Old Port of Montreal, photo credit Touisme MontréalStéphane Poulin
Tour Distance : 2.5km (1.5mi)
Montréal is a city where the old and the new mix marvellously! Just a jump, hop and skip away from the action downtown, you will experience a felted New France atmosphere, where you can explore old cobblestone streets with restaurants, cafés and boutiques alongside magnificent historic and heritage sites. Are you ready for a trip through time?
A. Begin your trip at Montréal’s cultural hub, the Quartier des spectacles! In this quadrilateral area, majestically crowned by the Place des Arts, there are also 80 other sites diffusing culture. Additionally, you will find the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, which is entirely dedicated to the history of the famous Festival international de jazz de Montréal. If you like any kind of music, this is one of the area’s must-sees.
B. By going south on Saint-Urbain Street, you will enter the small, narrow streets of Chinatown lined with many colourful Middle Kingdom boutiques. At the corner of Viger and Saint-Urbain, you can admire the Montréal Convention Centre and its architecture featuring transparency and light. From there, you can continue towards Old Montréal.
C. Stay on Saint-Urbain and, after a short climb, you will reach the heart of Place d’Armes, surrounded by well-established modern and heritage buildings. In the middle of the square, you will find the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal, shining in all its luminescent glory. Modelled on the famous Notre Dame de Paris, this is truly a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece, and its rich interior decoration is every bit as magnificent as that of its Parisian cousin.
Place Jacques Cartier, Photo Credit Tourisme Montréal|Stéphane Poulin
D. Next, you can turn east on Notre-Dame Street, towards City Hall, which can be explored during guided tours. Just across the street, you will find yourself at the top of Place Jacques-Cartier, At the square and in nearby streets, you will find boutiques, restaurants and cafés where you can take a break. After recharging your batteries, head down Place Jacques-Cartier to enjoy a walk on Commune Street or explore the Old Port of Montréal to the west, alongside the river.
At Place Jacques-Cartier where the streets of Old Montréal converge, leading to other most interesting attractions, like Marché Bonsecours (public market) or Château Ramezay.
The Old Port of Montréal includes a 2.5 km (1.5 mi) recreational tourist park, a site offering a wide array of activities that welcomes many huge events. It is also where many river cruises depart from. Additionally, you will find the Montréal Science Centre, a museum and science complex where interaction is a key element of the exhibitions. And if you want to relax and have a different view of the Old Port, we suggest the Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau, which gives its guests unique access to the river and the invigorating benefits of a water circuit.
Pointe-à-Callière, Photo CreditNormand Rajotte
E. The last stop on your tour will be the Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History. This is the only museum in North America built over authentic remains that takes visitors on a lively guided archaeological tour underground. At the beginning of your visit, a multimedia show narrating six centuries of history is projected above the remains.