10 Cool Things to do in Montreal

The largest city in Canada’s Quebec province is Montreal, a cultural city on an island in the Saint Lawrence River.

The city is a blend of several former villages that have now merged to form various neighborhoods of Montreal. Montreal is a half days drive from several major cities along the U.S. East Coast, including New York and Boston, making it an ideal getaway destination.

Montreal Canada - People walking on Saint Denis street in Montreal's Plateau Mont Royal in Quebec region

The French culture and architecture of Montreal will have you wondering if you’ve traveled to Europe instead of Canada.

Make sure to get our Montreal Attraction Pass which gives you access to 23 must-see touristic and cultural attractions within a 72-hour period. Below we have listed 10 cool things to do in Montreal

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Mont Royal

At the heart of Montreal is Mont Royal, a large hill with three peaks that provide recreational opportunities for Montreal residents and visitors. It also provides a navigational reference point when getting around the city.

If you’re looking for exercise, start with the 400 steps to the top of Mount Royal, then explore the miles of walking paths and trails. Beaver Lake is a particularly scenic spot, with a playground and sports rentals, plus ice skating in the winter.

The Mont Royal lookout is the perfect spot for a panoramic photo of Montreal, and the summit can be reached by walking, biking, bus or private car. This is also where you’ll find one of Canada’s largest churches, St Joseph’s Oratory.

The copper dome makes this a beautiful spot for photography, especially in the fall when leaves are changing color.

Recommended tours:

Montreal Canada - St Joseph's Oratory on Mont Royal with statue in Quebec region city

Old Montreal

The heart of Montreal, and the oldest neighborhood, is Old Montreal. With history dating back to the 17th century fur trade, Old Montreal is like stepping back into Europe.

Cobblestone streets and French-speaking shopkeepers make this area a must-see when you visit Montreal. Make sure you visit Notre Dame Bon-Secours, an absolutely stunning church in Old Montreal.

Several Montreal museums are also located in Old Montreal, including history museums Chateau Ramezay and Pointe-a-Calliere, and the Montreal Science Center.

In the summer, Old Montreal streets are filled with festivals, while winter brings Christmas markets and Igloofest. Of course, with so many things to do in Old Montreal, you’ll have many choices of restaurants, pubs and cafes, as well as hotels and B&B’s.

Recommended tours:

Montreal, Canada Old Port of Montreal and Bonsecours Market at dusk

Olympic Park

Montreal hosted the summer Olympics in 1976 and the facilities remain today, with many attractions for visitors to Montreal. The Montreal Biodome was originally a velodrome that now houses four ecosystem replicas.

The Biodome is currently closed for upgrades, but will reopen in the summer of 2019. The Olympic Park Esplanade hosts events year-round, including food truck festivals and a winter village with ice skating.

Sporting events still take place at the Olympic Stadium, and the Olympic swimming pools are now open to the public.

The Montreal Tower is the tallest leaning tower in the world, and can be ascended via glass funicular. This is also where you’ll find the Montreal Planetarium.

Recommended tours:

MONTREAL,CANADA The Montreal Olympic Stadium tower. It's the tallest inclined tower in the world.Tour Olympique stands 175 meters tall and at a 45-degree angle. The most renowned and spectacular of the Olympic Park buildings

Botanical Garden

Not far from Olympic Park, the Montreal Botanical Garden is one of the most popular things to do in Montreal, and is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world.

Nearly 200 acres of themed gardens and greenhouses. The Chinese and Japanese gardens are particularly noteworthy, along with Garden of Lights, an annual lighted lantern display from September to October.

If you visit Montreal in winter, some of the outdoor paths are transformed into cross-country ski trails.

Recommended tours:

MONTREAL CANADA Montreal's botanical garden is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world due to the extent of its collections.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Montreal’s largest museum is a must for art connoisseurs. The collection spans five pavilions, and receives more than one million visitors per year.

An interesting mix of permanent exhibits and traveling collections present art from several eras, in addition to an open air sculpture park.

First Nations art is also highlighted, alongside Picasso, Matisse and Chihuly. Be sure to grab a map as the labyrinth of buildings and underground passageways can be difficult to navigate.

MONTREAL QUEBEC CANADA - : Sherbrooke Street West with the Facade of the Montreal Museum of Fine Art.


Hockey is practically a religion in Canada, so if you haven’t experienced a Canadian hockey match, you should definitely include one in your Montreal itinerary.

The National Hockey League team is the Montreal Canadiens, and the season runs from October to April.

You can catch smaller hockey leagues and pickup games throughout the city at local parks, or find a hockey bar to watch the big screen.

Scramble at the net. Owen Sound Greys vs Elmira Sugar Kings Ontario Hockey League game. Owen Sound Ontario Canada.

La Fontaine Park

One of Montreal’s best public parks, Parc La Fontaine has something for everyone. Located in the trendy Plateau neighborhood, Parc La Fontaine has two ponds, and is one of the top ice skating spots in Montreal.

In summer, music concerts, theater performances and family activities fill the park. There’s a bistro in the park, or you can stop by one of Montreal’s many markets and pick up a picnic lunch.

Recommended tours:

Montreal Canada - Green fountain and lake in La Fontaine Park in Quebec region city during summer

Marche Jean Talon

Montreal has many public markets, and one of the oldest and most popular is the Jean Talon market.

Located in the Little Italy neighborhood, a market has stood in this spot since 1933. Today, the market is open year-round, with up to 150 produce vendors in peak season.

You’ll also find flower shops, spice vendors, butchers, cheese shops, fish mongers, bakeries and gourmet food shops.

Recommended tours:

Montreal Canada - : Jean Talon market sign and entrance with people in Little Italy neighborhood in city in Quebec region

Montreal Food

If you only eat two things in Montreal, make sure it’s poutine, and smoked meat. Poutine is popular throughout Canada, and a must-try when in Montreal.

If you’re not familiar, poutine is French Fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Of course, modern poutine spots have upped the ante with creative toppings such as lobster, onion rings, steak or foie gras.

You can create a whole poutine tour of Montreal with “Montreal City Tour for Foodies” if you want. Smoked meat is another Montreal specialty, consisting of kosher-style beef brisket and spices.

Schwartz’s Deli is the most famous spot for Montreal smoked meat, so if you find yourself in the Plateau neighborhood, don’t miss it!

Recommended tours:

Smoked meat on rye sandwich with melted swiss cheese and coleslaw tossed in russian dressing.

Mont Tremblant

Just 90 minutes away, Mont Tremblant is the perfect day trip from Montreal. Mont Tremblant is a perfectly quaint Canadian ski village that has year-round activities.

There are even shuttles available from Montreal if you don’t want to drive. The pedestrian village is lined with inns, boutiques and restaurants, while the surrounding area is known for skiing and golfing.

Fall colors are magnificent and best seen from a gondola ride to the summit. Hiking, spas and casinos are also fun activities in Mont Tremblant.

Recommended tours:

a nice view of mont-tremblant ski resort in quebec eastern canada with 2 skiers

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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