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Montreal is Canada's buzzing second-largest city and the world's largest francophone city outside Paris. It's a place of distinct neighborhoods, gritty suburbs, hectic traffic, wild parks and many new immigrants from every corner of the world. All this makes Montreal rewarding but tricky to explore — yet three days is enough to get good insight. This three-day itinerary takes you to the heart of Old Montreal, where the city began, for much of the first day; the second day is spent exploring Mount Royal, a huge urban park, along with major Downtown sights; the third day looks at more disparate sights, particularly those gathered around the former Olympic park just north of the city. This itinerary is designed for summer, so be aware that not everything will be open in winter.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie

21 Places

6 City Tips

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21 Places

Day 1

Old Montreal

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Notre-Dame Basilica

Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites

Place Jacques-Cartier

Battlefields, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Old Port of Montreal

Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods, Biking Trails

Pointe-a-Calliere Museum

Speciality Museums, History Museums

Chinatown

Neighbourhoods

Rue St. Denis

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Day 2

Le Plateau

Neighbourhoods

Mont (Mount) Royal

Neighbourhoods, Mountains, Parks

McGill University

Educational sites

Rue Ste.-Catherine

Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal

Art Museums

Underground City

Neighbourhoods, Shopping Malls

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)

Art Museums

Crescent Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Day 3

Olympic Park (Parc olympique)

Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Parks, Arenas & Stadiums, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Biodome de Montreal

Architectural Buildings, Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Gardens, Zoos

Montreal Botanical Gardens

Gardens

Jean-Talon Market

Flea & Street Markets

Mile-End

Neighbourhoods, Ballets

Croisieres AML

Boat Tours

Christian W's City Tips

  • Clean, quiet and relatively modern (well, 1960s!), the metro system is key to a hassle-free exploration of the city. Buses supplement the system.
  • On public transit be sure get a transfer ("correspondence") from a machine beyond the turnstile at your first station (or ask the bus driver) to use connecting services for free.
  • The Montréal Museums Pass offers entry into 38 city museums and covers use of public transit. Valid for 72 hours.
  • Left-luggage lockers/check-rooms at the central bus station and main train station will take your luggage for a reasonable fee per day.
  • Avoid talk of Québec independence; locals either have strong opinions or are tired of this divisive subject.
  • Using a little French will be appreciated in most parts of Montreal — even if you immediately end up switching to English, since most Montrealers are bilingual.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Old Montreal
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Start where the city itself began, exploring a mix of cobbled streets, cozy restaurants and boutiques that make Old Montreal a stroller's paradise.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Return at night to see the district gracefully illuminated.
    • Station Place-d'Armes is the closest metro station to the area; the district lies east and is focused around Place Jacques Cartier.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great experience. Away from the chaos of Saint Catherine Street 03/08/2015
    • Romantic 03/08/2015
    • Old Montreal
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 6:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Notre-Dame Basilica
    Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Built in 1656, this is Montreal's oldest church and a key Old Montreal landmark. Inside, the blaze of carvings, sculptures and stained glass may be a little gaudy for some tastes, but they're certainly impressive and unmissable.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • The church is a regular venue for extravagant sound and light shows, organ recitals and choral performances; check its website for the most recent schedule.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not to be missed 04/08/2015
    • Worth the price of Admission 03/08/2015
    • Notre-Dame Basilica
    Address:
    110 Notre-Dame Street West
    Montreal H2Y 1T2
    Canada
    Phone:
    514-842-2925
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:30 - 4:00
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 - 4:30
    Sat
    8:00 - 4:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Place Jacques-Cartier
    Battlefields, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Sooner or later any exploration of Old Montreal ends up at this flowery European-style plaza which buzzes with buskers, stalls and visitors, especially in the summer.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Cafes overlooking the action on the square charge premium prices for average goods, so lower your expectations or go elsewhere.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #77 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Nice! 01/08/2015
    • Always a must .. 27/07/2015
    • Place Jacques-Cartier
    Address:
    Between rue Notre-Dame and rue de la Commune
    Montreal
    Canada
  • Save
    Old Port of Montreal
    Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods, Biking Trails
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Once the city's commercial hub, the Old Port is now a very stroll-able area, not least because special events often take place here. But there's always an interesting cityscape to appreciate too: from gritty defunct port buildings to pretty venerable old townhouses, plus there are views over the expansive St-Lawrence river towards the iconic Jacques Cartier Bridge.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • River cruises depart from here in summer, while in winter there's outdoor ice-skating.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #28 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Blech. Avoid the Riverfront 03/08/2015
    • Don't make it your focus 03/08/2015
    • Old Port of Montreal
    Address:
    De la Commune West
    Montreal H2Y 2E2
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-283-5256
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 - 5:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Pointe-a-Calliere Museum
    Speciality Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    For a rewarding look at the city's humble beginnings, visit this archaeology and history museum. The collection includes all sorts of First-Nations and early settler artifacts, as well as some excavated city foundations.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • The lookout tower and restaurant can be visited free of charge.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fascinating view of the old city 03/08/2015
    • First trip to Montreal 03/08/2015
    • Pointe-a-Calliere Museum
    Address:
    350 Place Royale
    Montreal H2Y 3Y5
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-872-9150
    Price range:
    $18 - $18
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    10:00 - 6:00
    Sat - Sun
    11:00 - 6:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Chinatown
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Montreal's Chinatown may lack any specific attractions but its collection of authentic and inexpensive restaurants make it worth tacking onto the end of a day exploring Old Montreal.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • The L2 Lounge hidden on the second floor at 71A Rue De La Gauchetiere Ouest has great bubble tea and smoothies made with natural ingredients, not powders as elsewhere in Chinatown.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #121 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Is this really Chinatown? 03/08/2015
    • Nice 31/07/2015
    • Chinatown
    Address:
    St-Laurent Blvd
    Montreal H2Z 1E9
    Canada
  • Save
    Rue St. Denis
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    The section of this street south of Rue Sherbrooke is a strip famous for its buzzing bars and restaurants, and is fun to visit for a drink into the wee hours.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Walk north along St. Denis to explore one of Montreal's most engaging streets, with its parks and upscale shops and restaurants.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #49 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great street and lots to see & do! 29/07/2015
    • A Busy Street in Montreal. 08/07/2015
    • Rue St. Denis
    Address:
    405 Rue Sherbrooke E
    Montreal H2L 1J9
    Canada
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Le Plateau
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Start the day with a quality breakfast in a hip Plateau neighborhood cafe - Avenue du Mont-Royal Est in particular makes for a great foodie hunting ground.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • If the weather is good, pick up picnic items for your trip up Mount Royal. The Montreal smoked mead at Schwartz's, at 3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, is ideal and en route.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #171 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Second downtown for going out, nice architecture 14/07/2015
    • Try to find a parking space .... 30/06/2015
    • Le Plateau
    Address:
    170 Prince Arthur
    Rue St-Denis
    Montreal H2J 1W4
    Canada
  • Save
    Mont (Mount) Royal
    Neighbourhoods, Mountains, Parks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    The city's own mini-mountain, Mount Royal is really three adjacent peaks that rise about 200 meters, just east of Downtown, to provide fantastic views of the city. It's Montreal's central park, so it's appropriate that it shares the same designer (Frederick Law Olmsted) with its New York cousin. The path up from Mount Royal's northern side is named after him and the ideal route up from the Plateau neighborhood to the Kondiaronk Lookout at the top.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Depending on the season, you can rent paddleboats or ice skates at Lac des Castors, a lake near the summit of the mountain.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Trim the trees 03/08/2015
    • Peacefulness in the city. 03/08/2015
    • Mont (Mount) Royal
    Address:
    1260, Chemin Remembrance
    Montreal H3H 1A2
    Canada
    Phone:
    514-843-8240
    Other:
  • Save
    McGill University
    Educational sites
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Montreal's prestigious McGill University lies on the eastern foot-slopes of Mount Royal, on land donated by Scottish-born fur trader James McGill. The campus was built in grand Victorian style in the early 19th-century and is worth walking through along Rue Peel, which leads Downtown.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • The university museum, Musée Redpath, is a creaky old institution, but it's free and its natural history section includes a dinosaur skeleton and Egyptian mummies far from home.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great University in the heart of the City on Sherbrooke and University Street 02/08/2015
    • Nice tour of the university 24/07/2015
    • McGill University
    Address:
    805 Sherbrooke St. W.
    (At McGill College)
    Montreal H3A 2K6
    Canada
    Phone:
    514-398-6555
    Other:
  • Save
    Rue Ste.-Catherine
    Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Probably Montreal's most revealing and intriguing street, Sainte Catherine travels north from the ritzy Westmount neighborhood, through Downtown, where it's the city's main shopping street, and on to its sleazier northern end where strip clubs rub shoulders with the chic haunts of the Gay Village.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Montreal's premier department store, Ogilvy is at #1307 and worth a visit for its venerable sense of style.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Commercial thoroughfare 03/08/2015
    • Shopping shopping shopping! 02/08/2015
    • Rue Ste.-Catherine
    Address:
    at Westmount
    Montreal
    Canada
  • Save
    Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Montreal has a reputation as a city of art, with its low rent neighborhoods offering studio space to the creative. While not offering much to keep kids happy, this is its foremost exhibition space and well worth a look.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Free English-language tours run at 6.30pm Wednesdays and at 1pm and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
    • The museum is part of the Place des Arts, a cultural complex which also houses six concert halls, so it's well worth checking if anything of interest is on while you're here.
    • The permanent collection is rather small and temporary exhibits change frequently - call ahead to check if there's something interesting showing during your visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #140 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Contemporary art at its best! 31/07/2015
    • WOW! Just Go! 23/07/2015
    • Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal
    Address:
    185 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest
    Montreal H2X 3X5
    Canada
    Phone:
    15148476226
    Price range:
    $8 - $8
    Hours:
    Tue
    11:00 - 6:00
    Wed - Fri
    11:00 - 9:00
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 - 6:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Underground City
    Neighbourhoods, Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    A glorified mall to some but a refuge from severe weather for many, Montreal's Underground City is a 30 kilometer labyrinth of climate-controlled subterranean passages. They are replete with restaurants, shops, cinemas, museums and metro stations.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Look for blue signs at street level to find entrances; below things are well signposted, but expect to get lost all the same!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #85 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Disappointed 02/08/2015
    • Had to find. 01/08/2015
    • Underground City
    Address:
    Downtown
    Montreal
    Canada
    Other:
  • Save
    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Arguably Montreal's finest museum, this is a must for art lovers, with all sorts of European heavyweights and Old Masters represented (including Rembrant, Picasso, Monet). It's also strong on Canadian art from Inuit artifacts to the likes of Paul Kane and the Group of Seven.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Museum entry is half price on Wednesdays after 5pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent museum 03/08/2015
    • Always worth the visit 02/08/2015
    • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)
    Address:
    1380 Sherbrooke W
    Montreal H3G 1J5
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-285-2000
    Price range:
    $7 - $7
    Hours:
    Wed
    10:00 - 9:00
    Thu - Tue
    10:00 - 5:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Crescent Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This busy street of pubs and restaurants intersects with Sainte-Catherine at the southern end of Downtown and is well worth a visit at the end of the day for food, drinks and people-watching.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • This is one place in Montreal where you're unlikely to hear any French spoken, so there's no need to make any effort here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #64 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Sèjour a Quèbec/Montreal 31/07/2015
    • Must go! 20/07/2015
    • Crescent Street
    Address:
    Sherbrooke St south to de la Gauchetiere
    Montreal H3G 2C1
    Canada
    Phone:
    n/a
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Olympic Park (Parc olympique)
    Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Parks, Arenas & Stadiums, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Montreal's Olympic Park hails back to the 1976 games and while nothing much of the games themselves remains, its remarkable leaning tower makes it well worth a stop-off. It's the world's largest inclined structure (190 meters at 45º) and views from the top are breathtaking.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Tours of the complex are offered and you can travel up a funicular to the top of the tower for impressive city views. A huge swimming complex is located here, too.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #90 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Go on a clear day 02/08/2015
    • New Map 01/08/2015
    • Olympic Park (Parc olympique)
    Address:
    4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin
    Montreal
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-252-4141
    Other:
  • Save
    Biodome de Montreal
    Architectural Buildings, Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Gardens, Zoos
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Montreal's Olympic Velodrome has been put to a new and novel use here as an indoor wildlife park. Several ecosystems are recreated here — from tropical forest to temperate woodlands and rivers to the polar world — complete with animal inhabitants which range from sloths to penguins.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • A combination ticket is offered with the Montreal Botanical Gardens and a shuttle bus runs between the two (May-September).
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Give yourself plenty of time 03/08/2015
    • Nice place 02/08/2015
    • Biodome de Montreal
    Address:
    4777 Pierre de-Coubertin Ave
    Metro Viau
    Montreal H1V 1B3
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-868-3000
    Other:
  • Save
    Montreal Botanical Gardens
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Among the finest in the world, Montreal Botanical Gardens boasts 22,000 species in 30 outdoor gardens as well as an Insectarium where bugs of all shapes and sizes (most dead and mounted) inspire mixed emotions! Temporary art exhibitions and the like often provide an added attraction.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Worthwhile free guided tours leave from the reception center at 10am and 1.30pm most days (except Wednesdays and October).
    • A trolley tours the giant park allowing you to hop on and off at various locations, giving your legs a much needed rest.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful and enchanting 03/08/2015
    • Relaxing day 03/08/2015
    • Montreal Botanical Gardens
    Address:
    4101 Sherbrooke St. E
    (Near Viau)
    Montreal H1X 2B2
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-872-1400
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 - 6:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Jean-Talon Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This exceptional outdoor food market is in a class of its own, as well as being primely located in the vibrant Little Italy neighborhood. A great place to find ingredients for a picnic lunch or enjoy local cafe fare.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • To get here by public transport from the Olympic Park/Botanical Garden area, take the Metro to Jean-Talon (change at Berri). Trains leave every 7mins; journey time around 40 min.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely market 31/07/2015
    • Love this market- feels like you are in France 30/07/2015
    • Jean-Talon Market
    Address:
    7075 Casgrain Ave
    Montreal H2S 3A3
    Canada
    Phone:
    1 514 277 1588
    Hours:
    Sun
    7:00 - 5:00
    Mon - Wed
    7:00 - 6:00
    Thu - Fri
    7:00 - 8:00
    Sat
    7:00 - 6:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Mile-End
    Neighbourhoods, Ballets
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Well worth a stop if you have time, this traditionally Jewish neighborhood has become one of Montreal's hippest quarters, full of lots of small shops and tempting cafes.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Exceptional bagels are baked around the clock here at St-Viateur Bagel, 263 Rue St-Viateur Ouest.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #159 of 502 things to do in Montreal
    • Interesting neighborhood. 12/07/2015
    • Don't bother 31/05/2015
    • Mile-End
  • Save
    Croisieres AML
    Boat Tours
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Finish your day of city sightseeing with a new angle on some now-familiar places, on this 90-minute boat trip that passes beneath the impressive Jacques Cartier bridge. It also provides a view of some of the St Lawrence River islands and their attractions.

    Good for
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Other operators run from the next quay along, including an outfit that run speedboat tours on local rapids.
    • The same company also offer a morning Brunch cruise and a 4 hour-long evening cruise with a DJ and dancing.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 11 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Boat is nice, tour is just average 29/07/2015
    • Relaxing Ride on the St. Lawrence 27/07/2015
    • Croisieres AML
    Address:
    Quai King Edward
    Montreal
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 866-856-6668
    Other:
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