Montreal Sightseeing / Things to See in Montreal
Montreal is a beautiful place to be year round. With exceptional lookout points, mesmerizing activities, and a rich history and culture… it’s no wonder we were able to come up with 17 must-see sights this year. Take a look for yourself, your Instagram account will thank you!
17. Take a gander at Mural Fest’s art work on The Main
Montreal’s annual Mural Fest adorns St-Laurent street with gorgeous murals from International talent. There are many reasons to make your way down to The Main, but these huge works of art nestld on the sides of buildings, alley ways, and surrounding nooks and crannies make it something like an art-filled treasure hunt. Summer, spring, fall, winter… this one’s a year round sight locals never get tired of.
16. Climb up the St-Joseph Oratory and take in the view
Did you know that St-Joseph’s Oratory is Canada’s largest church? Once you’ve climbed its outdoor steps pretending your Rocky Montana, whizzed your way through the Oratory’s beautiful inside, visited its in-house museum, and maybe even lit a candle for a loved one… Go up to its observatory and inhale its exceptional view of Montreal. Located on the Mont-Royal’s Westmount summit, it’s one of the city’s best views.
15. Drive up the Mont-Royal and gaze at the city’s night lights
The Mont-Royal is a darling among Montrealers for so many reasons. One of those reasons is it’s lookout East facing lookout point, a popular drive-in spot. You’ll get a view of the East side of the city, with the Olympic Stadium, downtown high rises, and the Main. It’s easy access nature and proximity to the Plateau make it a great quick sight seeing pit stop.
14. Visit Montreal’s new interactive “view” at the top of Place Ville-Marie!
This won’t be like any other summit view you’ve taken in before. The interactive exhibit is hosted on 55 tablets categorized by 11 Montreal specific themes (iconic locations, culture, history, etc). Each visitor will be given a bracelet on which they can register their preferences, and then complete a series of challenges, all within an of exhibit of Montreal, tailored specifically to their tastes! On the 46th floor of Place Ville Marie, and connected to a brand new Les Enfants Terribles restaurant (with all season terrasses!), this new addition to Montreal’s best sights to see is well worth the 19$. Visit here.
13. Find out what the Lachine Canal is all about
Montreal’s Lachine Canal is lined with a long bike path, old trees, historic buildings, the occasional street art, and swivels its way through multiple neighbourhoods. Locals love to picnic along its patches of grass, ride their bike in its presence, or take a stroll there as the sun sets. Join them by renting a bike at Ma Byciclette or take a jog from your hotel to get a genuine local experience. Visiting the Atwater market is another excellent way to gaze out at the Canal: fresh food vendors, a seasonal outdoor “food court” and the best ice cream in town are there to fill you up right before your Lachine Canal walking adventure. Fun fact: the Lachine Canal got its name from pioneers who thought it would lead them directly to China!
12. People watch in the Plateau and Mile End
Tiny glasses and oversize tops. Accessories from thei grandmother’s basement. Tattoos that put your local mechanic to shame. The Plateau and Mile End are known as the city’s hippest, trendiest, prettiest neighbourhoods, full of people with a story to tell. Grab yourself a cup of equally hip joe and walk around in all your people watching glory.
11. Go see the International Firework competition
This is the largest pyrotechnic competition of its kind in the world. In Montreal competitions are expected to be held late June to early August. You can watch the spectacles for free (like on Mount Royal or on the Clock Tower Beach) or pay to see them at La Ronde right on Lac des Dauphins. Check out programming right here.
10. Heat up at Igloofest
Igloofest is an annual outdoor music festival that takes place in the Old Port of Montreal. Attended by thousands of people, every weekend a contest is held in which contestants can show off their most unique one-piece ski suits and the pictures are posted on their website! Winners take home anything from expensive winter clothing to V.I.P tickets!
9. Spend a day at Tam-Tams
Every Sunday, during those warmer months, Mount Royal Park is filled with some of the city’s best sights. Trance-inducing drum circles, an electronic music gazebo, and tons more, this mini festival has become a tradition for locals. One of our favourite things is to go watch the medieval LARPing that takes pace: costumed folk battling in the field with duct taped swords!
8. Take a walking food tour of the Mile-end
Ranked as one of Trip Advisor’s top 5 activities in Montreal , this walking tour is all about touring the Mile-end and tasting its amazing food. Discover Canada’s most artsy neighbourhood while eating your way through its rich history and culture. Read about it for yourself here!
7. Observe the popular eatery lineups
There are a few eateries in Montreal that are just so damn good that locals and tourists will wait outside, rain or shine, to snag a bite. There are three notable ones: Schwartz on St-Laurent (afternoons generally have the longest lineup), Beauty’s Luncheonette (the best brunch spot in town), and La Banquise at 3am after the bars close (poutine party 24/7). Come observe hungry creatures go to any lengths for delicious Montreal fare, or join em and line up.. you’ll have earned it!
6. Go see a show at Piknic Electronik
This electronic music festival takes place every Sunday during the summer, and features local and international Dj’s and producers. Wear a hip outfit, put a flower headband on, grab your drinking bucket, and get ready to dance!
5. Soak up history in the Old Port
Despite the fact that it’s Montreal’s most historic district, the Old Port’s philosophy is that “life is a party.” Skating, Igloo Fest, IMAX, and tons of other activities make it one of the city’s most entertaining attractions. But let’s not forget: gazing out at the water, watching the boats and ships, looking up at historic big stone buildings, make it one of Montreal’s most satisfying and important sights to see. Meander the cobblestone streets all day, and you’ll find something new (and something old) around every corner!
4. Soak-up the sun at the Parc Jean-Drapeau beach
Summer months at Parc Jean-Drapeau are for beaching around. Five minutes from downtown, its your easy access ticket to golden sands and clear water. For more info, visit the Parc Jean-Drapeau website.
3. Go see a show at the outdoor Montreal Jazz Festival
The 2016 edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival takes place from June 29th to July 9th. One of Montreal’s largest festivals, attracting Jazz lovers and performer from all over, it’s one of the most colourful, vibrant sights the city has to offer. Whether you want to catch tons of free shows, or a few payed ones, the Jazz Fest has something for everyone. Check out their website for updates on programming.
2. Go ice skating at the Old Port
Nothing represents Montreal more than the Old Port. Mixed with modern and ancient architecture, walk along it cobblestone paths, gaze at the waterside view, or better yet go rent a pair of skates and stretch out your legs. Open all week, musical evenings start at 6pm!
1. Drink up at Terrasses Bonsecours
Probably one of the most charming terraces in the city, we highly recommend stopping by here for a drink. The sun is setting, your view is of the breathtaking old port, laughter and faint chatter is heard in the background, and you’ve just received the most amazing refreshing drink. Paradise, is that you? Snap a pic and enjoy the rest of the night!