Like Quebec City, Old Montreal is European in character. Cobblestone streets, a café culture and historic 17th and 18th century architecture all contribute to the quaint charm that is unique amongst cities in North America.
Where is Old Montreal?
Getting to Old Montreal
- Three metro stations, all on the "orange" line, service Old Montreal: Square-Victoria, Place-d'Armes, Champ-de-Mars. See a Montreal Metro Map.
- Bringing your car to Old Montreal is a bit of a nuisance, as the cobblestone streets are narrow and parking may be difficult to find. See a map of parking in Old Montreal (PDF file)
- More options for getting to Old Montreal
History of Old Montreal
What To Do in Old Montreal
Visitors can appreciate Old Montreal by merely wandering the streets and stumbling upon its delightful nooks and crannies. Nevertheless, visitors should also make a point of seeing some of its more famous attractions (stop by the tourist bureau at 174 Notre-Dame St. East - corner of Place Jacques-Cartier - and pick up a free map).
The Old Montreal website has a well laid out and thorough self-guided walking tour of Old Montreal, complete with photos and maps.
Old Montreal Museums & Historical Highlights
- Point-a-Calliere Museum is a wonderful museum that explores the history of Montreal through archaeological studies and artefacts.
- Notre Dame Basilica, completed in 1829 has a unique light and sound show that recounts a history of Old Montreal and the church.
- Centre d'histoire de Montréal is set in a historic fire hall and focuses on the history of Montreal.
- Château Ramezay Museum explores the history of Quebec and Montreal through paintings and artefacts in a former governor's residence. Lovely cafe and gardens.
- Montreal's Top Museums
Old Montreal Public Spaces
- Place Jacques-Cartier is a public square in true European tradition where people gather to sit on patios, browse the wares of local artists and craftspeople and otherwise mingle.
- Montreal's Old Port sits on the St. Lawrence River, stretching along Rue de la Commune. This area makes for a nice waterside stroll and offers green space where kids can burn off some energy. In winter and during the Montreal High Lights Festival, a large outdoor skating rink is free to the public.
Shopping in Old Montreal
Places to Eat in Old Montreal
- Le Jardin Nelson is famous for its crepes and boasts a lush, multilevel outside terrace set amidst the partial walls of a 19th century building. Live jazz.
- Olive + gourmando - Cozy and busy. Homemade pastries and superb soups and sandwiches.
- Les 3 Brasseurs - not especially French but good mircrobrew beer and bar food.
- Club Chasse et Pêche - Rich, intimate interior. Pricey but delicious and creative.
- Chez l’Épicier - Well known restaurant and chef. Gourmet food shop. Try lunch if on a budget.
- Canadian Maple Delights - Bistro and shoppe. Maple pastries, ice cream and more.