12 Fun Activities in Montreal Canada in 2023

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Having lived in Montreal for six months once, I can tell you: this city is really, really special. There are also many fun activities in Montreal.

Montreal is the largest city in Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada. It is a beautiful, historic city with a lot to offer visitors and is known for its French-speaking population and its European flavor.

The city has such rich history and culture, and there are many museums, art galleries, cute vintage shops, and parks to enjoy.

And, of course, no visit to Montreal would be complete without trying some of the city’s famous food. From poutine (my favorite!) to crepes, you will always find new delicious food to try in Montreal.

In this post, you will find the best 11 fun activities in Montreal and other valuable tips you should know before your trip.

How to get to Montreal

Due to its remote location, most visitors arrive in Montreal via plane.

If you are visiting Montreal from within Canada, there are many flights available from all major cities. And if you are coming from the US, there are also direct flights from many cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago.

The Montreal-Trudeau International Airport is located about 20 kilometers from the city center, and you can take the 747 bus from the airport to Downtown for $10 CAD ($8 USD), or you can take a taxi/Uber, which will cost about $40 CAD ($31 USD).

See through dome structure under a blue sky

Best time to visit Montreal

The best time to visit Montreal is in the summer, from June to August, when the weather is warm, and there are many festivals happening throughout the city.

However, if you don’t mind cooler weather, spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) are also great times to visit as the crowds are smaller and hotel rates are lower.

Montreal can get very cold in the winter, with temperatures often dipping below freezing, so I would recommend avoiding a winter visit unless you are okay with bundling up!

If you are still wondering about what exactly is the best time to visit Montreal for you, check out this guide.

Fun activities in Montreal Canada

Walk around Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal)

Espresso and ice cream sign on a storefront

Old Montreal, also known as Vieux Montreal, is by itself enough of a reason to visit Montreal.

Old Montreal is the historic center of the city and is full of charming European-style buildings, cobblestone streets, and cute cafes. It’s one of the most popular areas to visit in Montreal and can get quite crowded, especially in the summer.

There are many things to see and do in Old Montreal, including visiting Notre Dame Basilica, strolling along the waterfront, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride, or simply enjoying a coffee at one of the many outdoor cafes.

Hike up Mont-Royal

Skyline of a city under a blue sky

Mont-Royal is a large park located in the middle of Montreal and offers great views of the city. It’s perfect for a picnic on a sunny day or for taking a walk/hike through the woods.

There are three main trails you can take to the top of the mountain, and the most popular is the 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) long Sentier Lucie-Salvas trail, which starts from Rue Sherbrooke Ouest.

Visit the Notre Dame Basilica

The Notre Dame Basilica is one of the most iconic buildings in Montreal and definitely worth a visit. It is a large Gothic Revival basilica with beautiful stained glass windows and intricate details throughout.

Guided tours are available, and I would recommend getting tickets in advance as they often sell out, especially during peak season.

Shop on Saint Catherine Street

Girl holding a maple candy

Saint Catherine Street is the main shopping street in Montreal and is perfect for a day of shopping. There are many high-end stores as well as more affordable chain stores, and there is something for everyone.

Check out the Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium was built for the 1976 Summer Olympics and is one of the most recognizable buildings in Montreal. It is located in the Olympic Park, which also includes the Montreal Tower, Biodome, Insectarium, and Botanical Gardens.

If you’re interested in architecture, I would recommend taking a guided tour of the stadium, which lasts about 1.5 hours and costs $18 CAD ($14 USD) per person.

Stroll through the Plateau

Street of historic colorful houses

The Plateau is a neighborhood located north of downtown and is one of the trendiest areas in Montreal. It’s known for its hipster vibes, Victorian-style houses, and great nightlife.

There are many things to do in the Plateau, including shopping on Saint Laurent Boulevard, dining at one of the many great restaurants, or going out for a night on the town.

Visit Atwater Market

Atwater Market is a large public market located in the southwest part of Montreal. It’s the perfect place to buy fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other goods.

There are also several cafes and restaurants within the market if you’re looking for a bite to eat.

See the Biodome

The Biodome is a museum located in the Olympic Park that is dedicated to showcasing different ecosystems from around the world. It’s a great place to learn about different animals and plants, and it’s also perfect for a rainy day.

Tickets cost $16 CAD ($12 USD) for adults and $9 CAD ($7 USD) for children ages 3-12, and tours typically last about 2 hours.

Storefront with a green cafe sign

Walk through Chinatown

Montreal’s Chinatown is located in the downtown area and is full of Chinese restaurants, shops, and markets. It’s a great place to go for a cheap and delicious meal, and it’s also fun to browse the shops and see all of the different goods.

Relax in Parc Jean Drapeau

Parc Jean Drapeau is a large park located on two islands in the Saint Lawrence River. It’s perfect for a day of relaxation, and there are many things to do, including picnicking, swimming, biking, or simply walking around and taking in the views.

See art at the Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in Canada and is definitely worth a visit. It has a wide collection of art from different periods and cultures, and there are also often temporary exhibitions.

Tickets cost $23 CAD ($18 USD) for adults and $13 CAD ($10 USD) for students, and tours typically last about 2 hours.

Sign that says "j heart MTL"

Go to one of the city’s many world-renowned festivals

Montreal is known for its many festivals, which take place throughout the year. Some of the most popular include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs comedy festival, and Osheaga music festival.

How many days in Montreal?

Now that we have the best things to do in Montreal covered, how many days should you spend in the city?

I would recommend 3 to 4 days, as this will give you enough time to see the main sights and do some of the activities on this list.

If you’re only visiting for a weekend, I recommend this 2 Days in Montreal: An Epic + Easy Itinerary

Close up of french fries with gravy and cheese curds

Montreal travel tips

Now that you know all of the best things to do in Montreal, here are a few final tips to help you plan your trip:

  1. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing for the time of year you’re visiting.
  2. Montreal is a very safe city, but as with any large city, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and not leave your belongings unguarded in busy areas.
  3. The public transportation system in Montreal is excellent, so I would recommend using it instead of renting a car.
  4. Many businesses in Montreal are only open from Monday-Friday, so be sure to plan accordingly if you’re visiting on the weekend.
  5. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your time in this beautiful city!

Wrap-up: The best fun activities in Montreal

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it helped you plan your trip to Montreal. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

Have a great trip!

This guest post was written by Cami from Travel Cami.

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