montreal travel guide - the top thing

The Montreal Travel Guide

Written: The Top Thing Staff | May 12, 2023

1. Explore Old Montreal

Wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, where beautiful architecture and history come alive with every step. The downtown core preserves the essence of the original settlement, offering a glimpse into Montreal’s past.

Visit the historic Notre-Dame Basilica, an architectural masterpiece that captivates visitors with its intricate design and rich religious significance. Recent visitors praise its awe-inspiring beauty and serene atmosphere.

Discover the fascinating Pointe-à-Callière Museum, situated on the very spot where Montreal was founded in 1642. This museum immerses you in the city’s history as a fledgling colony, showcasing artifacts and stories from interesting members of early society.

Immerse yourself in a blend of culture and charm as you explore Old Montreal’s numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. From quaint boutiques to vibrant street performers, this area offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Experience a sense of déjà vu as you stroll through Old Montreal; each corner holds echoes of bygone eras waiting to be explored. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to delve into the heart of one of Canada’s most historic cities.

2. Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offers a diverse collection of art from around the world, providing visitors with a rich cultural experience. You can explore exhibitions featuring renowned artists like Picasso and Warhol, showcasing some of their most iconic works in a prestigious museum setting.

In addition to viewing exceptional artwork and exhibits, visitors have the opportunity to attend concerts or film screenings at the museum’s auditorium. This adds an extra layer of entertainment and engagement to your visit, making it more than just a typical museum experience.

The museum’s modern architecture complements its beautiful pieces and enhances the overall atmosphere for art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. With both permanent collections and temporary exhibits on display, there is always something new and exciting to discover at this powerful cultural institution in Montreal.

3. Stroll through the Montreal Botanical Garden

Marvel at the stunning display of flowers and plants in themed gardens, including the Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, and First Nations Garden. Each garden offers a unique cultural experience with meticulously designed landscapes.

Explore the Insectarium museum to learn about fascinating insects from around the world. This interactive museum exhibit is not only educational but also engaging for visitors of all ages.

The Montreal Botanical Garden boasts large greenhouses that house diverse plant species, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and botany lovers alike. The garden collection includes rare and exotic plants that are sure to captivate your interest.

Whether you are interested in outdoor gardens or want to admire tranquil bonsai trees, this park has something for everyone. From toxic plant gardens to serene chapels nestled within lush greenery, the Montreal Botanical Garden provides a peaceful escape from city life while offering a glimpse into different botanical wonders.

4. Enjoy the views from Mount Royal

Hike to the top of Mount Royal for breathtaking panoramic views of Montreal. The unbeatable view from this foot hill offers a unique perspective of the cityscape, making it a must-visit spot for any sightseeing type.

Relax in Parc du Mont-Royal, an oasis within the city where you can unwind and enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature. This great place provides a peaceful retreat away from the bustling urban life below.

Capture stunning photos of Montreal’s skyline against the backdrop of nature and city thanks to the strategic view atop Mount Royal. Whether you are into landscape photography or just want memorable vacation photos, this spot is perfect for adults thanks to its serene atmosphere and picturesque vistas.

5. Discover the Underground City

Explore an extensive network of underground malls, shops, and restaurants in Montreal’s Underground City. This subterranean complex offers a fun discovery zone for visitors to enjoy shopping and dining while staying warm during winter months.

With direct access to various attractions like the Notre-Dame Basilica and Montreal’s Town Hall, you can experience the city without stepping outside. The rapid urbanization of this underground area has transformed it into a bustling hub with intricate statues and unique architecture.

By discovering this hidden gem beneath the surface, you can appreciate how Montreal seamlessly blends modern amenities with historical charm. Whether wandering through its labyrinthine pathways or marveling at its architectural feats like the Copper Dome, there is always something new to uncover in this underground wonderland.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore one of the world’s top underground cities that offer both practicality and charm in equal measure.

6. Experience the vibe of Jean-Talon Market

Indulge in a plethora of fresh produce, local delicacies, and artisanal products at Jean-Talon Market. The market’s convivial setting boasts bustling vendors and a multicultural lifestyle that immerses visitors in the heart of Montreal’s food scene.

Sample an array of Quebec cheeses and delectable maple syrup treats while exploring the vibrant atmosphere. This public market entices with its diverse offerings, from handmade chocolates to partner promotions that showcase the region’s culinary excellence.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking to experience authentic flavors, Jean-Talon Market is a must-visit destination in Montreal for those seeking to savor the essence of Quebec’s gastronomy.

7. Take a ride on the La Grande Roue de Montréal

Experience Montreal like never before by embarking on a journey aboard the observation wheel, La Grande Roue de Montréal.

  • Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city‘s iconic landmarks and picturesque skyline from a unique vantage point.
  • Capture unforgettable moments with breathtaking day and night rides offering different perspectives for your photos.

The La Grande Roue de Montréal provides an exceptional opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Montreal in a novel way, making it a must-do activity for visitors seeking memorable experiences in this vibrant city.

8. Walk along the Lachine Canal

Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the historic Lachine Canal, immersing yourself in its rich industrial heritage and scenic beauty. The cobblestone streets lining the canal offer a unique charm as you explore this picturesque area.

Enjoy breathtaking views of row boats gently gliding on the calm waters of the canal, creating a tranquil atmosphere perfect for relaxation. Witness the blend of nature and history as you pass by parks, where locals and recent visitors gather to enjoy picnics or simply unwind amidst green spaces.

Make sure to visit Atwater Market during your walk along the canal – a bustling hub filled with vendors offering fresh produce and gourmet food options. Indulge in local delicacies while taking in the vibrant atmosphere that characterizes this popular Montreal spot.

Immerse yourself in Montreal’s culture and history by experiencing firsthand one of its most iconic landmarks – walking along the Lachine Canal offers an unforgettable journey through time and nature alike.

9. Attend a festival at Quartier des Spectacles

Immerse yourself in Montreal’s vibrant arts and culture scene by attending festivals at Quartier des Spectacles. This area is renowned for hosting various events that showcase the city’s artistic flair.

Experience live performances, concerts, and outdoor events that captivate audiences of all ages. From street performers to numerous period fairs, there is always something exciting happening here.

Enjoy the festive atmosphere during popular festivals like Just for Laughs, where comedy takes center stage. Summertime street performers add an extra charm to the ambiance, making it a must-visit spot for entertainment enthusiasts.

Quartier des Spectacles offers a unique blend of artistry and creativity that appeals to visitors year-round. Whether you’re into fashion shows or light shows, this place has something for everyone.

10. Sample local cuisine in the Plateau Mont-Royal area

Discover a variety of trendy restaurants, cafes, and bars that offer an array of Quebecois cheeses and meats. The Plateau Mont-Royal area is renowned for its culinary scene, providing visitors with a taste of authentic Montreal flavors.

Try classic Montreal dishes like poutine and smoked meat sandwiches at the numerous eateries scattered throughout this vibrant neighborhood. Indulge in freshly baked bagels from iconic bakeries that have been perfecting their recipes for generations.

Explore the colorful streets lined with unique shops, art galleries, and cozy bistros that reflect the bohemian essence of the Plateau Mont-Royal. Immerse yourself in the local tip of dining where new restaurant concepts blend seamlessly with traditional favorites to create a dynamic food landscape within this district.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect to see at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts?

At the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, you can immerse yourself in a diverse collection of artworks spanning various periods and styles. From classic masterpieces to contemporary installations, there’s something to captivate every art enthusiast.

Is visiting Mount Royal worth it for the views?

Absolutely! Visiting Mount Royal offers breathtaking panoramic views of Montreal cityscape that are truly unparalleled. Whether during the day or at night when the city lights twinkle below, it’s an experience that will leave you in awe.

How do I navigate through the Underground City in Montreal?

Navigating through Montreal’s Underground City is like embarking on an underground adventure filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. With interconnected pathways spanning kilometers beneath the surface, it’s a unique way to explore while staying warm during winter months.

What makes Jean-Talon Market stand out among other markets?

Jean-Talon Market stands out for its vibrant atmosphere and fresh produce straight from local farmers. It’s not just a market; it’s a bustling cultural hub where you can taste authentic flavors, interact with vendors, and feel the pulse of Montreal’s culinary scene.

Why should I sample local cuisine in Plateau Mont-Royal area?

Sampling local cuisine in Plateau Mont-Royal area is like taking your taste buds on a journey through Quebecois gastronomy. From cozy cafes serving up buttery croissants to trendy bistros offering poutine variations, this neighborhood encapsulates Montreal’s culinary charm.