There’s much to see, but not enough time for everything. Make sure to make your trip to Montreal count.
Not far away from upstate New York, Montreal is one of Canada’s hottest tourist destinations.
It’s a cultural, economic, and entertainment hub in one of the country’s most impressive areas. And if you want to book some time in Montreal, you’re in for a treat.
Check out the city’s top sights and activities for tourists.
1. Take A Trip to the Botanical Garden
There’s a good reason why most tourists won’t miss a trip to the Montreal Botanical Garden. It’s simply one of the best things to do in Montreal on a sunny or rainy day.
The garden is also a National Historic Site and one that’s considered as among the most gorgeous of its kind in the world. It sits on 75 hectares of land and offers a superb greenhouse complex.
Each garden has its own theme and unique exotic plants that are hard to find elsewhere in a similar configuration. In fact, the garden’s mandate is to preserve indigenous plants, such as the First Nation’s medicinal plants.
2. Visit the Cathedral
The Notre-Dame Basilica is the oldest Catholic Church in the city. It has a very intricate interior with massive stained glass assemblies that chronicle the city’s entire history.
It can take up to two hours to get a comprehensive tour of Montreal’s landmark cathedral. Despite not having admission-free entry, it’s still a fabulous architectural gem that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
3. Explore Old Montreal
Old Montreal is essentially a big neighborhood where both locals and tourists flood its streets all year long. Unsurprisingly, it’s also the busiest part of Montreal.
It’s also the city’s oldest area that’s famous for its cobblestone streets, galleries, and restaurants. The 17th century preserved buildings look impeccable and give this part of town a unique draw.
4. Hike Up to Mont-Royal
One of the best things to do in Montreal is to take a hike up to Mont-Royal. It’s a hill located west of Downtown Montreal, right between the Laurentian and Appalachian mountains.
It offers a great view of the city and what lies beyond its borders. And as part of Mount Royal Park, it also has superb scenery that you must see for yourself.
It’s an even more exciting spot in the winter as it offers tubing and tobogganing down the hill’s slope.
5. Get A Bird’s Eye View of the City
If you have no problem with heights, get up on one of Montreal’s best observation towers – the Au Sommet Place Ville Marie, which is the second tallest in the city.
It features a terrace on the 44th floor, which is a great place to look over the city in the summer. You can also check out a mini-museum on the 45th floor that catalogs the city’s history in a series of videos and pictures.
For the best experience, the observation deck on the 46th floor gives you an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city.
6. Go Underground for Shopping
Shopping is among the top activities in Montreal. But why not make your experience less boring?
Downtown Montreal has a vast network of boutiques, malls, and food courts – all of them located underground. It’s a great way to spend some time in town even on a rainy or freezing day.
It also provides quick access to seven of the city’s metro stations and some of the best downtown hotels.
7. Do A Unique City Tour
If you want to speed up your tour of the city’s top attractions, there’s another way to do it other than hopping from metro to metro – the Amazing Race Montreal.
While it’s mostly a self-guided tour, it’s an interactive experience where you can solve clues as you race between the city’s most important sights. It ensures that you hit all the right spots while also learning more about the town and staying entertained while you do it.
Of course, you’re not really racing anyone, nor is there a prize. But you can choose your preferred tour theme for an even more immersive experience.
8. Don’t Forget About the Museums
Montreal is a great place to visit for art lovers and history buffs. Proof of this is the city’s numerous historical exhibits and fine art galleries.
In fact, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the McCord Museum are just a few examples of places you can visit during your trip.
9. Have a Thrilling Day at the Amusement Park
La Ronde is a popular tourist attraction for tourists and locals alike who want some adrenaline rush. It’s Canada’s second-largest theme park and it sits on the island of St. Helen.
The park offers everyone a wide range of entertainment, from classic rollercoasters to water rides. And if you’re up for it, you can even try skydiving.
If you’re traveling with the family and you’re out of ideas for things to do in Montreal with kids, spending a few hours in La Ronde is a great idea.
10. Try Your Luck at Gambling (It’s Legal)
There’s more to Montreal’s nightlife scene than clubs and festivals. The city also has a 24-hour casino, which is the biggest in Canada and features three buildings.
Casino de Montreal offers a variety of classic casino games and alternatives for fans of virtual gambling. You can also grab a bite or have dinner in any of the casino’s restaurants, as well as enjoy a cabaret show.
11. Go Party, Montreal-style
The casino can provide an escape or an alternative way to kill some hours one night. But that’s not all.
Montreal remains Canada’s city that never sleeps. That’s why it has an amazing night scene that’s rich in bars, clubs, and lounges. Feel free to dance until dawn in your fanciest outfit or mingle with the locals in more affordable locales.
The Plateau district, in particular, is perfect for an evening out as it has some of the best choices in venues.
There’s Never a Dull Moment
You can’t get bored in Montreal, even if you’re there for an extended stay.
During the day, you can visit its museums, amusement park, or simply take in the scenery. And at night, you can let loose and dance yourself to exhaustion.
Whenever you decide to visit, remember that Montreal guarantees a good time for all.