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Beautiful Old Montreal Canada In Pictures

Beautiful Old Montreal Canada In Pictures

Imagine strolling down urban streets adorned with towering skyscrapers, trendy cafes, and charming markets, occasionally stumbling upon a quaint souvenir shop. This culturally vibrant setting exudes both chic and hip vibes, with a profound nod to its British roots. And that’s just the beginning. Brace yourself for a culinary journey, as Old Montreal, Canada, happens to be one of the most sought-after food destinations in the entire country.


Montreal beckons with its rich history and unmistakable French heritage, elegantly showcased through its diverse European allure and natural beauty. Prepare to lose yourself in this captivating city, navigating its cobblestone side streets and reemerging rejuvenated.

As the second-largest French-speaking city worldwide, Montreal captivates visitors with world-renowned attractions, historic landmarks (including an Olympic site), and an array of delectable eateries that will tantalize your taste buds.

Why I Was In Montreal

During the fall of 2019, I had the opportunity to visit Montreal before embarking on a Holland America Canada & New England familiarization/hosted cruise. Arriving in Montreal in the evening, my friend and I had a full day to immerse ourselves in the city before setting sail. 


I recommend allowing an extra two days to explore this remarkable destination. While it’s worth noting that English may not be widely spoken in Montreal, navigating the city and interacting with the local community should pose no significant challenges.

Intriguing Sites Around Old Montreal Canada

Begin your exploration of downtown Montreal with a leisurely stroll along St. Paul’s Street. This charming street is brimming with boutiques, cozy cafes, and vibrant pop-up shops, offering a unique shopping experience that changes with the seasons.

For a taste of luxury, make your way to Sherbrooke and Sainte-Catherine Streets, renowned as Montreal’s upscale shopping districts, showcasing a blend of high-end malls and designer stores.

Immerse yourself in Montreal’s rich cultural tapestry, which reflects its diverse French, Chinese, Italian, and Caribbean influences, evident in the delightful array of goods available for sale. While some establishments accept the American dollar, most prefer credit cards or Canadian currency.


One of the highlights of Old Montreal is the Château Ramezay Gardens, home to the city’s oldest museum. Stepping into this historic attraction, you will be captivated by its striking floral displays, enchanting trees, and meticulously designed ornamental gardens.

Originally built in 1705 as the governor’s residence, the Château Ramezay is encircled by a picturesque stone wall and brought to life by knowledgeable interpreters who adeptly share its fascinating history. This tranquil oasis amidst the bustling city will envelop you in an atmosphere of undeniable beauty.


If you visit Montreal in June or July, you will want to attend one of the country’s most significant events – the Montreal International Jazz Festival. This renowned festival spans ten days and has even secured its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest jazz festival. 

With nearly 500 concerts featuring a talented group of international musicians, including many free performances, it’s an unforgettable experience that should be on any music lover’s itinerary.


Getting to Old Montreal

Montreal is one of the most accessible cities, where you can easily explore on foot or by using public transportation. Walking, taking the bus, or grabbing a taxi are convenient options to navigate the city. However, using Uber is not recommended due to the tall buildings obstructing satellite signals.

Another efficient mode of transportation is the Metro, with 68 user-friendly stations conveniently located throughout the city.

When traveling to Montreal, you can fly into Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL). Alternatively, you can embark on a Canadian/New England cruise starting or ending in Montreal. 

If you choose this option, consider allocating additional days to discover the charming city of Montreal leisurely. Some cruise lines may offer discounted hotel accommodations for pre and post-cruise stays.


Old Montreal Attractions: A Cultural Windfall

Some of Montreal’s prominent attractions are cultural significance, UNESCO World Heritage designations, and historical relevance. When you visit Place Jacques Cartier in Old Montreal, you’ll be greeted by charming kiosks, beautiful blooming plants, and a plethora of notable tourist attractions.

Observation Wheel

Make sure to experience the Montreal Observation Wheel at the Old Port—a photogenic gem and the tallest one in Canada. For a thrilling adventure, consider taking a biplane ride. As you explore the waterfront area, expect to encounter rollerbladers, Segway enthusiasts, and cyclists making the most of the vibrant scenery.


Bonsecours Market

Experience the charm of Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal’s oldest and most enchanting street. Explore the Bonsecours Market, a 150-year-old bazaar housed under a beautiful domed roof, offering a wide array of delightful finds.


Montreal Biodome

Immerse yourself in the wonder of Montreal’s Biodôme, recently renovated to showcase an indoor nature museum, an insectarium, captivating gardens, and impressive greenhouses. With 4,500 animals and 500 plants, it promises an extraordinary visit.

Treat yourself to the beauty of the Montreal Botanical Garden. It is renowned globally for its extensive collections and is among the finest in the world.


Olympic Park

Just a stone’s throw away lies Olympic Park, the historic site of the 1976 Summer Olympics, remembered for renowned athletes like Bruce Jenner, Leon and Michael Spinks, and Greg Louganis.

Notre Dame

Explore the stunning Gothic Revival style of the Notre Dame Basilica, where you can capture amazing photos of this lavish cathedral built in 1888. What sets Notre Dame apart from other cathedrals are its stained glass windows that beautifully depict the rich history of Montreal instead of the usual Biblical scenes.

If you’re interested, guided tours are available for a small fee and typically last around twenty minutes.

Clock Tower

Located in Old Montreal, considered North America’s most European neighborhood dating back to 1642, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an array of exciting attractions. One of the most iconic landmarks is the Clock Tower. This majestic structure stands proud along the picturesque St. Lawrence River.

Take the opportunity to climb to the top for breathtaking city views and breathe in the fresh, invigorating air.

Mount Royal Park

Located in Montreal, Mount Royal Park offers many fresh air and lake activities. Designed by the renowned architect Frederick Law Olmsted, this park is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. You could also take a day trip from Montreal to explore Quebec City, the provincial capital of Canada, found three hours away. 

Montreal’s Fine Food Scene

As mentioned earlier, Montreal is one of Canada’s most epicurean cities. With over 5,200 dining establishments, including microbreweries, local pubs, independent restaurants, and fine dining options, Montreal offers terrific culinary experiences.

Some of the best eats are within walking distance of downtown Montreal.


Aloha Coffee Bar

Experience the perfect combination of delicious coffee and delectable pastries at ALOHA Coffee Bar. Indulge in the rich flavor of 100% pure Kona Coffee, expertly prepared for your enjoyment. In addition to its incredible coffee, ALOHA Coffee Bar offers a selection of mouthwatering Acai, Poke, and Pitaya bowls. 


Tim Hortons is the go-to destination for those who prefer a Canadian staple. Renowned for their exceptional coffee and delectable Tim Bites (also known as donut holes), Tim Hortons has gained a loyal following, but I’m not their biggest fan.

Olive & Gourmando

Consider visiting Olive & Gourmando, a delightful French cafe with a warm and inviting atmosphere and a wide selection of flavorful menu items that will surely satisfy your taste buds. From their delectable Roasted Veggie Frittata to their homemade soups and granolas, you’ll find a variety of exciting dishes.

It’s worth noting that this cafe tends to get busy, so get there early to avoid waiting in line.

Creperie Chez Suzette

Experience the sheer delight of indulging in one of the finest crepes you’ll ever taste or savor the luxurious goodness of a decadent fondue pot at Crêperie Chez Suzette in Place-d’Armes. It’s been years since I had the pleasure of savoring this dish, and it still lingers in my thoughts.

In Montreal or Canada, period, you cannot miss out on trying the iconic Poutine—a mouthwatering combination of French fries, rich gravy, and oozing melted cheese.


Bier Markt

With multiple locations in Montreal, Bier Markt offers a delightful selection of poutine dishes that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Indulge in the savory Bacon Poutine, featuring perfectly smoked bacon, crème fraîche, and fresh green onions.

Bier Markt takes pride in sourcing local ingredients and crafting each dish from scratch. With a killer assortment of beers and wines, as well as live music to enhance the ambiance, Bier Markt is the perfect spot to enjoy a memorable meal.

For an unparalleled dining experience that will make any special occasion or holiday truly remarkable, look no further than L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Casino de Montréal. Nestled in the captivating surroundings of the 1967 World’s Fair site, this exquisite establishment promises an unforgettable culinary journey.

Make your reservation today and prepare to be amazed by the culinary genius of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.


Where I Stayed

The Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel is an excellent choice for those seeking a hotel that offers a great location, affordability, and comfort. With its attractive lobby, friendly and accommodating staff, and cozy rooms, all conveniently situated within walking distance of downtown Montreal, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel was the ideal accommodation for my visit.

Fun Fact: Also in downtown Montreal is The Queen Elizabeth, a Fairmont Hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway to provide luxury accommodations along the train routes across Canada. Today, the hotel chain offers world-class accommodations. It is where John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded the song “Give Peace a Chance” (room 1742) during their anti-war Bed-In back in 1969.

Marché Artisans (the hotel’s gourmet market and pantry) features seven tasty counters for pizza, fresh seafood, sweets, pastries, and more.

Photo from Queen Elizabeth website.

Montreal, A City Worth Exploring

Old Montreal, Canada, offers a delightful blend of world-class museums, charming cobblestone streets, and European-inspired landscapes. It’s a destination that truly deserves your time and attention.

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