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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.

Underground City

Unlock the hidden depths of subterranean Montreal

Show themed tour
Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal/Stéphan Poulin
1

Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

Delving into Montreal's history

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.



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 Website

Château Ramezay Museum, Montreal. © Château Ramezay Museum
2

Château Ramezay Museum

Three centuries of history

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.



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

Château Ramezay Museum Website

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal. Photo by Timothy Hursley, © Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
3

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Montreal's foremost gallery

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.



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 Website

McCord Museum, Montreal. © McCord Museum
4

McCord Museum

Exhibiting Canadian life

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.



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 Website

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. Courtesy of Alain Laforest
5

Canadian Centre for Architecture

Grand designs

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.



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

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal. Courtesy of Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
6

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

Québécois and international artists

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.



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

Biosphère, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal
7

Biosphère

Hands-on environmental museum

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.



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

Saint Joseph's Oratory, Montreal. Photo by Pierre St-Jacques, © Canadian Tourism Commission
8

Saint Joseph's Oratory

Renaissance basilica

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.



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 Website

Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal. © Montréal Botanical Garden
9

Montreal Botanical Garden

Oasis in the east

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.



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 Website

Montreal Biodôme, Montreal. © Céline Dubreuil
10

Montreal Biodôme

One roof, four ecosystems

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.



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

Montreal Biodôme Website

Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphane Poulin
11

Notre Dame Basilica

Striking Gothic Revival cathedral

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.



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

Lachine Canal, Montreal. Photo by Andrea Simmons
12

Lachine Canal

Canalside cycleway

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.



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 National Historic Site of Canada Website

Maison Saint-Gabriel, Montreal. © Dan Lavoie (Studio Odyssée)
13

Maison Saint-Gabriel

Old school manor

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.



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 Website

The Old Port, Montreal. Photo by Pierre St-Jacques, © Canadian Tourism Commission
14

Ça Roule - Montreal On Wheels

Rollerblading the Old Port

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.



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

Ça Roule - Montreal On Wheels Website

Mount Royal Park, Montreal. © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphane Poulin
15

Mount Royal Park

Montreal's central park

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.



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

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