Things to see in Montreal

Tourist information

Centre Infotouriste
1255 rue Peel (near rue Ste-Catherine West)
Tel: (514) 873 2015 or 1 877 266 5687/BONJOUR.
Website: www.bonjourquebec.com
Opening hours: Daily 0900-1800 (Apr-Jun and Sept-Oct), daily 0900-1900 (Jun-Aug), daily 0900-1700 (Nov-Mar).

Tourist Information Centre of Old Montreal (Tourisme Montréal)
174 rue Notre-Dame East
Website: www.tourism-montreal.org
Opening hours: Daily 0900-1700 (Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct); daily 0900-1900 (Jun-early Sep); Wed-Sun 0900-1700 (Nov-Mar).

Passes

The Montreal Museums Pass allows visitors free admission to 38 museums and attractions in the city for three consecutive days. These are available with or without public transport from both tourist offices and participating museums.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Dating back to 1829, this cathedral is the city’s most iconic building. It was the first gothic-revival church to be built in Canada and its handsome twin towers house an 11 tonne bell nicknamed “Jean-Baptiste”. Adding to local lore, French-Canadian chanteuse, Celine Dion was married here in 1994. The Basilica’s vast size, its extraordinary craftsmanship, fine works of art and chapel are impressive, particularly the latter considering the fact it had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1978. With over 350 years of history, the Parish of Notre-Dame boasts a wealth of trivia, tales and urban legends.

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 0900-1600, Sat 0900-1530, Sun 1300-1530.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: 110 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1T2, Canada
Telephone: (514) 842 2925.
Space for Life

Canada's largest natural science museum complex, Space for Life, offers four different attractions. The newest opened in spring 2013; the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium housed in a $48million building featuring two silver cones pointing skywards like telescopes. Inside, in the Chaos Theatre, visitors can journey into space against the backdrop of a Philip Glass symphony soundtrack. The planetarium also contains a permanent exhibition of meteorites and interactive terminals, videos and multimedia games. Also on the site is a Biodôme where you can learn about flora and fauna in five different ecosystems, an Insectarium offering a diverse and colourful collection of insects, butterflies, moths and spiders, and the Botanical Garden covering 73 hectares (180 acres), which includes a Chinese garden, Japanese garden and a Tree House displaying information on Quebec's forests.

Opening Times: Varies.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: 4581, rue Sherbrooke Est, Montreal, Canada
Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal)

Located near the St Lawrence River, Old Montreal is the site of the original fortified city. The buildings and streets date from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and have been carefully restored. The area is filled, throughout the summer, with tourists who come to stroll along the cobblestone streets, visit the boutiques and restaurants or simply soak up the joie de vivre among the street entertainers and pavement cafes in the former marketplace of place Jacques-Cartier. A tour on a horse-drawn calèche makes for an especially romantic way to see the sights.

Opening Times: Daily 24 hours.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: 110 rue Notre-Dame West, Montreal, Canada
Vieux-Port (Old Port)

The Old Port was once one of the most important trading ports in North America. With most shipping activity now taking place downriver, this area has been transformed into an excellent recreation and exhibition area, filled with walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers on the riverside promenades between the Clock Tower and the locks at Parc des Écluses. The Montreal Science Centre , on King Edward Pier, is a science and entertainment centre geared towards a family experience, with exhibitions, the Immersion Movie Game (interactive video game on a giant screen) and an IMAX cinema.

Opening Times: Daily 1000-1700 (early Jun-early Sep); daily 0930-1600 (early Sep-early Jun), IMAX daily until 2200.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Quai King Edward, 2 rue de la Commune, Montreal, Canada
Telephone: (514) 496 7678 or (514) 496 4724 ,1 877 496 4724.
Centre Canadien d'Architecture (CCA)

The Canadian Centre for Architecture should be seen as much for its own architecture as for the fascinating temporary exhibitions on buildings, architects and architectural movements inside. Peter Rose designed the modern building, whose austere limestone facade contrasts with the adjoining Shaughnessy House typical of the residences of Montreal's wealthy elite at the turn of the century. The area behind the museum is the CCA sculpture garden, designed by Melvin Charney.

Opening Times: Wed-Sun 1000-1700; Thurs until 2100.
Admission Fees: Yes (except for Thursdays after 1730).
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: 1920 rue Baile, Montreal, Canada
Telephone: (514) 939 7026.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)

Since it was established in 1860, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has been at the forefront of promoting Canadian and international art. The permanent collection is split between the original beaux-arts building, which houses Canadian, Inuit and First Nations art, as well as decorative arts; and the postmodern structure opposite where European masters, prints and drawings and decorative arts are exhibited. In the tunnel connecting the pavilions are galleries showcasing contemporary Canadian artists and a small collection from ancient cultures.

In 2000, the museum received the Liliane and David M Stewart Collection as a gift, comprising some 5,000 items of decorative art dating from the end of the 1930s onwards. The whole collection of the former Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, one of the most important in North America, thus entered the museum. The museum also has a reputation for hosting outstanding temporary exhibitions.

Opening Times: Tues 1100-1700, Wed-Fri 1100-2100, Sat-Sun 1000-1700.
Admission Fees: No (forpermanent exhibitions). Admission is half price on Wednesdays 1500-2030
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: 1379-1380 rue Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1J5, Canada
Telephone: (514) 285 2000.
Oratoire St-Joseph (St Joseph's Oratory)

Found on the northwest side of Mount Royal, ‘Joe’s Place’ is a magnificent Roman Catholic basilica which was begun in 1924 by Brother André, a celebrated healer, and completed in 1967, after his death. The 97m-high (318ft) dome is one of the largest in the world and there is room for 10,000 worshippers beneath it. The votive chapel and crypt are worth investigating and there is a good view over the city from the terrace.

Opening Times: Daily 0700-1900 (until 2200 when there is an evening service). Hours for individual parts of the complex vary and tours are available daily from 1000-1700.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: 3800 chemin Queen-Mary, Montreal, Quebec, H3V 1A6, Canada
Telephone: (514) 733 8211.
Parc Olympique (Olympic Park)

The Olympic Park was the site of the 1976 Olympic Games. The unique and costly (over C$1 billion) Olympic Stadium is now the venue for concerts and features a sports centre with four large swimming pools. Half-hour guided tours are available and visitors can also take a funicular (cable car) ride up the world's tallest inclined tower (175m/575ft). Nearby, the former velodrome is now a major and extremely popular attraction - the Biodôme de Montréal is a recreation of five ecosystems under one roof. Visitors can move from a tropical rainforest to a polar world, with stops in a Laurentian forest and St Lawrence marine environment en route.

Opening Times: Funicular: daily 0900-1700 (until 1900 mid Jun-early Sep). Park: Tues-Sun 0900-1700 (early Sep-late Jun); daily 0900-1800 (late Jun-early Sep).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: 4545 avenue Pierre de Coubertin, Montreal, Canada
Telephone: (514) 252 4141.
Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours

Built in 1771, this is the city's oldest church; it contains original Édouard Meloche frescoes and has a small museum devoted to the life of Marguerite Bourgeoys (Canada's first saint). The tower affords excellent views of the port and surrounding streets.

Opening Times: Tues-Sun 1100-1530 (Nov-mid Jan and Mar-Apr); Tue-Sun 1000-1730 (May-Oct).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: 400 rue St-Paul East , Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1H4, Canada
Telephone: (514) 282 8670.
Galerie René Blouin

This gallery never ceases to boggle the mind. Contemporary Canadian artists exhibit their work to the astonishment of art buffs and critics alike.

Opening Times: Tues-Fri 1000-1730, Sat 1100-1700.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: 372 Ste-Catherine West, Montreal, Quebec, H3B 1A2, Canada
Telephone: (514) 393 9969.
Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

In the western end of Old Montreal, Pointe-à-Callière, the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, tells the story of Montreal from its earliest days - with high-tech displays in the stunningly modern Eperon Building, and archaeological remains in the portions of the museum below place Royale (including the city's original sewers) and under the renovated Old Customs House.

Opening Times: Tues-Fri 1000-1700, Sat and Sun 1100-1700 (early Sep-late Jun); Mon-Fri 1000-1800, Sat and Sun 1100-1800 (late Jun-early Sep).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: 350 Place Royale, Corner of de la Commune, Old Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 3Y5, Canada
Telephone: (514) 872 9150.
Montreal Science Centre

A popular trip for families, the Montreal Science Centre has a constant fresh rota of exhibitions and programmes. Learning through interaction is the name of the game, with hands on workshops, special events and fun activities. There is also an IMAX cinema should the little ones demand easy entertainment.

Opening Times: Daily 1000-1700 (early Jun-early Sep); daily 0930-1600 (early Sep-early Jun), IMAX daily until 2200.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Quai King Edward, 2 rue de la Commune , Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Telephone: (514) 496 4724.
Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal (Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art)

Adjoining the plaza at the Place des Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Arts is Canada's only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art. The museum's permanent collection is on display in one wing, on a rotating basis - the collection of works by Québécois artists, such as Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas, whose expressive canvases typify the Automatistes of the mid-20th century, is particularly strong. The other wing features temporary exhibitions focusing on one or more artists. A small sculpture garden makes for a quiet retreat.

Opening Times: Tues and Thur-Sun 1100-1800, Wed 1100-2100.
Admission Fees: Yes (except free on Wednesdays 1800-2100).
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: 185 rue Ste-Catherine West, Montreal, Canada
Telephone: (514) 847 6226.
Parc Jean-Drapeau

Montreal's largest park comprises two islands (Ile Ste-Hélène and Ile Notre-Dame) and was the site of the city's monumental Expo 67 World Fair. Today, the islands are a great spot for exploring on foot, bicycle or rollerblades. Half of Ile Ste-Hélène is taken up by La Ronde amusement park. Elsewhere on the island is the Stewart Museum, located in Montreal's only fort. It recalls the region's martial history with costumed guides and re-enactments. Nearby, a geodesic dome contains the Biosphère - a museum devoted to increasing awareness about river and water ecology. On Sundays throughout the summer, groove to the beats at Piknic electronic, a hedonistic outdoor dance party featuring the best international and local DJs and terrific views of the city.

Opening Times: Daily 24 hours.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Telephone: (514) 872 6120.
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