Canada

What To Do In Montreal | Discover The Most Amazing Plans

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Did you know that Cirque Du Soleil was born in Montreal? It may sound like some random fun fact. But, actually, it is a reflection of the eclecticism of Canada’s francophone capital. Why are we telling you this? Because we’re revving up the engines for what’s to come. We’ve prepared our ultimate list of what to do in Montreal. And, of course, we want you to get as excited as we are!

Living in Montreal for a season will give a close-up look to Canadian traditions. But, don’t think for a second it’ll be dull. Montreal will surprise you with its curiosities and attractions, and they are not few! There’s a multicultural environment, exclusive cuisine, and a particular vision of the world that will change your perspective forever!

What To Do In Montreal | Discover The Most Amazing Plans

What to do in Montreal

From historical spots to nightlife, Montreal is one of the most important Canadian cities and synonymous with cultural development. Spending a few months touring its streets is already an excellent plan.

But this little guide of what to do in Montreal is looking to make you fall in love. So, settle in and take note, we’re about to start!

Top 12 Things To Do in Montreal

Climb Mont-Royal

Mont-Royale

Did you know? Montreal owes its name to Mont-Royal, the highest hill in the city at 233 meters high. In fact, no building is taller than Mont-Royal.
But beyond that curious fact, the truth is that Mont-Royal is a must-visit in Montreal.

There are many activities to do while you reach the top, where the Chalet du Mont-Royal awaits you. Here you can rest, eat something. And, of course, take the best postcards with the unsurpassed panoramic view of the Montreal cityscape.

Mont-Royal is surrounded by a sprawling 190-hectare park of the same name. Here outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and picnics are favorites of locals and tourists alike.

Vieux Montreal

Old Town in Montreal

Touring Old Montreal, or Vieux Montreal in French, is another unmissable plan in Montreal. So much so that it is worth the redundancy ;). It is the most historic area of the city, very close to the famous Saint Laurent river.
Here you will find the most cultural, student, and traditional atmosphere of Montreal. Among the main points of interest that you must visit are:

  • The bars and cafes of Sainte Catherine Street.
  • Saint Paul Street, the oldest street with European roots.
  • The famous Notre Dame Cathedral, inspired by its French original.
  • Montreal City Hall.

Breathe the fresh air in the Jean Drapeau Park

Jean Drapeau Park in Montreal

Montreal’s most popular events and festivals take place here. So visiting Jean Drapeau Park is another must-do in Montreal if you’re here to study, work, live, or whatever. This park is made up of two islands: Santa Elena and Notre Dame. The latter is an artificial island.

Jean Drapeau Park is a historic location because it hosted the Expo 67 event. More than 60 countries participated and welcomed more than 50 million visitors. From then on its popularity went higher than Mont-Royal!

Among its main attractions are:

  • The Biosphére museum, inspired by nature.
  • Formula 1 Circuit and Casino on Notre Dame Island
  • The Stewart Historical Museum, with more than 500 years of Canadian history.

Montreal Underground

Montreal underground

Did you know that underground there’s another Montreal? The city has a tunnel circuit of more than 30km with boutiques, residential complexes, hotels, banks, shops, and much more. So, if claustrophobia is not a problem, dive through one of its 120 entry points.

You will find a metropolis worthy of a science fiction movie. The main purpose of these underground streets is to shelter people from the freezing sub-zero degrees of the winter season. Canada’s climate is characterized by being quite cold. But Canadians have managed to cope with it ingeniously. Come have a look!

Vieux Port

Le Vieux

Le Vieux Port, “old port” in French, is one of the busiest and most touristy places to visit in Montreal. It was built in the 18th century. And it went from industrial activity to one of the largest recreational and leisure complexes in the city.

In its 2km route, from the St. Laurent River to the historic center, you will find a beach, markets, picnic areas… And the star of the place: the great wheel that often appears on postcards. We are sure that it is one of the main reasons for wanting to live in this city.

If the English capital has its London Eye, Montreal has its Canadian version at Le Vieux Port. Without a doubt, one of the main things to do in Montreal when you arrive. If it is in summer, even better. You will get amazing views of the city with a twist. 

Enjoy the Plateau Mont-Royal

Plateau Mont Royal

Your bohemian and artistic spirit will jump with excitement when you step into the alternative neighborhood of Plateau Mont-Royal. If you are looking for culture, the first thing you should do in Montreal is visiting its calm yet lively streets.

Here you can also unleash your inner foodie and enjoy all kinds of food. Including the vegetarian menu. In addition, the Plateau Mont-Royal condenses an important muralist and cultural scene.

Did you know that in 2009 Montreal was declared a City of Design by UNESCO? So, if you want to see art and creativity, this is the epicenter.
Extra fact: Among the surrounding neighborhoods is the La Tohu area. It is a large circus complex. And, as such, it houses the headquarters of Cirque du Soleil and the École Nationale de Cirque.

Learn French

Learn French

Up to this point, we’ve come across more than one French name among the must-see plans to do in Montreal. And it is no coincidence. Did you know that Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city after Paris?

Therefore, learning French while enjoying yourself in the bars or parks in this incredible city is another excellent plan. In fact, 68% of the inhabitants speak French and 53% are bilingual (English and French). So you can study French here and practise it day and night.

But don’t worry if you only speak English upon arrival. You can go along easily and even find a job before you even begin to learn the language! We have very good options to study in Montreal while you visit every corner and soak up Canadian culture. Check them out!

Get a sugar rush with sugar shacks

Maple Syrup

After Montreal’s long cold winters comes one of the sweetest times: spring! When nights are cold and days sunny, trees begin to produce one of Canada’s most popular exports: maple syrup! And, it is during this time that Sugar Shacks begin to appear all around the city.

Here, you can taste anything and everything made with maple syrup. From pea soups to baked hams and, of course, pancakes!
So, come and please your sweet tooth with all these delicacies. Just remember to pace yourself so you can taste as many dishes as you can.

But, in truth, the best part is the ambiance. Everyone is glad to be out in the sun after the cold months. And, with a bit of a sugar rush, people are even friendlier and more fun to talk with! You’ll make lots of friends easily at these spots. 

Montreal Biodome

Montreal Biodome

So, Montreal is quite cold most of the year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nature any time! Within the Biodome, you’ll find an indoor zoo and aquarium. There are over 200 species of animals to see.

And, also 500 different species of plants to enjoy! And all this without feeling the least bit cold. On the contrary, the biodome has the temperature feel of a rainforest. So, get ready for a jungle adventure even in February! Can you imagine? Additionally, it houses four other ecosystems.

The building was originally the velodrome during the 1976 Olympic Games. But it has been readjusted to give you a perfect taste of nature.

Tear your throat apart in the Centre Bell

Excited crowd

Maybe you’re a sports fan, maybe you don’t care about them. Either way, a visit to the Bell Centre in Montreal is quite a must! It doesn’t matter if you want to watch a hockey game of the local Habs or just enjoy some time with friends.

Once you step inside, the excitement will flood you like a wave. It will be inevitable to scream, rage, and feel everything that happens on the ice! So, at least once during your stay here, visit and become part of this exciting and passionate tradition.

Furthermore, the arena serves as a scenario for other sports and, more importantly, concerts! So, if sports are not your thing at all, don’t worry! You’re still sure to come at least once during your stay to enjoy one of these events. And, trust us, it will be worth it.

Learn to make Montreal style Bagels

Bagel making

There are many peculiar dishes to try in Montreal. After all, this is a multicultural city. And, as such, it has a blend of cuisines and cultures unlike any other in the world.

But, if you ask us, the best part of Montreal’s gastronomic offers are the bagels. Fluffy, tasty, and easy to mix, they are perfect for any snack! And, what’s more, you can learn to bake them yourself!

There are many courses offered throughout the year around the city. So, enroll and learn how to make the magic happen. Furthermore, this is the perfect way to keep your temporary or permanent home in Montreal warm! Bon appetit!

Do a museum tour in Montreal

Street art

So, we mentioned how Montreal was a very cultural city, didn’t we? So much so that we couldn’t settle on one museum for our list of what to do in Montreal. But, don’t worry, we selected a couple that we really, really love. First, Phi Centre, an alternative hall where you’ll find the most forward-thinking art expositions from all over the world.

Then, there’s the Musee d’Art Contemporain, with great pieces from local and international artists. Of course, there’s also a Museum of Fine Arts you can’t miss. It has especially good itinerant expositions, so be on the lookout!

Finally, if you’re up for something airier, try a street art tour. There are many worthwhile murals scattered around the city. So take a day off to have a look!

Do Everything There Is To Do in Montreal with GrowPro

Visit montreal with GrowPro

Here at GrowPro we have a presence in the main cities of Canada. So that you can have a great experience working and studying while you take advantage of your stay. That is our specialty. If you are looking for an adventure in the country of Niagara Falls, let’s do it together!

Living in Canada means connecting with a culture full of curiosities and must-see attractions. For this reason, in addition to the advice and procedures, we take you to Montreal with:

  • Reception and hug (optional) at the airport with our Arrival Pack.
  • A kick-off meeting about Canadian lands
  • Workshops, tournaments and more events to meet people and learn much more about Canada.
  • The possibility of becoming our Ambassador and generating income.
  • Exclusive access to benefits in our Grower Area.

Besides, we have more than French courses for you o study here. Have a look!

Still considering it? Don’t waste any more time! Pack your bags and come along! The time of your life awaits!

About the author

Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!