Visiting Montreal : our best tips


Montreal is a city with endless possibilities for exploration and adventure. It provides the perfect mix of European grandeur and North American charm in Canada’s largest French-speaking province — Quebec. With its cobblestone streets, colorful lanterns adorning Old Montreal, calm riverfront paths, renowned art galleries, vibrant nightlife spots, famous event venues like the Bell Centre and lively outdoor parks like Montreal Botanical Garden - it’s easy to see why so many people are inspired to visit this unique destination.

Whether you're looking for a history lesson, entertainment or simply some exotic urban thrills on your next holiday – there’s something in Montreal for everyone!

What to See in Montreal

Old Montreal

The picturesque and historic district of Old Montreal is a must-see for any first-time visitor to the city. Walk down the cobbled streets and admire the charming 18th-century architecture, visit the stunning Notre-Dame Basilica, and check out some of the many art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants in the area.

For a unique perspective on the city, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of Old Montreal.

Mount Royal

Montreal's namesake, Mount Royal, is a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some nature.

Take a hike up to the summit and enjoy the panoramic views of Montreal, or if you're not up for the climb, take a leisurely stroll through the park and enjoy a picnic or a game of frisbee.

The Underground City

If you're visiting Montreal in the winter, you'll appreciate the city's underground network of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

The Underground City spans over 20 miles and connects many of Montreal's most popular attractions, including museums, theaters, and malls. It's the perfect place to escape the cold and get your shopping fix.

Museum of Fine Arts

Art lovers shouldn't miss the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which houses over 42,000 works of art from all over the world.

The collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary Canadian art, and there are always special exhibitions and events happening at the museum.

Foodie Delights

Montreal is known for its amazing food scene, and there are plenty of places to sample the city's culinary delights. Don't miss out on the chance to try some poutine (french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy), smoked meat sandwiches, or bagels from the famous Saint-Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel bakeries.

For a truly unique experience, try a traditional Quebecois sugar shack meal, which includes hearty dishes like baked beans, ham, and maple syrup taffy.

What is the Best Time to Visit Montreal?

Summer (June to August)

Summer in Montreal is bustling with activity. The city comes alive with festivals, concerts and outdoor markets. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the weather and the great outdoors, including cycling, swimming, and strolling through beautiful parks. If you visit Montreal during the summer months, you'll have the chance to experience the Canadian Grand Prix, International Jazz Festival, the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, and many more.

One downside is that summer is peak tourist season, so be prepared to face higher prices and larger crowds.

Fall (September to November)

Fall is a magical time to visit Montreal. The crisp air, vibrant foliage, and numerous cultural events make this season an excellent choice for travelers. You can witness the beautiful changing of leaves and enjoy the many fall festivals such as the International Literature Festival and the Oktoberfest.

Also, fewer crowds and lower costs await you in the fall. However, keep note that the weather can be a little tricky, so make sure to bring clothes for both warm and cool days.

Winter (December to February)

Montreal is renowned for its harsh and snowy winters, with temperatures sometimes dropping to -20°C.

However, it is also a great opportunity to see the city light up in beautiful Christmas decor. In Montreal, you can experience a range of winter activities, including ice skating at the Old Port, cross-country skiing in nearby Mount Royal park, and snowshoeing in the suburban forests. Additionally, you can experience the romantic and cozy Quebecois culture, enjoy traditional food like poutine and maple sweets. However, be prepared for fewer outdoor activities due to cold temperature and higher prices of winter gear and winter accommodations.

Where to Stay in Montreal

Old Montreal

One of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in Montreal is Old Montreal. This neighborhood is the oldest part of the city and is full of history and charm.

It is also home to many of the city's top attractions, such as the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Old Port of Montreal, and the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum. There are both budget and luxury accommodation options in Old Montreal, ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to elegant hotels.

The Plateau

The Plateau is a trendy neighborhood that is a favorite among young travelers and locals alike. It is full of vibrant street art, great food, and cool boutiques.

The neighborhood offers a diverse range of accommodation options, including backpackers’ hostels, cozy Airbnb apartments, and luxury boutique hotels. Be sure to visit the iconic St. Laurent Boulevard, known as “The Main,” which is home to many of the city’s best restaurants and bars.

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal is the city’s commercial hub, making it a great place to stay if you’re visiting for business purposes.

It is also home to many of the city’s main tourist attractions, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Montreal Botanical Garden. Accommodation options in downtown Montreal range from budget-friendly hostels to upscale hotels with all the amenities.