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10 Things You Can Do to Spend Your Day in Montreal

10 Things You Can Do to Spend Your Day in Montreal

Montreal is a city of many faces since it’s a multicultural mecca that attracts people from all over the world. It’s also one of the most affordable cities in Canada, so you’ll get to see more than just the big tourist attractions on your day out in Montreal.

You can spend your day in Montreal by exploring Old Montreal and admiring the historic buildings, churches, and markets. You can also explore the Underground City, which links different shops and restaurants to one another.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more adventurous than walking, you can climb to the top of Mount Royal Park and watch the sunset or enjoy the night sky at Parc du Mont-Royal.

With so many activities to do, exploring it can be a bit overwhelming. So read on as we’ll help you spend your day in Montreal in the best way possible — from getting around town to finding the best places to eat, drink and shop.

1. Shop at the Underground City of Montreal.

Shop at the Underground City of Montreal's Homepage


Address: 747 Rue du Square-Victoria #247, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 3Y9, Canada

Contact details: +1 514-864-3838

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 8 AM to 6 PM

As someone who has explored Montreal’s underground city, I can say that it’s truly an impressive and unique experience that you won’t find elsewhere. The network was built in the 1960s to help solve the city’s traffic problems. 

The maze of interconnected tunnels offers a fascinating insight into the city’s innovative urban planning. You can get there by taking the metro to Place-Des-Arts station or Berri-UQAM station and then walk into one of the entrances. 

Today, it’s one of the largest underground complexes in the world, with over 30 miles of tunnels that connect thousands of shops and restaurants.

The underground city also includes access to public transportation stations, such as bus, subway and commuter train lines — so it will be easy for you to get around town!

Local Tip: Don’t miss out on the beautiful contemporary art installations scattered throughout the underground city, which add an artistic touch to the already remarkable space.

2. Visit the city’s famous McCord Museum.

Visit the city’s famous McCord Museum's Homepage


Address: 690 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec

Contact details: +1 514-861-6701

Operating hours:

  • Monday – closed
  • Tuesday to Friday – 10AM to 6PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 10AM to 5PM

This museum is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the history of Montreal as well as Canada itself. There are exhibitions on topics such as immigration, politics, law, culture and art.

The museum also has a collection of over thousands of artefacts, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and more.

Having visited this museum, I can attest that it offers a captivating journey through Montreal and Canada’s history, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stories behind the artefacts and exhibits.

The museum also has an outdoor sculpture garden where you can enjoy some fresh air while admiring some amazing statues made by famous sculptors such as Rodin and Michelangelo.

Local Tip: Don’t forget to check the museum’s event calendar, as there are often fascinating temporary exhibitions, workshops, and lectures you won’t want to miss.

3. Be impressed with the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (MACM).

Be impressed with the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal's Homepage


Address: niveau galerie commerciale, Pl. Ville-Marie local 11220, Montréal, QC

Contact details: +1 514-847-6226

Operating hours:

  • Monday – closed
  • Tuesday to Friday – 11:30 AM to 7PM
  • Saturday – 11AM to 6PM
  • Sunday – 11AM to 5:30 PM

The museum houses an impressive collection of contemporary artworks by local and international artists. You will also find many other interesting artworks here, such as paintings and sculptures that show how artists use objects to express their creativity.

Visiting this museum will give you an insight into how the arts have evolved over time and how our city’s different cultures have influenced each other. 

You will also be able to see how artists have changed their style throughout history as well as how they interact with each other through their works of art.

Local Tip: The museum also has a garden where you can relax after spending some time looking at all these amazing works of art!

4. Explore Old Montreal.

Explore Old Montreal's Homepage

This stunning district is filled with cobblestone streets and unique old-world architecture that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You can even stroll along St-Paul Street and take in the sights – from museums, to vintage clothing stores. 

If it’s a sunny day, you can grab an ice cream cone and stop in the many public parks for a break. Our Old Montreal is also home to some of the city’s finest restaurants, so you can take your pick from classic French bistros or trendy eateries with international cuisine. 

One of my favourite pastimes is exploring the quaint boutiques and hidden gems tucked away in its narrow alleys. The atmosphere is truly enchanting, and there’s always something new to discover. 

Local Tip: At the end of it all, you can spend your evening by taking a romantic cruise along the St Lawrence River – it’s a great way to see Montreal at its best!

5. Visit and learn the history of Montreal City Hall

Visit and learn the history of Montreal City Hall's Homepage


Address: 275 Notre-Dame St. East, Montreal, Quebec

Contact details: +1 514-872-0311

Operating hours:

  • Monday – 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 9AM to 5PM

The iconic building of Montreal City Hall is a must-visit if you want to learn the history of the city. Constructed in 1872 and designed by the then mayor, Victor Bourgeau, the building has a story to tell.

The two-story marble structure was designed in the Second Empire style and its main entrance features two statues depicting Quebec’s history. 

The first statue is Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec in 1608, and the second one is Louis Jolliet, an explorer who navigated the Mississippi River in 1673.

In addition, visitors can explore public art installations throughout the building that speak to Montreal’s diversity and culture.

Local Tip: When exploring Montreal’s vibrant history, attend free guided tours showcasing its rich past and stunning art collection.

6. Go to the historic Notre-Dame Basilica.

Go to the historic Notre-Dame Basilica's Homepage


Address: 110 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1T1, Canada

Contact details: +1 514-842-2925

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 7:30 AM to 12:15 PM 
  • Saturday – 5PM
  • Sunday – 9AM to 5 PM

You won’t want to miss out on the historic Notre-Dame Basilica! This landmark is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture and is sure to take your breath away with its intricate details.

Once inside, you’ll be in awe of the ceiling’s stunning frescoes and stained-glass windows that let in a beautiful light from the outside world. 

As you wander further into the church, don’t forget to look up—the famed “Ascension” painting that adorns the Church’s vaulted ceiling will leave you speechless.

The serene atmosphere, combined with the remarkable artistry and craftsmanship, evoked a deep sense of awe and reverence. 

You can take some time to explore their gift shop or pick up some souvenirs as a reminder of this grand place! I still cherish the unique keepsakes I purchased from the gift shop. 

Local Tip: Arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful and immersive experience.

7. Have lunch at one of the restaurants of St. Laurent Market.

Have lunch at one of the restaurants of St. Laurent Market's Homepage

You can’t miss out on the amazing food scene in Montreal. For a truly unique experience, why not check out the restaurants of St. Laurent Market?

From traditional Canadian fare to international culinary delights, there’s something for everyone inside this lively marketplace. 

Plus, you can always pick up some souvenirs while you’re there—who knows, maybe you’ll discover your new favourite coffee mug or find the perfect trinkets to add to your collection.

8. Try Montreal’s sample local cuisine.

Try Montreal's sample local cuisine's Homepage

The St. Laurent Market is a great place to sample local cuisine like classic poutine topped with gravy and fresh cheese curds. You can also try one of the many specialty restaurants for delicious creations like spicy lamb kebab or traditional Vietnamese Pho!

And don’t forget dessert! There’s no shortage of sweet treats in the market, from decadent crème brûlée to plates of fluffy beignets. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try one of the classic Montreal pastries like sugar pie or tortière? The options are truly endless!

As you can see, spending an afternoon at St. Laurent Market is sure to be an enjoyable experience! With so many delicious dishes and unique souvenirs to explore, it’s no wonder why this market draws in crowds from all over the world—Montrealers included!

9. See the sunset over Mount Royal Park.

See the sunset over Mount Royal Park's Homepage


Address: 260 Remembrance Rd, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1A2, Canada

Contact details: +1 514-280-8989

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 6 AM to 12 AM

No day in Montreal is complete without a trip to the legendary Mount Royal Park. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, there is something special about this iconic spot which we really boast about. 

You can grab a blanket and set up on the side of the mountain to watch as the sky changes from deep blues to vibrant oranges and pinks before finally giving way to nightfall. 

You can even head down to Beaver Lake to get an incredible view of the water with a backdrop of the city skyline! On top of the beautiful sight you’ll experience, you’ll also be able to explore some lesser-known outdoor activities too! 

10. Take a walk at the Edward VII Monument.

Take a walk at the Edward VII Monument's Homepage


Address: Phillip Square, Montreal, Quebec

You can explore the Beaver Lake to spot wildlife like raccoons and beavers (or even an occasional fox!), or visit Edward VII Monument and marvel at its intricate sculptures from over a century ago.

The park itself is also full of interesting historical monuments—from chalets inspired by Swiss architecture and winding paths you can stroll down for hours, Mount Royal Park is one of Montreal’s favourite attractions for good reason! 

So make sure you add it onto your itinerary when spending your day in Montreal—you won’t be disappointed.

Local Tip: While visiting the majestic Edward VII Monument in Phillips Square, take a moment to appreciate its intricate bronze sculptures and the surrounding historic architecture, giving you a glimpse into Montreal’s rich past.

FAQs about Spending One Day in Montreal

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