Montreal – a bustling metropolis with a vastly rich culture and history. There is certainly no shortage of things to get up to in this city, with different shows and tours happening all the time and many local fixtures. Here we explore 10 of the most unmissable things to do and see in this beautiful city.
Montreal is one of the world’s top destinations for fine beer. On this comprehensive craft beer tour, partakers can visit three amazing craft breweries, tasting six of the finest beers brewed in the city. Each beverage is also paired with fine food, be that craft beer poutine, local charcuterie and cheese, or even chocolate. This amazing opportunity is far more than sampling tasty food and drinks, it is a chance to learn the basics of beer tasting, refine your skills, and experience first-hand Montreal’s vibrant historical and cultural center. If you appreciate a good cold beer – this is definitely not to be missed.
At the peak of Mount Royal, the mountain after which this great city is named, can be found the awe-inspiring church of St Joseph’s Oratory. It is set high above the road with 100 stone steps leading up, devoted pilgrims praying on each one. Words can barely describe the beauty of the church, with high reaching stone walls and golden light. There is even a stack of walking sticks, left behind by those who’ve been healed by the saint who gives his name to this church. The views of Montreal from here are breathtaking, making it an easy place to spend hours upon hours.
Mont Saint-Sauveur is not your average waterpark. The slides are long and exciting and are placed up in the mountains, with some so high that a cable car is needed. This waterpark isn’t about just swimming, the park offers the chance to brave their terrifying mountain rollercoaster, and visitors can even camp out, enjoying the fresh mountain air and their idyllic, rustic lodges under the stars. Mont Saint-Sauveur is fun for the whole family, with great opportunities for thrill seekers, a wide range of restaurants and shops around the resort and hot spas and lazy rivers for those who would rather retreat into the realms of relaxation.
A veritable explosion of beautiful colours and amazing aromas, Marché Jean-Talon, located in the heart of Montreal’s Little Italy, boasts the best fresh produce in the city. With a vast array of fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheese and charcuterie, and some wonderful street food, the market is a must-visit for foodies. The crowd it draws is diverse and the local farmers and artisans are friendly and knowledgeable, and their passion is infectious. The street has a real buzz about it and some of the stands are no less than inspiring.
Although this museum might be somewhat unexpected, Montreal in fact has a strong Jewish community, with many Jewish people having fled to Canada and America from Europe during the early 20th century. This beautiful and moving museum was founded by Holocaust survivors as well as by committed members of the Jewish community in Montreal in 1979. Through respectful and informative exhibitions and numerous real life testimonies, visitors learn in detail how the lives of Jewish people and their place in society changed over time and about the rise of Antisemitism in Canada. The staff are kind and very willing to share their own stories and personal connections to Museum.
Don’t miss out on the chance to listen to beautiful and seamless music played by one of the greatest ensembles in the world in a stunning music hall, built especially for the orchestra. The acoustics in the new building make this a magical experience, especially when the orchestra take to more unusual themes such as Star Wars. The new maestro, Kent Nagano is incredibly impressive and has proved very popular. The passion within these walls makes classical music accessible to all.
One of the largest and most beautiful botanical gardens in the world and a quiet haven right in the middle of the hectic city, the Montreal Botanical Garden is a magical getaway. Designed by the National Historic Site of Canada in 2008, the enticing green space stretches out for what looks like miles on end. Go ahead and lose yourself in the maze of beautiful plants, themed gardens and tropical greenhouses. Gaze in wonder at the hedges trimmed to resemble all members of the animal kingdom, and the diversity and the bursts of color. This is a truly spectacular way to spend a glorious summer day in Montreal.
This stunning cathedral in Montreal yields unparalleled beauty. The altar is magnificent and is a real focal point of the entire church. The interior is unusually atmospheric, with dark blue ceilings and walls adorned with golden stars and wonderful religious artwork lining the walls. There are frequent free tours for those who wish to learn about the history of the church and its place in Quebec and hear some fascinating anecdotes. Visit this cathedral and be prepared to be blown away.
All kinds of birds, mammals, fish and insects, as well as huge diversity of plant life, can be found under one roof at Montreal Biodome. In fact, there are over 4,500 animals just waiting to be discovered. Five different eco-systems are carefully maintained here, four from the Americas and more compelling yet, one from the Antarctic. Visitors can benefit from an excellent tour, delivered by knowledgeable guides, and expect to learn great amounts about the different species of animal in the dome as well as the many dimensions of diversity.
Take some time to watch these delicate and fascinating creatures slowly sense their surroundings and weave their wonderful little worlds. The Insectarium of Montreal is considered the leading museum for insects in the whole of the Americas, a reputation it definitely deserves. This place is a celebration not only of biodiversity but of the resourcefulness and beauty of some of the tiniest creatures on earth. There are impressive displays of butterflies from all over the world as well as living specimens. Watch the ants build entire civilizations and learn about the life cycles of centipedes and other insects. This museum is small but well considered and very enticing, and is sure to convert even the most reluctant into students of insects.