Top 10 Montreal attractions - For tourists and Montrealers!
23 Oct 2018
Top 10 Attractions in Montreal
Montreal is without a doubt one of the most enchanting cities. With a European charm, vibrant ambiance, diverse food scene, and rich culture, what is there not to love? Whether you’re a tourist or you want to explore more of your own city, here are the top 10 attractions that you must visit in Montreal.
This is a landmark mountain located in the heart of Montreal. Popular amongst locals and tourists alike, Mont-Royal was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the creative mastermind behind Central Park in New York. Surrounding the mountain you will find forested walking trails, manmade monuments, and lots of green space. It is a great site to visit, whether you want to engage in outdoor activities, or just to simply enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds Mont-Royal. When you hike to the top, you have a breathtaking view of the city, which is an activity in of itself. There are many attractions surrounding the mountain, such as the Mount Royal Cross, Beaver Lake, Mont Royal Chalet, and more. In addition, Mont-Royal hosts Tam Tams every Sunday during the summer months. This is a great event where drummers, dancers, and visitors gather together next to the George Étienne monument. Although it is most popular during the summertime, there are plenty of other activities you can do during the winter months as well, such as snowshoeing and tubing.
Location: 1260, chemin Remembrance, Montréal (Québec) H3H 1A2
Old Port of Montreal
If you want a taste of Europe within Canada, this is the place to come. Known as the historic district in Montreal, this is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations and has about 6 million visitors every year. There are plenty of activities and attractions that take place throughout the year. Book a relaxing spa day at Bota Bota, take a ride on the ferris wheel where you can see a panoramic view of Old Montreal, go zip lining at night, attend the famous outdoor club Terrace Bonsecours during the summer, skate around the skating rink during the winter, walk along the St Lawrence River, witness the street performers at Place Jacques Cartier, and much more. You can even just take a stroll along the cobblestone roads and admire the enchanting streets and architectural buildings, then grab some dinner at the restaurants and cafés surrounding the old port. All these activities will keep you busy for days!
Location: 333 Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E2
Notre Dame de Basilica
This is a Gothic-Revival-style church located in the historic district of Old Montreal, and it is the oldest Catholic church in the city. Nearly 200 years old, this is one of Canada’s most extravagant cathedrals and it is known for its beautiful architecture and magnificent interior. The craftsmanship behind this church is truly remarkable, from the stained glass, woodwork, and paintings. You can attend a guided tour, which comes with the entrance fee (6$), or you can attend an event like Aura, an illuminating experience inside the church. It is a sound and light show that is thrilling, spiritual, and magical all at once. A truly captivating experience not to be missed! Fun fact: Céline Dion got married here!
Location: 110 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H2Y 1T2
Montreal Botanical Garden
A space of natural beauty, this is known as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. This enchanting attraction is a must see, especially if you’re looking for something serene, scenic, and peaceful. There are about 30 themed gardens and 10 greenhouses, and there are many events and exhibitions that take place throughout the year. It’s not just a walk in a park; it’s a beautiful cultural experience and a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the city. Be prepared to spend a good couple of hours (or even a whole day) exploring the garden! You can check out their exhibitions and events on their website, so you can buy your tickets and plan your days ahead of time. The Japanese and Chinese gardens are definitely not to be missed!
Location: 4101 Rue Sherbrooke E, Montréal, QC H1X 2B2
Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Mont-Royal
This is Canada’s largest church situated on Mont Royal’s Westmount Summit. Founded by Saint Brother André in 1904, this majestic church is a place of spirituality, nature, and culture. It has a beautiful modern design with an old-world charm, and it is also known to have one of the largest domes dedicated to Saint Joseph in the world. The views at the top of the mountain are awe-inspiring, and you definitely experience a breathtaking feeling from both the inside and outside of the church. There are plenty of events that take place indoors such as daily Masses, music concerts, guided tours, and even a museum. They also have a garden open during the summer, which is a great place for silent reflection and meditation. Entrance is free (excluding the museum), and the walk up the stairs to the church is quite the workout, but definitely worth it!
Location: 3800 Queen Mary Rd, Montreal, QC H3V 1H6
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Founded in 1860, this is the 8th most visited museum in North America with more than 1 million visitors each year. Their encyclopedic collection, which includes over 43,000 works, consists of paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs, and decorative art objects spread throughout 5 pavilions. In these pavilions, you will also find a concert hall, an auditorium, and a movie theater, as well as areas for participating in educational, community, and art therapy activities. There is even a sculpture garden attached to the museum! Make sure to check out their diverse collections spread throughout the museum, as well as the various exhibitions that take place during the year. You can easily spend an entire day here absorbing all the art and culture the MMFA has to offer!
Location: 1380 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5
Located in the heart of Little Italy, this is known as one of the largest and oldest outdoor markets in North America. It is always bustling and bursting with a variety of local vendors where you can find tons of high quality, seasonal, and fresh produce. From fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, cheeses, seafood, plants, and more, it truly feels like the Willy Wonka chocolate factory of markets! Surrounding the market you will find various shops, restaurants, and cafés where you can grab a delicious snack to eat. Even if you don’t buy anything, just visiting the market itself is worth it. There are also many activities that take place at the market such as culinary demonstrations and workshops. It’s the perfect place to eat, shop, walk, and people watch!
Location: 7070 Henri Julien Ave, Montreal, QC H2S 3S3
Parc La Fontaine
This park is a beautiful urban oasis with lots of green space, trails, and a big pond with a large fountain. It’s a great spot for a picnic, playing sports, watching the ducks paddling in the pond, going for a stroll, people watching, or just relaxing and enjoying the beauty of nature that surrounds the park. There is also a great jogging and biking path that circulate around the park. Don’t worry if you can’t visit during the summer, because in the winter the pond turns into a skating rink. It’s the perfect place to come with your friends, family, or with your significant other.
Location: 1619 QC-138, Montréal, QC H2L 3A7
Website: Parc Lafontaine
Lachine Canal Historical Site
If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city for a day, make your way to the Lachine Canal. This historic canal passes through the southwestern part of Montreal, running 13.5 kilometers long between the Old Port and Lake Saint Louis. The calm waters are perfect paddling, canoeing, and kayaking along the water for a peaceful sail ride. Surrounding the canal is a beautiful, green urban space, perfect for going on a stroll or for biking. The path was ranked the 3rd most beautiful circuit in the world by Time magazine in 2009. There are also various activities that take place around throughout the year, so it’s an ideal place to come with your friends and family. There are also lots of restaurants and cafés around to grab a bite to eat. Check out the Canal Lounge floating café (Yes, you read right), which is a café floating right above the waters.
Location: 711 Boulevard Saint-Joseph, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E7
Website: Canal Lachine
Shopping and eating at restaurants are great, but not so great when you have to walk in -40 degrees Celsius. The underground city is the perfect indoor adventure for those harsh Montreal winters. Now you can enjoy all those fun activities without stepping a foot outside! This is the largest underground complex in the world where you can find a maze of interconnected shops, restaurants, metros, hotels, and train stations all linked underground. Need a gym? A salon? An indoor skating rink? You can find all in the underground city! Some parts are currently under construction and it may be difficult to navigate, but you can always grab a map or find someone around to help.
Location: 1 Place Ville Marie, Montreal, QC, H3B 2B6