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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Old Montreal
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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Old Montreal

Picture of Margarita Milne
Updated: 9 February 2017
Old Montreal is a popular tourist destination since it holds some of Montreal’s oldest buildings, many of which date back as far as the 1600s. This historic neighborhood is picturesque and full of character. Lined with cobbled streets and as a culture hotspot, Old Montreal is a must-see. Here we list our top things to do and see.
Place D'Armes © Mani Binelli / Flickr
Place D’Armes | © Mani Binelli / Flickr
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Place d’Armes

More recently known as the place where Canadian superstar Celine Dion got married, Place d’Armes is a beautiful and historical public square in the heart of Old Montreal. The square is also bordered by some of Montreal’s most impressive buildings. On the Northern side you’ll find the old Bank of Montreal and on the Western side, the Aldred Building.

Place d’Armes, Montréal, QC

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The Montreal Town Hall

The Montreal Town Hall is a large and impressive building, which was modeled after the Tours Town Hall near Paris. Designed by Henri-Maurice Perrault and Alexander Cowper Hutchinson, it was built between 1872 and 1878 in what is known as the Second Empire style. In 1984 it was designated a National Historic Site.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm

275 Rue Notre-Dame E, Montréal, QC, +1 514 872 0311

Bonsecours Market

Market, Restaurant, Bar, Canadian
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Bonsecours Market
Bonsecours Market | © Matias Garabedian / Flickr

Bonsecours Market

Market first started in 1847

Situated on Saint-Claude Street lies Bonsecours, one of Canada’s finest heritage buildings. The Market was inaugurated in 1847 and contains 15 boutiques featuring top-quality made-in-Quebec creations, and various restaurants and bars. It used to be the oldest and largest public market in Montreal so it has changed somewhat but still remains an incredibly impressive piece of architecture.

Opening hours: every day from 10am

350 St-Paul Street East, Old Montreal, QC, +1 514 872 7730

More Info
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Bonsecours Market © Matias Garabedian / Flickr
Bonsecours Market | © Matias Garabedian / Flickr
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Saint-Paul Street

Picturesque street leading to Place Jacques Cartier

Saint-Paul Street is one of the most picturesque streets in Montreal. There isn’t much to do on the street but it is worth walking down it due to its architecture and the general ambiance. Eventually, you’ll hit Place Jacques Cartier, which is a square named after the explorer Jacques Cartier, who claimed Canada for France in 1535.

Rue Saint-Paul E, Montréal, QC

Rue St. Paul © Shankar S. / Flickr
Rue St. Paul | © Shankar S. / Flickr
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Pub St-Paul

History and archaeology museum

Pointe-à-Callière is a history and archaeology museum down Saint-Sulpice Street. The modern architecture and futuristic displays may seem at odds with the exhibitions on show but contribute to a very fascinating and interactive experience.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

350 Place Royale, Montréal, QC, +1 514 872 9150

Museum Pointe-à-Callière | Courtesy of Museum Pointe-à-Callière
Museum Pointe-à-Callière | © Courtesy of Museum Pointe-à-Callière
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Château Ramezay

Museum and historic building

Château Ramezay is situated on Notre-Dame Street and is a museum and historic building. It was the first building to be declared as a historical monument in Quebec, designated one of the National Historic Sites of Canada in 1949. The Museum earned the National Award of Excellence from the Landscape Architects of Canada in 2003. The beauty of the historic building alone is worth a visit.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9.30am-6pm

280 Notre-Dame Est, Montreal, QC, +1 514 861 3708

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Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel

Small, beautiful chapel with artwork on ceiling

Restored in 1771, Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours is one of the oldest churches in Montreal. The original stone church was completed in 1678 but burnt down in 1754. The chapel is just north of the Bonsecours Market and is a must-see religious site.

400 Rue Saint-Paul E, Montréal, QC, +1 514 282 8670

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The Montreal Science Center

Science museum in Old Port

The Montreal Science Center is a science museum located on the border of Old Montreal and the Old Port of Montreal. It is home to an IMAX cinema and, more famously, interactive exhibitions on science and technology. There is so much to see and do here that it’s a great place to spend the day (or two).

Opening hours: Mon-Thu 10am-5pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-5pm

2, rue De la Commune Ouest, Montreal, QC, +1 514 496 4724

Previous exhibition | Courtesy of Centre des Sciences
Previous exhibition | © Courtesy of Centre des Sciences
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Vieux-Port de Montréal

Port bordering Old Montreal

Though the Old Port is not technically in Old Montreal, it gets listed as a top attraction in Old Montreal so frequently that we thought we would mention it. Vieux-Port was used as early as 1611 by French fur traders and now draws six million tourists annually. Here you can catch a bite to eat, walk, cycle, rollerblade, and rent a pedalo or quadricycle, to name just a few of the activities Vieux-Port offers.

Rue de la Commune Ouest, Montreal, QC, +1 514 496 7678

Vieux-Port | Courtesy of Vieux-Port de Montréal
Vieux-Port | © Courtesy of Vieux-Port de Montréal
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The Centre d’histoire de Montréal

The history of Montreal in a museum

With three floors and several exhibitions, The Centre d’histoire de Montréal is another museum in which you can spend hours inside, learning about the eventful history of Montreal. Learn about Montreal’s history through sound environments, impressive images, and testimonies.

Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm

335 Place d’Youville, Montréal, QC

By Margarita Milne