Montreal is a hotbed of culture and activity in Quebec, just waiting to be explored. Montreal has everything from underground shows and music to delicious food and historical sites.
There's no shortage of things to do when visiting this vibrant city.
With abundance comes choice, and figuring out the best things to do can be hard. If you're unsure what to do in Montreal, I have the best ideas for you.
Of course, you want to maximize your time. Explore this comprehensive list of things to do in Montreal that will blow your mind on your next trip!
Where is Montreal?
Montreal is located at the southern point of Quebec. It's about a 2-hour drive from Ottawa or a 6-hour drive from Toronto.
Montreal has an international airport with many daily flights from domestic and international destinations. This makes it an easily accessible weekend destination, ready to explore!
Unique Things to Do in Montreal, Canada
Montreal is a pretty exciting and historic place to explore, with its diverse music and thrilling nightlife. If you're looking for some Montreal things to do, these are my top picks!
See the View from Mount Royal
The trek to the top of Mount Royal is worth every painstakingly sweaty moment. It's one of the best things to do in Montreal!
Catch some sweeping views and IG-worthy pics of Montreal from the lookout point. The park has some lovely walking trails that make a fun afternoon activity.
Pro tip: If you want to avoid walking up to the lookout, take the bus. It brings you up to the other side of the mountain, making the walk to the park a walk in the park!
Try Classic French Canadian Food
For some fun things to do in Montreal, try Canadian food! The cheesy, greasy, delectable food from the province of Quebec puts Canadian cuisine on the map!
It's a shame not to douse yourself in gravy or get a cavity from maple taffy. There are some ingenious foods to try in Montreal before you fly home.
What is Canada known for? Poutine, of course! You can get the national dish at almost any restaurant, but the most authentic poutine can be found at Chez Claudette. If you've got a midnight craving or are looking for a place to stop after the bar, try the slightly more touristy - La Banquise.
Of course, a trip to Montreal is only complete with a Montreal-style bagel. This dense and sweet bagel will have you foaming at the mouth.
St Viateur makes the best bagels, and Cafe Felice in Mile End makes the best sandwiches. Remember to grab some for the way home!
Other famous foods to try:
- Maple taffy
- Montreal smoked meat sandwich
- An Orange Julep from Gibeau Orange Julep
- Dragon Beard Candy from De La Gauchetière counter
Walk the Old Port of Montreal
The Old Port of Montreal is a pristine historic neighborhood great for walking, shopping, and exploring. The Bonsecours Market, La Grande Roue de Montréal, and the Place Jacques-Cartier are popular stops in this area!
The city of Montreal also holds many festivals and weekend events in this area throughout the year. Check the Montreal City Events page before heading out to see what's going on.
Croissant and Coffee Crawl
No one does coffee and a flakey butter pastry like the French! Montreal has some genuinely stunning cafes littered across the city. Whether you're a die-hard coffee drinker or prefer a cozy tea, you must taste some of Montreal's prettiest cafes.
You can find little cafes littered across the city in every nook and cranny.
Visit the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal
The Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal is easily the most beautiful church in Montreal and one of Montreal's most popular attractions. Built in 1824, it has stood the test of time and still welcomes guests through its doors every day of the week.
The towering chapel is a peaceful place to reflect and a great stop when exploring the area.
Mass, viewings, and their special AURA Experience light show are held throughout the week.
Times and fees change throughout the year and around holidays, so checking and booking your tickets online is best!
Bar Hop down the famous St Laurent Blvd in Montreal and pop into some of Montreal's trendiest bars like TRH Bar, Apt 200, and Bar Biftek, to name a few.
Food vendors and late-night restaurants are open to serve some delicious pre or post-hop snacks. If all else fails, La Banquise isn't far off!
If bars aren't your scene, Montreal has a wild music scene, and concerts and events take over the city almost every summer weekend! If you want to try your luck, score some tickets to Osheaga, one of the biggest music festivals in Canada!
Visit the Pointe-á-Calliére Museum of Archaeology and History
Montreal is packed with a rich culture and history that's worth exploring while you visit! One of the best ways to do that is to check out the Pointe-á-Calliére Museum.
This museum's interactive and informative exhibits will blow your mind and teach you a thing or 2 about the city's extensive history. Many other museums in Montreal, art galleries, and science centers are worth exploring if you have the time.
Discover the Mile End
Considering things to do in Quebec City? Mile End is a beautiful neighborhood in Montreal where all the artists and indie folk like to hang out. It's popular with the underground music scene. You can often find scheduled performances, shows, and concerts in the bars and cafes here!
There are so many boutique thrift stores, records, and bookstores to check out in this area it would be tough to fit it all into one trip! Stop by Le Depanneur Cafe for a sweet treat and local music any day of the week! Mile End is the perfect neighborhood to walk around and explore.
Plan The Ultimate Montreal Trip With Pilot!
Now that you know the best things to do in Montreal, you can start to craft your ideal travel experience for you, your family, and your friends.