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Top 10 Things to do in Montreal Canada

Top 10 Things to do in Montreal

With its lovely mix of old and new, Montreal is a vibrating, multicultural and overall charming city. Filled with exciting things to see and do all year-round, Montreal has four very distinct seasons featuring diametrically opposed weather conditions, with temperatures soaring up over 30 degrees (90 Fahrenheit for our friends down South), and the mercury falling some 30 degrees below zero (-22 F). Hop aboard as we take you through the best things to do in Montreal—from sampling delicious food to discovering the contemporary art scene and exploring the many green spaces spread out over the city.

How to Get to Montreal?

The cool thing about Montreal is that it is conveniently located close to the United States border. What’s more, the city is accessible via bus through Greyhound, Orleans Express and many other regional bus companies who ensure connections between Montreal and the many cities in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes.

Check out our Montreal bus schedules, departing from:

  • New York: If leaving from the Big Apple, there are about 30 daily departures, with tickets costing between $60 and $80, depending on the time of departure. The trip takes between 7 and 10 hours. 
  • Boston: The bus ride between Boston and Montreal takes between 7 and 11 hours and will set you back about $70. There are 9 daily departures. 
  • Quebec City: With over 40 daily departures, you’re sure to find a time that suits you if leaving from Quebec City. A short 3-hour bus ride will cost between $20 and $50, depending on the fare category and time of departure. 
  • Ottawa: With tickets as low as $20, the bus ride between Ottawa and Montreal takes about 2 hours. There are over 25 daily departures between the two cities. 
  • Toronto: Taking the bus between Toronto and Montreal takes 9 to 12 hours. There are over 35 daily departures, costing between $29 and $34. 
Busbud

Where to stay in Montreal?

Like in any big city, there are numerous places to stay in Montreal! To make things simple for you, we’ve selected three of the best places to stay in Montreal, with three different price points, so you can choose the one that best fits your travel budget.

The Best Hostel in Montreal: M Montreal

  • Where? In the heart of the Village, within walking distance to many attractions, bars and restaurants.
  • Why? Because the M Montreal hostel is housed in a historic building and offers both shared and private rooms.
  • Price range: $

Hotel Epik Montreal—one of the best cheap hotels in Montreal

  • Where? Hotel Epik is located in the beautiful Old Port.
  • Why? Because this boutique hotel is the perfect base to visit Old Montreal, yet it’s perfectly affordable. And the hotel is set in a historic building and hosts a coffee shop, terrace, and roomy lounge.
  • Price range: $$

The Bienvenue B&B, to experience a Bed and Breakfast in Montreal

  • Where? This lovely B&B is located in the trendy Plateau/Mile End area.
  • Why? Because it’s walking distance to Sherbrooke metro as well as all the hip places the Mile End has to offer. Plus, there are bike rentals right next to the B&B.
  • Price range: $$

1. Visit the famous Montreal Underground City

The Montreal city centre is renowned for its underground malls, linked together through a network of pedestrian tunnels stretching out over some 32 km (20 miles). Known as the underground city, this area is the perfect place to get some great shopping done and experience the authentic Montreal lifestyle. Browse through shopping centres, catch a movie, grab a bite, stop by the university and even visit an art exhibition—all underground, in downtown Montreal. 

Why visit the underground city?

Aside from wanting to walk in a Montrealer’s shoes, you might want to escape the harsh winter cold or blazing summer heat. In fact, if you’re there during the winter time, we strongly urge you to check out Art Souterrain. Completely free and easily accessible, Art Souterrain is a large-scale art exhibition spread out over the Montreal Underground City.

Underground city: where to start?

You can basically start anywhere and just sift through the endless tunnels and shopping centres. But, if you want to tackle your visit with a good itinerary, we recommend you start at Palais des Congrès, located at Place d’Armes metro station and make your way North to Place des Arts. This route will ensure you pass two shopping malls and food courts and multiple art exhibitions. Be sure to check out the Eaton Centre, one of Montreal’s most famous underground shopping malls.

Shop ’til you drop at Eaton Centre

The Eaton Centre shopping mall is located at the very heart of the underground network. It is home to more than 100 stores and on four stories, including a food court to sample flavours from all countries and origins. The Eaton Centre also hosts many cultural events. Check their Facebook page for more info!

  • Where is it? Eaton Centre is located in the heart of downtown Montreal, at 705 Saint-Catherine St West in Montreal.
  • How to get there? The closest metro is McGill station, but you can also access the shopping centre from above, with its multiple entries at street-level on Saint-Catherine Street.
  • When to go? Eaton Centre is open:
    • Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 9 PM
    • Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM
    • Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM
  • How much time to visit? Count 1-3 hours to visit, depending on how much shopping you plan to do.
  • How much does it cost? $-$$$

Insider tip: Lockers are available on the Eaton Centre’s Tunnel level, in the food court for just $1, so you can shop around without lugging your coats and bags around with you.

Skate indoors at Atrium Le 1000

If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Montreal, know that ice skating is a true Montreal classic and thanks to this indoor skating rink, you can skate all year round, via the underground city. 

  • Where is it? The Atrium 1000 ice skating rink is located at 1000, rue de la Gauchetière West, inside Montreal’s tallest building.
  • How to get there? The Atrium skating rink is accessible from Bonaventure metro station.
  • When to go? The indoor skating rink is open:
    • Wednesday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 6 PM
    • Saturday from 1 PM to 9 PM
    • Sunday from 1 PM to 6 PM  
  • How much time to visit? Plan 1:30 to 2:30 to skate.
  • How much does it cost? General admission is $7.50 per person.

Insider tip: If you haven’t brought your skates with you, it’s not a problem! The Atrium 1000 rents them for $7 a pair and even offers various locker sizes to stock your belongings as you skate away (count an extra $3—$4.50 for the lockers). 

2. Sample the local delicacies

Montreal has a lively and world-renowned food scene. In fact, you can find authentic delicacies from everywhere in the world, from mouth-watering ramen to fine produce, including amazing steakhouses and distinguished French restaurants. But fancy food aside, Montreal is also home to world-famous bagels, poutine and smoked meat sandwiches… And of course, maple syrup! Here are three of our favourite spots, not to be missed. Because yes, fabulous food is truly one of the best things in Montreal.

Eat the best poutine in Montreal @ La Banquise

Known as the best poutine place in town, La Banquise is the place to go if you’re craving junk food. Fries, cheese curds and gravy make up the classic poutine dish—but at La Banquise, you can also sample some inventive variations and even customize your plate with all kinds of toppings like pulled pork, mushrooms, chicken, green peas, pickles and even BACON.

  • Where is it? La Banquise is located in the trendy Plateau area at 994 Rue Rachel E, Montréal.
  • How to get there? It’s a 10 minutes walk away from Mont-Royal metro station.
  • When to go? Anytime! La Banquise is open 24/7. It’s almost too good to be true.
  • How much time to visit? Expect to spend 1 or 2 hours at La Banquise.
  • How much does it cost? $

Insider tip: It can get pretty crowded at lunch and dinner time, so if you’re not starved, try to work around mealtimes and head there in the afternoon.

Sample the best Japanese food in Montreal

If you’ve had poutine on your first day in Montreal, you might be craving a healthier meal. Thankfully, Montreal features a large Japanese community with loads of delicious ramen and sushi spots to sample. Try:

    • Kazu Montreal for its many authentic Japanese dishes—located at 1862 Sainte-Catherine St West.
    • Yokato Yokabai Ramen, for the best ramen in Montreal—located at 4185 Drolet St.

Try Schwartz’s Deli, the best smoked meat in Montreal

Schwartz smoked meat is a legend, for a reason. It is the oldest deli in Canada, founded in 1926 by a Romanian immigrant. Stopping by Schwartz’s Deli to taste their famous smoked meat sandwiches should definitely be on your bucket list. Ok, so perhaps waiting in line for a sandwich is a weird thing to do when visiting a city, but trust us, their sandwiches are worth the wait.

  • Where is it? Centrally located on the Main, at 3895 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal.
  • How to get there? Schwartz’s Deli is a 14-minute walk uphill from Saint-Laurent metro station.
  • When to go? The Deli is open daily from 8 AM to 12:30 AM, and 1:30 AM on Friday and Saturday.
  • How much time to visit? 1-2 hours.
  • How much does it cost? $

Insider tip: Schwartz smoked meat sandwiches are quite popular… So most of the time, there is quite a lineup to get in! If possible, try stopping by between lunch and dinner or late in the evening, to avoid waiting in line for too long. 

Plate of poutine with french fries gravy and cheese curds
A traditional poutine, best enjoyed at La Banquise!

3. Gather with your friends in the many green spaces

Whether you’re looking to bring your heartbeat up or simply relax and rejuvenate in nature, you’re sure to find a lovely park or garden to settle down and experience typical Montreal daytime activities.

Climb up Mount Royal

A must-see for visitors and locals alike, Mount Royal is Montreal’s most beloved green haven. This volcanic mountain is located in the heart of the city and offers a welcome break from the usual concrete jungle. With the faint sound of tam-tams, miles on end of tree-adorned trekking paths, and some of the best summit views of the city… you’re sure to find something of your liking on the mountain or in the surrounding park! 

Summer fun. From early May to late September, there is a free festival on Sundays starting at noon near the monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier located at the base of the mountain, where people gather to play tam-tams and dance. So on Sundays, it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Montreal.

Winter fun. Ah, winter fun. When the city is covered in snow, there are multiple places to sled on the mountain! On Beaver Lake, there is even some snow tubing on specially reserved lanes by the Lake. If racing down a hill is not your thing, you can also practice your cross-country skiing skills on all the mountain’s trails.

  • Where is it? Mount Royal is located just north of the downtown area. You can’t miss it!
  • How to get there? Bus lines 11, 165 and 80 have multiple stops along the mountain, on Mount Royal Street, Dr. Penfield and Park Avenue. 
  • When to go? The park is open from 6 am to 12 am, every day. 
  • How much time to visit? Count 2 to 4 hours to visit Mount Royal.
  • How much does it cost? The entry to the mountain is absolutely free.

Insider tip: You can rent all the equipment you can think of (skates, skis, wooden boats, helmets, etc.) at the Pavilion located next to Beaver Lake.

Ride your bike along the Lachine Canal

Picture this: the bright warm sun shining on your face and your hair in the wind as you bike alongside the Lachine Canal, between Griffintown and Pointe-St-Charles, down to Little Burgundy’s Atwater Market. Or the brisk cool wind on your cheeks as you ski or snowshoe down on the snow-covered paths. Oh yes, the Lachine Canal is filled with fun things to do, including kayaking, canoeing, biking and visiting one of its five locks. You can also take a stroll out on part of the canal, along the linear green urban park filled with fun activities for everyone such as urban camping, picnics and even free yoga classes!

  • Where is it? The Canal starts in the Old Port and runs for 13.5 km southwest down to Lake Saint-Louis.
  • How to get there? 
    • Old Port Locks Sector. Head to Square-Victoria metro station.
    • Atwater Market Sector and Saint Gabriel Lock. Go to Lionel-Groulx metro station.
  • When to go? The Lachine Canal site is open every day from sunrise to 11 PM.
  • How much time to visit? Count 2 to 4 hours to take it all in.
  • How much does it cost? Accessing the banks is free. However, if you want to visit the locks, it will set you back $1.40 per person.

Insider tip: Kayaks and canoes can be rented on premises. Check out rental prices here. You can also use the Montreal bike-sharing system called Bixi to ride the bike paths.

Cool Down at the Montreal Botanical Garden

Famous for its 75 hectares of thematic gardens and greenhouses, the Montreal Botanical Garden is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world, thanks to its vast selection of plant species. This magical place will enchant you with places such as the Chinese and Japanese gardens, multiple greenhouses featuring various exotic plants and even a First Nations Garden.

  • Where is it? The Botanical Garden is located in the east end of the city, at 4101 Sherbrooke St East, Montreal.
  • How to get there? The gardens can be easily accessed from the Pie IX or Viau metro stations.
  • When to go? The gardens are open:
    • Sunday through Thursday from 8 AM to 6 PM
    • Friday and Saturday from 8 AM to 7 PM 
  • How much time to visit? Plan 4 to 6 hours… Although you could spend a full day at the Montreal Botanical Garden and never run out of new things to see!
  • How much does it cost? The access to the garden costs $20.50 and a discount is offered to Quebec residents.

Insider tip: Events are hosted weekly across the garden. Check out their calendar to see if anything is on during your visit.

Lachine canal in late autumn with fall colors showing on the leaves in Quebec, Canada
Lachine canal is beautiful during any season! A bike ride along the canal is one of the best ways to enjoy Montreal

4. Stimulate your senses as you take in the Montreal art scene 

With its many museums and galleries, Montreal’s art scene is thriving! If you’re a contemporary art buff, you’ll want to head downtown towards Quartier des spectacles, which features a concentration of artistic and cultural venues and perhaps make a small detour down to Griffintown. Here’s why.

See an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal (MACM)

The MACM has interesting exhibitions year-round, as well as a fantastic permanent collection you can visit while you’re there. The museum is known for its variety of digital and sound pieces, as well as many installations, paintings and sculptures. They are known to host fabulous festive events throughout the year, featuring live performances and drinks.

  • Where is it? The Contemporary art museum is located at 185 Sainte-Catherine St West, Montreal, in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles.
  • How to get there? Place-des-Arts is the closest metro station and has a direct underground link to the museum.
  • When to go? Opening hours are:
    • Tuesday: 11 AM to 6 PM
    • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 AM to 9 PM
    • Saturday, Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM
  • How much time to visit? Depending on whether you like to breeze through an exhibition or if you’re more of a fine print person, count 1 to 3 hours at the MACM.
  • How much does it cost? Admission is $15 per person.

Insider tip: Admission is half price on Wednesdays, between 5 PM and 9 PM!

Immerse yourself in contemporary art @ Arsenal Art Contemporain

Located inside a repurposed shipyard in Griffintown, Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal is set in a grandiose building, dedicated to showcasing local artists and international talent. Perhaps one of the most unusual things to do in Montreal, Visiting Arsenal will please both connoisseurs and neophytes, thanks to its awe inspiring 80,000 square-foot exhibition space.

  • Where is it? Arsenal Art Contemporain is located at 2020 William St, in Griffintown.
  • How to get there? The venue is a 9-minute walk away from the Georges-Vanier metro station.
  • When to go? Arsenal Contemporary Art is open:
    • Wednesday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM
    • Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • How much time to visit? Did we mention? The place is huge! You’ll need at least 1-2 hours to fully enjoy your time there. 
  • How much does it cost? Admission is $10 per person.

Insider tip: The Arsenal offers private guided tours at $15 per person. Reserve your tour beforehand by calling +1 514-931-9978.

Explore the Many Galleries at the Belgo Building

The Belgo Building is famous for its numerous art galleries. Rather discrete, this six stories high building is located in the Quartier des Spectacles and also features artist workshops and dance studios. It’s a great place to wander the afternoon away and see some great art and it’s one of the top activities in Montreal for art students!

  • Where is it? The Belgo Building is located at 372 Sainte-Catherine St W in Montreal.
  • How to get there? It’s a short 3-minute walk away from Place des Arts metro station.
  • When to go? The building is open from Monday through Saturday between 9 AM and 6 PM.
  • How much time to visit? With close to thirty galleries on site, you’ll need to plan 1-2 full hours at the Belgo.
  • How much does it cost? It’s completely free!

Insider tip: Building and gallery opening hours differ, so if you can, visit on a Friday or Saturday, when most galleries are open.

5. Learn something new in Old Montreal

Founded in 1642, Old Montreal is Montreal’s historic neighbourhood. It is home to many gorgeous buildings dating back to the era of New France. The old town features lovely narrow cobblestone streets, grey stone buildings and many heritage sites, as well as a great selection of restaurants. If you’re a history buff, you might want to take a walking tour around the neighbourhood. If not, you can still have some fun discovering the great Notre Dame Basilica. Oh—and if you’re visiting Montreal in the summertime, don’t miss out on the fireworks!

Ooh and Aah at the Montreal Fireworks

Old Montreal the perfect place to catch summer fireworks, with numerous viewpoints around the docks. Montreal hosts a fireworks festival every year from the end of June to late July. These take place at La Ronde, an amusement park located almost directly across the St Lawrence River from the Old Port, which is why you’ll enjoy many awesome vantage points to watch the show from the docks if you’re exploring Old Montreal!

  • Where is it? Head to any bistro or cafe with an outdoor terrace or just find a free spot to set up on the grass by the water in the Montreal Old Port.
  • How to get there? Champ-de-Mars is the closest metro station.
  • When to go? On selected Wednesdays and Saturdays from the end of June to end of July.
  • How much time: 2-3 hours
  • Price: Free—$

Insider tip: Get there early! The best spots get really crowded, really quickly. It’s no secret that Old Montreal is one of the best free vantage points amongst locals!

Take a Walking Tour Around Old Montreal

The great thing about walking tours is that you can choose an itinerary and tour that fits your budget, schedule and most importantly, your interests. It’s a fantastic way to discover Montreal’s historic neighbourhood and get some local insight as you discover some of the best sights in Montreal.

  • Where is it? Old Montreal is located in the downtown area of Montreal, in the Ville-Marie borough.
  • How to get there? Champ-de-Mars is the closest metro station.
  • When to go? Your best bet is to go during the week to avoid the weekend crowds.
  • How much time to visit? Depending on the theme, departure time and type of tour you choose, count 2 to 3 hours.
  • How much does it cost? Walking tours range from $15 to $80 per person.

Insider tip: Wear comfortable flat shoes, as the uneven cobblestone streets are not easy to navigate.

Marvel at Notre-Dame Basilica

Big cities are always buzzing with action and entering a holy place will always have a soothing effect. Located in Old Montreal, Notre Dame is no exception. A masterpiece of Gothic Revival Architecture, its interior is amongst the most striking in the world. It’s an absolute must see and a great place to catch your breath as you tour the city.

  • Where is it? The Notre Dame Basilica is located at 110 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal.
  • How to get there? The closest metro station is Place-d’Armes.
  • When to go? The basilica is open:
    • Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM
    • Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM
    • Sunday from 12:30 PM to 4 PM
  • How much time to visit? 1 hour should suffice.
  • How much does it cost? Admission is $8 per person.

Insider tip: The entry fee includes a guided visit in French or in English. It is not mandatory to follow the guided visit though, you can simply browse around or just sit down, unwind and take it all in.

The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal with Christmas Decoration at night
Notre Dame basilica is renowned for its beautiful gothic revival architecture

6. Get a taste of the Montreal nightlife

Claimed Party Capital of Canada, Montreal is renowned for its amazing nightlife. The city features many great bars, clubs, dance clubs and speakeasies spread out over town. Although there are thousands of places to spend an evening, here are two areas you’ll want to explore if you’re looking for some fun.

Party @ Plateau Mont-Royal

Known by locals as “The Plateau”, Montreal’s Plateau Mont Royal is a trendy and hip neighbourhood, located just north of the downtown area. Characterized by brightly coloured houses, laid-back attitude and cultural diversity, it’s home to many restaurants, bars and clubs. 

  • Where is it? The Plateau neighbourhood is located north of Sherbrooke Street and downtown area, and east of Mount-Royal mountain.
  • How to get there? Just get off the metro at Mont-Royal or Laurier stations and you’ll be in the heart of the action.
  • When to go? Any day of the week is jammed packed with action at night. However, try going on a Friday or Saturday night for the best nightlife.
  • How much time to visit? 2-4 hours
  • How much does it cost? $-$$$

Insider tip: Avoid heading to the Plateau by car. Parking and even driving in the narrow streets is a nightmare. Your best bet is to take the metro or a Bixi, Montreal’s bike-sharing system. 

Groove It Up in the Montreal Gay Village

Recognized as one of the largest gay villages across North America, Montreal’s Gay Village features a lively bar and club scene where everyone is welcome. It’s a fabulous place to go to encounter Montreal’s diverse nature and open-mindedness.

  • Where is it? The Montreal Gay Village is located on St. Catherine Street East and extends along Amherst Street in the Ville-Marie borough.
  • How to get there? The Beaudry metro station marks the beginning of the Village.
  • When to go? Any day of the week is a good day to hit the Village.
  • How much time to visit? 2-4 hours
  • How much does it cost? $-$$$

Insider tip: Check out Cabaret Mado, an institution in the Village and in Montreal, which holds world-renowned drag shows in a 1920s atmosphere. 

7. Cheer on the local sports teams

With local arenas and stadiums always packed and a great atmosphere, catching some live action is a good way to enjoy Montreal. Check out the Montreal Canadians, playing in the National Hockey League or the Montreal Impact playing in Major League Soccer. You can even catch the Montreal Alouettes, playing in the Canadian Football League. In any case, even if you’re not a huge sports fan, the cheerful ambiance will ensure you have a great time.

Catch a “Habs” game at the Bell Centre

Undoubtedly the most famous sports team in the city, Montreal Canadians are nicknamed the “Habs”, which is derived from another nickname, Les Habitants. The team’s track record is remarkable, having won the most Stanley cups (championships) in the league.

  • Where is it? The arena is located downtown at 1909 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Montréal.
  • How to get there? The Lucien-L’Allier metro station has a direct underground connection to the Bell Centre.
  • When to go? The hockey season spans from October to April, with playoffs lasting until June.
  • How much time to visit? A game typically lasts 2 to 3 hours.
  • How much does it cost? Tickets can be pricey, but worth it.  

Insider tip: Buy your tickets online in advance on the Montreal Canadiens’ official website

Watch a soccer game from Saputo stadium

The city’s soccer team, Montreal Impact FC, plays its home games at the Saputo stadium. Newly renovated, the open-air stadium is quite enjoyable and is the perfect place to spend a warm summer night in a festive atmosphere.

  • Where is it? The Saputo Stadium is located in the east of the city, at 4750 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal.
  • How to get there? Easily reach the stadium from the metro station Pie IX or Viau stations, right next to the infamous Olympic stadium.
  • When to go? The MLS season spans from early March to early October.
  • How much time to visit? Expect to spend 2 to 3 hours on premises.
  • How much does it cost? Tickets are pretty affordable, starting at $15 per person.

Insider tip: Buy your tickets online in advance on the Montreal Impact official website 

8. Cool off with a craft beer

Beer lovers, rejoice: great beer isn’t hard to find in Montreal. In recent years, the local beer scene has exploded, with brewpubs and microbreweries popping up everywhere across the city. Here are two great spots to check out while visiting Montreal.

Drink unusual beers at Dieu du Ciel

Established in 1998, Dieu du Ciel is still thriving, for a good reason! A staple in the Montreal beer scene, this artisan microbrewery serves audacious and innovative brews that are sure to pleasantly surprise you.

  • Where is it? Dieu du Ciel is located in the lively Plateau neighborhood, at 29 Laurier Avenue, Montréal.
  • How to get there? The Laurier metro station is an 8-minute walk away.
  • When to go? The microbrewery is open every day from 11:30 AM to 3 AM.
  • How much time to visit? 2-3 hours
  • How much does it cost? $-$$

Insider tip: Their imperial coffee stout Péché Mortel is to die for!

Meet people and sip beer at L’Espace Public

L’Espace Public (which means “public space” in English) is a hip microbrewery located in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, an up-and-coming neighbourhood also known as Ho-Ma. The place is set up to bring people together over great beers brewed on site. If you’re a social beast, it’s definitely something to add to your Montreal bucket list. The vibe is simple and laid back, the venue is welcoming. What more could one want?

  • Where is it? L’Espace Public is located at 3632 Ontario St E, Montreal.
  • How to get there? The microbrewery is located an 8-minute walk from the Joliette metro station.
  • When to go? The venue is open every day from 3 PM to 3 AM.
  • How much time to visit? 2-3 hours
  • How much does it cost? $-$$

Insider tip: L’Espace Public host events to launch new beers and various parties. Check out their calendar for more info.

9. Fill up on fresh goods at farmers’ and artisan markets

Montreal has multiple markets across the city, selling anything and everything from fresh produce to specialty products and handmade crafts. There are six big markets in town, but here are our two favourites.

Jean Talon Market, because of its vast selection

Jean Talon Market is open year-round—even in the harsh winter months, during which walls are mounted around the central section of the market. In the summer, the market features some 300 vendors, spread out over the site in open-air stalls, selling fresh produce from various farms around Montreal. Artisan bakeries, quality butchers and cheese stores are also gathered around the market area. Since the market is located in the heart of little Italy, you can swing by the local cafes and enjoy a few Italian delicacies while you’re there.

  • Where is it? The Montreal Jean Talon Market is located at 7070 Henri Julien Ave, in Little Italy.
  • How to get there? The closest metro station is Jean Talon, which is a 10-minute walk away from the market.
  • When to go? Opening hours are:
    • Monday to Wednesday from 7 AM to 6 PM
    • Thursday and Friday from 7 AM to 8 PM
    • Saturday from 7 AM to 6 PM
    • Sunday from 7 AM to 5 PM
  • How much time to visit? 1-2 hours.
  • How much does it cost? $$
  • Insider tip: Bring cash as well as your own reusable bags, since most vendors do not give out bags.

Atwater Market, because of its historical location

Around since 1933, the Atwater market is worth the detour, especially if the weather isn’t cooperating! This market features an indoor hall that is home to many butchers, bakeries and restaurants. An outdoors section is also set up and features many farmers stalls selling both local and imported produce, as well as a fish shop, two cheese stores and a wine store specializing in locally produced spirits. It’s a great place to shop for high quality local products to take home with you.

  • Where is it? Atwater Market is located at 138 Atwater Ave, Montreal in the Saint-Henri neighbourhood.
  • How to get there? Both Charlevoix and Lionel-Groulx metro stations are walking distance from the market.
  • When to go? The Montreal Atwater Market opening hours are:
    • Monday through Wednesday from 7 AM to 6 PM
    • Thursday from 7 AM to 7 PM
    • Friday from 7 AM to 8 PM
    • Saturday and Sunday from 7 AM to 5 PM  
  • How much time to visit? 1-2 hours.
  • How much does it cost? $$
  • Insider tip: The market is located within walking distance from the banks of the Lachine Canal. Why not group these two Montreal daytime activities?

10. Take a day or weekend trip from Montreal

If you’re wondering what to do near Montreal, the answer is: a lot! Aside from the lovely countryside, there are many historical cities to visit around Montreal, all located a short bus ride away. Whether you’re up for some urban exploring or nature walks, we’ve got two great suggestions for you.

Take a day trip to Quebec City

Quebec City, not to be mistaken with the province of Quebec, is a charming historic city. Its old town is absolutely breathtaking, even more so than Montreal’s, and features a majestic castle, Chateau Frontenac, which now serves as a luxury hotel. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centrepiece of the ramparts and surrounds the old city.

  • Where is it? Quebec City is located three hours away from Montreal by bus.
  • How to get there? Take the bus from downtown Montreal at the Gare d’Autocars de Montreal.
  • When to go? We suggest spending a weekend in Quebec City, although a day trip is possible with an early bus.
  • How much time to visit? 1-3 days
  • How much does it cost? $$$

Insider tip: If you’re feeling sassy, head to the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac’s Bistro Le Sam, to enjoy a drink with a view! At sunset, the Saint-Lawrence will be lit up and you can gaze at the boats in a dimmed ambiance.

> Book your tickets for a bus Montreal to Quebec City

Frontenac Castle in Old Quebec City in the beautiful sunrise light
A trip to Quebec city isn’t be complete without a visit to the Chateau Frontenac and Old Quebec City

Do a Tremblant getaway

Mont Tremblant sits at 875 meters and offers a breathtaking view on the Laurentians mountain range. Located north of Montreal, this mountain resort has many fun activities to offer all year round, such as skiing, camping, hiking, canoeing and snowshoeing. It’s truly the perfect place for an exciting weekend getaway!

    • Where is it? Tremblant is located 2:30 to 3 hours away by bus from Montreal.
    • How to get there? Take the bus from downtown Montreal at the Gare d’Autocars de Montreal.
    • When to go? The resort is accessible and bustling with things to do all-year round. We suggest going for two or three days, but a day trip is also possible.
    • How much time to visit? 1-3 days
    • How much does it cost? $$$

Insider tip: If you can, try to plan your Tremblant getaway during the week, to avoid the usual Friday and Sunday traffic jams thanks to hundreds of city dwellers, anxious to get out of town for the weekend.

> Book your tickets for a bus Montreal to Mont Tremblant

That’s it! Our complete list of things to do in Montreal. We hope you’ll enjoy your time in the city. Share your favourite anecdotes with us below and be sure to let us know if you think we’ve missed something!