Answers from Our Experts (2)
For visitors looking for a cultural experience, make the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts your first stop. While the permanent collections explore everything from Decorative Arts and Design to Quebec and Canadian Art, the real draw is the world-class traveling exhibits that make a stop here. Other must-see museums include Pointe-à-Callière, an archaological museum in Old Montreal and the Contemporary Arts Museum, located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles (home of the Montreal Jazz Festival, Just For Laughs Festival and more).
Québec’s history is deeply intertwined with religion and, unsurprisingly, two major attractions in Montreal are connected to the Catholic Church: The Notre-Dame Basilica, inaugurated in 1829, and the Saint-Joseph Oratory.
If nature is your thing, don’t miss the Biôdome, which allows guests to walk through replicas of ecosystems found in the Americas. The Insectarium and Botanical Gardens are also must-visits, as well as the soon-to-be-opened Planetarium.
During hockey season, nothing beats attending a Canadiens game at the Bell Centre but be warned: Tickets sell out and may be hard to come by.
And finally, Montreal shopping is some of the world’s finest. You can stick to the downtown’s Ste-Catherine Street for major flagships (including Simons, a local department store chain) or go off the beaten path and explore Mont-Royal Street or Sherbrooke Street West in the borough of Westmount.
The best attraction in Montreal is the city itself. We recommend walking around the various neighbourhoods, stopping in to local cafés and just enjoying the scene. Take a leisurely stroll around Old Montreal and catch the street performers in Place Jacques-Cartier or hike up to the summit of Mont-Royal for a view of the whole city.
Why don't you pick up fresh local produce at the city's markets? I particularly love picking up local fare at the Atwater Market and eating al fresco on the Lachine Canal, and you can also grab Quebec-made artisinal cheese and bread at the Jean Talon Market for and enjoy a picnic in Park Lafontaine.
If it's fun you're after, take the métro to Parc jean Drapeau where you'll find the ample green space, a huge pool, a beach as well as Montreal's Casino, the Grand Prix track and La Ronde Six Flags, where you can ride Le Monstre, the highest double wooden roller coaster in the world.
For an art attack, hit Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the downtown core and the Contemporary Art Museum near Place des Arts and satisfy your creative side.
Science fans can geek out at the Biodome in the city's east end (near the Olympic Stadium, if you want a taste of history) and Montreal Science Centre in the heart of the Old Port. One of my favourite stops is the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
History buffs can learn all about Montreal's past at the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum and the McCord Museum where you'll find exhibits highlighting the city's history, first nations people and architecture.