Must See Places in Montreal

Updated on May 12, 2024 | Canada eTA

The largest city in Canada’s Quebec province, Montreal was named after Mount Royal, a triple-peaked green hill located at the city’s heart. Montreal is the most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec which is a predominantly Francophone part of Canada. Founded in the mid-17th century, it was originally named Ville-Marie, which means City of Mary. Its current name, Montreal, however, is after the hill Mount Royal that stands in the city. The city itself is located on the Island of Montreal and a few other smaller islands, such as Île Bizard. French is the official language of Montreal and the one that is given primacy by most speakers. It is the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. However, it must also be said that most of the city’s residents are bilingual in both French and English and sometimes other languages too.

Montreal is quite a large cosmopolitan centre of Canada but most of the tourists are attracted to the city for its museums and other cultural and art centres, for its old neighbourhoods preserving historic buildings, and for other neighbourhoods with their quaint and delightful boutiques and cafes and restaurants that are reminiscent not only of Paris but also other European cities such as Italy, Portugal, and Greece. If you’re going to be exploring Canada on your vacation, this cultural capital of Canada is a place you cannot miss out on. Here’s a list of some of the best tourist attractions in Montreal.

Surrounded by French-Colonial architecture and many cobblestoned neighbourhoods which were once independent cities, the city of Montreal has been mostly known for hosting some of the most prestigious international events in North America.

Inspiring outdoor spaces with breathtaking surroundings and architecture, this is one of the most populous cities of Canada is also known as the ‘cultural capital’ of the country.

The city is the center of the county's French-Canadian television productions, theatre and various other forms of French media. As an added perk, the city hosts numerous festivals throughout the year especially during summer, including the Montreal Fireworks Festival which presents the largest fireworks display in the world and the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in the world.

With so much diversity to see around, explore some of the must-see places in Montreal on a visit to Canada.

Vieux-Montreal or Old Montreal

Old Montreal, situated between the waterfront of Saint Lawrence River and the business and commercial hub of the city of Montreal, is a historic district in Montreal which was founded and populated by French settlers in the 17th century and which still retains its heritage and legacy in the form of 17th, 18th, and 19th-century buildings and cobblestone paths that give it the appearance of a French or Parisian quarter. It is one of the oldest and most historic urban places to be found in Canada and the rest of North America as well.

Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Montreal are the Notre Dame Basilica, which is the oldest Catholic Church in Montreal and is famous for its impressive twin towers, beautiful woodwork, and breathtaking stained glass; Place Jacques-Cartier, which is a square famous for its gardens that were once part of a chateau that burned down in 1803, for a popular market where items of art, crafts, and souvenirs are available, as well as cafes and Victorian houses; the Pointe-à-Callière, Musée d'archéologie et d'historie, which is a museum of archaeology and history that showcases artifacts from the indigenous First Nations of Montreal as well as those from British and French colonial history; and Rue Saint-Paul, the oldest street in Montreal.

Notre-Dame Basilica

Did you know that Montreal is one of the most famous destinations in Canada due to its ancient churches with interior designs found nowhere else in the world? Well, the Notre-Dame Basilica, which is one of the most ancient churches in Montreal, was constructed in the mid-17th century. This church is well-known for being one of the most alluring destinations in Canada as it attracts thousands of visitors each year from across the planet due to its captivating interiors and breath-taking internal design. The Notre-Dame Basilica is a picture-perfect church as it is a home to stained glass which represents the imperial history of Montreal. This church is also famous for the divine carving of the prominent sculptor of Louis-Philippe Hebert. To explore the fantastic collection of the Notre Dame Basilica, a twenty-minute tour by the organizers is recommended.

Jardin Botanique or Botanical Garden

A National Historic Site in Canada, the Botanical Gardens in Montreal, is situated on the ground facing the city's Olympic Stadium and consists of 30 theme gardens and 10 greenhouses with such collections and facilities that it is one of the most significant botanical gardens in the whole world. These gardens represent most climates in the world and include everything from Japanese and Chinese gardens to those with medicinal and even toxic plants. It is also significant because it has a specific garden for plants that the First Nations peoples of Canada grow. Apart from plants, there is also an insectarium with live insects, an arboretum with living trees, and a few ponds with many species of birds.

With widespread thematic gardens and a greenhouse, Montreal Botanical Garden hosts all-season species of plants for its visitors. An oasis situated at the heart of the city, this garden is one of the best and the finest of its kind in the world.

Parc Jean Drapeau

This is the name given to the two islands Saint Helen's Island and the artificial Notre Dame Island when grouped. They are famous for the World Fair that took place here in 1967 known as International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67. Notre Dame is an artificial island that was constructed specially for the exposition and even Saint Helen's was artificially extended. The two islands together were named Jean Drapeau after the man who was the mayor of Montreal in 1967 and who initiated the Expo 67. The Park is most famous amongst tourists for Ra Ronde, an amusement park; Biosphere, an environmental museum which is built in the form of a sphere with a geodesic dome made of lattice; Stewart Museum; Bassin Olympique, where the rowing events in the Olympics happened; and a race course.


Parc Jean Drapeau Montreal

A walk through five ecosystems found across all over America, this is Montreal's most exciting and fun family outing. A great example of nature flourishing in the middle of the city, Biodome means ‘house of life’, which also can be described as a man-made natural environment.

Known to be the largest natural science museum complex in Canada, this is one place that deserves a must-visit tag.

La Grande Roue de Montréal

Known to be the tallest Ferris wheel in Canada, this attraction was built just recently in 2017. Situated in the Old Port of Montreal, with state of the art technology, this wheel was made to offer breathtaking city views.

A must-see attraction for all visitors, there is no way to miss the sight of this giant wheel with 360-degree views of the St.Lawrence River and beyond.

Musée des Beaux Arts or Fine Arts Museum

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts of MMFA is the oldest and largest museum in Canada and its huge collections of paintings, sculptures, and new media art, which is a vast emerging field in the arts in the digital 21st century, include extensive works, such as masterpieces from important European painters as well as sculptors, from Old Masters to Realists to Impressionists to Modernists; pieces that showcase World Cultures and Mediterranean Archaeology; and also African, Asian, Islamic, and North and South American art. It is divided into five pavilions, dedicated to different areas of art, such as some to modern and contemporary art, others to archaeology and ancient art, others to Canadian art, and yet others to international or world art. If you are at all interested in art, this is a must-see place in Canada.

h2>Maisounouvie Park

Located in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood of Montreal, this is considered one of the large city parks. Known as an urban city oasis, the park offers a range of outdoor activities including cross-country skiing and a skating rink.

Jean Talon Market

A farmers market in the Little Italy district, this market hosts a range of local fruits, vegetables and an array of ethnic cuisines. Founded in 1933, the market was one of the first in Montreal and is renowned for its multicultural flavours. This one of the oldest city markets is the best place to taste seasonal fruits and vegetables, with lots of options to taste the local produce.

Bonsecours Market

Located in Old Montreal, the two-story public market has been one of the main city markets for a hundred years. The historic market building has been recognized as one of the heritage buildings in Montreal.

Known to be the most renowned and notable building in the city, the market features everything from apparel and accessories to art galleries and restaurants.

La Fontaine Park

This 34-hectare urban park is made with both English and French-style landscapes. The park is one of the best to escape the city hustle and is filled with green trails, fields and ponds, adding this place among Montreal’s picturesque spots to stop by and spend some relaxed time.

Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park, which is famously recognized as one of the most magnificent parks in Canada, is situated close to the heart of Montreal. In this stunning park, visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of two famous monuments which are-

  • Monument of Jacques Cartier
  • Monument of King George IV

One of the best things to do is catch glances at the picturesque western slopes of Montreal. Here, numerous ethnic groups, from various backgrounds, stayed in tranquillity for centuries. This park is one of the most awe-striking parks not only in Montreal but the entire Canada as it presents the scenic views of the entire Île de Montréal and St. Lawrence from a divine spot that will surely make any explorer fall in love with Montreal. It is highly recommended for all visitors to pay a visit to Mount Royal Park in the daytime. This is simply because the views of the gigantic Adirondack Mountains in the United States of America are best spotted in the daytime.


This is a Chinese neighbourhood in Montreal that was first built in the second half of the 19th century by Chinese labourers who moved to Canadian cities after migrating to Canada to work in the country’s mines and build its railroad. The neighbourhood is filled with Chinese and other Asian restaurants, food markets, shops, and also community centres. Tourists from all over the world enjoy the unique ethnic neighbourhood but if you are visiting Canada from an East Asian country you would especially find it an interesting place.

Montreal's Clock Tower

The Clock Tower in Montreal is an ideal destination to visit during the summer as it offers a relaxing strolling opportunity around the area. The Montreal Clock Tower is also called ‘The Sailor's Memorial Clock’. This is mainly because this stunning landmark was constructed in honour of Canadian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in WWI. The Montreal Clock Tower has one hundred and ninety-two steps which can be climbed to get a divine view of Old Montreal. Nearby this clock tower, visitors can visit the Clock Tower beach for a chill and laid-back summer day!

La Ronde

La Ronde is ranked as one of the most desirable places to spend summer vacations in Canada. La Ronde is a thrilling and adventure-packed amusement park. This park features more than forty rides which are fan-favorite among adults, children and amusement park goers of all ages. Between exploring all the forty rides in the La Ronde amusement park, you should surely take a quick break to indulge in a quick snack time. Try different in-house restaurants in the park where visitors can find some of the most decadent dishes prepared to perfection. To end the adventure-packed day, we recommend you go shopping at the plethora of shops with an endless selection of regional and high-quality goods


One of the most populous provinces in Canada, British Columbia consists of some of the most metropolitan cities of Canada, such as Victoria and Vancouver, Vancouver being one of the largest metropolises in the whole Pacific Northwest.

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