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Sometimes the best way to get to know a place is by exploring it on foot. Montreal is a pedestrian-friendly city characterized by the cobble-stoned streets of Vieux-Montréal, the colourful street-art of the Plateau, and the paths up Mont Royal itself. Here are some of the best walking tours to learn more about the city’s unique cultures, architectural landmarks, and food.
Old Montreal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, and the neighbourhood is rich with history, culture, and entertainment. There are numerous walking tours to choose from, each offering a slightly different perspective of the city and its origins. The best tours of the neighbourhood, including the Montreal Shore Excursion, blend history, art and architecture with cultural insights and interesting anecdotes.
For something a little different, this nighttime ghost walk through the city’s most historic neighbourhood will show you the dark side of Montreal, from haunted buildings to hidden streets. The guides are experienced storytellers who will tell you about the crimes, hangings, fires, witchcraft, and mysteries that shape the city’s past and present.
This two-hour mural tour along St Laurent sheds light on some of the city’s most iconic street art—a feature of Montreal’s cultural vibrancy that the city is being increasingly recognized for. Learn more about the local and international artists who have contributed to the wide array of colourful murals while at the same time exploring one of Montreal’s coolest areas.
Kaleidoscope Montreal Walking Tours takes visitors through some of the lesser-known parts of the city, including hidden back alleys, the underground, the old red light district, and more. There are also neighbourhood-specific tours offered, including Chinatown and Little Italy, and tours that focus on art and architecture, churches, literary landmarks, and more. The extensive tour list can be found here.
Montreal has an extensive foodie scene that can at times be almost overwhelming. With Round Table Food Tours, you can dive in with a guided exploration of Montreal’s diverse neighbourhoods, culinary delights, restaurants, and behind-the-scenes aspects of the city’s food cultures. These tours are combined with walking or cycling (so that you can enjoy guilt-free eating!), and include popular excursions such as Eat and Ride: Montreal Food Truck Cycle Tour, Sustaining City: Montreal’s Living Table, and the Ultimate Chocolate Tour.
Combining history, food, and adventure, Fitz & Follwell offers different walking, cycling, and winter tours on a daily basis. During the summer months, tours are offered through Old Montreal as well as foodie excursions through the neighbourhoods in both the north and south of the city. There are also winter tours, one of which heads up Mont Royal and can involve snowshoeing, ice-skating, and tubing (weather permitting).
Heritage Montreal offers tours that will satisfy all of your cultural and historical curiosities. The mission of this organization is to preserve and promote the history and culture surrounding the city’s landmarks and monuments, and their tours are always fact-filled and fascinating.
L’Autre Montreal creates thought-provoking, alternative tours that offer insight into the “other side” of Montreal, exploring contemporary urban issues while also shedding light on forgotten aspects of Montreal history. The guides all have backgrounds in architecture, history, urban planning, or the social sciences, which contributes to a well-informed, insightful tour every time. Bus tours are also available.
For beer lovers, a tour of Montreal’s craft breweries cannot be missed. These three-hour tours head through Montreal’s Old Port district and beyond, focusing on craft beer and food pairings while exploring the city’s unique brewpubs.