Gabriel is its collection of artifacts and documents, which provide visitors with a unique window into the city’s past. These artifacts include a variety of household items, tools, and other objects that were used by the city’s early settlers.

In addition to its exhibits and displays, the Maison St-Gabriel also hosts a number of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours. These programs are designed to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the city’s history and its place in the world.

Overall, the Maison St-Gabriel is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history of Montreal and its surrounding region. Its impressive collection of artifacts and educational programs make it a unique and fascinating destination for visitors to the city.

15. Lachine Canal

The Lachine Canal, located in Montreal, is known for its rich history and its role in the development of the city, and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The Lachine Canal was built in the 19th century and was originally used as a shipping route for goods and materials. It played a key role in the development of Montreal’s economy and was an important transportation route for many years.

Today, the Lachine Canal is a popular destination for recreational activities, including cycling, boating, and walking. It is home to a number of parks, trails, and green spaces, and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

In addition to its recreational attractions, the Lachine Canal is also home to a number of cultural and historical sites, including the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, which is dedicated to showcasing the history of the canal and its role in the development of the city.

Overall, the Lachine Canal is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Montreal. Its rich history and beautiful natural setting make it a unique and memorable destination for visitors to the city.


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