You’ve decided to visit Canada, and more specifically the city of Montreal. Rich in history, architecture and culture, Montreal is nonetheless a dynamic city that you’ll enjoy visiting. But you’re not familiar with the city and don’t know which neighborhood to visit? Don’t worry, I’ll take you through Montreal’s must-see neighborhoods.

Montreal neighborhoods

Art in Montreal, Le plateau

Old Montreal

Montreal’s historic district, Old Montreal is a must for architecture lovers. Set in landscapes worthy of the best postcards, you’ll discover places steeped in history, such as the Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica.

And don’t hesitate to take a stroll through the Old Port. You can admire the Clock Tower, go ice-skating in winter and pedal-boating on sunny days. There’s even a sandy beach to relax on.

Don’t want to miss a thing of Old Montreal? Take a ride on the Ferris Wheel! You’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the district and the city.


To the south of the city, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, lies the Verdun district. Less well known than other neighborhoods, it’s nonetheless a district worth discovering. Urban, but also close to nature, Verdun will delight you if you like to shop in the commercial streets, but also to relax in the shelter of the weeping willows.

If you like sport, then this is the area for you. There’s a huge bike path and a large outdoor dance floor! In winter, you can even go cross-country skiing on a 20 km trail. In summer, take a dip at the Natatorium, where a huge outdoor pool awaits you.

Downtown Montreal

With its glass towers and skyscrapers, downtown Montreal is a sight to behold. A business district as well as a major shopping area, downtown will appeal to the most urban of shoppers. Lined with shops and malls of all kinds, Rue Sainte-Catherine is a must-see.

Not a fan of shopping, preferring cultural venues? No problem, you’ll be delighted to discover the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

If you’re visiting the city in the depths of winter, you absolutely must discover the underground life of the city center. Known for its harsh winters, the city has developed extensive networks of underground passages linking the various living areas of downtown Montreal. An original way to discover downtown!

The Quartier des Spectacles

Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles is a cultural gem in the heart of the city. Renowned for its liveliness and artistic diversity, this district is the place to be for fans of shows of all kinds. Boasting a number of renowned venues, including Place des Arts, the Quartier des Spectacles offers a varied program ranging from theater and dance to music and festivals.

In summer, the streets are transformed into a veritable open-air stage for numerous artistic events and festivals, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Whether it’s to attend an open-air concert, take part in an internationally renowned festival or simply stroll through this lively neighborhood, the Quartier des Spectacles is a must for discovering the cultural richness of Montreal.


Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is a quiet, picturesque neighborhood. If you’re a gourmet, you’ll enjoy strolling through the Maisonneuve market. Here you can sample regional specialties and local produce.

For even more authenticity, take a stroll along the Promenade Masson. Enjoy the charm of this little street and discover its small shops and restaurants.

If you’re a history buff, stop by the Château Dufresne. Built in the early 20th century, you can admire its period furniture and Beaux-Arts architecture. You’ll also find the Nincheri Museum and its stained glass workshop.

Le Village

Le Village is Montreal’s LGBT-friendly district. In fact, it’s one of the largest on the American continent. Located mainly along rue Sainte-Catherine, the Village is a lively and bustling neighborhood, day and night.

Decorated with a canopy of colorful balls, you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to party in. During the summer months, rue Sainte-Catherine is made pedestrian-friendly, so you can make the most of your time out in the Village.

If you like to party, you’re in for a treat! The Village is home to numerous discos, bars and cabarets. And don’t forget to come to Montreal Pride in August. You’ll be able to join in the big parade and take part in the many activities on offer.

The Plateau and Mile-End

The Plateau and Mile-End are Montreal’s trendiest neighborhoods. The Plateau is a rather chic neighborhood, popular with French expatriates. Here you’ll find typical Montreal architecture and numerous small shops. Here again, nature lovers will be delighted, as you can stroll through Mont-Royal Park and observe the little gray squirrels.

Mile End, on the other hand, has a much more industrial architecture, sheltering lofts, organic restaurants and artists’ studios. You’ll also find art galleries and concert halls. Nightlife here is also lively, thanks to the presence of numerous restaurants and cafés.

The Olympic district

Did you know that Montreal hosted the Olympic Games in 1976? Many vestiges of this event can be seen in the Olympic district. Climb to the top of the world’s tallest inclined tower. You’ll enjoy an exceptional panoramic view of Montreal and its various neighborhoods. You’ll also find Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Numerous sporting events, concerts and exhibitions are regularly held here.

If you love nature, you’ll be delighted to visit the Botanical Gardens and the Biodome. Built in the Olympic Games velodrome, the Biodôme is the perfect place to discover America’s flora and fauna. Do you like space? No problem, there’s also a planetarium.

Bottom line

As you can see, Montreal is not a city to be discovered in a day. Don’t hesitate to set aside several days to visit the city and discover the different neighborhoods and the many facets of Montreal. Of course, the list of must-see neighborhoods and places I’ve presented is by no means exhaustive. I can mention, among others, Outremont, the Lachine Canal, Jean-Talon Market and Montreal’s Chinatown. Note that most of the city can be visited on foot.

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