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Total Guide to Your Montreal, Quebec Trip

By: Ashley Akridge

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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In this article, you will discover the best things to do in Montreal, Quebec. You won't be short on activities for your next trip as this historical city has a little something for every traveler. Are you a foodie? You're in luck because Montreal is full of excellent restaurants. Running out of time? There are plenty of things to do in just one day. Whatever your travel style is, Montreal has something that will appeal to you!

10 Best Things to Do in Montreal

Montreal is a fantastic city with many exciting things to do. Canada's second-largest city, Montreal, is brimming with culture and history, offering visitors a unique blend of French Canadian heritage and North American urban life. From the historic Old Port district to Mount Royal Park—where you can hike or bike along scenic trails that overlook the city—Montreal has something for everyone.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Notre Dame Basilica - Montreal

Notre-Dame is one of the most impressive and recognizable landmarks in Montreal, and it's also the second-largest church in Canada. It's a gorgeous example of Gothic Revival architecture, with a neo-Gothic interior that looks like something from a fairy tale. The Basilica has been open since 1829, but it was built on the site of an earlier church that was destroyed by fire in 1852. The current building was designed by architect Victor Bourgeau and completed in 1912. The basilica can be seen from all over the city, and there's no shortage of people who take pictures with it in the background!

Mount Royal Park

Landscape, water front, Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Montreal, Quebec! The park is a beautiful place to explore and get in touch with nature. The mountain is also home to many historical sites such as Beaver Lake—a popular swimming hole—and the Observatory, which has been around since 1876.

Mount Royal Park also has several hiking trails that will take you through forests and past stunning views of the city below. One of these trails is the Camillien-Houde trail, which leads directly up the mountain's face via stairs and an elevator! You can also hike down the mountain on another trail called La Chute which takes you down a steep set of stairs and past waterfalls before ending at a lookout point where you can see all of downtown Montreal below you!

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Facade of the Montreal Museum of Fine Art

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is an excellent place to learn about the history of art and how it has evolved over time. The museum features art from around the world, including ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome and Egypt. There are also many exhibitions that change every few months or so. You can find works by famous artists like Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso among many others at this amazing museum!

Saint Helen's Island

Montreal Biosphere on Saint Helen's Island

The largest island in the city, this is a great place to get a feel for what it was like to live here hundreds of years ago. You can visit the Fortifications of Montreal and see some of the oldest buildings in Canada. It's also home to the Verdun Memorial, which commemorates those who died during World War I.


The Montreal Biodome

If you want to get up close and personal with some of the planet's most fascinating creatures, check out the Biodome. It's an ecological museum that recreates four different climates: tropical, temperate, arctic and desert. You'll see animals such as penguins and snakes, plants like cacti and maple trees, and insects like butterflies or fireflies!

The Biodome was built for the 1976 Olympics so it is quite large—it has over 4 acres under glass in total! A fun day out for the whole family: adults will enjoy learning about these environments while kids will love being able to interact with them. The Biodome is also very educational—you'll learn about conservation efforts through interactive exhibits as well as learn about animals that live where you're visiting (for example if you go inside the jungle exhibit).

Montreal Botanical Garden

Chinese Garden in the Botanical Garden of Montreal, Canada

The Montreal Botanical Garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world, and it's located right at Olympic Park. This beautiful park has many attractions to see, including an insectarium and a Chinese garden. The botanical garden itself is spread out over 65 acres and has over 45 themed areas that include everything from desert plants to tropical trees. You'll find this place full of visitors all year round because it's such a popular tourist attraction, but if you want to avoid crowds during your visit then go early or late in the day when fewer people are around.

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec

Located in Montreal, Canada, the Saint Joseph Oratory of Mount Royal is the largest church in Canada. It was built from 1904 to 1959 and is dedicated to Saint Joseph. The dome of this Catholic basilica measures 162 feet in diameter and is made entirely of iron and concrete. This cathedral has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada because it represents an important example of early 20th-century religious architecture in North America. The church sits on top of Mount Royal, which means that you can get some great views when you visit it!

La Ronde

La Ronde Amusement Park from Jacques Cartier Bridge

La Ronde is a great place to visit if you want to have fun. It is a theme park in Montreal, Quebec. There are many rides that you can go on, including the Blue Flyer roller coaster and the Grand Prix. You can also take a ride on the Le Monstre, which is one of the tallest roller coasters in the world! You can even get married at La Ronde!

Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

Old town area stone brick building illuminated by yellow lights and lanterns called Museum of Archeology

The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History is one of the best museums in the city, because it gives you an incredible insight into the history of Montreal. It's also a great place to learn about Quebec culture and history. If you're interested in learning more about the past of this beautiful city, then this museum should definitely be on your list of places to visit!

Bonsecours Market

Bonsecours market Marche Bonsecours in old Montreal, Quebec, Canada

If you're looking for a fun and exciting way to spend the day in Montreal, Bonsecours Market is the place to be. Located in Old Montreal, this market has been open since 1847 and has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

You'll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to fish and seafood at Bonsecours Market. There are also many specialty shops where you can purchase everything from handmade jewelry to clothing items made by local artisans!

5 Day Trips and Tours in Montreal

In this section, you'll find five great trips and tours that will help you make the most of your time in Montreal. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly experience or something a little more romantic, there's something for everyone.

Helicopter Tour Over Montreal

Helicopter tour over Montreal

If you want to see the entire city in a short amount of time, then this is the tour for you. A helicopter tour over Montreal will give you an aerial view of the entire city and its landmarks. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and takes place at an altitude of 1,500 feet. You'll be able to see Mount Royal, Old Montreal, Lachine Canal, Olympic Stadium, Botanical Garden and much more!


Beyond the Market Food Tour in Montreal

People beside Montreal Chinatown gate

You can take a tour of the tasty food markets in Montreal with Beyond the Market Food Tour. It's a three hour walking tour of Montreal's famous food markets and you'll learn what makes them special, taste fresh food from local vendors, and explore the history of this beautiful city. The tour includes stops at Old Port Market, Atwater Market, Jean-Talon Market & Chinatown, Little Italy and more! In total there are over 15 different stops on this tour where you get to sample delicious treats!

The Sip of Montreal Brew Tour

The Sip of Montreal Brew Tour is a unique way to experience the city. You'll get to sample beers from 4 different breweries, all while learning about their history and how they produce their beer.

This tour starts off at one of Montreal's oldest brewpubs called Le Cheval Blanc, where you will get to try beers made with Quebec-grown hops. From there you will move on to a microbrewery in the Plateau where you can enjoy some samples like St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout or Boomerang IPA. You'll also visit Brasserie Harricana for samples like La Corriveau Blonde Ale or La Paysanne Amber Ale which are both brewed here in Quebec as well as abroad!

Quebec City & Montmorency Falls One Day Tour

The Montmorency Falls on the Montmorency River at Quebec, Canada

This is a day trip that takes you to Quebec, the only walled city in North America. Your tour will take you to the Montmorency Falls Park where you can see the Plains of Abraham, where the French and British fought a battle.

You will also visit Chateau Frontenac, an historic hotel built in 1893 which overlooks the St Lawrence River and has been featured in many films including Mission Impossible III, The Count of Monte Cristo and Superman Returns. After this exciting day trip there are plenty more things to do in Quebec City including visiting museums or going shopping at some local markets.

Montreal City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Montreal skyline

The Hop-on Hop-off Tour is a great way to get acquainted with the city, and it's convenient in that you can hop off at any of the stops and explore on your own. You will spend 2 days on this tour, with flexible start times so that you can see everything at your own pace each day. You will be picked up from your hotel by a guide which talks you through what each stop has to offer.

The bus takes you through some of Montreal's 10 most famous attractions including: Old Montreal; Mount Royal Park; Saint Joseph's Oratory; Notre Dame Basilica; Olympic Stadium; Montreal Biodome & Botanical Garden (seasonal); Pointe-à-Callière Museum (French for "headstone") – also known as Lower Town or Vieux Port de Montréal National Historic Site of Canada located in Old Montreal). Each stop offers its own unique history lesson about Canada's culture, heritage, architecture and people!

10 Restaurants to Try in Montreal

Montreal downtown streets lined with restaurants

Montreal is a great city to visit and it has many restaurants to try. You can find many different types of food in the city. The restaurants are located in convenient places, so you can always find one near you. This section will show you 10 restaurants that you should try while visiting Montreal!

Au Pied de Cochon

Located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec, Au Pied de Cochon is an iconic restaurant known for serving French cuisine. The restaurant was opened by Fernand Leduc in 1961 and today the establishment serves a variety of dishes including foie gras, boudin noir, duck confit and poutine. Customers can eat in a rustic style where they will be given an apron to wear while they eat their meal. This is one of the most popular restaurants in Canada and reservations are recommended on weekends as it gets very busy during peak hours.

Ma Poule Mouillée

Ma Poule Mouillée is a classic Montreal dîner that serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner with a simple menu of burgers, hot dogs and poutine. The restaurant is located on the corner of Rue Saint-Denis and Boulevard Rosemont. The atmosphere is casual, so it's perfect for grabbing food before hitting the town or enjoying a quick bite after shopping at Atwater Market next door. For those who aren't familiar with poutine, it's simply french fries topped with cheese curds or squeaky cheese (which sounds gross but tastes amazing!) and brown gravy. You can order your own plateful or share one with friends!


Want to find a romantic spot for dinner? LOV is a great choice. The fare at LOV is prepared with fresh ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible. The menu features items such as sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce or seitan steaks served with roasted root vegetables and mashed potatoes.

If you're looking for something lighter than meat-based fare, try their green salad topped with cranberries and cashew cream dressing or red pepper ravioli stuffed with mushrooms and spinach pesto sauce (yum!). They also have several desserts available like chocolate mousse cake made from avocado puree rather than dairy products; this will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings without leaving you feeling guilty about indulging yourself!


L'Avenue is located in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood. The restaurant serves traditional French cuisine and has a casual, friendly atmosphere. The food is delicious, but definitely on the pricey side if you're just stopping by for dinner. However, you can eat well at lunch without breaking the bank. In fact, we highly recommend it! The menu includes classic dishes like steak frites (a small cut of steak with fries) or coq au vin (chicken braised in red wine). If you want something lighter that's still satisfying, order a salad—the local favorite is the salade l'avocat (avocado salad).

Wienstein & Gavino's

Wienstein & Gavino's is a casual Italian restaurant found in the heart of Montreal, where you can enjoy dishes made by some of the city's best chefs. The menu features classic Italian favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, but also has more inventive items like eggplant parmigiana with fried polenta croutons and smoked mozzarella. The wine list is extensive and impressive, featuring options from across Canada as well as Italy (of course).

The décor at Wienstein & Gavino's ranges from bright white tablecloths to Old World-style chandeliers hung over intimate booths. It has an old-fashioned feel that makes it perfect for special occasions or romantic evenings out.


L'Express, located on Rue Saint-Denis, is a French bistro that serves lunch and dinner. The restaurant's decor is inspired by the 1930s and it has been in business for eight years now. The menu changes weekly and offers traditional French cuisine, including dishes like steak frites (beef steak with french fries) or escargots (snails). If you're looking for a romantic meal out, this would be an ideal place to visit!


The restaurant Modavie is a French bistro that focuses on local cuisine. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, with an open kitchen and lounge area for you to enjoy your meal in comfort. There are several options for dining as well as private rooms for special occasions.

Modavie is known for its outstanding brunch menu, which features a variety of classic dishes with modern twists. They also have a wide selection of cocktails and wines to choose from if you're looking to go out after lunch or dinner!

Satay Brothers Resto

Satay Brothers Resto is a popular restaurant in Montreal, Quebec. The Thai food they serve is a mix of tradition and modernity, with dishes like pad thai and curry beef that are sure to please any discerning palate.

The restaurant itself has an elegant look, including white tablecloths on each table and vintage-looking lamps hanging from the ceiling. The ambiance is warm and welcoming, making it a great place to go on your own or with friends—especially if you're looking for something different than your typical fast food joint!

Kalbi BBQ & Sushi

Kalbi BBQ & Sushi is a great option for sushi in Montreal. They have an all you can eat special that includes a variety of sushi rolls and other dishes. The restaurant is always busy, so if you want to be sure to get a table on short notice, make reservations ahead of time.

Joe Beef

Joe Beef is a steakhouse that specializes in seafood, so expect to see the occasional fish on your plate. That said, if you do have the urge for a good old-fashioned steak, this is the place to be. The classic dishes are done right here: make sure you order the poutine with duck confit and foie gras gravy (or as they call it "Les Frites"). You can also get good ol' Canadian bacon and eggs, or French toast with maple syrup—all of which will leave you filled up but not feeling too heavy when heading out into Montreal's bustling streets later on.

5 Hotel Ideas for Staying in Montreal

Montreal is a city full of old world charm, so the hotels here are no different. There are many to choose from, but we've narrowed it down to five that would make any trip special.

Hotel Chateau de l'Argoat

If you're looking for a place that's got all of the bells and whistles without being overly expensive, then Hotel Chateau de l'Argoat is the place for you. Located in downtown Montreal, this hotel is within walking distance from many local attractions, including Old Montreal and Mount Royal Park. For those who love culture, there are concert halls and theaters right near your doorstep. When it comes to amenities, this hotel won't let you down; they offer free parking on-site as well as an indoor pool and sauna! If you want an affordable yet luxurious stay while exploring Montreal—this could be your best bet!

Hotel Birks Montreal

Hotel Birks Montreal is a luxury hotel in the heart of Montréal, Canada. This historic property was built in 1875 by one of the city's most prominent families. It has been renovated to preserve its original features and grandeur while providing modern amenities for guests looking to explore all that this vibrant city has to offer!

With over 150 years of history under its belt, Hotel Birks Montreal houses some impressive pieces from its past: Tiffany stained glass windows and a hand-carved staircase are just two examples. You'll also find a number of artworks throughout the building—including those on display at their signature restaurant, Les Fougères—which make this hotel unique among other accommodations in Montreal.

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

The Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth is located in the heart of the city, making it easy to get around. The hotel is also close to public transit and within walking distance from many attractions like the Notre-Dame Basilica, Place des Arts and Old Montreal. The hotel offers many amenities for guests including a full service spa, fitness center and indoor pool. You can also enjoy a cocktail at one of their two bars or dine in one of two restaurants on-site.

Hygie Boutique Hotel

Located in the heart of Old Montreal, Hygie Boutique Hotel is a great hotel for those who want to experience the city's historic attractions while staying in a modern and comfortable space. The hotel's rooms are decorated with warm tones and luxurious amenities like fluffy robes, complimentary toiletries and heated bathroom floors. The onsite restaurant serves up delicious plates from both local ingredients as well as global influences. Guests rave about how friendly and helpful the staff is at Hygie Boutique Hotel, which makes for an even more enjoyable stay.

Toronto & Niagara Falls 3 Day Tour

For those who want to enjoy all the attractions of Toronto and Niagara Falls in just three days, this tour is the right choice for you. This tour includes visits to Toronto, Niagara Falls, 1000 Islands and more. You will also have an opportunity to ride on a boat that takes you under all three falls. You can choose from several hotels such as Four Points by Sheraton Mississauga Meadowvale or Comfort Inn Niagara Falls as your place of overnight stay depending on your budget and preferences.

Final Thoughts

Tourists enjoying the sites in downtown Montreal in the summer

Montreal is a lovely city, with an incredible amount to do, see, and explore. We hope that with this guide, you'll be able to discover the best of this vibrant city. You should make sure to check out Montreal's beautiful parks and outdoor areas. Intriguing museums, mouthwatering restaurants, and fun nightlife can also be found here in great abundance. Whether you're in town for a day trip, a week-long vacation, or longer, there are plenty of wonderful things to do in Montreal, Quebec!

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