Montreal

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Montreal - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Avenue Bernard

    Outremont

    If your taste runs to the chic and fashionable, then there is simply no better street than rue Bernard, west of Avenue Querbes, for people-watching....

    If your taste runs to the chic and fashionable, then there is simply no better street than rue Bernard, west of Avenue Querbes, for people-watching. Its wide sidewalks and shady trees make it ideal for the kind of outdoor cafés and restaurants that attract the bright and the beautiful.

    Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • 2. Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal

    Old Montréal

    Few churches in North America are as wow-inducing as Notre-Dame. Everything about the Gothic Revival–style church, which opened in 1829, seems designed to make you...

    Few churches in North America are as wow-inducing as Notre-Dame. Everything about the Gothic Revival–style church, which opened in 1829, seems designed to make you gasp—from the 228-foot twin towers out front to the tens of thousands of 24-karat gold stars that stud the soaring blue ceiling. Nothing in a city renowned for churches matches Notre-Dame for sheer grandeur—or noise-making capacity: its 12-ton brass bell is the largest in North America, and its 7,000-pipe Casavant organ can make the walls tremble. The pulpit is a work of art in itself, with an intricately curving staircase and fierce figures of Ezekiel and Jeremiah crouching at its base. The whole place is so overwhelming it's easy to miss such lesser features as the stained-glass windows from Limoges and the side altars dedicated to St. Marguerite d'Youville, Canada's first native-born saint; St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, Canada's first schoolteacher; and a group of Sulpician priests martyred in Paris during the French Revolution. For a peek at the magnificent baptistery, decorated with frescoes by Ozias Leduc, you'll have to tiptoe through the glassed-off prayer room in the northwest corner of the church. Every year dozens of brides—including Céline Dion, in 1994—march up the aisle of Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel), behind the main altar, to exchange vows with their grooms before a huge modern bronze sculpture that you either love or hate. Notre-Dame is an active house of worship, so dress accordingly. The chapel can't be viewed weekdays during the 12:15 pm mass, and is often closed Saturday for weddings. Don't miss the 45-minute multimedia spectacle, "Aura," which celebrates the basilica's exquisite features through light and sound. See website for schedule (www.aurabasiliquemontreal.com/en).

    110 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 1T1, Canada
    514-842–2925

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$14 +C$1 service fee (self-guided tour); multimedia show \"Aura\" C$32.00 + C$2 service fee, Reserve online or by phone.
  • 3. Boulevard St-Laurent

    The Plateau

    A walk here is a walk through Montréal's multicultural history. The shops, restaurants, synagogues, and churches that line the 10-block stretch north of rue Sherbrooke...

    A walk here is a walk through Montréal's multicultural history. The shops, restaurants, synagogues, and churches that line the 10-block stretch north of rue Sherbrooke reflect the various waves of immigrants that have called it home. Keep your eyes open and you'll see Jewish delis, Hungarian and Slovenian charcuterie shops, Chinese grocery stores, Italian coffee bars, Greek restaurants, Vietnamese sandwich shops, and Peruvian snack bars. You'll also spot some of the city's trendiest restaurants, cafés, and galleries, as well as the dernier cri in skateboard fashion. The first immigrants to move into the area in the 1880s were Jews escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe. It was they who called the street "the Main," as in Main Street—a nickname that endures to this day. Even Francophone Montrealers sometimes call it "La Main."

    Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • 4. Christ Church Cathedral

    Downtown

    The seat of the Anglican (Episcopalian) bishop of Montréal offers downtown shoppers and strollers a respite from the hustle and bustle of rue Ste-Catherine, with...

    The seat of the Anglican (Episcopalian) bishop of Montréal offers downtown shoppers and strollers a respite from the hustle and bustle of rue Ste-Catherine, with free noontime concerts and organ recitals. Built in 1859, the cathedral is modeled on Snettisham Parish Church in Norfolk, England, with some distinctly Canadian touches. The steeple, for example, is made with aluminum plates molded to simulate stone, and inside, the Gothic arches are crowned with carvings of the types of foliage growing on Mont-Royal when the church was built. The stained-glass windows behind the main altar, installed in the early 1920s as a memorial to the dead of World War I, show scenes from the life of Christ. On the wall just above and to the left of the pulpit is the Coventry Cross; it's made of nails taken from the ruins of Britain's Coventry Cathedral, destroyed by German bombing in 1940. Free Saturday group tours can be arranged by calling the office.

    635 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, Québec, H3A 2B8, Canada
    514-843–6577-ext. 241

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Sat. tour not offered during COVID
  • 5. Cimetière Mont-Royal

    Côte-des-Neiges

    If you find yourself humming "Getting to Know You" as you explore Mont-Royal Cemetery's 165 acres, blame it on the graveyard's most famous permanent guest,...

    If you find yourself humming "Getting to Know You" as you explore Mont-Royal Cemetery's 165 acres, blame it on the graveyard's most famous permanent guest, Anna Leonowens (1834–1915). She was the real-life model for the heroine of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I. The cemetery—established in 1852 by the Anglican, Presbyterian, Unitarian, and Baptist churches—is laid out like a terraced garden, with footpaths that meander between crab-apple trees and past Japanese lilacs. If you're lucky, you may spot a fox sunbathing on one of the tombstones in winter.

    1297 chemin de la Forêt, Montréal, Québec, H2V 2P9, Canada
    514-279–7358
  • 6. Croix sur la Montagne

    Parc du Mont-Royal

    Visible from up to 50 miles away on a clear day, the 98-foot-high steel cross at the top of Mont-Royal has been a city landmark...

    Visible from up to 50 miles away on a clear day, the 98-foot-high steel cross at the top of Mont-Royal has been a city landmark since it was erected in 1924, largely with money raised through the efforts of 85,000 high-school students. Once upon a time, it took four hours and the labor of three to replace the 249 electric bulbs used to light the cross; today, the iconic cross is illuminated via a high-tech remote-control LED system.

    Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • 7. Jardin Botanique

    Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

    Creating one of the world's great botanical gardens in a city with a winter as harsh as Montréal's was no mean feat, and the result...

    Creating one of the world's great botanical gardens in a city with a winter as harsh as Montréal's was no mean feat, and the result is that no matter how brutal it gets in January there's one corner of the city where it's always summer. With 181 acres of plantings in summer and 10 greenhouses open all year, Montréal's Jardin Botanique is the second-largest attraction of its kind in the world (after England's Kew Gardens). It grows more than 26,000 species of plants, and among its 30 thematic gardens are a rose garden, an alpine garden, and—a favorite with the kids—a poisonous-plant garden. You can attend traditional tea ceremonies in the Japanese Garden, which has one of the best bonsai collections in the West, or wander among the native birches and maples of the Jardin des Premières-Nations (First Nations Garden). The Jardin de Chine (Chinese Garden), with its pagoda and waterfall, will transport you back to the Ming dynasty. In the fall, all three cultural gardens host magical mixes of light, color, plant life, and sculpture during the annual Gardens of Light spectacle.

    4101 rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, Québec, H1X 2B2, Canada
    514-872–1400

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$21.50 or C$80 for an Espace pour la vie Passport, Closed Mon., except during holiday season
  • 8. Musée d'Archéologie et d'Histoire Pointe-à-Callière (PAC)

    Old Montréal

    A modern glass edifice built on the site of Montréal's first European settlement, the PAC impresses. The museum presents new local and international temporary exhibitions...

    A modern glass edifice built on the site of Montréal's first European settlement, the PAC impresses. The museum presents new local and international temporary exhibitions each year, but the real reason to visit the city's most ambitious archaeological museum is to take the elevator ride down to the 17th century. It's dark down there, and just a little creepy thanks to the 350-year-old tombstones teetering in the gloom, but it's worth the trip. This is a serious archaeological dig that takes you to the very foundations of the city. A more lighthearted exhibit explores life and love in multicultural Montréal. For a spectacular view of the Old Port, the St. Lawrence River, and the Islands, ride the elevator to the top of the tower, or stop for lunch in the museum's glass-fronted café. In summer there are re-creations of period fairs and festivals on the grounds near the museum. The Fort Ville-Marie pavilion showcases the remains of the forts and artifacts from the first Montrealers. The 360-foot underground William collector sewer, built in the 1830s and considered a masterpiece of civil engineering at that time, connects the original museum space with the new pavilion and features a sound-and-light show projected onto the walls of the collector sewer.

    350 place Royale, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 3Y5, Canada
    514-872–9150

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$24
  • 9. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal

    Downtown

    Not surprisingly, Canada's oldest museum has one of the finest collections of Canadian art anywhere. The works of such luminaries as Paul Kane, the Group...

    Not surprisingly, Canada's oldest museum has one of the finest collections of Canadian art anywhere. The works of such luminaries as Paul Kane, the Group of Seven, Paul-Émile Borduas, and Marc-Aurèle Fortin are displayed here in a space built onto the back of the neoclassical Erskine and American United Church, one of the city's most historic Protestant churches. The nave has been preserved as a meeting place and exhibition hall and also displays the church's 18 Tiffany stained-glass windows, the biggest collection of Tiffany's work outside the United States. The rest of the gallery's permanent collection, which includes works by everyone from Rembrandt to Renoir, is housed in its two other pavilions: the neoclassical Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion, across Avenue du Musée from the church, and the glittering, glass-fronted Jean-Noël-Desmarais Pavilion, across rue Sherbrooke. All three are linked by tunnels. If you visit the museum in summer, spring or fall, you'll be greeted outside the main entrance by bright, twisted glass sculpture, now part of the MMFA's permanent collection. Admission is free from 5 to 9 pm Wednesday.

    1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, Québec, H3G 1J5, Canada
    514-285–2000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$24; half price on Wed. after 5 pm; Discovery exhibitions and collections free first Sun. of the month, Closed Mon.
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  • 10. Oratoire St-Joseph

    Côte-des-Neiges

    Each year some 2 million people from all over North America and beyond visit St. Joseph's Oratory. The most devout Catholics climb the 99 steps...

    Each year some 2 million people from all over North America and beyond visit St. Joseph's Oratory. The most devout Catholics climb the 99 steps to its front door on their knees. It is the world's largest and most popular shrine dedicated to the earthly father of Jesus (Canada's patron saint), and it's all the work of a man named Brother André Besette (1845–1937). By worldly standards Brother André didn't have much going for him, but he had a deep devotion to St. Joseph and an iron will. In 1870 he joined the Holy Cross religious order and was assigned to work as a doorkeeper at the college the order operated just north of Mont-Royal. In 1904 he began building a chapel on the mountainside across the road to honor his favorite saint, and the rest is history. Thanks to reports of miraculous cures attributed to St. Joseph's intercession, donations started to pour in, and Brother André was able to start work replacing his modest shrine with something more substantial. The result, which wasn't completed until after his death, is one of the most triumphal pieces of church architecture in North America. The oratory and its gardens dominate Mont-Royal's northwestern slope. Its copper dome—one of the largest in the world—can be seen from miles away. The interior of the main church is equally grand, although it's also quite austere. The best time to visit it is on Sunday for the 11 am solemn mass, when the sanctuary is brightly lit and the sweet voices of Les Petits Chanteurs de Mont-Royal—the city's best boys' choir—fill the nave with music. The crypt is shabbier than its big brother upstairs but more welcoming. In a long, narrow room behind the crypt, 10,000 votive candles glitter before a dozen carved murals extolling the virtues of St. Joseph; the walls are hung with crutches discarded by those said to have been cured. Just beyond is the simple tomb of Brother André, who was canonized a saint in 2010. His preserved heart is displayed in a glass case in one of several galleries between the crypt and the main church. High on the mountain, east of the main church, is a garden commemorating the Passion of Christ, with life-size representations of the 14 stations of the cross. On the west side of the church is Brother André's original chapel, with pressed-tin ceilings and plaster saints that is, in many ways, more moving than the church that overshadows it. Note: the oratoire operates a shuttle bus for visitors who aren't up to the steep climb from the main parking lot to the entrance of the crypt church. The main church is several stories above that, but escalators and two elevators ease the ascent. A major renovation and expansion project is underway, so expect some potential disruption during your visit.

    3800 chemin Queen Mary, Montréal, Québec, H3V 1H6, Canada
    514-733–8211

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free. Parking: contribution of $C5 per vehicle requested (except for those attending services or coming to pray). C$3 for museum.
  • 11. Parc Jean-Drapeau

    The Islands

    Île Ste-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame now constitute a single park named, fittingly enough, for Jean Drapeau (1916–99), the visionary (and spendthrift) mayor who built the...

    Île Ste-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame now constitute a single park named, fittingly enough, for Jean Drapeau (1916–99), the visionary (and spendthrift) mayor who built the métro and brought the city both the 1967 World's Fair and the 1976 Olympics. The park includes La Ronde (a major amusement park), acres of flower gardens, a beach with filtered water, the Formula 1 Grand Prix Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, performance spaces, and the Casino de Montréal. There's history, too, at the Old Fort, where soldiers in colonial uniforms display the military methods used in ancient wars. In winter, you can skate on the old Olympic rowing basin or slide down iced trails on an inner tube.

    Montréal, Québec, Canada
    514-872–6120
    View Tours and Activities
  • 12. Arsenal Art Contemporain

    Downtown

    Housed in a repurposed shipyard boasting 80,000 square feet of exhibition space, Arsenal Art Contemporain dedicates itself to the support, promotion, and development of contemporary...

    Housed in a repurposed shipyard boasting 80,000 square feet of exhibition space, Arsenal Art Contemporain dedicates itself to the support, promotion, and development of contemporary art and has been credited with helping revitalize the old industrial area of Griffintown. The largest private art center in Canada, it was originally founded in Montréal in 2011 but also has locations in Toronto and New York City.

    2020 rue William, Montréal, Québec, H3J 1R8, Canada
    514-931–9978

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$15, Closed Mon.
  • 13. Biosphère

    The Islands

    Nothing captures the exuberance of Expo '67 better than the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) as the American Pavilion. It's only a skeleton...

    Nothing captures the exuberance of Expo '67 better than the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) as the American Pavilion. It's only a skeleton now—the polymer panels that protected the U.S. exhibits from the elements were burned out in a fire long ago—but it's still an eye-catching sight, like something plucked from a science-fiction movie. Science of a nonfictional kind, however, is explored in the special environmental center the federal government has built in the middle of the dome. It focuses on the challenges of preserving the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system, but it has lively and interactive exhibits on climate change, sustainable energy, and air pollution. Kids and others can use games and interactive displays arranged around a large model of the waterway to explore how shipping, tourism, water supplies, and hydroelectric power are affected. The biosphere is now managed by Espace pour la vie.

    160 chemin Tour-de-l'Îsle, Montréal, Québec, H3C 4G8, Canada
    514-496–8435

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$21.50 or C$80 for an Espace pour la vie passport, Closed Mon., except during holiday season
  • 14. Casino de Montréal

    The Islands

    You have to be at least 18 to visit Montréal's government-owned casino, but you don't have to be a gambler. The casino is currently home...

    You have to be at least 18 to visit Montréal's government-owned casino, but you don't have to be a gambler. The casino is currently home to three bars and four restaurants, ranging from deli style to gourmet. You can even come just to look at the architecture—the main building was the French pavilion at Expo '67. But if you do want to risk the family fortune, there are more than 3,000 slot machines, a keno lounge, a high-stakes gaming area, and 120 tables for playing blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, and various types of poker. There is also music, including cabaret.

    1 av. du Casino, Montréal, Québec, H3C 4W7, Canada
    514-392–2746

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 15. Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde

    Downtown

    The best reason to visit this cathedral is that it's a quarter-scale replica of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome—complete with a magnificent reproduction of Bernini's...

    The best reason to visit this cathedral is that it's a quarter-scale replica of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome—complete with a magnificent reproduction of Bernini's ornate baldachin (canopy) over the main altar and an ornately coffered ceiling. When Bishop Ignace Bourget (1799–1885) decided to build his cathedral in the heart of the city's Protestant-dominated commercial quarter, many fellow Catholics thought he was crazy. But the bishop was determined to assert the Church's authority—and its loyalty to Rome—in the British-ruled city. Bourget didn't live to see the cathedral dedicated in 1894, but his tomb holds a place of honor among those of his successors in the burial chapel on the east side of the nave.

    1085 rue de la Cathédrale, Montréal, Québec, H3B 2V3, Canada
    514-866–1661

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 16. Centre Bell

    Downtown

    The Montréal Canadiens haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1993, though they came very close in June 2021, ultimately losing the finals against Tampa Bay....

    The Montréal Canadiens haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1993, though they came very close in June 2021, ultimately losing the finals against Tampa Bay. Most of the team's fans can't remember the golden 1960s and '70s, when Les Glorieux virtually owned the trophy. The superstitious blame the team's fallen fortunes on its 1996 move from the hallowed Forum to the brown-brick Centre Bell arena. Still, Montréal is a hockey-mad city and the Habs, as locals call the team, are still demigods here, and there are even university courses based on this superstar team. (When they celebrated their 100th season in 2009–10, the city changed the name of the strip of rue de la Gauchetière in front of the Centre Bell to Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal.) The Bell Centre is also a venue for blockbuster acts like Coldplay, Drake, and Trevor Noah.

    1260 av. des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Montréal, Québec, H4B 5G0, Canada
    877-668–8269

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours: C$20
  • 17. Centre des Sciences de Montréal

    Old Montréal

    You—or more likely, your kids—can design an energy-efficient bike, create a television news report, explore the impact that manufacturing one T-shirt has on the environment,...

    You—or more likely, your kids—can design an energy-efficient bike, create a television news report, explore the impact that manufacturing one T-shirt has on the environment, find out what it's like to ride a unicycle 20 feet above the ground, create an animated film, or just watch an IMAX movie on a giant screen at Montréal's interactive science center. Games, puzzles, and hands-on experiments make it an ideal place for rainy days or even fair ones. The center also has a bistro serving light meals, a coffee and pastry shop, and a food court.

    Quai King Edward, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 2E2, Canada
    514-496–4724

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Exhibitions C$22, IMAX only C$12
  • 18. Chalet du Mont-Royal

    Parc du Mont-Royal

    No trip to Montréal is complete without a visit to the terrace in front of the Chalet du Mont-Royal. It's not the only place to...

    No trip to Montréal is complete without a visit to the terrace in front of the Chalet du Mont-Royal. It's not the only place to get an overview of the city, the river, and the countryside beyond, but it's the most spectacular. On clear days you can see not only the Downtown skyscrapers, but also Mont-Royal's sister mountains—Monts St-Bruno, St-Hilaire, and St-Grégoire. These isolated peaks, called the Montérégies, or Mountains of the King, rise up from the flat countryside. Be sure to take a look inside the chalet, especially at the murals depicting scenes from Canadian history.

    Off voie Camillien-Houde, Montréal, Québec, Canada
    514-843--8240, ext. 0-for Les amis de la montagnes

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 19. Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours

    Old Montréal

    Mariners have been popping into Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours for centuries to kneel before a little 17th-century statue of the Virgin Mary and pray for a safe passage—or...

    Mariners have been popping into Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours for centuries to kneel before a little 17th-century statue of the Virgin Mary and pray for a safe passage—or give thanks for one. Often, they've expressed their gratitude by leaving votive lamps in the shape of small ships, many of which still hang from the barrel-vaulted ceiling. This is why most Montrealers call the chapel the Église des Matelots (the Sailors' Church), and why many people still stop by to say a prayer and light a candle before leaving on a long trip. These days, the statue of Our Lady of Perpetual Help guards the remains of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, who had the original chapel built in 1657 and is entombed in the side altar next to the east wall of the chapel. The current chapel dates from 1771; a renovation project in 1998 revealed some beautiful 18th-century murals that had been hidden under layers of paint. The 69-step climb to the top of the steeple is worth the effort for the glorious view of the harbor, as is the equally steep climb down to the archaeological excavations under the chapel for a glimpse into the history of the chapel and the neighborhood. The dig is accessible through the adjacent Musée Marguerite Bourgeoys, which also has exhibits on the life of St. Marguerite and the daily lives of the colonists she served. The chapel is closed weekdays January through February except for the 10:30 am mass on Sunday.

    400 rue St-Paul Est, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 1H4, Canada
    514-282–8670

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Museum (includes archaeological site) and tower C$14; Chapel free, Closed Mon. mid-Oct.–mid-May
  • 20. Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes

    Latin Quarter

    Artist and architect Napoléon Bourassa called his work here l'oeuvre de mes amours, or a labor of love—and it shows. He designed the little Byzantine-style...

    Artist and architect Napoléon Bourassa called his work here l'oeuvre de mes amours, or a labor of love—and it shows. He designed the little Byzantine-style building himself and set about decorating it with the exuberance of an eight-year-old making a Mother's Day card. He covered the walls with murals and encrusted the altar and pillars with gilt and ornamental carving. It's not Montréal's biggest monument to the Virgin Mary, but it's the most unabashedly sentimental.

    430 rue Ste-Catherine Est, Montréal, Québec, H2L 2C5, Canada
    514-845–8278

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free

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