Montreal: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Last updated: Février10, 2022

For a weekend or a few days stay, Montreal’s Top 10 helps focus on the essentials. On the way, while going from one to the other, other interesting monuments and sites will also be visited. Of course, the season and weather conditions can influence the choices once you get there, but these are the key places to get to know the city.

01. Old Port

Over the years, the Old Port has become the playground for crowds of visitors pouring into Montreal as soon as the sun returns. To mass tourism, mass activities, there are many attractions, more like a funfair rather than the discovery of the historical heritage that is found all around. But there has to be something for everyone.

02. Place Jacques-Cartier

A natural extension of the wide quays of the Old Port, it is close to the terraces of cafés and restaurants when the time comes. The square is dominated by the City Hall and surrounded by old facades. The silent face-to-face confrontation between Admiral Nelson and French naval officer Jean Vauquelin, a typical Quebec reaction to English domination, is amusing.

03. Place d’Armes

It is the most significant historical place in Montreal. In the centre stands the statue of Maisonneuve, the first governor of the new colony in 1642. All around, the facades trace the phases of history, from the 17th century Old Seminary to the National Bank building, including the Notre Dame Basilica, the Aldred Building and the Bank of Montreal.

04 Place des Festivals

There is always something going on on the Place des Festivals. A favourite location for all temporary installations, shows and open-air festivals; otherwise, water jets or light effects are already a source of distraction. The square extends into rue Sainte Catherine, judiciously transformed into a pedestrian esplanade on this section.

05. Mount Royal

The wooded hill serves as a backdrop to the city centre, closing the horizon and making you forget that you are on an island. The park was designed to preserve its natural aspect, it is a pleasant walk even in hot weather. From the Kondiaronk lookout, there is a wide view over the towers of the business district, perfect setting for many selfies.

06. Olympic Stadium

Since the 1976 Olympic Games, the retractable-roofed stadium and its leaning tower have become symbols of the city, as well as controversial because of the roof’s setbacks. The observatory at the top of the tower at 165 metres gives a general view of the island of Montreal. Next to it is the botanical garden to complete a busy multifaceted day.

07. Notre Dame Basilica

In season, long lines wait on the sunny parvis, distracted by the sequenced musicians’ performances at the Place d’Armes. The interior decoration inspired by the Sainte Chapelle in Paris justifies the modest contribution used to maintain religious monuments. From the outside, the elegant facade monopolizes the camera lenses and prevails over the competition.

08. Museum of Fine Arts

Better than just a plan B for bad weather days, the museum houses diversified collections for all interests, enough to review art knowledge. Several buildings on either side of Sherbrooke Street were mobilized to present the artworks, some of which escaped on the surrounding sidewalks, a source of inspiration for photographers.

09. Saint Joseph’s Oratory

The crowds that flock to it are far beyond the Catholic scope. Visitors are impressed by the imposing majesty of the dome leaning against the slopes of Mount Royal. The Oratory dates back to the early 20th century, when Brother André attracted considerable crowds with the miraculous healings he said he owed to the religious devotion he inspired.

10. Chateau Ramezay

The residence of Montreal’s governors at the beginning of the 18th century is now a little overshadowed by the City Hall in front of it. Its age and its connection to French architecture, complemented by its collections devoted to the city’s past, are clearly visible. A garden in the spirit of the 18th century has been restored nearby.

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    • Montreal is a very pleasant city to visit, especially in the summer. It is probably in Montreal that the mix between Europe and America is the most visible in North America. The mix of cultures often promotes the emergence of something special. Thank you for passing by.


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