fun things to do in Montreal, Canada

Montreal, Quebec is a vibrant cultural melting pot that attracts tourists from all around the world with its famous festivals, food, and nightlife. Even in the dead of winter, there’s no shortage of things to do in Montreal.

You’ll see Montrealers outside, dancing the cold away, at electronic music festivals, or gathering together at the sugar shack to indulge in sweets locally made from maple syrup. And have you ever tried poutine? It’s fries made with melted cheese curds and gravy. You’ll love it, we promise.

With an endless stream of events and activities taking over each season, pretty much every day, you’ll never grow bored in Montreal that’s for sure. From families visiting the Centre de la Nature to foodies getting their grub on at the extraordinary restaurants at Mile End, you can rest assured knowing that everyone will have something to experience in Montreal.

Whether you’re coming in for a day on the rides at La Ronde, a weekend at a festival, or a semester spent studying at McGill University, you’ll fall in love with Montreal and its endless activities.

1 – Go back in time in Old Montreal

Old Montreal walking tours

The gorgeous cobblestone streets in Old Montreal sit between a huge collection of old churches, fancy bars and restaurants, museums, and gift shops. And it’s right next to the famous old port.

It would be impossible to see everything there is to see in just one visit. Luckily, there are multiple walking tours available that will take you past iconic sites like the Notre Dame Basilica.

2 – See one of the most beautiful churches in the world, the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, Canada

The Notre-Dame Basilica is Montreal’s oldest church and one of the most beautiful churches in the entire world, and a must-see during any visit to the city.

Located right on the edge of Old Montreal, the vast gold and yellow halls of the church host incredible services and events year round. Choirs from all over the world come here to put on performances backed by the gorgeous sound of the organ.

Check out the Sightseeing Visit of the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and Aura Experience for a total immersion in this 19th-century architectural masterpiece.

3 – Ride La Grande Roue de Montreal and see the city from up high

La Grande Roue de Montreal

Yet another reason to visit Montreal’s Old Port is La Grande Roue, or in English, the giant wheel…A ferris wheel!

The ferris wheel reaches a height of 197 feet, so it’s a great way to see the St Lawrence river, Mount Royal, and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

La Grande Roue is open 7 days a week 365 days a year.

If you want, you can pre-book your tickets ahead of time for easier access, without waiting too long in line.

4 – Take a day trip to Quebec City and check out the majestic Montmorency Falls

Quebec City day trips from Montreal

Make sure to travel to Quebec City – the capital city of the province of Quebec! It is only about 3 hours away from Montreal, perfect distance for a quick day trip.

Much like Montreal, Quebec City is rich in history and culture, with gorgeous architecture everywhere and a vibrant arts scene.

And if you’re visiting Quebec City on a day trip from Montreal, one thing you must do is visit the waterfalls at Parc de la Chute Montmorency.

The Montmorency Falls rise to an astonishing height of 83 meters. You’ll be able to walk across them both from above and below, so don’t forget to bring your camera…And a raincoat!

5 – Get to key spots quickly on a bus tour

bus tours in Montreal

Hop-on hop-off bus tours are a popular way to leisurely check out big cities without having to adhere to a strict schedule, and Montreal offers them along with other types of bus tours in spades.

This is a great way to see all of downtown Montreal without having to walk from one end to the other or use public transportation, while still having the time to pick and choose your stops, like the trendy galleries inside the city’s famous Belgo Building on St Catherine Street.

6 – Go on a city tour with live commentary from a local expert

city tours in Montreal

St Joseph’s Oratory, The Old Port, Chinatown, these are just a few of the hundreds of things to see in Montreal. Trying to figure out what to see first can be daunting.

Luckily, the city offers a number of guided tours with live commentary. Whether it be by bus, on foot, or on the back of a scooter, there are plenty of ways to have experienced local experts guide you through the city’s most important attractions.

7 – See the gorgeous plants at the Montreal Botanical Garden

Montreal Botanical Garden, Canada

The Botanical Garden in Montreal is one of the largest and most unique collections of plant life.

It’s beloved by the locals, and its displays of roses, orchids, perennials, alpine plants, and more are frequented by thousands of tourists every year.

The Botanical Gardens are part of Espace Pour La Vie Montreal, which also includes the Insectarium, Biodome, Biosphere, and Planetarium.

Make sure to pre-book your tickets ahead of time, ensuring faster and easier access especially if you’re tight on time!

8 – Cruise around St Lawrence river on a boat tour

boat tours in Montreal

Montreal is an island situated on the St Lawrence River, so a boat tour around the city from the Old Port is a no-brainer. Learn the history behind the original fur trading post that helped Montreal become one of North America’s most vibrant cities.

See the Olympic Stadium, the Jacques Cartier Bridge, Habitat ’67, and the rest of Montreal’s unique architecture in one of the most unique possible ways.

9 – Ride around Montreal’s bike paths on a bike tour

bike tours in Montreal

Montreal actually has bike paths all over the city, so a bike tour is a very practical way to make it from one key location to the next.

Cruise through Mile End, the Plateau, Old Montreal, and the rest of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, and stop by Parc Jean Drapeau and see the Biosphere.

For the grownups, there are also wine tours that will guide you through some of the cities fanciest wineries and bars.

10 – See the city from the leaning Montreal Tower Observatory

Montreal Tower Observatory

One of Montreal’s most iconic sites is the Olympic Tower, otherwise known as Montreal Tower, the observatory that looms large over the city’s Olympic Stadium.

It is one of the city’s tallest structures, and it’s on an incline that bests France’s famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The structure is largely populated by offices, but the observatory is still open to the public, and there are plenty of other fun things to do and see in Montreal’s Olympic Park.

11 – Feel the music in a unique way at a Candlelight Concert

candlelight concerts in Montreal
credit to Candlelight Experience / Fever

Feel the music in an intimate way when you enter the ambient setting of a candlelight concert, taking place throughout different venues in Montreal.

Enjoy an evening listening to classical covers of some of the world’s most famous musicians, past and present. From Vivaldi to Hans Zimmer, ABBA, and Adele, there is sure to be a concert that will pique your interest, so make sure to have a look!

With the glow of hundreds of candles, settle into the ambiance for a unique music experience.

12 – Get a taste of Montreal’s cultural melting pot on a food tour

food tours in Montreal

Montreal is a melting pot of cultures and its food is world famous. It’s hard to decide what’s more iconic between the historic Jewish community and their smoked meat and bagel shops or the French Canadians and their delicious poutines.

Luckily, there’s no reason to choose! On a food tour in Montreal, you’re guaranteed to find the best poutine, smoked meat, bagels, and plenty of other delicious goodies.

13 – Sit front row at an exciting tennis match at the IGA Stadium

IGA Stadium, Montreal

Tennis and sports fans, this one is for you! Sit in for an exciting tennis match at IGA Stadium, typically taking place in August for the National Bank Open.

If no tennis games are on the agenda, then be the tennis star yourself, and book a court at the famed stadium, with your friends for an hour of exercise and perfecting that tennis technique.

Bookings and ticket purchases can be made online, so don’t miss out on the sport’s fun!

14 – Light a candle at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal

Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal

The largest domed cathedral in North America, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is a massive shrine built over a hundred years ago and dedicated to the memory of Saint Joseph.

Within its Votive Chapel is an awe-inspiring display of lit candles in front of an effigy of St Joseph. Visitors are welcome to light a candle in solidarity and prayer for someone they love. The top of the oratory is also a great place to see the city.

Sponsored placement

Watch a Star Wars parody unlike any other

Get ready for an out-of-this-world burlesque show that will transport you to a galaxy far, far away! The Empire Strips Back combines the seduction of burlesque with the excitement of sci-fi, bringing your favorite Star Wars characters to life in a whole new way. Whether you’re a devoted fan or just looking for a night of fun, don’t miss this spicy twist on the beloved saga!

15 – Drink maple syrup straight from the tree at a Cabane a Sucre

Cabane a Sucre, Montreal

The maple leaf on Canada’s flag isn’t random, and there are a number of sugar shacks surrounding Montreal where visitors are welcome to stop by and see how the country’s most delicious treat is made.

The hands-on nature experience offered at these shacks is one of a kind, as you’ll see how the trees get tapped all the way to how the delicious maple-soaked bacon is digested from your plate. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a performance from some local fiddle players. We dare you not to start dancing!

16 – Cruise the backstreets of Montreal’s neighborhoods on a scooter tour

scooter tours in Montreal

A scooter tour is a quick, environmentally friendly way to cruise through the backstreets of Montreal and see the neighborhood corners that some other tours won’t show you.

Ride around the Plateau, through Old Montreal, and stop by Jean Talon Market to peruse the local vendors’ merchandise.

See more, faster as the scooter tours use electric scooters, which are safe and effective to see the city.

Since Montreal never sleeps, these tours are offered during daytime ours and also well into the evening!

17 – See Montreal’s vibrant mural arts

art tours in Montreal

Montreal has a vibrant arts scene, and many of the city’s buildings are adorned with gorgeous artwork by professional graffiti artists.

A small section of Saint Laurent Boulevard alone is taken up by over 100 individual unique works of art.

You’ll also find murals dedicated to local heroes like Leonard Cohen and Jackie Robinson.

Going far beyond the art itself (which is worth seeing alone!) you’ll gain historical insight into the different neighborhoods and their communities based on their detailed art.

18 – Enjoy the healing treatments at the Nordic Spa Thermal Experience

spas in Montreal
Credit to Strøm Nordic Spa

While Montreal gets very cold in the winter, indulging in the rich spa experiences at the Nordic Spa Thermal Experience is a way to combat the cold temperatures.

Allow your muscles to relax in the thermal whirlpool hot tubs, release toxins from your body after a session in the Nordic-style sauna, withstand an icy dip in an ice bath, and feel the calming effects of a eucalyptus steam bath, and more.

Indulge in rejuvenation with these time-honored Nordic-style treatments.

19 – Join in a calming tea ritual at the Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden, Montreal

In the center of Montreal’s Japanese Garden is a pavilion designed by famed architect Hisato Hiraoka. A walk through the pavilion reveals an impressive display of Japanese art and history, culminating in a calming tea drinking ritual.

The rest of the garden is just as beautiful, and it’s part of the same natural museum complex that includes the Biodome, the Biosphere, and the Insectarium.

Visit earlier to beat the crowds, and peek at some of the resident fish and birds that come out to play then.

Sponsored placement

Journey to Egypt with The Horizon of Khufu immersive experience

The Horizon of Khufu has arrived in Montréal, offering an unparalleled journey back to the golden age of ancient Egypt. This is your chance to immerse yourself in the era of King Khufu and explore the iconic pyramids as they stood 4,500 years ago. A journey through time, offering education, entertainment, and the thrill of discovery all in one.

20 – Go on a hike through La Fontaine Park

La Fontaine Park, Montreal

All of the parks in Montreal are gorgeous, and La Fontaine Park in the Plateau is no exception. The park has hiking and biking trails, and it’s a great spot for a picnic in the summer.

Plan your picnic well, and even get a chance to catch the stunning, bright sunset fall behind the trees! If you’re lucky, a live concert will be taking place.

In the winter you can enjoy the park’s gorgeous scenery by going ice skating or sledding.

Directions in Google Maps

21 – See the Olympic Stadium from the sky on a helicopter tour

helicopter tours in Montreal

Another great way to take in Montreal is with a helicopter tour.

With the guidance and knowledge of your pilot spotting all the major sites for you, the experience to fly over Montreal is truly one of a kind to see the island at large and at once!

You’ll fly all around the island on a quick tour with a guide and see key spots like the Olympic Stadium, Parc Jean-Drapeau, and Mont Royal. Don’t forget to bring a camera!

22 – See why Montreal is famous for its beer on a craft brewery tour

beer tastings in Montreal

Just like fine food and good wine, Montreal has no shortage of delicious beer and people who brew it. There are so many, in fact, that a tour of some of the best craft breweries in the city’s Latin Quarter alone takes 3 hours.

Regardless of which Montreal neighborhood’s craft breweries you choose to visit, you’re guaranteed to find some delicious beer and good company as you learn about the city’s rich history.

23 – Visit the Old Port of Montreal

Old Port of Montreal

If you’re looking for something to do in Montreal, the Old Port should be your first stop. Go during the day to take in the gorgeous architecture, almost completely preserved over 150 years.

Stick around into the night to experience the vibrant social gatherings that happen here almost every night, summer or winter, since festivals like Igloofest take place here.

Plus, there’s a giant ferris wheel, and a thrilling, 85-foot zip line giving sight to some of Montreal’s best skyline views!

Directions in Google Maps

24 – Buy something delicious at Jean-Talon Market

Jean-Talon Market, Montreal

The Jean-Talon Market is just one more reason to pay a visit to Little Italy.

Considered to be one of Montreal’s oldest markets, this local farmer’s market has dozens of local vendors that sell honey, cheese, maple syrup, cured meats, and all kinds of other things.

Read their upcoming list of events, many of them related to food, from artisan cheese fairs to seasonal produce specials and more!

If you’re looking for something delicious, this is a good place to start.

25 – See the beautiful lakes at La Maurice National Park

La Maurice National Park, Montreal

Halfway between Montreal and Quebec City is La Maurice National Park, a huge nature reserve with over 150 lakes. The Park offers tree-top aerial tours, camping, biking, canyoning, and more.

Plus, it’s home to all kinds of exclusively Canadian animals like caribou and black bears, but don’t worry, you can just stay near all the fun attractions and events taking place throughout the year!

Make sure to sit on the famous Red Chairs, giving you a view of the most scenic spots in the park!

Directions in Google Maps

26 – See the Habs score a goal at the Bell Centre

Bell Center, Montreal

You can’t go to Canada and not experience witnessing a traditional hockey game at the Bell Centre! Cheer on the Montreal Canadiens against a variety of other teams when you book your tickets to an upcoming game, via the Bell Centre’s website.

While you’re there, make sure to also check out the other events and shows that take place in the arena, from WWE to Disney on Ice, and a variety of other shows not to miss out on!

27 – Discover the city’s mysteries with a scavenger hunt

scavenger games in Montreal

The narrow streets and preserved architecture of Old Montreal create the perfect atmosphere for an adventure-filled scavenger hunt.

Solve puzzles and find clues as you work your way through key locations like Ramesay Castle, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, and City hall.

Scavenger hunts are a great way to see Old Montreal whether you’re with a group of friends or traveling with family.

Best part of all is that they start as low as $3 USD – one of the least expensive ways to see the city!

28 – See the more than 45,000 unique pieces at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has numerous collections highlighting local and international contemporary art as well as mediums like sculpture and photography.

All in all, the museum boasts more than 45,000 unique pieces.

Step inside the Cinéma du Musée for various screenings of movies, mostly international, with English and French subtitles.

They change their featured exhibitions regularly and their events and activities calendar is always being updated, so make sure you check out their website before paying them a visit.

29 – Go dog sledding with the huskies

dog sledding in Montreal

Canadian winters can be tough, but Montrealers certainly don’t let the weather keep them inside. Many of the small towns that surround Montreal, like St Hyppolite and Tadoussac, have dog sledding installations that are open to the public all winter long.

You’ll be able to guide your very own team of friendly huskies through the snow. Most of these ecotourism installations offer other winter activities like snowshoeing and ice fishing.

30 – Score a perfect game at the Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl, Montreal

NDG isn’t one of Montreal’s most chic neighborhoods, but it does have at least one key location: The Rose Bowl.

This bowling alley is a Montreal staple for people of all ages. For the youth, they host birthday parties. For the teens, there’s a fully stocked arcade. And for the grownups, there’s a full bar complete with a pool table and video lottery machines.

It’s the perfect activity for the occasional rainy day you may experience in Montreal, so check admission ahead of time!

31 – Have breakfast at L’Avenue restaurant

L’Avenue restaurant, Montreal

Montreal has all kinds of breakfast restaurants, but L’Avenue is probably the best. Their hearty, delicious breakfast menu is sure to fill you up and leave you smiling all day.

Whether you go for breakfast or for brunch, locals recommend trying their eggs benedict, or their hearty french toast, along with their fresh fruit smoothies – each enchanting local’s palettes since 1994!

Come early or make a reservation though, because the restaurant’s popularity makes waiting times almost a guarantee otherwise.

32 – Hike in the beauty of Mont-Tremblant National Park

hiking in Montreal

Escape on a day trip to the beautiful Mont-Tremblant National Park, a less than 2-hour journey north of Montreal, for the ultimate nature getaway.

Enjoy panoramic views of the sprawling forest, glittering lakes, and of course, the lively wildlife, and so much more on your guided hike for a lesson in the local natural history. Depending on the season, you may even get a chance to take a dip in the lake!

Lastly, you’ll visit Mont-des-Cascades, a fun water park with various activities to do!

33 – Experience a hockey game at Place Bell

Place Bell, Montreal

Home of the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League, catch a number of hockey games take place at the Place Bell hockey arena, only a 30-minute drive from downtown Montreal.

Whether you support Montreal or other Canadian teams against the U.S. in their Hockey Canada Rivalry Series, or you want to go in to take advantage of their Free Skate sessions for some fun times on the ice, Place Bell always has something happening worth checking out.

34 – See animals from all over the world at Zoo de Granby

Zoo de Granby, Montreal

Zoo de Granby houses animals from all over the world, from hippos all the way to cheetahs and tigers. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch an animal’s birth while you’re there.

Like any other place in Montreal, the landscape of Zoo de Grandy changes between summer and winter, and so do the exhibits, so no two visits are likely to be the same.

Not just any zoo, Zoo de Granby also has a full amusement park, water park, and 3D movie theater on its grounds.

35 – See the statues at Parc Jean-Drapeau

Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal

Parc Jean-Drapeau is actually two man-made islands that were created to host Expo ’67. The gargantuan park features a man-made beach, a number of sports installations, historical sites, and a whole lot of gorgeous green space.

Every year, numerous festivals take place here, including the electronic music festival Picnik Electronic and the world famous Osheaga music and arts festival.

Parc Jean-Drapeau is also home to Montreal’s Six Flags amusement park, La Ronde.

36 – Go apple picking and get yourself a barrel of apples to take home

apple picking in Montreal

In the fall, the leaves change to incredible colors, the weather becomes perfectly brezzy, and the apples in Quebec’s orchards ripen. You’ll feel the anticipation mounting as you ride toward the apple trees on the hay truck.

Apple picking on a farm is as magical an experience as it sounds, and you’ll walk away with a pile of delicious natural candy to remember your experience by.

37 – Learn about the unique bagel making process

bagel making in Montreal

Montreal is famous for its bagels, and the city’s bagel making experts are willing to share their secrets with you. Learn exactly what it is that separates bagels from other breads along with the history of the Montreal Jewish community and the heritage that comes along with the delicious pastry.

This is a great way to get to know more about the Plateau and Mile End neighborhoods.

38 – Get a sample of the local berries on a wine tour

wine tours in Montreal

As one of North America’s oldest, busiest, and most European cities, Montreal is no stranger to fine wine, both local and imported.

There are no less than 21 wineries that surround Montreal, many of which are in the neighboring Eastern Townships.

A wine tour, or even just a tour of the city that includes wine or beer, is guaranteed to show you the most aromatic wine and spirits the city has to offer.

39 – Learn about bugs at the Insectarium

Insectarium, Montreal

Have you ever thought about just how different bugs look from place to place? The Montreal Insectarium has displays of bees, ants, butterflies, and all kinds of other creepy craws from all around the world, both live and dead.

While you’re learning about them, you might be tempted to try some of the incredibly unique food offered at the Insectarium. If you have the stomach for it, that is!

40 – See one of Montreal’s oldest streets, Rue Saint-Paul

Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal

Rue Saint-Paul is a staple of Old Montreal as it was one of the city’s first streets, which dates back to 1627 when it became the first paved street in Montreal! Landmarks like the Bonsecours Market and the Notre-Dame De-Bonsecours Chapel are located on this street.

While walking the historic street, you’ll find a number of boutique shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants, and more!

The architecture that you’ll find here is some of the most beautiful that the city has to offer.

Directions in Google Maps

41 – Climb to the rooftop restaurant at Place Ville Marie

Place Ville Marie, Montreal

Place Ville Marie is a gorgeous business campus situated right in the heart of downtown Montreal. Outside of its private offices, it houses a number of shops and restaurants, one of which happens to be on the roof.

Open every day, even during the winter, be sure to make your reservation ahead of time for this popular drinks spot!

Get a gorgeous view of the city from the observatory before you dine on exquisite cuisine at Les Enfrants Terribles, Montreal’s most elevated restaurant.

42 – Snowshoe through Mount Royal Park

snowshoeing in Montreal

No matter the time of day, the well-groomed trails around this sprawling space are a haven for snowshoers… and a great way to get a dose of nature in the big city!

During the day, you can solve riddles and try to spot some of the many local animals going about their daily routines; at night, you’ll have the amazing spectacle of the snow glittering under stars and lights, along with great trivia to enjoy with each step.

Take in all of the joys of this winter wonderland!

43 – Yell GOAL! at a soccer game at Stade Saputo

Stade Saputo, Montreal

Bring your team’s colors or buy a soccer jersey to support CF Montreal or your favorite soccer team when you head to Stade Saputo for an exciting soccer game in Montreal!

With a capacity of 19,619 seats, and accessible via public transportation, Stade Saputo is the place to be for a sports lover, or for the culturally curious for a look into how passionate Montrealers get for their team.

Tickets can be purchased on their website, so head there to score your seats!

44 – Find hidden culinary treasures in Little Italy

Little Italy, Montreal

Little Italy is a small Montreal neighborhood, but it’s one you’ll want to pay a visit to if you love delicious food or exquisite art.

With various events taking place that residents shut down the streets, you may walk into a community celebration, so visit and stay a while after devouring the delicious food!

Located just north of the downtown area, the neighborhood is full of quaint cafes, authentic Italian restaurants, and art boutiques. Get ready to be charmed off your feet!

Directions in Google Maps

45 – Journey to Laval and see Le Centre de la Nature

Le Centre de la Nature in Laval, Montreal

Le Centre de la Nature in Laval is a sprawling city park with a pool, a playground, tons of adorable wildlife, and activities for all four seasons.

On the park’s premises, there’s even a collection of tropical plants that form a small rainforest display.

It’s the perfect spot to have a picnic and spend a day with the family, and if you’re visiting in the winter, hit the ice rink for some spins, go tubing, or find your way through the ice maze!

46 – Find out why Château Ramezay is one of the 1001 things to see before you die

Château Ramezay, Montreal

Chateau Ramezay is both a museum and historic monument located in Old Montreal. They have a specialty for recreating life the way it was hundreds of years ago, when Montreal was nothing but a small settlement.

The museum was named by a group of UNESCO experts as one of the 1001 sites to see before you die.

After browsing the exhibits inside, head towards the small, yet beautiful garden to admire the beautiful plants and reflect on the exhibits a bit.

47 – Feel like you’re really in the rainforest at the Biodome

Montreal Biodome

Montreal’s Biodome is a truly unique experience that offers accurate recreations of exotic ecosystems like the rainforest and the arctic.

You’ll be able to walk through animal habitats as if you were in the wild. It’s so big that it qualifies as the largest natural science museum in Canada.

Open every day of the year except for Mondays, admission starts at $22 CAD and children $11.50 CAD. Be sure to visit the Biodome during one of the many events that take place!

48 – Learn about the universe at Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan

Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan, Montreal

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is another great reason to pay a visit to the Montreal Olympic Park.

They have a number of regular shows that display things like the history of the solar system and the Aurora Borealis in the North Pole.

They’re also located extremely close to the Montreal Biodome, so you can literally explore every known environment between the deepest jungle and outer space, all in the span of an afternoon.

49 – Have a delicious meal in Chinatown

Chinatown, Montreal

You’ll know you’ve reached Montreal’s Chinatown by the giant, ornate arch that stands in the middle of the road to mark its entrance.

Within these few blocks, you’ll find exquisite restaurants and shops that all offer the finest imported ingredients. The shops are also full of knick-knacks directly from China that you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

Explore the city in depth (and try the delicious food!) on a walking and food tour of Chinatown with a local!

50 – See the beautiful art deco buildings at Place-d’Armes

Place-d’Armes, Montreal

Right on the outskirts of Old Montreal, Place-d’Armes is a square full of historical statues and beautiful art deco buildings. You’ll even be able to see the first location of the Bank of Montreal, Canada’s oldest banking institution.

Considered to be Montreal’s 2nd largest public site, find everything from musicians to the grand Notre Dame.

Place-d’Armes and the metro station underneath it are also right next to Chinatown, making it a perfect starting location day adventure as well as a meeting spot.

Directions in Google Maps

51 – See majestic indigenous animals at the Ecomuseum Zoo

Ecomuseum Zoo, Montreal

Located only a short distance from downtown Montreal, the Ecomuseum Zoo is dedicated to showcasing the local critters that call Quebec home.

See majestic animals like red foxes, snowy owls, river otters, and bald eagles. The animals are all treated with the highest ethical standards, and the zoo’s staff even takes part in animal rescue missions.

Check out the family events calendar for some wildly fun times with the animals, from breakfast with the otters to being a zookeeper for the day.

52 – See Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel at the Marguerite Bourgeoys historic site

Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, Montreal

Marguerite Bourgeoys is an important person in Quebec history, both as an educator and as a leader, and the Marguerite Bourgeoys historic site, with the museum and chapel, is dedicated to her memory.

The chapel itself is over 350 years old, and sits atop the ruins of the first chapel ever built in Montreal.

If you’re looking to learn about Montreal’s history, this is a great place to start.

53 – See why Saint Laurent Boulevard is the beating heart of the city

Saint Laurent Boulevard, Montreal

Saint Laurent Boulevard is one of Montreal’s longest and most important streets.

At its center is a dense collection of bars, restaurants, shops, boutiques, and apartments that make up the heart of the Plateau neighborhood.

Nicknamed “The Main” – taking a stroll through this street will show you one of the many authentic sides of Montreal, through the diversity of its eateries and attractions.

Whether you’re here during the night or during the day, you’re always guaranteed to find something to do.

Directions in Google Maps

54 – Jet Ski your way around the iconic Saint Lawrence River

jet ski in Montreal

Hop on a jet ski adventure that will take you through the waters of the iconic Saint Lawrence River, showing you a different side of Montreal, from the water.

Since Montreal is an island, a jet ski tour will give you an overall view and image of Montreal in a way you won’t get anywhere else.

You’ll be able to choose your hour of departure for the 1-hour experience, so make a splash and catch sight of Montreal’s most iconic buildings from the water!

55 – Go paddle boating on Beaver Lake in Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park, Montreal

Mount Royal Park, fittingly located on the mountain from which Montreal gets its name, is so big it has a lake in it. Beaver lake is not only a perfect place for a picnic, but also offers paddle boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter.

Besides the lake, the park is filled with hiking trails, historical monuments, and gorgeous lookout points.

Want to see more of the park? Book a fat tire tour to ride throughout Mount Royal!

56 – Find whatever you need in the Underground City

Underground City, Montreal

The Underground City in Montreal is actually a bit of a misnomer since nobody actually lives there. It’s actually a large series of interconnected shopping centers which link to numerous stops along with Montreal’s underground subway system.

Specialty shops, tailors, movie theaters, food courts – you name it, you’ll find it here. During the Holiday season, the city truly transforms into a wonderland with decorations and special events.

57 – Go fishing or surfing at Parc des Rapides

Parc des Rapides, Montreal

Parc Des Rapides gets its name because it’s located right next to the rapids on the Lachine Canal.

It’s a great spot to go fishing, do some bird watching to see over 200 different bird species, including the beautiful Great Heron, and you can even go surfing if the water is angry enough.

Keep in mind that water sports require a reservation ahead of time!

Like most parks in Montreal, it’s also a great spot to spend an afternoon having a picnic.

Directions in Google Maps

58 – Learn about society’s relationship with nature at the Biosphere

Biosphere, Montreal

The Biosphere in Montreal has the uniquely specific mission of studying the relationship between society and the environment.

Built for Expo ’67, the structure alone is worth the visit; it’s a giant, open sphere created with interconnecting metal triangles.

While it’s not huge, it does have quite a few regular science displays and art exhibits, and it lights up at night. Plus, it’s right in the center of the massive Parc Jean-Drapeau, only a short walk from the metro station.

59 – Ride the roller coasters at La Ronde

La Ronde Six Flags, Montreal

Spending a day at La Ronde is one of the best things to do in Montreal, especially if you’re traveling with a family.

Some of the most thrilling roller coasters in the world call this park home, like The Monster, which to this day is almost entirely constructed of Wood, or The Boomerang, which flips you upside down twice, and then does it again, only backwards.

During the summer, the park hosts regular fireworks displays from countries around the world, along with other family friendly events.

60 – Beat the wintertime blues with some ice climbing

ice climbing in Montreal

You really can try just about everything in the city… even scaling a hunk of ice!

Right in the middle of town at Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Montreal Icefall is a magnificent waterfall – half, natural, half constructed – that will give you plenty of climbing practice in a safe, supportive environment.

Set your sights on the summit and begin your adventure!

61 – See where Canada’s brightest minds are educated at McGill University

McGill University, Montreal

McGill University is one of Canada’s most respected universities. They have world-class library and museum facilities as well as student bars, and there are often events, workshops, and activities for youths on their campus.

Take a stroll through campus and its beautiful tree-lined walkways, taking in the architecture of the university, dating back to the early 19th century.

The area around the university is representative of Montreal’s social scene, so a view of its massive campus is hard to avoid during a visit.

62 – Learn from Ph.D. students at the Redpath Museum

Redpath Museum, Montreal

McGill University is well-known as being one of the best universities in North America, and the Redpath Museum on its campus is world class. Exhibits include pretty much everything you’d expect, from dinosaur fossils to ancient Egyptian mummies to the study of deep sea life.

If you’re looking to learn everything you can about world history from top experts, this is one stop you won’t want to skip.

63 – Jolt along in a Jeep

jeep tour in Montreal

Just an hour from the city, you’ll find a world as empty and secluded as any in the true wilderness – and when you climb aboard a sightseeing Jeep, the adventure will get even wilder!

Bounce through creek beds and mud banks, up hills, and through winding, mysterious roads; and better yet, you can even be the driver!

64 – See Quebec’s third largest church, Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral

Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, Montreal

Located right next to the Fairmount Hotel is Mary, Queen of the World and St. James the Great Cathedral, Quebec’s third largest church.

It’s actually a replica of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and it was designated as a minor basilica in 1919.

The gorgeous stained glass windows and Italian marble construction are definitely worth checking out.

Mass is usually held every day as early as 7:30 AM through 5:00 PM, but be sure to check online for updated times!

Directions in Google Maps

65 – See the impressive collection at Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC)

Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal

The MAC boasts an impressive collection of contemporary art by Quebecois and Canadian artists, including 55 works done by renowned artist Paul-Émile Borduas. Their calendar of events and workshops updates frequently.

Visiting in the winter? Want to escape the cold for a bit? Step into the MAC for one of its many indoor activities, from educative seminars to film screenings, art-making sessions, and more!

They also maintain a number of outdoor exhibits situated at different locations around the city.

66 – Shop the unique boutiques at Marché Bonsecours

Marché Bonsecours, Montreal

Located in Old Montreal and open all year round, Marche Bonsecours has over a dozen unique specialty boutiques, all dedicated to selling products made in Quebec.

There are also a number of chic restaurants and terraces where you can sit and enjoy the sites and sounds of one of Montreal’s most frequented neighborhoods during the warmer months.

The market’s prime location put it within walking distance from the underground subway as well as a number of busses.

67 – See the picturesque Lachine Canal National Historic Site

Lachine Canal National Historic Site, Montreal

Aptly located in the neighborhood of Lachine, the Lachine Canal is a small but picturesque body of water that’s surrounded by parks and other public areas.

It often plays host to festivals and community activities. It has a central biking and jogging path, the water is open in the summer for activities like swimming and boating.

Get your steps in walking the Winter Trail, and then see local children learn how to cross-country and ice skate, or bring your kids to join in!

Directions in Google Maps

68 – See the F1 Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal

For decades, The Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada has hit the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit every single summer. It’s an electrifying tradition that brings people from all over the world to watch the races as well as hit Montreal’s downtown nightlife.

When it’s not being taken over by race cars, the track is usually open to be walked along, and there are a number of works of art and activities that can be accessed from there. Otherwise, it plays host to other sporting events like cycling or skating.

69 – Trace the evolution of humankind at the McCord Museum

McCord Museum, Montreal

The McCord Museum is dedicated to collecting objects, images, and documents that could be considered firsthand accounts of key moments in Canadian history.

You’ll be able to see the evolution of modern fashion and industry over 300 years, as well as the indigenous culture that dates back far longer.

The museum offers a number of activities and events and even offers outdoor tours for an even more in depth experience.

70 – Stay the night at Complexe Desjardins

Complexe Desjardins, Montreal

Complexe Desjardins is a collection of four tall, sleek structures that touch on the corners of some of downtown’s most vibrant streets and make up a shopping complex as well as a hotel and a series of offices.

A perfect escape from the cold with loads of entertainment options, the Complexe Desjardins is open every day from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

It’s loosely connected to Montreal’s underground city and has easy access to the subway system.

71 – Get lost in the best way possible on Saint-Catherine Street

Saint-Catherine Street, Montreal

Montreal’s downtown nightlife is second to none, and right at the heart of it is Rue Sainte-Catherine.

While you’re never likely to find parking here, the street is filled with pubs, restaurants, movie theaters, clothing boutiques, hobby shops, and just about anything else you can think of.

Visit the shops, and stay for the endless entertainment that floods the famed street, from musicians to magicians, and more!

You’ll also find multiple entrances to the world famous underground city on this street.

Directions in Google Maps

72 – Cool off on a water slide at Super Aqua Club

Super Aqua Club, Montreal

Super Aqua Club is one of Canada’s best waterparks. You could spend an entire day there and still not get the chance to hit every attraction.

There’s a wave pool, a lazy river, a giant pirate ship for the kids, and of course, exhilarating rides like twisters and the dropoffs. There are also all kinds of food kiosks and other shops on the premises.

Don’t want to get in the water? Take the kids to the playground, or lounge on the sandy beach!

73 – See why Mile End is one of Montreal’s most multicultural neighborhoods

Mile End, Montreal

There are few neighborhoods that represent Montreal’s cultural melting pot better than Mile End. Instead big box stores and chain restaurants, Mile End is filled with family owned businesses, eateries that serve food from all over the world, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

It’s also filled with intimate live music venues – you’re never too far from a show on any given night.

Directions in Google Maps

74 – Do a bit of Snowmobiling at Morency Lake

snowmobile in Montreal

Get a different picture of Montreal, only a swift hour’s drive north from the city, where the landscape shows you its beautiful glittering sights of frozen lakes, snow-covered trees, and stunning mountains as you get on your snowmobile for a thrilling spin.

Lasting anywhere from 1-8 hours (up to you!) you’ll be receiving a safety briefing and all the necessary tools to make for a fun, exciting, and safe experience.

Be sure to book ahead for this one, and dress warmly based on their suggestions!

75 – Try a poutine at La Banquise

La Banquise, Montreal

Quebec is famous for its poutine (a mix of fries and cheese curds melted over with gravy), and there are few places in the world that do poutine better than La Banquise.

They have the traditional version on their menu, of course, but for the truly adventurous, La Banquise offers options with ground beef, sausage, different combinations of vegetables, and even spaghetti sauce.

Stop by any time, really, as La Banquise is open 24 hours a day, and no reservations are required.

76 – Have fun in the cold Canadian winter, Montreal style at Montréal en Lumiére

Montréal en Lumière, Canada
Credit to Montréal en Lumière

From top-notch restaurants to a fun time on the ice rink, or as a fun excuse to see how Montrealers get down in the winter for fun, you must visit Montréal en Lumiére, taking place between February 16th – March 5th.

Brimming with countless fun activities to take part in, Montréal en Lumiére is like a big winter party, bringing out even the most sensitive to cold for a few hours of live music, incredible chef-created food options, carnival-style games, and ice skating.

77 – Take cues from history at the Montreal Holocaust Museum

Montreal Holocaust Museum

Montreal has a deep, rich, entrenched Jewish community that goes back for generations, so the holocaust is very personal to the people of this Canadian city.

The permanent exhibitions at Montreal Holocaust Museum are separated into three categories: life before the war, life during the Nazi regime, and the rebuilding of Jewish life after the Holocaust.

They also have a large collection of testimonials and authentic items from inside the camps.

78 – Go canoeing down Assomption River

canoeing in Montreal

Grab your paddles and hop on a canoe for an adventure down Assomption River, only a 45-minute drive north of Montreal.

Perfect for families, friends, or even just you if you’re traveling solo, head north for the perfect, adventurous nature activity on Assomption River, which is around 6 kilometers in total.

When planning your canoe experience, double-check their list of suggested items to bring for a successful experience.

Canoe and kayak rentals are available online, so book yours ahead of time!

79 – Test your critical thinking skills in an Escape Room with your friends

escape rooms in Montreal

Be the hero who saves the city from a crazy mad scientist, and more when you book your escape room experience at A/Maze that feels so real, it’s surprising!

Explore the different sorts of themed escape rooms at Escaparium, and with many locations throughout Montreal, you can rest assured that no one theme is repeated in all locations.

Feel like you’re in Montreal even when playing an escape room, with the themed experiences that are based on real, historical events that happened in Montreal at EZKAPAZ.

80 – Climb aboard life-sized pirate ships at Voiles en Voiles

Voiles en Voiles, Montreal

Located in Montreal’s Old Port, Voiles en Voiles is an adventure-themed amusement park with a collection of life-sized pirate ships just waiting to be explored.

In the summer, they offer obstacle course and inflatable games, as long as a full-on archery tag arena.

During the winter, they have tube sliding and snow scooter, and the archery tag arena is still open. Plus, you can wind down with a hot drink after a full day of activities.

81 – Dive into a massive swimming pool at Olympic Park

Olympic Park, Montreal

See the famous leaning Montreal Tower. Check out the gigantic Olympic Stadium, big enough to hold 60,000 screaming fans. Dive into the massive pool.

All of this and more awaits you at Montreal’s Olympic Park, constructed in the early ’70s to host the 1976 Olympic Games.

82 – Play some volleyball at Parc Jeanne Mance

Parc Jeanne Mance, Montreal

Across the street from Mount Royal is Jeanne Mance Park. Although it’s dwarfed by the mountain, it is by no means a small park.

It’s got a huge tennis court, a pool, a full sized playground, a baseball diamond, and plenty of room for sitting on a picnic blanket on the grass. It’s also got a full volleyball court, sand included!

Burn the poutine on your walk to the park from downtown, only a 30-minute journey, winding through the scenic neighborhoods!

83 – See the world’s largest permanent collection of Barbie dolls, the Barbie Expo

Barbie Expo, Montreal

If you’ve ever wondered where the largest permanent exhibit of Barbie dolls is, wonder no more!

The Barbie Expo in Montreal has hundreds of Barbie dolls from all across the toy’s rich and complex history, all perfectly restored to pristine condition. See the evolution of the famed doll, as well as the history of its invention, and just how much Barbie has changed the world through the interesting exhibits.

The exhibit is open 7 days a week and is free to the public.

84 – Catch an outdoor show at Quartier des Spectacles

Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal

In the summertime, Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles is absolutely the place to be. When the weather gets hot, the neighborhood’s bars, restaurants, and outdoor spaces all become flooded with people enjoying back to back festivals like Just for Laughs, Jazzfest, and Les Francofolies.

But don’t fret, you will definitely find more than a few winter activities awaiting you if that is when you’re set to visit Montreal!

Day or night, there isn’t a moment between June and September where something isn’t happening here.

85 – Visit the unique Museum of Archaeology and History at Pointe-à-Callière

Museum of Archaeology and History at Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal

Of all the museums and historical sites in Old Montreal, Pointe-a-Calliere is probably the most comprehensive, and it’s the only substantial archeological museum in all of Canada.

Their permanent exhibitions include Where Montréal Began, Memory Collector, Building Montréal, Crossroads Montréal, Archaeo-Adventure and Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers?

They’ve also hosted over 60 temporary exhibits since opening, going through three or four every single year.

Adult tickets are $26 CAD, but If you’re traveling as a family, you may qualify for the family package!

86 – Get even more rugged on an ATV tour

quad tour in Montreal

From the lush forests to the wild slopes of the Laurentian area, the great outdoors beckons…. And a quad or ATV will certainly get you there in style!

These vehicles let you take charge of the adventure and get into all sorts of (structured) mischief, while still enjoying the safety and stability of a large vehicle.

Find the grid, then go way, way off of it!

87 – Find Montreal’s best bars on a pub crawl

pub crawl in Montreal

Montreal’s nightlife is legendary, and many of the neighborhoods are absolutely full of bars and pubs. There’s Bishop & Bagg in Mile End, La Distillerie and their famous mason jar cocktails, Bar Le Mal Necessaire and their tiki bar atmosphere, and so many more.

Hit up Milky Way for a funky and moody vibe, where you can indulge in their equally unique drinks that play with various flavor infusions.

Head to Turbo Haus, for a slightly fancier affair and elevated drinks, considered to be Montreal’s first-ever watering hole for all the curious history buffs.

Thankfully, there are pub crawls all the time in Montreal, so you won’t have to worry about hitting the best spots.

88 – Hit a frozen lake and go ice fishing

ice fishing in Montreal

It is legal to go ice fishing on just about any lake in Quebec, so if you’ve ever wanted to try this unique winter activity, a visit to Montreal could be the chance you’re looking for. If you’re a first timer and want to see how others do it, you can head to the St Lawrence river right in the city’s Old Port.

Or, you could head to a quieter lake in one of the small surrounding towns and enjoy the peace and quiet that only a Quebec winter can provide.

89 – Dance and sing the night away at the amazing festivals in Montreal

amazing festivals in Montreal

Igloofest is one of Montreal’s most iconic festivals where you can dance away the cold in minutes, with the sound of electronic music. Just for Laughs Festivals is a comedy show worth checking out, featuring some of Montreal and Canada’s best comedians.

Visit the world’s largest jazz festival, located in Montreal at The Montreal Jazz Festival for an evening of jazz, blues, and more, for free.

Les Francofolies de Montreal is a summer music event that happens in June, centered around French-speaking performers of all sorts, while Piknic Electronik offers a wild good time from May to October that focuses on good music and human connection.

90 – Learn about the darker side of Montreal on a Haunted Griffintown tour

ghost tours in Montreal, Canada

Griffintown is currently an up and coming Montreal area full of trendy bars and restaurants, but its history is checkered with tragedy, disaster…and juicy ghost stories.

Find out the secrets behind wild conspiracy theories, the urban legend behind a well-known headless call girl, and the horror of Black ’47, all from an enthusiastic expert guide.

If you have a love of history with a twinge of the macabre, the darker side of Montreal awaits you.

91 – Taste the famous smoked meat at Schwartz’s Deli

Schwartz’s Deli, Montreal

You haven’t truly experienced Montreal unless you’ve stood in line to taste the world famous smoked meat at Schwartz’s.

Established all the way back in 1928, Shcwartz’s has been a staple of Saint Laurent Boulevard for almost 100 years.

Their smoked meat sandwiches and special “Montreal Steak” seasoning – which they claim to have started, are amongst some of the things to try at the popular deli!

A staple of Montreal’s vibrant Jewish heritage, the huge sandwiches at Schwartz’s are nothing short of legendary.

92 – Try your luck at Casino Montreal

Casino Montreal

One of the city’s key leisure spots, Casino Montreal is open every day well into the evening. They’ve got all the staples in terms of games (Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, etc) and their service is worldclass.

They’re located on Notre Dame Island, and there are always shuttles available to and from the casino.

Explore beyond the slots, and enjoy an evening of endless entertainment with the shows put on by the Cabaret du Casino. From performances to stand-up comedy, theater, and more!

93 – Find endless entertainment ideas at the best venues in Montreal

Casa Del Popolo, Montreal

For a classical evening of symphonic music stylings, head towards Place Des Artes, to listen to the talented Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.

For those looking for an evening of laughs at a stand-up comedy show, check out the shows at Olympia Theatre, a once 1925 film theatre turned live arts theatre, as well as L’Etoile Banque Nationale.

Catch a play or film at the fancy Theatre Hector-Charland, or an amazing music concert at the prestigious and historic Corona Theatre. Le Balcon features jazz and Motown music concerts, while Le Studio TD is a musical mix of electronic to sing-a-long concerts.

How to get to Montreal?

The main airport in Montreal is the Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, and since there is no direct subway train to take you downtown, the second best way to get to your hotel anywhere in Montreal is via an airport transfer.

Without delay, your airport transfer will be awaiting you when you arrive, ensuring a swift journey to your hotel in 25 minutes.

Where to stay in Montreal?

Enjoy your time in Montreal when you stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal, featuring close proximity to St. Catherine, Montreal’s premiere shopping street, as well as Chinatown. Enjoy clean amenities and modern decor, with city or garden views.

Get more space for your money at L’Appartement Hôtel, only a 10-minute from Place-de- Armes and Notre Dame Basilica. Offering a rooftop pool, sundeck, gym, and sauna facilities, you can rest assured knowing you’ll have a great stay there.

Le Square Phillips Hôtel & Suites offers a free breakfast spread for their guests every morning before heading out for the adventures that the city holds. Enjoy close proximity to Old Montreal, strong wifi for those on business, and laundry facilities onsite.

Choose between a lush garden view or a skyline view at Hotel Bonaventure Montreal, especially from the rooftop terrace. Don’t have dinner plans? The hotel offers gourmet restaurants onsite!

Visiting Montreal on a budget?

Maximize your budget and learn the lay of the land, as you gain a fascinating insight into the history of Montreal when you book yourself in for a free walking tour of the city.

Walk alongside a passionate and knowledgeable bilingual tour guide, as you get a first-hand look at the must-see spots and get local recommendations for where to eat.

Where to go next?

Once you’ve explored Montreal, and you’ve gone on those nearby multi-day trips, check out all the best places to visit in Canada, starting with the most French city in Canada – Québec City.

From strolling down the magnificent Old Town of Québec City, or getting a bird’s eye view of the city on the panoramic funicular ride, you’ll surely fall in love with Québec’s charm!

Ottawa stuns visitors with culture and fun from an educative, yet interesting tour of Parliament Hill, to a cruise down the historic and UNESCO-recognized Rideau Canal.

Enjoy the big city vibes in Toronto, from a daredevil experience hanging from the ledge at the CN Tower to a lovely tour of the Distillery District for some local goodies to bring home.

Niagra Falls enchants visitors with its magnificent, roaring cascade, but how about seeing it all from the thrilling WildPlay MistRider Zipline or the Airplane Helicopter Tour? Take your pick!

Final thoughts

What are you waiting for? Are you thinking of booking your trip to Montreal soon? We hope that our list of the best things to do in Montreal has inspired you to take the trip to the city that is both the home of Cirque du Soleil and the first summer Olympics in Canada.

Don’t forget to try some poutine!

Happy travels!

Syd Ghan, our globetrotting expert based in Montreal, has journeyed across North America, Europe, and Australia. Passionate about uncovering hidden gems, Syd ensures TourScanner readers get the most current and captivating insights on destinations worldwide.