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10 things to do in old Montreal this spring

Panoramic view of Old Montreal

Discover the enchanting city of Old Montreal, where history meets modernity, this spring season. As you plan your visit, you might be wondering, “what are the best things to do in Old Montreal?” Fret not, we have you covered. 

Here are 10 incredible activities and attractions in Old Montreal that will make your visit a memorable one.

1. Stroll Through the Old Port of Montreal

The Old Port of Montreal

Begin your journey in the heart of the city at the Old Port of Montreal. This historic waterfront offers an array of activities in the Old Port of Montreal, like boat tours, pedal boating, or simply enjoying the scenic views of the St. Lawrence River. 

The Old Port comes alive in spring, with the awakening of colorful flora and the bustling of street performers.

2. Visit the Notre-Dame Basilica

The Notre Dame Basilica

No list of things to do in Old Montreal would be complete without mentioning the Notre-Dame Basilica. This architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold with its stunning stained glass windows and intricate wood carvings. Whether you are a history buff or an architecture enthusiast, the basilica is a must-visit.

3. Explore the Montreal Science Centre

For families looking for educational and fun activities in the Old Port of Montreal, the Montreal Science Centre is a perfect choice. With various interactive exhibitions on science and technology, it’s an excellent opportunity for both kids and adults to learn and have fun. This is one of the must-sees things to do in Old Montreal!

4. Dine at Old Montreal’s Gourmet Restaurants

Among the many attractions and things to do in Old Montreal, its thriving culinary scene stands out, earning high praise from locals and tourists alike. Embarking on a gastronomic adventure is undoubtedly one of the must-do things in Old Montreal, offering an opportunity to taste the city’s rich history and diverse culture.

As you wander along the cobblestone streets, you’ll discover a plethora of gourmet restaurants, each with its unique charm and culinary offerings. The restaurants in Old Montreal pay homage to the city’s French roots while also celebrating its multicultural influences.

Begin your culinary journey at the iconic ‘Toqué!’, one of Canada’s finest dining establishments. Renowned for its sophisticated menu and commitment to local produce, ‘Toqué!’ offers an exquisite dining experience. Indulge in dishes like foie gras, venison, and scallops, all meticulously prepared and presented.

For a taste of traditional French cuisine, head to ‘L’Express’. This Parisian-style bistro, with its classic black and white tile flooring and bustling atmosphere, transports you straight to the heart of France. Enjoy timeless French dishes such as steak frites, coq au vin, and escargot.

Vegetarians and vegans need not feel left out. ‘LOV’, a trendy plant-based restaurant, serves delicious, health-conscious dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate. Try their vegan burgers or the sweet potato gnocchi, and don’t forget to check out their impressive organic wine list.

5. Visit the Pointe-à-Callière Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Montreal at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. This archaeological and historical site is one of the essential things to do in Old Montreal, offering insight into the city’s past and its cultural diversity.

6. Discover Street Art

Spring is the perfect time to explore the city’s vibrant street art. Old Montreal is known for its open-air art gallery, where local and international artists display their talent on building walls. This is certainly something to see in Old Montreal and is one of the most recommended things to do in old Montreal by Americanos.

7. Join a Guided Tour

Old Montreal, with its rich history and captivating culture, is best explored through a guided tour. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a repeat traveler, joining a guided tour is one of the top things to do in Old Montreal. These tours provide an in-depth understanding of the city’s heritage, its stunning architecture, and its vibrant present.

There are several types of tours available, each offering a unique perspective on Old Montreal. From leisurely strolls to exciting bike rides, and even quaint horse-drawn carriage tours, you can choose the mode of exploration that suits your interest and pace.

  • Walking Tours: As you meander through the narrow, cobblestone streets, a knowledgeable guide will regale you with tales of the city’s past, pointing out historical landmarks and hidden gems. ‘Guidatour’, for instance, offers expert-led walks where you can learn about the city’s history from its founding in 1642 to the present day.
  • Bike Tours: If you’re more adventurous, consider joining a bike tour. ‘Ça Roule Montréal’ offers guided tours that take you through Old Montreal and beyond, including the picturesque Canal Lachine. These tours are not only a great way to see the city but also an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.
  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours: For a unique and romantic experience, a horse-drawn carriage tour is a must. ‘Caleche Tours’ offer leisurely rides around Old Montreal, allowing you to take in the sights and sounds at a relaxed pace. As the horse clip-clops on the cobblestones, the carriage driver shares fascinating stories about the city’s history and landmarks.

8. Enjoy a Night of Entertainment

As night falls, enjoy a performance at the Centaur Theatre or take a haunted tour to learn about the city’s ghost stories. For music lovers, a jazz show at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill is one of the best things to do in Old Montreal.

9. Experience History at Chateau Ramezay

For those interested in history, the Chateau Ramezay is one of the key places to visit and find new things to do in Old Montreal. This historic site and museum give you a glimpse into New France’s life, with beautiful period rooms and an exquisite French colonial garden.

10. Enjoy the Bustling Nightlife

Old Montreal doesn’t sleep when the sun goes down; it comes alive with vibrant nightlife. From trendy bars and clubs to cozy lounges, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. 

For a unique experience, don’t forget to visit Auberge Saint-Gabriel when you’re planning your list of things to do in Old Montreal. This is the oldest inn in North America, now a popular nightclub.