There are lots of things to do in Montreal.
Some of them are obvious; there’s swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter, and you can always find resorts, restaurants and shopping malls that are ready to serve tourists.
But what if you’re looking for a higher caliber of entertainment?
What if you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Montreal, and you want to make sure that you’re only spending time in the coolest and most memorable places?
If you’re wondering how to plan a trip to the nicest city in Quebec, here are just a few suggestions for the best Montreal attractions.
Things To Do In Montreal:
1. Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz’s Deli is more than just a restaurant.
It’s one of the oldest, most renowned restaurants in Montreal, and it has the kind of zealous following that gives it weight as a genuine cultural icon for the city.
The most famous things on the menu are the sandwiches.
Schwartz’s Deli specializes in Montreal-style smoked meat that’s cured for 10 days before being cooked in a brick smokehouse and seasoned with secret spices.
People travel for miles to get a taste of the fatty, meat-loaded sandwiches, especially when they’re paired with fries, coleslaw or sour pickles.
Schwartz’s Deli is also considered something of a meat lover’s mecca. In addition to the smoked brisket, you can order ribs, steaks, chicken and even salami.
Everything comes with customized side dishes to ensure a perfect balance of tastes.
Another fun fact about Schwartz’s Deli is that it’s located right across the street from its longtime rival Main Deli Steak House.
The two restaurants are in a constant battle over who makes the best meat and who can attract the most famous clientele.
Previous customers of both establishments have included Stanley Lewis, Leonard Cohen and Celine Dion, but Celine Dion officially declared her loyalty to Schwartz’s Deli when she bought into it.
Schwartz’s Deli is one of those Montreal attractions that you have to visit at least once.
You haven’t really experienced the city until you’ve bitten into one of their thick, dripping sandwiches.
Getting the sauce on your shirt because of Schwartz’s Deli is practically a rite of passage in Montreal.
Address: 3895 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada
2. Old Montreal
There’s a distinctive sound in Old Montreal that you can’t hear anywhere else in the city: the clatter of horseshoes on cobblestone streets.
This historic neighborhood is filled with the commerce, culture and architecture of generations past, and it aims for authenticity right down to the horse-drawn carriages that slowly ramble down the street.
A different kind of atmosphere runs through Old Montreal. Unlike the gleaming skyscrapers of the business district, it favors a quaint, cheerfully-crowded kind of look.
Its streets are crammed with shops, bistros, museums, galleries and sidewalk vendors, and you might expect a baker to pop his head out of a window at any moment and announce the day’s fresh bread.
There’s also a lot of history to be appreciated in Old Montreal.
It boasts churches and chapels that date back to the 15th century, and its stunning centerpiece is the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal, the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal.
This particular landmark is one of the most famous in Canada: It receives more than 11 million visitors per year, only slightly less than the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
Do you want to experience history firsthand?
Check out the Chateau Ramezay, a museum where all of the staffers dress up in period-appropriate clothing, or stop by the Old Port where you can listen to the boats blow the same horns that were heard hundreds of years ago.
All in all, Old Montreal is a place where you can rewind time.
You won’t find anywhere else like it in the city, and it’s the sort of tourist attraction that you’ll fondly remember as a vacation highlight for years to come.
You should definitely hop on a carriage and take a ride!
3. Quartier Des Spectacles
The Quartier des Spectacles is the arts and entertainment district of downtown Montreal.
Home to everything from sculpture galleries to film conservatories, it’s the beating heart of Montreal’s art scene.
Its centerpiece is the Place des Arts, a performing arts center that hosts an orchestra, opera house and world-famous ballet troupe.
It’s also home to Salles du Gesu, the oldest theater in Montreal, and Grande Bibliotheque, the most-visited library in Canada.
Hundreds of festivals take place in Quartier des Spectacles.
You’ve probably heard of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, but you might be surprised to learn about the existence of the Montreal Circus Festival or the Nuits d’Afrique Festival.
These are only the headliners, too; there’s an endless number of small, independent festivals run throughout the year.
While any time is a good time to visit Quartier des Spectacles, it’s absolutely amazing at night.
Colorful lights will beckon you from every building, and illuminated fountains will mesmerize you with water jets and laser shows.
Clear windows will let you see into all of the shops, restaurants, museums and theaters that line the streets.
If you’re a fan of the arts, you won’t want to miss Quartier des Spectacles.
It might not have official borders, but that could be considered part of its charm: It’s a free and open space where all forms of self-expression are allowed to mingle and bring people together.
If you don’t make three new friends by the time that you’ve walked from one end of the neighborhood to the other, you aren’t doing it right.
Address: 175 Saint-Catherine St, Montreal, QC H2X 1Y9, Canada
4. Montreal Science Center
The Montreal Science Center will stun you both inside and out.
Its gleaming glass architecture is fitted with staircases that look like chromosomes, and its sprawling complex includes a museum, childcare center and IMAX theater.
There’s even more to admire when you step inside.
The Montreal Science Center doesn’t just print things on little placards; it transforms entire rooms and wings into interactive activity stations.
Kids can stack blocks, use tools, connect wires, play with magnets or join a real assembly line.
They can measure themselves against life-sized animal statues and take a walk through underwater domes.
If they’re tech-minded, they can use touchscreen computers for virtual lessons and games.
The IMAX theater is one of the more recent additions to the museum, but it’s already proving to be quite popular.
Titles include things like “Volcanoes 3D” and “Superpower Dogs.”
There’s nothing quite like seeing the whiskers of a panda twitch on a screen that’s taller than some buildings!
There are also a number of special events organized or supported by the museum.
In July, for example, you can experience the Eureka Festival, a three-day celebration of science, invention and technology.
It offers more than 100 free activities for visitors of all ages, so if you like demonstrations and workshops that won’t cost you a dime, it’s a great place to be thrifty.
The Montreal Science Center has something to offer the entire family.
Both kids and adults can enjoy its hands-on displays, and mom and dad will especially like that it educates while it entertains.
It’s the kind of tourist attraction that you can feel good about visiting, so it deserves a spot at the top of your list.
Address: 2 de la Commune St W, Montreal, QC H2Y 4B2, Canada
5. Underground City
How do you escape the brutal winters of Canada? You go underground.
Located right under the streets of Montreal, the Underground City is a gigantic network of corridors that links together shops, offices, banks, restaurants, bus terminals and metro stations.
It stretches for 20 miles and contains literally thousands of businesses. It’s the single biggest pedestrian complex in the world.
The name is a bit of hyperbole; large swathes of the Underground City are actually just covered, climate-controlled spaces that link together the buildings of downtown Montreal.
However, you’ll still enjoy the underground vibe thanks to its unique layout, and you’ll still have access to everything from hotels to hosiery shops as you wander its halls.
You’ll appreciate the Underground City extra hard if you’re traveling to Montreal in the winter months.
Temperatures can dip quite low, so being able to escape the chilly winds and slippery sidewalks is a blessing.
Looking at photos of the Underground City, you might be tempted to call it a labyrinth. You’d be right.
While everything is marked with directions to keep people from getting lost, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a crazy urban jungle where the scenery is constantly changing.
One section might look like a modern shopping mall with gleaming lights and multi-layer staircases; another section might be a creepy corridor full of doors that you don’t really want to open.
If you’re looking for points of interest in Montreal, it doesn’t get more interesting than the Underground City.
Your head will be on a constant swivel as you move through the maze. There are just so many things to see and do that you won’t know where to look!
Address: 747 Rue du Square-Victoria #247, Montréal, QC H2Y 3Y9, Canada
6. Mount Royal Park
The first thing to know about the park is that it’s gigantic.
It’s perched atop the volcanic rock cluster that is Mount Royal, and it unfolds across all kinds of playgrounds, picnic sites, skating rinks, ski slopes, tennis courts, hiking trails, tobogganing hills and rowboating lakes.
You won’t lack for things to do or the space to do them.
Another great thing about Mount Royal Park is that it has a constant schedule of activities.
Some of them are formally planned by the city of Montreal, like the “Art and Nature Family Walk” that brings families together for an exploration of the park.
Other events are fun, free and informal, like the weekly drum circles that come together in one of the park’s most famous fields. They call their music “Tam-Tam Jams” after the sound of drums.
Last but not least, Mount Royal Park is a beautiful place to be.
It’s considered a top sightseeing destination because of its aerial views of the city, and the trails are filled with decks, gazebos and wooden belvederes to act as observation points.
In the summertime, blue skies stretch over grass; in the wintertime, the grounds are covered in crisp white snow. In the fall, leaves of every color drift and scatter around the meadows.
Mount Royal Park is easily one of the best destinations in Montreal. Not only does it offer breathtaking views, but it also provides outdoor excursions for everyone.
Whether you like running, swimming, hiking, sledding, ice skating or just sightseeing, Mount Royal Park can deliver.
Address: 1260 Remembrance Rd, Montreal, QC H3H 1A2, Canada
7. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Get your motor running with a trip to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
This racing strip has played host to everything from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the FIA World Sportscar Championship, and its sharp curves and hairpin turns have given it a well-deserved reputation as one of the wildest in the world.
Its most famous feature is “The Wall,” a tricky chicane located right before the finish line.
So many drivers have crashed on it that track officials cheekily painted it with the words Bienvenue au Quebec (“Welcome to Quebec”).
It was also nicknamed “the Wall of Champions” after it caused four separate championship racers to crash. No one escapes the Wall.
When not in use for racing, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is open to joggers, cyclists, skaters and dog walkers.
It’s actually quite peaceful without the screeching of cars and the roaring of a thousand fans.
It’s located next to a river, so there are always scenic views and the smell of the sea in the air, and the lawns are kept nice and green.
But most people don’t go to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to walk their poodle.
Most of them know that it’s one of the top Montreal attractions for high-speed action, and they want to see the Wall claim its next victim.
If you consider yourself a thrill seeker, it doesn’t get much better than waiting with bated breath to see if a driver can make it past a hairpin turn at superhuman speeds.
Buy a ticket for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve if you like excitement, adventure and just a little bit of danger.
It’s currently home to the Canadian Grand Prix, so you’ll have the chance to see some Dominic Toretto stunts up close when you attend the next race!
Address: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montréal, QC H3C 6A1, Canada
8. Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most prominent museums in all of Canada.
It probably has something to do with the sheer size of the place; it boasts five multi-story pavilions, and each of them is stuffed with galleries, painting halls and showcase rooms.
You can have a lot of fun when you get lost in the museum, however.
It’s home to everything from colorful oil portraits to ancient, rusted pottery, and these collections fill every inch of the space.
Whenever you turn a corner, there’s another exhibit to see. Whenever you wander up a staircase, you’ll find another level of art.
The museum has 40,000 pieces as permanent fixtures, and there are thousands more in temporary exhibitions that come and go.
They’re usually organized by theme, so you’ll see collections with titles like “Warhol Mania” or “Bon Appetit! Contemporary Foodware Designs in Quebec.”
When your legs start to hurt from all of your walking, take a break with the museum’s on-site restaurant or gift shop.
The designers fully expected people to lose hours among the art, so they made sure to offer refreshments to keep everyone going.
You can relax and recharge at a charming little cafe table before taking a deep breath and plunging back into the museum.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a budding sculptor or a layman who just loves beautiful things.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best cultural centers in the country, and it’ll serve you well on your journey of artistic discovery.
Address: 1380 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada
9. Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park
There’s something magical about the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park.
Surrounded by water on three sides, it has a kind of wild, rugged beauty that manifests as sandy beaches and gnarled trees leading into hushed forests.
It’s the largest park in Montreal, and that probably plays a role in its otherworldly atmosphere.
It’s easy to get lost among miles and miles of pinewoods. It’s easy to dive down into the lake and wonder just how deep the water goes.
For all of its mystery, however, the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park is a happy place for visitors.
Its hiking trails are kept clean and orderly; its lake is used for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, kite surfing and paddleboarding.
It has a “sugar shack” where you can watch maple syrup being made.
It even boasts a farm that raises livestock and grows fresh produce, and there’s an adjacent shop where you can buy milk, eggs and veggies that were harvested right next door.
To put it another way, you won’t lack for things to do at the park.
Whether you want to set up a telescope or take an art class on the grass, you’ll have lots of options for outdoor activities.
Just remember that the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park is even bigger and grander than you can imagine.
Its true nature is eternally wild. People have been exploring it since the 1700s, but there are still parts that are untraveled and unmarked on maps.
You’ll want to clear your schedule for the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park.
It isn’t always picture-perfect, but it’s real, and it’s definitely something to consider on a long list of Montreal attractions.
Address: 20099 Boul Gouin O, Pierrefonds, QC H9K 1C6, Canada
10. Olympic Stadium
Originally built for the 1976 Olympics, the Olympic Stadium has become the best place for big events in Montreal.
Its most common purpose, of course, is for sports.
The Olympic Stadium has seen everything from soccer matches to football championships, and it’s even hosted lesser-known athletic events for wrestling, gymnastics and speed skating.
Tickets are always on sale for something new and exciting.
The Olympic Stadium is also used for other recreational events such as concerts, rallies, religious gatherings and music competitions.
If it will attract a crowd of thousands, it’s held at the stadium. You can usually buy tickets for these things as well.
Last but certainly not least, the Olympic Stadium is where you’ll find Montreal Tower.
It’s a 540-foot “inclined” tower that leans over the sky at a 45° angle, and it offers an incredibly unique look over the treetops of Montreal.
It isn’t a regular height; it’s a tilted height. Millions of visitors flock to the Montreal Tower every year just to hold their breath as they lean over the cityscape.
You’d expect a stadium built for the Olympics to be grand and impressive, and fortunately, Olympic Stadium lives up to the hype.
Check out its online calendar to see if there’s anything cool happening on the field during your vacation.
Address: 4141 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave, Montreal, QC H1V 3N7, Canada
Planning a visit to Toronto soon? You’ll love our list detailing the best things to do in Toronto!
11. Ecomuseum Zoo
Would you like to know a surprising fact about Montreal?
It doesn’t have many zoos. In fact, if you’ve put “feed the bears” on your list of what to do in Montreal, you only have one real option: the Ecomuseum Zoo.
The Ecomuseum Zoo is a small zoo located on the very tip of the Island of Montreal.
It isn’t fancy, and it doesn’t have state-of-the-art facilities like some of the bigger wildlife facilities in Canada.
What it lacks in size, however, the Ecomuseum Zoo has in heart.
Its artic fox is named Gandalf; its twin black bears are called Juno and Genie.
The other enclosures hold wolves, lynxes, eels, toads, turtles, porcupines and one very cranky vulture.
Because of its modest needs, the Ecomuseum Zoo can devote a lot of attention to individual animal care.
It can also host grassroots activity programs like summer camps for kids and “adopt an animal” campaigns to support the zoo.
The staff is known for its friendliness, and they frequently walk the grounds just to say hi to guests.
Simply put, the Ecomuseum Zoo is one that you can feel good about visiting. You won’t have to worry about animal exploitation or money mismanagement.
It’s a decent, clean-natured facility where you can see some cool creatures and teach your kids about the circle of life. What’s not to love?
Address: 21125 Sainte Marie Rd, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3Y7, Canada
12. Jean-Talon Market
The sounds and smells of Jean-Talon Market will reach you long before you see it.
It’s the single biggest outdoor market in Montreal, and it bustles with the activity of hundreds of visitors and vendors.
Fresh produce is the main draw of the market. Piled high on every table, you’ll have your fill of locally-grown fruits and vegetables that are arranged in colorful tableaus to appeal to shoppers.
These crisp crops will look just as good on your plate as your Instagram feed.
If you’re craving something other than produce, there are plenty of vendors with other foods.
You can find fresh seafood and meats of every variety; butchers and fishermen will often pack it up for you right then and there.
There are eggs, cheeses, spices, syrups and snacks. Hot bread will make your mouth water. Cold parfaits will give you goosebumps on your arms.
There’s even a collection of consumer goods at the Jean-Talon Market. It’s dwarfed by the sheer volume of food, but it exists.
If you’re looking for souvenirs, the market has bags, crafts, paintings, jewelry and potted plants.
Another nice thing about the market is that it’s located in the middle of a bigger business district, so if you can’t find what you need at Jean-Talon, you can take a few steps sideways and try a more traditional retail outlet.
The single greatest thing about the Jean-Talon market, however, is that it gives you the resources to prepare your own meals.
You don’t have to live on takeout during your trip to Montreal.
In fact, one of our recommended travel hacks is to cook your own food as much as possible; it’ll save you a ton of money in overall vacation expenses.
Use the Jean-Talon Market as a grocery store and stock up!
Address: 7070 Henri Julien Ave, Montreal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
13. La Ronde Amusement Park
If you’re wondering what to do in Montreal with kids, you might like La Ronde.
It’s an amusement park that mixes old-fashioned rides with fresh new carnival games, so it’s an intriguing blend of pursuits that parents and kids will both enjoy.
Originally built for a world fair in 1967, La Ronde had a classic, storybook kind of charm that saw it featured in many different films and TV shows.
You might recognize it from franchises like “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” where its haunted house was used as a vintage set piece.
The park was purchased by Six Flags a few years ago, and the new bosses modernized a lot of systems and safety features, but they decided to keep La Ronde’s old-fashioned aesthetic.
You can still find things like wooden roller coasters and hand-painted carousels in between its newer constructions.
More modern rides include frisbees, fireballs, kamikazes, slingshots, star flyers and tilt-a-whirls.
You can shoot water at clown noses and win teddy bears; you can stuff your face with hot dogs, nachos and cotton candy.
A monorail will take you on a ride through the park when you get tired of lugging your stuffed prizes everywhere.
If you time your visit right, you can also catch one of La Ronda’s special events.
On Halloween, for example, they host a Fright Fest where costumed employees roam the park to give people a scare. It’ll be an extra cherry on top of your amusement park sundae.
All things considered, La Ronda is a great way to spend an afternoon with your family.
It might not be one of the highbrow tourist attractions of Montreal, but sometimes, you don’t need highbrow. Sometimes, you just need a fried candy bar on a stick.
Address: 22 Chemin Macdonald | St. Helene Island, Montreal, Quebec H3C 6A3, Canada
14. Montreal Botanical Garden
The Montreal Botanical Garden is actually a collection of gardens and greenhouses.
It sweeps across 190 acres of land, so it’s one of the largest sightseeing locations in the city, and it contains such amazing biodiversity that it’s been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada.
Notably, each garden of the Montreal Botanical Garden has a theme. Here are just a few of the best:
- The Japanese garden is filled with bonsai and bamboo, and it has a gentle, tranquil atmosphere with clean-cut lines that are inspired by eastern zen. It frequently hosts tea ceremonies, kendo demonstrations and memorial bell-ringing in honor of the atomic bomb victims.
- The First Nations Garden showcases the beautiful and medicinal plants favored by the indigenous people of Canada. It also boasts a culturally authentic totem pole and a small gallery of artwork and artifacts.
- The Chinese garden is designed to look like a royal garden from the Ming Dynasty, so it has a curved temple covered in lights and lanterns and a surrounding field of flowers, stones and penjing plants.
The Montreal Botanical Garden is one of the biggest points of interest for nature lovers visiting Montreal.
If you’re looking to expand your herbology scrapbook, you’ll definitely want to stroll among the greenhouses and arbortoriums.
Address: 4101 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, QC H1X 2B2, Canada
15. Saint Laurent Boulevard
Called la main (“main street”) by the locals, Saint Laurent Boulevard runs through the exact center of Montreal.
Its location has made it a central hub for the city as far back as the 1600s, and it’s often used as a geographical touchstone for everything surrounding it.
Historically, Saint Laurent Boulevard was something of a dividing line between different classes and ethnic groups.
The English speakers were on the west; the French speakers were on the east. The immigrant communities straddled the line.
Today, Saint Laurent Boulevard is more of a melting pot than a segregated line.
You can reach Chinatown, Little Italy and Little Portugal from different points of the road, and there’s a vibrant collection of cultures and languages that includes one of the largest Yiddish-speaking populations in North America.
As for the sights, many Montreal attractions can be found along the border of Saint Laurent Boulevard. These range from bars and bistros to movie theaters and art galleries.
You can also use the boulevard as a starting point for further travel in every direction, so if you’re planning a trip that encompasses a lot of Montreal’s greatest hits, the boulevard can be your ground zero.
It’s on every map, and everyone will know where it is if you have to ask for directions.
It’s possible to walk the boulevard in a day, but you probably won’t want to rush it. There’s simply so much to experience along the line that it’s best to take your time.
Saint Laurent Boulevard has a rich history that’s completely, utterly unique to Montreal, so it’s a one-of-a-kind landmark in a one-of-a-kind city. Let yourself enjoy it.
16. Redpath Museum
The Redpath Museum offers a collection of things that you’d never want to see in real life.
Its milder exhibits include taxidermy birds and the skeletons of lizards and anacondas; the most extreme displays are real-life Egyptian mummies surrounded by their earthly possessions.
Despite its grotesque gallery, the Redpath Museum isn’t meant to be a horror show.
It’s just a natural history museum that covers a broad range of subjects, including biology, geology, mineralogy and paleontology.
There are plenty of cool things that won’t creep you out, including paw print fossils and special shells that shine like diamonds.
If you like the bizarre, however, there’s no denying that the Redpath Museum offers quite a bit of it.
As soon as you walk through the front door and see the gigantic dinosaur model with its open jaws and gaping eye holes, you’ll realize that you’re in for a wild ride.
You’ll also learn a lot.
The museum doesn’t just throw animal skulls at you; it walks you through a recreation of the animal’s habitat and displays facts about the species on scrolling digital screens.
It doesn’t just use its mummies as a razzle-dazzle display; it takes the time to educate you on their culture, religion and birthplace as they rest in their tombs.
There are two ways to explore the Redpath Museum if you decide that you want to go.
The first is a self-guided tour, which is what most tourists do, and the second is an actual tour provided by one of the museum staff.
If you decide on the second option, it’ll cost you, and you’ll need to book it in advance.
However, the Redpath Museum is such a fantastic place to explore that the extra effort is worth it.
There’s a reason why we’re recommending it as one of the top destinations in Montreal, so spare no expense when it comes to enjoying it!
Address: 859 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3A 0C4, Canada
17. Saint Helen’s Island
It’s not within the city limits, but if you’re looking for the best things to do in Montreal, Saint Helen’s Island is just a quick trip to the south. You don’t even need to get on a boat.
Several bridges connect the greater Montreal area to the island, so you can walk, drive, bike or bus there without any problem.
Once you arrive, it’s just a question of what to see.
The Biosphere Environment Museum is covered with a gigantic, transparent dome; the Stewart Museum is tucked inside a heavily-equipped fortress that now functions as a historical site.
The Aquatic Complex is great for working up a sweat and diving into a pool to wash it off. If you want to visit the La Ronda amusement park, that’s on the island as well.
Do you like to party?
Saint Helen’s Island is the designated location for several well-known festivals, including the Osheaga Festival for indie music and the Montreal Fireworks Festival for pyrotechnical displays.
The latter is the largest fireworks festival in the world; three million people attend every year, and dozens of countries send representations to duke it out in elaborate fireworks competitions.
Not everything on Saint Helen’s Island is loud and flashy, however.
There are plenty of parks where you can grab a bottle of water and relax on a bench for a while, and the neat, clean sidewalks will lead you to all sorts of shopfronts.
It’s a very picturesque island. Many Montrealers use it to escape the everyday grind of the city.
Consider a trip to Saint Helen’s Island if you want a vacation destination that has a little bit of everything.
For the adrenaline junkies, there are fireworks and roller coasters; for the nature lovers and history buffs, there are museums and biodomes.
The best places don’t make you choose between activities. They let you have it all.
18. Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
Taking the place of the former Montreal Planetarium, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will help you travel to the furthest reaches of the galaxy from the comfort of a bean bag chair.
Do you like movies? Lie back in the darkness and immerse yourself in one of the planetarium’s space shows.
They take up the entire domed ceiling, and each star will look as big as a galaxy as they rush past you in a spectacular showcase of light, sound and motion.
Do you prefer something a little more hands-on? Visit the planetarium’s special astronomy exhibit.
You’ll be able to see, read and touch things up close instead of viewing them in a larger-than-life theater.
There are two main films offered by the planetarium, so you can choose which one is best for your particular field trip.
One film is factual and educational, and the other is a crazy explosion of special effects and cool space facts.
As you can imagine, the latter is more popular with children, but the former is a better complement for the astronomy exhibit.
Oh, and if you like travel tips, here’s a good one for you: The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is one of four facilities in something called “Space for Life.”
They’re a series of natural science buildings located within a few blocks of each other.
The other three facilities are comprised of the Biodome, Botanical Garden and Insectarium, so if you want to have an educational weekend trip, hit up all four facilities in a self-tour!
Address: 4801 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave, Montreal, QC H1V 3N4, Canada
19. Mary, Queen Of The World Cathedral
It’s hard to live up to a name like “Queen of the World,” but even setting aside the religious implications, this cathedral manages to be larger than life.
For starters, it’s one of the biggest cathedrals in Canada.
It measures 333 feet long, 252 feet high and 150 feet wide, and its architecture includes everything from a domed ceiling to a series of saintly statues towering over the main building.
Inside, you’ll find chapels, altars, prayer rooms, burial vaults and a dedicated baptistery.
The cathedral itself is beautiful enough to make your jaw drop.
Twisting columns come together over raised, wood-carved altars, and angels are painted over every wall, window and pew.
An old-fashioned organ is perfectly preserved in the main chapel.
When the sunlight hits the building, everything is infused with a warm bronze light that feels like it comes straight from heaven.
Additionally, the cathedral is home to a series of paintings and religious texts that hold great meaning in Catholic history.
The paintings depict the martyrdom of missionaries and the charity work of nuns; the texts are gold-lettered documents dedicated to saints.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral.
As long as you have an eye for beauty and awe for history, your heart will be moved at the sight of such an impressive cathedral.
Address: 1085 Rue de la Cathédrale, Montréal, QC H3B 2V3, Canada
20. Mile End
Mile End is a hip, trendy neighborhood that takes up several blocks in Montreal. It’s the go-to destination for things like wine bars, organic coffee shops and quirky fashion boutiques.
The best way to see Mile End is with a tour.
Cycling tours are popular; they’ll take you past parks and plazas where you can relax with your shopping bags under the sun.
Food tours are another way to get around; they’ll treat your taste buds to all kinds of pizza, sushi, gyros, bagels and scones.
Make sure to try some poutine, the most famous concoction to ever come out of Quebec!
If you have money to burn, Mile End is a great place to spend it. You’ll enjoy a wide range of everything from brand-name clothing outlets to independently-run stationary shops.
You can also support local artists by scooping up paintings and crafts that they hawk along the sidewalk.
Another benefit of Mile End is that it’s located on Saint Laurent Boulevard.
If you’re using the boulevard as your north star, you can walk travel to and from Mile End without losing your way.
It isn’t the biggest or busiest neighborhood in Montreal, but Mile End is a nice little gem with lots of things to see and do.
You can eat good food, talk with friendly people and buy some unique souvenirs that aren’t made and sold anywhere else.
Consider a stroll through Mile End if you want to live like a hipster for the weekend.
21. Montreal Casino
Travel guides don’t always mention the Montreal Casino since it isn’t exactly a family-friendly establishment.
If you’re traveling solo, however, or if you’re willing to leave the little ones with a babysitter, the Montreal Casino will let you indulge in some grown-up playtime.
Thousands of slot machines line the walls. Gaming tables offer everything from blackjack to baccarat.
Keno can be found on multiple floors, and there are special, dedicated areas for speed lotteries and virtual games.
When you want to take a break from gambling, other entertainment options are waiting for you.
A cabaret puts on shows every night. Three bars and four restaurants are available for wining, dining and dating.
There are even banquet facilities for locals who want to host luxury events at the casino.
You might be wondering about the size of the place. With such larger-than-life facilities, how big can the building possibly be?
The answer is that the Montreal Casino is actually three different buildings.
There are two main structures with multiple stories, and a third annex rests behind them. The main gaming floor is 525,00 square feet all by itself.
If you’re looking to have a grand experience in Canada, visit the Montreal Casino.
Its flashing lights and chiming music will welcome you as soon as you walk through the door, and its plush carpets, deep seats and cold beer will keep you happy as you try to hit the jackpot.
Address: 1 Avenue du Casino, Montréal, QC H3C 4W7, Canada
22. Montreal Clock Tower
Say goodbye to the city with a stop by the Montreal Clock Tower.
It’s one of the simpler things to do in Montreal, but it’s a nice way to round off your trip, and you can snap your last few pictures from 150 feet high.
The tower was originally built as a monument to fallen sailors. It’s sometimes referred to as “The Sailors’ Memorial Clock” for this reason.
The first stones were laid by King Edward VIII in 1919, and his original plans included a series of bells connected to the tower that would ring in commemoration for the soldiers every hour.
Things got in the way, however, and the bells were never built, and the tower morphed into more of a tourist attraction than a somber memorial.
Today, it’s just a fun thing for visitors to climb in order to see the city from a bird’s eye view.
There are exactly 192 steps to the top of the Montreal Clock Tower. If you’re willing to make the summit, you’ll enjoy bright, vivid views of the entire river and port.
You won’t even have to pay for the privilege; everything is free and open to the public.
No one wants to say goodbye to Montreal, but when you can’t put off the end any longer, bid au revoir from the top of the Montreal Clock Tower.
Address: 1 Clock Tower Quay St, Montreal, QC H2L 5C1, Canada
Start Planning Your Trip To Montreal
These are just a few places to visit in Montreal.
There are many more, of course; this list barely scratches the surface of a big, bustling city filled with events and activities as far as the eye can see.
You need to start somewhere, however, and these suggestions will take you to Montreal attractions that are truly worth visiting.
Some of them are popular, well-known places; others will send you off the beaten path or down an underground tunnel.
All of them will give you a great experience in Montreal. Happy travels!