Outside of Paris, Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in the world, which is highly reflected by the culture of the city. Named by Monocle Magazine as "Canada's Cultural Capital," there is no shortage of things to do in Montreal. The downtown area is particularly noted for the vibrancy provided by its many festivals.…
Things to do in Montreal
Charming London-style double-decker buses whisk you between sites of stunning beauty and fascinating historic value. With your 2-day pass, plan an itinerary that suits your interests and explore at your leisure.
Admire the marvelous architecture and looming spires of Old Montreal, with convenient stops at the Notre Dame Basilica and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. Grab your camera and snap a few photos of downtown’s sparkling edifices with a trip to mont Royal’s lookouts, offering unsurpassed views of downtown. Or, investigate the colorful cafes and trendy shops of vibrant neighborhoods like the Latin Quarter.
When you’re ready to mix up your adventure, head to the riverbank and board a spacious sightseeing vessel. With its important ties to the area’s trading center past, the waters of the Saint Lawrence River are the perfect place to take some memorable pictures and reflect on the treasures that lie within The City of Saints. Read More close
With collections that focus on archaeology, natural history, outer space, Native American culture, Montreal's past and present, international art, architecture, and more, a museum pass is the ideal way to take your pick and get your fill of the best exhibits the city has to offer. If you'd like, you can include a public transportation pass for the same period of time to make getting from place to place a breeze, plus show your pass for extra discounts around town.
Some of the participating museums include:
- Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec
- Canadian Centre for Architecture
- Centre d’histoire de Montréal
- Château Dufresne Museum
- Cinémathèque québécoise
- Darling Foundry
- DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art
- Exhibition Centre La Prison-des-Patriotes
- Just for Laughs Museum
- Maison Saint-Gabriel
- McCord Museum of Canadian History
- Montréal Biodôme
- Montréal Botanical Garden
- Montréal Insectarium
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Montréal Planetarium
- Montréal Science Centre
- Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
- Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History
- The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site of Canada Read More close
Board the Cavalier Maxim vessel as the sun sets. Your getaway begins at the port in historic Old Montreal, the oldest part of the city with buildings dating back to the 1600s, and makes a large loop. Along the way, cruise under bridges and soak in the exceptional views of the Boucherville Islands, St. Helen's Island, and the Old Port of Montreal. Once the sun disappears and the city lights come on, discover the charm of Montreal by night.
The live DJ spins the hits while you sip a cocktail on an outside terrace, each with its own unique atmosphere. The music may move you to dance the night away under the stars. No matter what, you are sure to have a memorable evening.
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At sunset board the Cavalier Maxim vessel at the port in historic Old Montreal—the oldest part of the city with structures dating back to the 17th century. During the cruise, take in the exceptional view of the Boucherville Islands, St. Helen's Island, and the Old Port of Montreal. Once the sun goes down, see the charm of Montreal's skyline by night.
Satisfy your taste buds with a delicious 3-course meal including mise en bouche (appetizers), a main entrée, and dessert accompanied by coffee and tea. Your entrée choices offer both savory and sweet flavors; choose from chicken supreme with cream of lardons, salmon filet with wild berry sauce, or filet mignon with bourbon and honey.
After dinner, sip a cocktail on 1 of the 2 outside decks while listening to music or dance the night away under the stars. Read More close
After you’re picked up from your hotel, ride into the Montérégie region, home to farmers, producers, and artisans known for crafting some of Canada’s finest foods and drinks. Your first stop is at the Michel Jodoin Cider Mill, a family-run orchard and mill that has been in operation for more than a century. Learn how apples are pressed into golden juice perfect for cider, sampling from a few fresh and bubbly bottles as you tour.
Your next stop is quintessentially Québécois—a cabane à sucre, or sugar shack. Cozy up to a table at the Érablière Charbonneau for an all-you-can eat feast of traditional dishes like pea soup, cretons (pork spread), ham, omelets, sausages, fried potatoes, tourtière (meat pie), and bread and butter—all accompanied by a pitcher of maple syrup, which you’re encouraged to use liberally. The meal ends with syrup-drenched desserts like buckwheat pancakes, crepes, and sugar pie. You can even try your hand at making maple taffy by freezing syrup in a trough of powdery snow.
Finally, make your way to the Coteau Rougemont Vineyard. Learn about wine production in the area as you gaze out over the vineyards and orchards, and enjoy a tasting of the estate’s fine late harvest and ice wines—made from grapes that froze while still on the vine—as well as elegant dry reds and whites. Read More close
Wander historic streets like Saint Paul, rue de la Commune, and Rue Saint Paul, the oldest thoroughfare in town, flanked by stunning architecture, galleries, and boutiques. At the charming square of Place Jacques-Cartier, take a break and admire the ornate faҫades of remarkable stone buildings. Nearby, snap photos of the looming bell towers of Notre-Dame Basilica, built over the course of 6 years in the 19th century.
Head toward the water and hear about the 17th-century fur traders that used the Old Port as you meander along the mighty Saint Lawrence River, imagining schooners stacked high with pelts. Continue on to discover more hidden courtyards and bustling lanes, picturing how this spectacular place went from rustic trading post to gorgeous metropolis. Read More close
In 19th century Paris, journalist Arthur Meyer called on sculptor Alfred Grevin to craft replicas in wax of famous individuals, so Parisians could put faces to the names of the people they read about in the news. Today, his tradition of lifelike representation is alive and well at Montreal’s Grevin Museum.
In the Paris-Quebec gallery, come face-to-face with French crooners and Francophone actresses like Ginette Reno and Charles Aznavour, and in the Sports Temple, dodge pucks from Canada’s favorite athletes—hockey players Wayne Gretzky and Sydney Crosby are poised on the ice.
Take a journey through the history of Quebec in the Nouvelle France gallery, from native settlements to fur trade outposts, and be enchanted by the fairground ambiance of Belmont Park. In each room, the incredible wax statues are complemented by intricate and detailed backdrops and displays for a fascinating museum experience.
Before you leave, peek behind the scenes to see talented sculptors, painters, make-up artists, and costume designers at work devising new representations and displays. Read More close
1 hour 30 minutes
Your tour starts in front of the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica. We'll then make our way to our first stop, for a French pastry, a parlor and pastry shop founded by a renowned pastry chef. Then, venture out to the cobblestone streets of Montreal while listening to your guide's witty and informative narration. Your guide traces some of the diverse flavors of the city back to their origins, such as the native influence or even the exotic flavors brought to the table during the World's Fair expo in 1967.
With a focus on variety and culinary history, prepare to tease your palate with anything from pastries to dessert at 4 establishments.
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From the Old Port of Montreal, board the luxurious Bateau-Mouche and set sail on the wide St. Lawrence River. Sit back and relax in the sun’s warmth as you cruise the open water and listen to your knowledgeable and charismatic guide share interesting Montreal trivia and history.
Enjoy panoramic views of the impressive Olympic Stadium, iconic Clock Tower, Montreal Biosphère, and the Alexander Calder sculpture, The Man. The Bateau-Mouche can access parts of the St. Lawrence that other vessels cannot reach, allowing you to get to the heart of the river’s history. Relish in a live piano or guitar performance and indulge in refreshments and light meals that are available for purchase. Read More close
Feel the energy at the Jean-Talon Market—the biggest outdoor market in North America—and browse fresh produce, cheese, flower stands, and meat, just as locals have done since the market opened in the 1930s. Your guide shares historic anecdotes as you maneuver through the crowd and take in scents from the culinary treats. A market for locals and visitors alike, this is the place to shop for authentic international products as well as fresh produce from local farmers.
Continue into the middle of Little Italy—home to Italian Canadian-owned shops, restaurants, and the Church of Madonna della Difesa (Our Lady of Protection), built by Italian immigrants. Marvel at the church's style and interior design dating back to the Renaissance era. Then, walk through quaint streets full of life with sidewalk cafés and vendors serving authentic Italian delights. Savor tasty samples along the way as your guide shares stories about the community. Read More close
Montreal Tower Observatory
Reach the Observatory in Montreal’s Tower via funicular. This imposing structure from the 1976 Games is an iconic symbol of Montreal and offers unobstructed views of the city and beyond.
Immerse yourself in the fascinating ecosystems of the Americas in Montreal’s Biodome. In the Tropical Forest, watch for piranhas, caimans, and exotic birds. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, porcupine, and lynx in the Laurentian Forest, then marvel at the 600 fish swimming in the St. Lawrence Marine Ecosystem. Finally, travel to the Polar World for a look at penguins and more.
The Botanical Garden and Insectarium
Montreal’s 1931 Botanical Gardens are made up of 30 themed gardens and 10 greenhouses, and house over 22,000 plant species as well as an insectarium. Here, get a close-up look at beetles, spiders, butterflies, and all kinds of creepy crawlies from around the world.
The Rio Tinco Alcan Planetarium
Immerse yourself in the astronomical wonders of the universe at the Planetarium. Admire the striking modern architecture of the cutting-edge facility as well the art and poetry on display that emphasizes the connection between mankind and outer space. Read More close
Step into dark alleyways and prepare to be accosted by witches, charlatans, and former criminals, listening as your guide shares secret tales and intriguing legends about the historic city’s dark past.
During the Ghost Walk, travel back in time to 1879 as you stand on the site where Mary Gallagher was brutally murdered by jealous rival—it’s claimed that her ghost still haunts the scene of the murder. Continuing on, learn about the lives—and deaths—of other famous spirits that roam the streets and alleyways, visiting locations where paranormal activity has been reported to see if you can sense their presence.
In the Ghost Hunt, you have a chance to grab a map and set out for real, face-to-face encounters with Montreal’s eerier poltergeists. Interact with actors around the city that share skin-crawling tales before sending you on your way.
A truly unforgettable way to experience Montreal by night, this hair-raising tour is spooky fun for locals and visitors alike. Read More close
Start off at Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal’s world-class museum of archaeology and history, and step into the Place Royale—this small, cobbled plaza was the heart of Montreal’s urban life in the 1700s. Learn about the life of Montrealers from centuries past, and continue on to the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel. Built in 1678, this church’s name means “Our Lady of Good Help” and has been a pilgrimage site for sailors wishing to give thanks for safe travels at sea.
Pass by the limestone façade, gabled roof, and 18th century clock of Saint Sulpice Seminary—one of Montreal’s oldest buildings, this 1684 structure is still used as a residence for the Society of Priests of Saint Sulpice. As you explore the domed, Parisian-style Bonsecours Market, your knowledgeable guide shares insight into Montreal, past and present.
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Built on top of the city’s birthplace, the award-winning Pointe-a-Calliere museum brings Montreal's past and present to life. Step into the complex of historic buildings to see Montreal’s first Catholic cemetery, the city’s first Custom House, and the Victorian façade of the Youville Pumping Station, Montreal’s first electrically operated wastewater station.
Grab a seat in front of an immersive, 270-degree screen for a multimedia introduction to Montreal’s past. Learn about the fascinating archaeological digs that have taken place in this area as you admire the museum’s collection of more than 1 million relics from the region’s natives and the earliest European settlers of Montreal.
Visitors of all ages can dive into the displays with hands-on exhibits that let you make tools, learn the recipe for Native American sagamite stew, and talk with actors reenacting a market day in 1750.
From there, test your exploratory mettle on the privateer ship Iberville, and roll up your sleeves for a simulated archaeological dig in the basement of the Mariner’s House to see what treasures, artifacts, and remains you can uncover with your tools. Read More close
Flowing between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, the Saint Lawrence rolls and tumbles right through the heart of downtown Montreal. As you float along, take in breathtaking cityscapes framed by the distant peaks of the Laurentian Mountains.
Feel the rush as you splash through the river’s Class III, IV, and IV rapids—your expert guides will make sure your ride is as safe as it is exciting, and your thunderous ride over the Sainte Catherine Rapids is sure to be a moment as unforgettable as it is wet.
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There's nothing quite like a luxurious spa treatment to take you from tired and stressed to radiant and centered. With the Spafinder gift card, you can check in at salons, spas, gyms, or therapeutic centers that cover everything from facials and haircuts to Pilates and chiropractic work. Unwind and get glowing with a beautifying, de-stressing service at an elegant day spa, or find a fitness studio and work it out in a toning Barre class or a calorie-busting boot camp.
Your gift card never expires, and can be used on a wide range of treatments, classes, services, and products, whether you're in the market for a new yoga mat or wanting to touch up your hair color before a big event. Treat yourself to wellness—your body and mind will thank you. Read More close
Categories: Spas & Beauty
Start your day with a stroll down Saint Catherine Street and feel the city’s economic pulse as you gaze up at the grand façades and gleaming skyscrapers that loom overhead. Step off the sidewalk and onto the paths of Dorchester Square, where the dramatic figures of the Boer War Memorial stand watch over quiet park benches and neat flower beds.
After a walk down Peel Street, head underground and check out the other half of Montreal. As the largest underground complex in the world, the subterranean creation—known to locals as the RÉSO—is home to shops, restaurants, residences, hotels, banks, museums, and even an arena.
Let your experienced guide lead you through this incredible maze of businesses to reach the luxury boutiques of Les Cours Mont-Royal and Eaton’s Center. When you’re ready for some fresh air, pop back up in front of the ornate façade of the Christ Church Cathedral. Built in 1814, this glorious edifice is an official National Historic Site of Canada and the perfect place to wrap up your fascinating tour. Read More close