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Things to do in Montreal

Mount Royal Park offers views over the skyscrapers and art museums of downtown Montreal. Down by the Old Port, Old Montreal steps back in time at Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History. Across the river, the latticework Biosphère dominates Parc Jean-Drapeau's green islands. Head east for flora and fauna at Montreal Biodôme and Montreal Botanical Garden. Three-day passes are available at most museums, which generally open 10am-5pm/6pm. Many close Monday, especially in winter.

Maison Saint-Gabriel, Montreal. © Dan Lavoie (Studio Odyssée)

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Museums and Galleries

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    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal. Photo by Timothy Hursley, © Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

    Downtown Montreal Museum of Fine Arts hosts excellent temporary exhibitions in two pavilions facing each other. The permanent collection ranges from medieval European painting to Inuit sculpture. Highlights include Canadian landscapes by the Group of Seven and Québécois abstract expressionists.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free, Special exhibitions C$15; concessions C$7.50; under-12s free; Wed 5pm-9pm half price

    Opening hours

    Tue 11am-5pm; Wed-Fri 11am-5pm (until 9pm for temporary exhibitions); Sat & Sun 10am-5pm

    Address

    1379, rue Sherbrooke ouest, Montreal H3G 2T9

    Telephone

    +1 514 285 2000

    Transport

    Métro Guy-Concordia

    Website

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

  2. 2. Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History - Museums and Galleries

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    Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal/Stéphan Poulin

    Built on the site where the original colony was established in 1642 (Pointe-à-Callière), the modern Museum of Archaeology and History engages visitors to Old Montreal with a multimedia show and artefacts displayed among the ancient building foundations.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$14; concessions C$6-C$10; under 6s free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm (summer Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat & Sun 11am-6pm)

    Address

    350, place Royale, Montreal H2Y 3Y5

    Telephone

    +1 514 872 9150

    Transport

    Métro Place d'Armes

    Website

    Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

  3. 3. Château Ramezay Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Château Ramezay Museum, Montreal. © Château Ramezay Museum

    In 1705 Claude de Ramezay, the 11th governor of the colony, built himself a residence in Old Montreal. After having hosted Benjamin Franklin's American revolutionaries, it became the Château Ramezay Museum, filled with portraits, furniture, Amerindian artefacts and more.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$9; concessions C$6-C$7; under 4s go free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-4.30pm (daily 10am-6pm Jun-early Oct)

    Address

    280, rue Notre-Dame est, Montreal H2Y 1C5

    Telephone

    +1 514 861 3708

    Transport

    Métro Champ-de-Mars

    Website

    Chateau Ramezay

  4. 4. McCord Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    McCord Museum, Montreal. © McCord Museum

    The downtown McCord Museum of Canadian History showcases the eclectic collections of 19th- and 20th-century benefactors. The thousands of costumes, domestic artefacts and historical photographs reveal rural and urban life as it was lived by Canadians of all origins.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$13; concessions C$7-C$10; children free-C$5

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat & Sun 10am-5pm (summer also Mon 10am-5pm)

    Address

    690, rue Sherbrooke ouest, Montreal H3A 1E9

    Telephone

    +1 514 398 7100

    Transport

    Métro McGill

    Website

    McCord Museum

  5. 5. Canadian Centre for Architecture - Museums and Galleries

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    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. Courtesy of Alain Laforest

    The understated but handsome Canadian Centre for Architecture lies west of downtown. It hosts changing exhibitions on the art of architecture and its history, displaying architects' sketchbooks, elevation drawings and photography. The CCA bookstore will delight design aficionados.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$10; concessions C$7; children and students free; Thu 5.30pm-9pm free

    Opening hours

    Wed-Sun 10am-6pm (until 9pm Thu)

    Address

    1920, rue Baile, Montreal H3H 2S6

    Telephone

    +1 514 939 7026

    Transport

    Métro Guy-Concordia

    Website

    Canadian Centre for Architecture website

  6. 6. Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art - Museums and Galleries

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    Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal. Courtesy of Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

    Part of downtown's Place des Arts complex, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art shows highlights from its collection of post-1939 works and temporary exhibitions of international artists. Look for paintings by Québécois artists such as Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Émile Borduas.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$8; concessions C$4-C$6; under 12s free; Wed 6pm-9pm free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 11am-6pm (until 9pm Wed)

    Address

    185, rue Sainte-Catherine ouest, Montreal H2X 3X5

    Telephone

    +1 514 847 6226

    Transport

    Métro Place-des-Arts

    Website

    Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art website

Attractions

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  1. 7. Montreal Biodôme - Attractions

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    Montreal Biodôme, Montreal. © Céline Dubreuil

    An oasis in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, the Montreal Biodôme recreates four varied ecosystems of the Americas. Look for monkeys in the tropical forest and penguins in the polar worlds. In between are the seasonal Laurentian forest and the Saint Lawrence shoreline.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$16; concessions C$12; children C$2.50-C$8 (packages available)

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-5pm (summer until 6pm; closed Mon Sep-Feb)

    Address

    4777, avenue Pierre-De Coubertin, Montreal H1V 1B3

    Telephone

    +1 514 868 3000

    Transport

    Métro Viau

    Website

    Biodome

  2. 8. Biosphère - Attractions

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    Biosphère, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal

    Built as the US pavilion for Expo '67, the massive geodesic dome on Saint Helen's Island houses the Biosphère. Environmental issues, including global warming, are explored through multimedia shows and hands-on displays. The museum boasts terrific city skyline views.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$12; concessions C$8; under 17s free

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-6pm (closed Mon Nov-May)

    Address

    160, Chemin Tour-de-l'Isle, Jean Drapeau, Montreal H3C 4G8

    Telephone

    +1 514 283 5000

    Transport

    Métro Jean-Drapeau

    Website

    Biosphère Website

  3. 9. Montreal Botanical Garden - Attractions

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    Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal. © Montréal Botanical Garden

    Montreal Botanical Garden's 22,000 plant varieties spread across 748,668m² of diverse land in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Relax at the Chinese Garden (the largest outside Asia) or the serene Japanese Garden with tearoom. The Insectarium displays insects ranging from beauties to monsters.Show this on map

    Cost

    Mid May-Oct C$16; concessions C$12; children C$2.50-C$8, Oct-mid May C$14; concessions C$12; children C$2.50-C$8

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-5pm (until 6pm in summer; until 9pm Sep-Oct; closed Mon Nov-mid May)

    Address

    4101, rue Sherbrooke est, Montreal H1X 2B2

    Telephone

    +1 514 872 1400

    Transport

    Métro Pie-IX

    Website

    Montreal Botanical Garden

  4. 10. Notre Dame Basilica - Attractions

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    Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphane Poulin

    Notre Dame Basilica is a striking early-19th-century Catholic cathedral built in a Gothic Revival style in what is now Old Montreal. The interior is a delightful mix of bold colours and gilding. Time a visit to see the light show.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$5; children free-C$4 (light show C$10; concessions C$9; children C$5)

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 8am-4.30pm; Sat 8am-4pm; Sun 12.30pm-4pm (also open for religious services, times vary; light show Tue-Sat evenings, times vary)

    Address

    110, rue Notre-Dame ouest, Montreal H2Y 1T1

    Telephone

    +1 514 842 2925

    Transport

    Métro Place d'Armes

    Website

    Notre Dame Basilica website

  5. 11. Saint Joseph's Oratory - Attractions

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    Saint Joseph's Oratory, Montreal. Photo by Pierre St-Jacques, © Canadian Tourism Commission

    Saint Joseph's Oratory boasts a giant copper dome and towers over the northwest slope of Mount Royal. Largely Italian Renaissance in style, it was the vision of Brother André, a lay brother who enjoyed a reputation as a healer.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (museum $4; concessions $3; children $2; guided tours $5)

    Opening hours

    Daily 6am-9.30pm; museum daily 10am-5pm

    Address

    3800, chemin Queen Mary, Montreal H3V 1H6

    Telephone

    +1 514 733 8211

    Transport

    Métro Côtes-des-Neiges

    Website

    Saint Joseph's Oratory

Special things to do

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  1. 12. Maison Saint-Gabriel - Special things to do

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    Maison Saint-Gabriel, Montreal. © Dan Lavoie (Studio Odyssée)

    Although now surrounded by the neighbourhood of Pointe Saint-Charles, the fieldstone Maison Saint-Gabriel was a rustic setting for nuns to raise and educate marriageable orphans. Re-enactments and tours of the furnished manor and gardens evoke its late 17th-century origins.Show this on map

    Cost

    C$8; concessions C$4-C$6; children free-C$2

    Opening hours

    Guided tours Sep-Jun Tue-Sun 1pm-5pm (different times in summer)

    Address

    2146, place Dublin, Montreal H3K 2A2

    Telephone

    +1 514 935 8136

    Transport

    Métro LaSalle

    Website

    Maison Saint-Gabriel

  2. 13. Lachine Canal - Special things to do

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    Lachine Canal, Montreal. Photo by Andrea Simmons

    Stretching from the Old Port to Lachine, the 14km Lachine Canal was built in the heyday of the industrial revolution. Now it's a linear park ideal for cycling or rollerblading. Delve into its history on a guided walk or cruise.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (guided tours extra)

    Opening hours

    Daily sunrise-11pm (Lachine Visitor Services Centre mid May-Aug daily 10am-4pm)

    Address

    Visitor Services Centre, 500 chemin des Iroquois, Lachine, Montreal H8S 4J5

    Telephone

    +1 514 283 6054

    Transport

    Métro Charlevoix, Lionel-Groulx or Square Victoria; bus 195 for Visitors Services Centre

    Website

    Lachine Canal

  3. 14. Mount Royal Park - Special things to do

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    Mount Royal Park, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphane Poulin

    Mount Royal Park is downtown's largest green space with great views of the cityscape from the chalet lookout. It attracts joggers, cyclists and skiers. Skaters head to Beaver Lake. Dance to tam-tam drums at the monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (charge for guided tours, rentals and activities)

    Opening hours

    Park daily 6am-midnight, Smith House Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat & Sun 10am-6pm, Chalet daily 8am-8pm

    Address

    1260, chemin Remembrance, Montreal H3H 1A2

    Telephone

    +1 514 843 8240

    Transport

    Bus 11 (plus numerous buses on the periphery)

    Website

    Mount Royal Park website

  4. 15. Ça Roule - Montreal On Wheels - Special things to do

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    The Old Port, Montreal. Photo by Pierre St-Jacques, © Canadian Tourism Commission

    The 2.5km Old Port promenade is best explored on two wheels. Ça Roule - Montreal On Wheels rents out bikes and rollerblades to take visitors past boats, bookstalls and parkland. Take a tour to the islands or along Lachine Canal.Show this on map

    Cost

    Bike rentals C$8-C$9/hr, C$25-C$35/day; rollerblade rentals C$9/hr (1st hr) then C$4.50/hr, C$20-C$25/day; tour prices vary

    Opening hours

    Mar-Apr daily 10am-6pm; May-Aug daily 9am-8pm; Sep daily 9am-7pm; Oct daily 9am-6pm; Nov Tues-Sun 9am-5pm (May-Sep closes at 6pm on rainy days)

    Address

    27, rue de la Commune est, Montreal H2Y 1H9

    Telephone

    +1 514 866 0633

    Transport

    Métro Champ de Mars

    Website

    Ca Roule

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