I get often this question: we are visiting Montreal for one day, where should we go? What are the must see. What are the must things to do?
That’s a tough question because there are LOTS of things to do in Montreal: with or without kids. You can stay 365 days and you can do 365 things (or maybe 360). I made the following for people who have kids. Most of my acquaintances have kids so it was easier for me. But the list is valid for couples or singles traveling alone too!
Visiting Montreal for a Day: What Should You See?
So let’s go, since you have only day, I tried to organize the activities by importance and distance! Montreal is not a small city and traffic is quiet a nightmare. Making sure to gather all the nearby activities is a great way to optimize your one day of visiting Montreal. It’s better to have a car as a means of transportation but public transportation can do too. Be prepared to walk a lot though!
First Stop: Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden located in the East End of Montreal. It is a beautiful garden: one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. It has 22,000 plant species, so you won’t get bored. Expect to spend around 2 hours at the Botanical garden. If you are passionate about insects, you may visit the Insectarium that is right inside the garden h
Second Stop: Biodome
Your next must-see attraction when visiting Montreal for a day is the Biodome. It 10 minutes walking distance from the Botanical Garden. The Montréal Biodôme recreates some of the most beautiful ecosystems of the Americas. You will visit 4 ecosystems. Each ecosystem is seperated by a door. Each time you will feel like you changed countries! The ecosystem is so beautifully recreated that you will even smell the characteristics of the system and hear the birds. The tour can be done within 30 minutes but it is better to allow an hour to admire all the beautiful ecosystems.
One of my favorite ecosystem is the tropical: It has many trees and it feels like you are living in that ecosystem. Also, if you are hungry now, you can grab a bite to eat here.
Third stop: Planetarium
If you are passionate about the stars and the sky, make sure to visit the Planetarium for a fabulous view of the sky of Montreal. It is only few minutes walk from the Biodome.
Fourth Stop: Downtown for a bite
By now, lunch hour has arrived. I suggest that you go to downtown to grab some good smoked meat! Downtown Montreal is a mix of European and North American Style! With skyscrapers on one side and European-style buildings on the other, you will feel like you visited both continents at the same time. You can grab a good smoked meat sandwich or bagel sandwich! Or any other food that you feel like too! There are lots of small and affordable restaurants in downtown Montreal. One of the highlights is the McGill University: A university in the heart of the city.
Once you relaxed a bit on one of the terraces and had a nice cappuccino, head to the Old Port.
Fifth and last stop: Old Port
You can spend a day in the Old Port! But since we have half a day, I would suggest the Amphi-Bus Tour! It is a unique way to see Montreal.
It is a 90 minute (or 60 min ) tour in a bus. The twist: the bus will turn into a boat so you can sail a bit on the Saint Laurent. You will have a guide who will showcase the highlights of Montreal and he/she speaks in English & French.
Once this tour over and if you still have some energy left, make sure to eat a snack at the numerous cafes of the Old Port! And visit those gift shops! You can also relax and watch a movie at the Imax theatre that it in the heart of the Old Port.
These activities are always at the top of my recommendations for friends visiting Montreal. Do you have any favorite places in the city that I missed?