Things to do in Montreal

About Montreal

Montréal's must-see attractions include the historic charm of Old Montréal, the panoramic views from Mount Royal Park, the enchanting Notre-Dame Basilica, and the bustling Jean-Talon Market. The city's numerous festivals throughout the year also offer vibrant experiences not to be missed.
Engaging activities for kids in Montréal feature a visit to the Montréal Biodome to explore different ecosystems, the fun-filled La Ronde Amusement Park for thrilling rides, and the Montréal Science Centre for interactive learning and IMAX screenings.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Montréal's best activities include biking along the Lachine Canal, picnicking and hiking in Mount Royal Park, and exploring the city's extensive network of biking trails, including the picturesque Waterfront Pathway.
The top indoor activities in Montréal count exploring the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, experiencing the immersive exhibits at the Montréal Science Centre, and enjoying shopping and cuisine in the famous Underground City.
The best Montréal tours offer a variety of experiences, from guided walks in Old Montréal and food tasting tours in the city’s diverse neighborhoods to bike tours along the canal and historical exploration of the city's architecture.
The most popular museums in Montréal include the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History, the Montréal Biodome, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
On rainy days, visitors can opt for indoor tours such as the Montréal Underground City exploration, museum tours that cover the history and culture of the city, or food tours that provide a taste of Montréal's culinary scene.
There are several short tours in Montréal like a quick guided visit to the historical Notre-Dame Basilica, a fast-paced Segway tour of the Old Port, or a concise walking tour highlighting the city's street art.

Best Things to Do In Montréal

Delve into the vibrant culture and history of Montréal with curated audio tours designed to showcase the city's most treasured attractions.

Montréal: The Biosphere Environment Museum

What is it?
An iconic geodesic dome turned museum, dedicated to environmental education and awareness.
Why you should go?
As one of the enduring symbols of Expo 67, the Biosphere Environment Museum imparts critical insights into sustainability and ecological issues. Intriguing exhibits and interactive displays inside this architectural marvel encourage visitors to think about the impact of human actions on our planet. The museum is not only a visual landmark but also a hub for learning, making it an essential stop for those interested in eco-consciousness and one of the most educational things to do in Montréal.

Montréal: Place Jacques-Cartier

What is it?
A historic public square and a lively gathering spot in the heart of Old Montréal.
Why you should go?
Any Montréal itinerary would be incomplete without a visit to Place Jacques-Cartier. This pedestrian plaza buzzes with street performers, artists, and cafes, offering a snapshot of the city's effervescent street life. Seasonal flower gardens and the occasional open-air market enliven the atmosphere, presenting visitors with a charming locale to observe and participate in the daily life of Montréal.

Montréal: Lachine Canal National Historic Site

What is it?
A picturesque canal offering recreational activities and a window into industrial history.
Why you should go?
Lachine Canal National Historic Site represents a living remnant of Montréal’s 19th-century industry, today serving as an idyllic recreational space. Visitors can enjoy cycling, kayaking, or taking leisurely strolls along the waterway while embracing views of heritage buildings and urban nature. For those wondering what to do in Montréal for a mixture of history and relaxation, the Lachine Canal is an unmissable destination.

Montréal: Little Italy

What is it?
A cultural district renowned for its Italian community, cuisine, and vibrant atmosphere.
Why you should go?
Little Italy is a slice of European charm in Montréal, known for its authentic restaurants, espresso bars, and the colourful Marché Jean-Talon. The annual Italian Week festival transforms its streets into a celebration of culture with music, food, and art. Exploring this neighborhood offers a delightful cultural exchange and a taste of Italy's convivial spirit right in the heart of Montréal.

Montréal: Olympic Stadium

What is it?
A monumental stadium with a unique architecture, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Why you should go?
Montréal's Olympic Stadium, recognizable by its inclined tower, today serves as a multipurpose venue for sports, concerts, and events. The observation deck at the tower's summit provides unequalled views of the city. Visitors here can appreciate the grandeur of Olympic legacy and explore the surrounding park with botanical gardens and the Biodome, making it a hub for those looking for a diverse range of places to visit in Montréal.

Montréal: Notre-Dame Basilica

What is it?
An awe-inspiring example of Gothic Revival architecture and a centerpiece of religious history in Montréal.
Why you should go?
The stunning Notre-Dame Basilica is a cornerstone of heritage in Montréal. Visiting this historic church offers a glimpse into the artistic grandeur of its sanctuary. With its richly decorated interior, magnificent stained glass windows depicting the city's religious history, and an ambiance filled with tranquility, the Basilica stands as a testament to Montréal's cultural depth. The light show, 'Aura', is an immersive experience not to be missed, making it among the best things to do in Montréal for those seeking spiritual and artistic enlightenment.

Montréal: Old Port of Montréal

What is it?
A bustling hub of entertainment and history at the gateway to the St. Lawrence River.
Why you should go?
Old Port of Montréal thrives as a nexus for fun things to do in Montréal all year round. With the scenic riverside offering enchanting views, a plethora of activities such as the Montréal Science Centre, seasonal festivals, outdoor markets, and a giant Ferris wheel dominate the area. In winter, the ice rink draws locals and tourists alike, whereas summer brings paddle-boating and a beach atmosphere. Exploring the Old Port is integral to understanding the ever-evolving narrative of this historic city.

Montréal: Mount Royal Park

What is it?
A beloved urban park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, offering green respite and panoramic views.
Why you should go?
For a breath of fresh air and natural beauty, Mount Royal Park is unparalleled in its offerings. This verdant oasis in the city is perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, and taking in the skyline from the famous lookout. Year-round Montréal activities, including hiking, bird-watching, and cross-country skiing, make it a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and a staple for what to see in Montréal. The park's tranquil environment provides a perfect escape from the urban rush, solidifying its status as a must-visit destination.

Montréal: Jean-Talon Market

What is it?
A vibrant open-air market famed for its fresh produce and a multitude of local delicacies.
Why you should go?
Experience the local flavor at Jean-Talon Market, one of North America’s largest public markets. This culinary treasure trove is essential for food lovers investigating what to do in Montréal. Indulge in fresh fruits, vegetables, artisan cheeses, and pastries, or explore the various eateries and spice shops within its perimeters. A stroll through the market's bustling lanes offers an authentic taste of the city's diverse gastronomy and provides a perfect opportunity for culinary exploration and cultural immersion.

Montréal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

What is it?
An esteemed institution showcasing an expansive collection of art spanning the globe and eras.
Why you should go?
Art aficionados and casual visitors will find the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts an enriching addition to their itinerary. Its extensive collection includes masterpieces from classical antiquity to contemporary works, featuring Canadian and international artists. With rotating exhibitions and interactive installations, this museum is at the forefront of Montréal’s cultural scene. Engaging with the visual arts here is not merely an activity; it's an experience that educates, inspires, and ranks as one of the best Montréal excursions for cultural enrichment.

TOP-5 tours in Montréal for first time visitors

  • Discover the rich history and cobblestone charm of "Old Montréal Essentials", a tour that highlights significant landmarks and things to see in Montréal.
  • "City Center Highlights" guides you through bustling streets, offering insights into what to do in Montréal's contemporary urban core.
  • "Saint-Laurent Boulevard Beat" tunes you into the eclectic vibes and Montréal activities along the city’s famed cultural corridor.
  • Experience serene nature and stunning views on the "Mount Royal Discovery" tour, featuring key places to visit in Montréal’s beloved park.
  • "Expo 67 Legacy" provides a captivating narrative of Montreal's world fair sites, making it one of the best Montréal tours for history enthusiasts.

Fun things to do in Montréal with kids

Family adventures await in Montréal, a city brimming with kid-friendly attractions that promise both learning and leisure. Immerse your little ones in science and creativity at the Montréal Science Centre, known for its hands-on exhibits and IMAX theatre, providing educational thrills that engage curious minds of all ages. For a whimsical escape into flora and fauna, the Montréal Biodome is a must-visit, where ecosystems from around the globe come to life, offering kids a chance to discover diverse habitats and wildlife under one roof. Lastly, La Ronde amusement park fills the air with laughter and excitement, featuring rides and games tailor-made for thrill-seekers and families alike. From exhilarating roller coasters to kid-friendly merry-go-rounds, it's an essential addition to your list of things to do in Montréal with the family.

Things to do in Montréal with family

Montréal shines as a beacon of family entertainment with its array of activities catering to all ages. Leading the pack, the Montréal Biodome is a fantastic venue where families can journey through replicas of four American ecosystems, observing animals and plants in their simulated natural environments. Engaging and educational, it's perfect for a day of exploration. Space enthusiasts should not miss the Montréal Planetarium, where immersive shows take you and your loved ones on a celestial adventure through the stars. Its interactive exhibits are both fun and informative, making it a stellar experience. Lastly, the Montréal Insectarium provides a unique opportunity to see some of the world's most fascinating insects up close. With its live insects and butterflies, it's a place to foster wonder and learning in kids, rounding out the best Montréal activities for families in search of engaging and memorable experiences.

Free things to do in Montréal

Exploring Montréal doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag, as the city boasts several free attractions that are rich in culture and beauty. Take a stroll through the picturesque cobblestone streets of Old Montréal, soaking in the historic atmosphere and architectural splendor without spending a dime. It's an open-air museum experience that captivates at every turn. For art enthusiasts, the expansive murals on Saint-Laurent Boulevard offer an urban gallery of street art that's accessible year-round. Each piece tells a unique story, reflecting the city's creative spirit. Nature lovers can revel in the tranquility of Mount Royal Park, where winding trails lead to breath-taking viewpoints overlooking the city skyline. These locales provide some of the best things to see in Montréal, inviting visitors to discover the city's charm for free.

Cheap things to do in Montréal

Montréal delights budget-conscious travelers with a selection of affordable attractions that don't skimp on experience. Head to the vibrant Jean-Talon Market, where you can immerse yourself in local life, taste fresh produce, and browse artisan goods at little to no cost. It's a feast for the senses and a colorful snapshot of Montréal's diverse culture. Another economical highlight is the Lachine Canal, perfect for picnics, people-watching, and enjoying the city's waterways; rent a bike or simply stroll along the scenic paths. Lastly, take advantage of the city's extensive bike-sharing system, BIXI, which offers an inexpensive way to uncover the array of parks and neighborhoods at your leisure. These activities highlight fun things to do in Montréal that are accessible, allowing you to explore the city's wonders while keeping your expenses low.

Things to do in Montréal for couples

Montréal sets the stage for romance with a trove of activities for couples to enjoy. Begin with a leisurely walk through the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal, where historical charm creates an enchanting backdrop for a day or evening stroll. Artisan boutiques and quaint cafes line the streets, offering perfect spots for cozy conversations. Next, ascend to the heights of romance at the Mount Royal lookout, which boasts a panoramic view of the city skyline, especially breathtaking at sunset. It's a spot that epitomizes what to see in Montréal through the lens of love. Culminate your day with a cruise on the St. Lawrence River. As you glide along the water, savor the shimmering city lights and the intimate ambiance, making it one of the best Montréal activities for igniting or rekindling a spark.

Things to do in Montréal at night

As the sun sets, Montréal transforms into a city of lively entertainment and vibrant nightlife. For a start, the Montréal Casino offers a thrilling evening with a multitude of games, from slots to table classics, in a glitzy setting. It's an ideal destination for night owls looking to add excitement to their stay. Music and performance art lovers should not miss the opportunity to catch a show at Place des Arts, the centerstage for international and local acts, ranging from ballet to symphony concerts. This cultural hub is a cornerstone for what to do in Montréal for an elegant night out. Cap your night with a visit to the bustling bars and clubs of Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Here, you'll find a mix of cozy speakeasies, trendy lounges, and high-energy dance floors that reflect Montréal's diverse and inclusive spirit, offering something for every kind of night owl.