Where to stay in Montreal! A guide to the best neighborhoods, things to do, and accommodation options no matter what your budget is.
It’s easy to get lost in the vast mixture of cultures in Montreal. With a a French-infused way of life, Montreal has a European flavor while remaining true to its Canadian heritage.
Montreal is the largest city in Quebec province and the second largest city in Canada. There are tons of things to do in Montreal, Canada that aren't available in other Canadian cities, especially when it comes to tasting its local flavors and restaurants.
There is no shortage of options when deciding where to stay in Montreal. From classic French hotels in Old Montreal to trendy hotels in Le Plateau, Montreal has accommodation choices to fit anyone’s vacation style and budget.
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Where to Stay in Montreal, Canada: The Best Neighborhoods
Montreal takes its French history seriously. Stepping into the city can feel like stepping into a European city where French is the dominant language. Montreal is also the epicenter of Canadian festivals.
The people of Montreal have a love affair with fine arts and cultural events, which makes a visit to the city an exciting way to delve into the culture of Quebec.
French architecture is widespread throughout Montreal. When walking through the city, it often feels like you're in Europe, without the expensive flight and jet lag.
When it comes to where to stay in Montreal, there are many neighborhoods to choose from. Each neighborhood has it's own distinct character and appeal. No matter which neighborhood you choose, you're bound to find yourself immersed in the best parts of the city, with its unique culture and delicious food.
Yes, Old Montreal is full of tourists, but rightfully so. This area of Montreal is where the city started to take shape. Its buildings are heavily influenced by European style architecture and there are beautiful open air squares that are reminiscent of France. This neighborhood is one of the best places to stay in Montreal.
Old Montreal is home to the famously beautiful Basilique Notre-Dame. This neighborhood’s streets are lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Within the neighborhood limits is also Chinatown. Walking through Old Montreal is a must for those experiencing Montreal for the first time as it's one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
French cuisine is easy to find in Old Montreal. Restaurants such as Toqué! and Le Club Chasse et Pêche highlight French and Quebecois dishes. If casual vegan and vegetarian food is more your preference, visit nearby LOV (by far the best vegan food in Montreal).
Recommended Experience: Walking Tour of Old Montreal
Where to Stay in Old Montreal
Auberge Saint-Paul - The Auberge Saint-Paul is a standard hostel with all the amenities you’d except, including dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms, a communial kitchen, lockers, and laundry facilities.
It is centrally located in Old Montreal and walking distance to the beautiful Marche Bonsecours. Also walking distance from this hostel are sites such as the Old Port of Montreal and the Basilique Notre-Dame.
Hotel Place D'Armes - Come to this Old Montreal hotel for its unique neoclassical architecture and proximity to many of the neighborhood’s best attractions.
The Hotel Place D’Armes is walking distance to the Basilique Notre-Dame and the Palais des congrès de Montreal. There is also a free hotel shuttle that brings guests to downtown Montreal. When it comes to hotels in Old Montreal, this is a prime option for a reasonable price.
W Montreal - This high end chain hotel offers a sleek atmosphere and contemporary guest rooms. Guests don't have to leave this hotel for cocktails or fine dining.
There are a variety of lounges throughout the hotel, including Bartizen, a gin lounge. For dining options, the W Hotel has an Asian and French fusion restaurant named Nom Nom.
The W Montreal is centrally located in Old Montreal, with easy access to many of the city’s art museums and the Old Port. It is one of the highest rated Old Montreal hotels. It is also a pet-friendly hotel with 24-hour guest services.
Le Plateau is a neighborhood in Montreal that bursts at the seams with creativity and trendiness. It is widely known for being the artistic epicenter of this Canadian city. There are a wide variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants to choose from while walking around the quaint streets of Le Plateau.
Le Plateau is a true example of diverse cultures coming together to share a common neighborhood. This can be seen in the flavors of the cafes and restaurants that fill the tree-lined streets of the area.
Le Plateau has a vibrant nightlife scene with hip bars and music venues. Some of the best include Laïka, which is a bar, restaurant, and cafe, all at the same time. Another popular spot among locals of the neighborhood is La Distillerie for its colorful cocktails.
Recommended Experience: Montreal Bike Tour: Hoods & Hidden Gems
Where to Stay in Le Plateau
Hotel Park Avenue - This budget hotel is a no frills accommodation with standard amenities. Each guest room comes with WIFI, a microwave and small refrigerator.
It is located in the heart of Le Plateau, with many sights and public transportation walking distance from the hotel. For those who want to prepare their own meals, there is a common kitchen available. Laundry is also available on site.
Intimate Plateau Suites by Sonder - These apartment-style accommodations give guests a sense of truly living in the neighborhood, rather than staying at a typical hotel. Each apartment comes with a full living room and kitchen. This accommodation is walking distance to popular Montreal attractions and the buzz of Le Plateau.
Auberge de La Fontaine - When is comes to where to stay in Montreal, this hotel is a great option for its location. Auberge de La Fontaine is centrally located right at the footsteps of La Fontaine Park.
This inn provides guests with modern amenities, including whirlpool tubs in guest rooms. Snacks and breakfast are included in the price of the stay, which leaves extra money for tasting more of the local flavors of the Le Plateau neighborhood once you venture out for the day.
Montreal's Gay Village is one of the biggest LBGT communities in North America. It is centrally located in the city and easily accessible by public transportation, making it a prime choice when deciding where to stay in Montreal.
The nightlife scene in the Gay Village is lively and vibrant. This neighborhood is known for its restaurants, such as Le Passé Composé for French-inspired brunch and Agrikol for Haitian food and tropical drinks.
Gay Village attracts a younger crowd, including students and young professionals. It is a neighborhood buzzing with excitement and its social scene is one of the best in Montreal.
Where to Stay in Gay Village
M Montreal Hostel - This budget-friendly hostel offers dorm-style rooms and private rooms for those who want their own space. Its amenities are simple, but the hotel also has live entertainment and a bar on site.
Stay at the M Montreal Hostel for a social atmosphere and to meet other like minded travelers along the way.
Hotel10 - Hotel10 is a modern hotel with unique amenities compared to other hotels in the neighborhood. Embracing the Gay Village's upbeat nightlife scene, Hotel10 has a nightclub and provides free car service for guests going to other locations.
It has a central location that makes it easy to walk to famous sights. For instance, Plateau Mont-Royal is just a two minute walk from the hotel. A breakfast buffet is available daily and the lobby also houses a coffee and wine bar.
Boxotel - Boxotel is a boutique hotel with a mission to provide eco-friendly services to its guests. It has contemporary amenities such as home automation systems. Guest rooms are apartment style, with suites and lofts available. There is a rooftop lounge and spa for guests to enjoy.
Unlike other neighborhoods in Montreal that have more of a quaint and residential feel, Downtown Montreal is the opposite. Downtown is Montreal's main business hub, with skyscrapers and people in suits filling the streets.
There are a large number of hotels in Downtown Montreal to choose from if you decide to stay in this cosmopolitan neighborhood.
Visiting Downtown Montreal, also known as Centre-Ville, should be on any tourists list of places to see, especially since there are so many great museums located in this area. This includes the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal.
The entertainment district is a huge part of Downtown Montreal's appeal. Within a small section of the neighborhood, there are over 80 different venues for theater, concerts, art exhibits, and other cultural events.
While walking around the Downtown Montreal area, stop by Escondite for Mexican food. For a traditional reuben sandwich, make sure to visit Reuben's Deli. The Cloakroom Bar serves up speciality cocktails in a speakeasy atmosphere.
Where to Stay in Downtown Montreal
HI Montreal Hostel - This budget-friendly hostel in the center of Montreal is a prime choice for those who want to save some money but still stay in the middle of the city.
There are a ton of activities offered at this hostel, including free tours everyday. The hostel has both dorm-style and private rooms. Free breakfast is included with your stay.
This hostel is ideal for those who want to socialize and meet other travelers while in Montreal, while still staying in a safe and clean space.
Le St-Martin Hotel Centre-Ville-Hotel Particulier - This hotel offers guests a great location, situated just above the Underground City. It is also walking distances to many attractions in Downtown Montreal, including many of the nearby museums.
Guest rooms include modern amenities and a mini bar. The hotel has a pool with a waterfall, a state of the art gym, and an on site restaurant. This hotel is a great option for its proximity to local attractions and easy access to public transportation and the Underground City.
The Ritz-Carlton Montreal - This international chain of hotels is synonymous with luxury, and its Montreal location is no different. Guest rooms at this luxurious hotel are fitted with high end amenities, including heated bathroom floors and Bulgari bathroom products.
The Ritz-Carlton is one of the best hotels in Montreal because of its high standard of quality and service.
The hotel comes with a 24-hour concierge available. There are a few dining options, including Le Jardin, a restaurant in the garden of the Ritz-Carlton Montreal.
For cocktails, guests can stop by the Ritz Bar. French cuisine is showcased at Maison Boulud, another restaurant in the hotel.
High attention to detail and welcoming guest services make this hotel stand out from others in the area. It is also near the Golden Square Mile, where many of the areas famous museums are located.
Mile End is technically part of Le Plateau, but no one doubts that this neighborhood within a neighborhood has a claim to fame all on its own. Hipsters call this area home and it oozes with creativity and street art.
There is no shortage of coffee shops, restaurants and bars in this artsy area of Montreal.
This area of the city attracts a younger crowd and is well known for being one of the best Montreal neighborhoods to visit, especially if you're into thrift stores, art galleries, and good food.
If you are searching for an artistic neighborhood with exceptional restaurants and bars, Mile End could be considered the best area to stay in Montreal.
Mile End is a rather small area, only 10 blocks long. But within those 10 blocks are some of Montreal's best restaurants and shops. Taste homemade gnocchi at La Dhrogeria Fine. Get a scoop of artisanal ice cream at Kem Coba, including unique flavors like salted butter or pandan.
Food tours are also very popular in the area, so make sure you wear comfortable pants when tasting all of this neighborhood's cuisine.
Recommended Experience: Beyond the Bagel: Montreal Jewish Food Walking Tour
Where to Stay in Mile End
Parc Avenue Lofts - A loft apartment in the heart of Mile End is a great option when it comes to accommodation in Montreal. The Parc Avenue Lofts are all modern loft apartments with a full kitchen, living room, balconies, and private bedroom and bathroom.
This type of accommodation is perfect for those who want to feel more immersed in the neighborhood by getting a sense of how it would feel to live in an apartment in Mile End.
Mile End Bohemian 1 Bedroom Apartment - For a completely private one bedroom apartment in the heart of Mile End, this spot is for you. The apartment is fully furnished with a full kitchen and washing machine. The Bohemian decor makes it feel exactly how any stay in Mile End should feel, full of creativity and art.
Penthouse Plateau/Mile End Montreal - This 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom penthouse near Mile End is the type of accommodation to rent with a large group of people. It has a contemporary interior design with a washing machine and air conditioning.
How to Get Around Montreal
Montreal is a walkable city and visitors can take advantage of not having to rely on a car to get around. Each Montreal neighborhood can be easily explored by foot. In fact, it is one of the best ways to discover each local neighborhood's charms.
By taking the time to walk around Montreal's distinct neighborhoods, visitors can get a true feel of life in the city.
With that said, using public transportation is an easy option when traveling from one neighborhood to another, especially during the winter. Montreal's public transportation system is efficient and simple to use.
One of the main ways to get around the city is by using the STM, which stands for the Société de transport de Montréal. The STM operates both public trains and buses.
Like other large metropolitan areas, the fare is set per ride, as opposed to distance. A one way fare costs CA $3. There are one- and three-day passes available as well. For those staying in Montreal for an extended period of time, loading an OPUS card with prepaid days is a good option.
When the weather permits, biking is also a fun way to get around Montreal. There are plenty of bike paths all across the city and many streets turn into bike paths in the spring and summer months.
Driving or taking a cab around the city are also options, but of course come at a higher price than public transportation or bicycling.
Top 10 Sights to See in Montreal
Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and its mix of Canadian and traditional French influences makes for a unique travel destination unlike any other city in the world.
When it comes to finding out what to do in Montreal, there are no shortage of exciting activities. A visit to Montreal means strolling down streets filled with European architecture and tasting the multicultural flavors of its diverse culinary scene.
There are plenty of both indoor and outdoor sights to see when spending time in Montreal. Here are a few highlights that this French Canadian city has to offer.
Mount Royal Park
Mount Royal Park is hands down the most famous park in all of Montreal. The designer behind this popular outdoor space is none other than Frederick Law Olmstead, the same designer of New York City's Central Park.
Opened to the public in 1876, Mount Royal park offers locals and tourists a beautifully landscaped outdoor area with hiking trails in the middle of a bustling city.
From high above, Mount Royal Park opens up to sweeping views of the city. It is easily one of the most picturesque spots in Montreal for its panoramic views. The view is one of the reasons it's one of the highest rated things to see in Montreal.
This jaw dropping basilica in the heart of Old Montreal is one of the most visited sights in he whole city. The Basilique Notre-Dame was built in 1656, making it Montreal's oldest Catholic church (and there are a lot of them in the city!).
Marvel at the detailed architecture of the church's interior. There is even a stained glass feature in the church that depicts the history of Montreal.
The stunning artwork of the church's interior is a mixture of wood carvings, Catholic sculptures and historical paintings. Widely known as the largest bell in North America, The Gros Bourdon is housed within the basilica as well.
This expansive farmer's market is one of the most popular in all of Montreal. The Jean-Talon Market is in the Little Italy neighborhood of the city and is a true testament to Montreal's multicultural heritage, as mixtures of culturally diverse cuisine fill its interior.
Local produce and fresh flowers make for a colorful market. A variety of fruits and vegetables are available based on the season, along with meats, spices, and pastries. The Jean-Talon Market is one of the largest markets of its kind in North America, making it an exciting, and delicious sight to see and taste.
Recommended Experience: Beyond the Market Food Tour in Montreal
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a must stop on any Montreal bucket list. It is the largest museum in Montreal and one of the most important museums in the Canada.
Housed within the museum are exhibits on the archeology of the world, a sculpture garden, and international contemporary art from a. variety of countries. There are also exhibits on ancient artwork and photography.
If museums are the way you enjoy understanding the culture of a city, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a perfect option.
Montreal Botanical Garden
The Montreal Botanical Garden is a 190-acre outdoor urban space filled with flower gardens and greenhouses. It is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world.
There are 22,000 species of plants and 10 greenhouses, giving visitors an abundance of floral wonder to appreciate. The Montreal Botanical Garden is located in close proximity to downtown Montreal, making it an easily accessible sight to visit away from the rush of the city.
Parc La Fontaine
Parc La Fontaine is an outdoor area, once a farm, now turned into one of the most popular parks in Montreal. Located in the artistic neighborhood of Plateau Mont-Royal, Parc La Fontaine gives locals and visitors a breath of fresh air away from the buzz of city life.
This park is open all year long and offers cultural events and concerts throughout the year.
If you're looking for a quirky attraction, the Barbie Expo, located in the high end Les Cours Mont Royal shopping mall, showcases 1000 Barbie dolls. All are fitted with designer clothes, giving a nod to the traditional Barbie doll herself, along with the fashion of contemporary designers.
Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Vera Wang are among some of the internationally known designers who created outfits to fit the small 11-inch doll.
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal is the largest church in Canada. Its structure includes a dome ceiling, which is also one of the largest in the world.
Located at the Westmount summit in Mount Royal, a visit to the outside of Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal showcases a beautiful view of the city down below.
Within the church itself, visitors can admire Italian Renaissance architecture. It has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.
Montreal's Underground City
Winters are rough in Montreal. Not surprisingly, people would prefer to spend more time indoors and away from the frigid temperatures. The Underground City makes it possible for locals and tourists to enjoy the city without having to step outside much.
The Underground City is a web of interconnected tunnels that bring together shopping areas, restaurants, and businesses. The Montreal Metro is also connected to the Underground City.
It's easy to spend a whole day walking through (and getting lost) beneath the city of Montreal, without hardly ever stepping foot outside.
Recommended Experience: Montreal Downtown and Underground City Tour
Old Port of Montreal
The Old Port of Montreal is located along the Saint Lawrence River in Old Montreal. Once used as a port for trading, it is now a lively area for cultural events.
A number of festivals take place in the Old Port of Montreal, including Igloofest in the winter. When the weather is warmer, this section of the city is a great place for leisurely activities, including boating and bicycling.
Other Recommended Experiences to Have in Montreal
Top 3 Day Trips from Montreal
Even though there are plenty of sights to see in Montreal, there are plenty of easy day trips from the city center as well. A visit to some of Canada's other popular cities is just a short drive or train ride away from downtown Montreal.
The drive from Montreal to Ottawa is only two hours, making it an easy day trip to make without spending much time traveling. Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is where visitors can take in sights such as Parliament Hill.
Other noteworthy spots to visit in Ottawa include the Rideu Canal for a stroll along the river and the ByWard Market for shopping and tasting artisanal food. If museums are more your thing, visit the Canadian Museum of History and the National Gallery of Canada.
Recommended Experience: Ottawa Private Tour from Montreal
Just under three hours away by car, Quebec City is a great destination to visit from Montreal. Like Montreal, Quebec City is steeped in French history and is a Francophone town. It is the capital of Quebec and a city that you should even explore for more than one day if you have the time.
Beautiful European architecture and an Old World feel fill some of the streets of Quebec City. Visit Old Quebec to get a true sense of the city's history. La Citadelle de Quebec is a still active fort and museum that gives visitors a look into the Canadian military history.
If you want to gear your visit towards nature, stop at the Montmorency Falls on the way to Quebec City. It's a dramatic and stunning waterfall that dips into the Montmorency River.
Recommended Experience: Quebec City and Montmorency Falls Day Trip from Montreal
The Granby Zoo is just a little over one hour away from Montreal by car. There are over 1500 animals in the zoo and an abundant amount of learning opportunities for all ages.
A visit to the zoo if perfect for families visiting Montreal who want a day away from the ongoing adventures within Montreal.
What to Pack for Montreal
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