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.…
Top 17 Things to do in Montreal, Quebec
After picking up your bicycle at the Montreal on Wheels shop, begin your adventure exploring the city. The hybrid-comfort bicycles provide a convenient way to easily cruise from one location to the next. With more than 420 miles (676 km) of bike paths, Montreal is one of the best cycling cities in North America.
Maneuver across quaint streets and ride through bustling city squares as you admire stunning architecture including the Place d'Armes in Old Montreal and the brightly colored Victorian homes that line Saint Louis Square. Cross the designated bike-lane bridge over the Saint-Laurence River and ride along the banks of the Lachine Canal. Follow designated bike trails or forge your own path—there's really nowhere in this city you can't reach on 2 wheels. Read More close
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:
-\tBibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec
-\tCanadian Centre for Architecture
-\tCentre d’histoire de Montréal
-\tChâteau Dufresne Museum
-\tDHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art
-\tExhibition Centre La Prison-des-Patriotes
-\tJust for Laughs Museum
-\tMcCord Museum of Canadian History
-\tMontréal Botanical Garden
-\tMontreal Museum of Fine Arts
-\tMontréal Science Centre
-\tMusée d’art contemporain de Montréal
-\tPointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History
-\tThe Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site of Canada Read More close
Meet up with your guide and set out on foot, working off your decadent treats in advance as you stroll between shops and eateries. Pop into candy shops, chocolate factories, and restaurants as you meet the passionate people that make Montreal's chocolate industry hum. At a specialty boutique, learn about the roasting process, and see a master chocolatier at work crafting fine truffles and confections.
Taste goodies at each stop, and spend some time chatting with the proprietors and owners about the subtleties of high-quality chocolate. For a break from the sugary sweets, head to a nearby Mexican restaurant, where you can try traditional savory dishes that use chocolate as an ingredient. Wrap up your tour with a deeper understanding of Montreal's chocolate scene and new knowledge about the fascinating history of this globally loved delicacy, from its Mesoamerican roots to its rise to royal standing in colonial times. Read More close
Meet up with your guide at the shop and get situated with a comfortable bike. Strap on your helmet and then set off behind your guide, pedaling along the waterfront and scoping out downtown's iconic architecture along the way. Cruise across the vast waters of the Saint Lawrence River on the Estacade du pont Champlain, which was built to control the formation and movement of ice in the river during the city's cold winters.
Arrive on Notre Dame Island, which hosts the Canadian Grand Prix, and head toward the Formula One racetrack at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Zip around the track on your bike before continuing your exploration of Montreal's parks, bridges, and buildings. Cap off your experience and refuel with sugary samples of maple-based treats, and opt to hang onto your bike for the rest of the day if you'd like to keep riding around the city on your own. 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
See the top landmarks from afar as you glide on the St. Lawrence River—from the port in historic Old Montreal, the oldest part of the city with buildings dating back to the 17th century, to the Bellerive Park, a recently built urban park. The Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Olympic Games, as well as La Ronde theme park come into view along your cruise loop. Return to port in Old Montreal and set off to explore the city on foot. Read More close
Meet your guide at My Cup of Tea where your tour begins. After listening to an overview of the rich history of tea in Montreal that began even before British rule, you start your tour of the individual stops. Visit a Chinese tea company focused on the function of brewing tea, and then to one of the top 5 tea importers in the world whose focus in on the origins of their leaves.
Learn about the French presence in Montreal and see how they perfume their tea to create rich aromas. After the boutiques, move onto a tea-based mixology bar called Mayfair. Here you can try an herbal cocktail. Then, finish with an ode to the classic tea room in Montreal’s hip Mile End. At 2 of these stops, your tea is accompanied by finger sandwiches and other light snacks and desserts.
Leave the tour behind feeling full of knowledge about tea brewing, harvesting, and the marketing and branding behind this tasty beverage. You may even get to meet some of the owners along the way. Read More close
Meet your guide at the Montreal on Wheels shop on Rue de la Commune, where you're provided with a bike and helmet. Set out on your half-day tour, which starts along a well-maintained bike path and covers approximately 9 miles (14 km). Visit popular sites like the Latin Quarter, Golden Square Mile, and La Fontaine Park, as well as less-explored areas like the alleys of the Plateau, famous for its bohemian reputation.
Stop for a break at St-Viateur Bagel, a legendary local bakery that serves up some of the area's most popular bagels. Your day doesn't end when the tour does—enjoy use of your bike for the rest of the day and explore the city on your home. Montreal has over 403 miles (650 km) of bike paths, so you have no shortage of ground to cover. Just return your bike to the shop before the day's closing hour. 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
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
Meet up with your guide at the bike shop and get set up with all the gear you need, strapping on helmets, finding bikes that fit your height, and getting kids situated in trailers or their own bikes if they're able. Once you're all set, pedal out onto the bike path with your guide. Stick to trails made exclusively for bikes for a safe and easy ride as you scope out great architecture, fascinating historical sites, and beautiful scenery along the St. Lawrence River and the Canal de Lachine.
Your guide shares funny stories and little-known facts that are sure to keep family members of all ages entertained. Partway through your adventure, stop to refuel and cool down with ice cream cones at the Atwater Market. Once your tour is over, you can opt to hang onto your bikes for the rest of the day to keep riding and exploring on your own. Read More close
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
Meet your guide in the Place d'Arms and listen to captivating introduction to Montreal's Chinatown. Your guide shares stories from the neighborhoods past and discusses the impact of successive waves of immigration before you set off on foot, passing through an ornamental entrance gate as you enter the bustling core of Chinatown. Make your first stop at the neighborhood's largest Chinese grocery store, and spend some time checking out the exotic ingredients that fill its shelves.
Once you've worked up an appetite, detour to a Vietnamese sandwich shop to try a bahn mi sandwich, and then jump into cuisine from various regions of China. Chat with shop owners and local merchants as you pop between 7 different restaurants, food stands, and eateries to try popular dishes from Donbei, Sichuan, and Hunan. Nibble on crispy duck and barbecue pork, and then bite into an array of Hong Kong-style dim sum.
Learn about the oldest fortune cookie factory in Chinatown as you crack open these vanilla-scented, future-telling treats, and then follow your nose to a Cantonese bakery that turns out delectable Chinese pastries. Try a pillowy piece of spun-sugar dragon's beard candy, and then bring your meal to an aromatic close with a soothing, fragrant cup of high-quality tea. Read More close
Make your way into the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood and meet up with your guide right in front of your first stop, a locally loved gourmet specialty shop that sells an array of imported Spanish goods. Nibble on cured meats and delicately flavored cheeses, and then head to a nearby producer to learn how spicy chorizo sausage is made.
Continue on foot to your next destination, a cozy, long-standing restaurant where you can learn the art of tapear, or tapas eating. Nibble on delicious shareable plates from Spain's Catalonia region as you chat about the restaurant's storied past and sip on perfectly paired wine or bubbly Spanish cava. From there, snag a table at a Portuguese restaurant to sample petiscos, the Portuguese version of tapas, and along with another glass of wine. Your tour concludes on a sweet note with a tasty Spanish dessert and a cup of coffee or tea. Read More close
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