Things to do in Montréal, QC

Get Your Bearings in Montréal

See & Do

Travel during the summer and Christmas high seasons means big crowds and higher prices.

Hot Tips:

The tourist office offers maps for walking tours of Old Montreal.


Parking options are limited in Old Montreal.

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A group of high-end restaurants offer their high-end cuisine at budget rates in special menus available starting at 9 or 10 p.m.

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The bars usually close around 3 am, but some will stay open much later especially in the summer.

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For handcrafted mementos, head to Ave Mont Royal's Vive la Difference, which specializes in souvenirs.

Things to do in Montréal

Montréal is known for...

Five of Montréal's most unique features and characteristics.

1. European Style:

The architecture and cobbled streets in Vieux Montréal (Old Montréal ) have been retained so it has kept its original look dating back to 1642. Whether you’re in the Place Jacques Cartier or along the Old Port, there is a feeling of being in Europe. This style spreads throughout the city with over 600 buildings and churches built before the 1900s. There are the iconic spiral staircases in century-old buildings, neighborhood churches with their ornate facades, public parks and squares with their statues and lovely gardens. The skyscrapers and modern architecture but these have been created to blend into the city, adding to its unique landscape. You won’t ever forget where you are.

2. Smoked Meat, Poutine, Bagels and Breakfasts:

Montréalers love food. Here you can bring your own fine bottle of wine to a restaurant and enjoy a fine meal under $50. Restaurants abound serving traditional, ethnic, haute, bistro, Quebécois but there are also some signature dishes not to be missed. Viande fumee (smoked meat) is a deli-style beef brisket that is cured with spices and hot smoked. Poutine is french fries topped with fresh cheese curds and covered with gravy. The fries remain crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. Montréal bagels are famous for their sweet, dense flavor. Enjoy a fresh bagel at one of the many famous breakfast places in Montréal.  Petit-déjeuner is one meal Montréalers really appreciate.

3. Cultural and Music Festivals:

Montréalers like to party and celebrate their culture. The city has become famous for the quality of its many festivals –well over 100 festivals and cultural events.  Most are free to the public or have a minimum fee. Add the yearly parades to that mix and it means there is always something to enjoy when you visit without having to spend a ton of money. In the late spring and early summer, there is a festival or event every weekend. The internationally acclaimed Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs, Osheaga Rock Festival, Pop-Montréall Indie Festival and the Franco-Folies draw thousands of people to the city. And because Montréal is a laid-back city, there are never any major security problems.


4. Musicians:

Montréal is a city famous for its great musicians: Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts, Rufus Wainwright, Oscar Peterson, Voivoid, Simple Plan, Celine Dion, Oscar Peterson --  the list goes on and on. Whether its Montréal’s bohemian vibe, cheap rent, easy access to studios and rehearsal space, the city has always drawn musicians. There are the large venues with the headliners but there are also plenty of other quirky, cozy places where music aficionados can discover new and upcoming talent playing everything from basic rock, to hip-hop, folk to poetry and new-age digital compositions.

5. Being Bilingual:

Montréal is the world’s second-largest French-speaking city after Paris, with 1.7 million residents. Many are recent immigrants to the city. While French is the dominant language, you’ll find that most residents are bilingual, speaking either English or their native tongue as well as French. It adds an international buzz to the place and adds to the overall charm.


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