Montreal, the largest city in Quebec, Canada, is a vibrant and diverse metropolis that offers visitors an array of cultural and natural attractions. From its historic old town and bustling shopping districts to its lush parks and stunning waterfront, Montreal has something to offer for everyone.
During the summer months, the city comes alive with a range of festivals and outdoor activities, making it the perfect destination for those looking to escape and enjoy the warm weather. In this article, we will explore 15 of the top things to do in Montreal during the summer, providing you with an insider’s guide to this incredible city. So grab your sunscreen and let’s dive into all that Montreal has to offer!
Visit Old Montreal
Old Montreal is a charming neighborhood located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec. It is known for its stunning architecture, historic landmarks, and quaint cobblestone streets. Visitors to Montreal should make it a priority to spend some time exploring this unique neighborhood.
One of the best ways to experience Old Montreal is by taking a walking tour. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will take you on a journey through the neighborhood’s history and point out some of its most interesting landmarks.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Old Montreal is the Notre-Dame Basilica. This stunning church is one of the most visited attractions in the city and is famous for its intricate architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Visitors can take a guided tour of the basilica or attend a mass.
Another popular attraction in Old Montreal is the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. This museum is dedicated to the history of Montreal and features a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the city’s past. The museum is housed in a historic building and includes a section dedicated to the archeological history of Montreal.
Old Montreal is also home to a number of charming boutiques, art galleries, and cafes. Visitors can stroll through the streets and admire the unique architecture while popping into some of these local shops. The neighborhood is also home to a number of excellent restaurants that serve up delicious cuisine from around the world.
One of the best times to visit Old Montreal is during the summer months when the neighborhood comes alive with festivals and events. The Montreal International Jazz Festival is one of the most popular events in the city and features performances by some of the world’s best jazz musicians. Other festivals include the Just for Laughs Festival, the Montreal International Fireworks Competition, and the Montreal International Tango Festival.
In addition to its many attractions, Old Montreal is also home to some of the best accommodations in the city. Visitors can stay in historic hotels that have been beautifully restored or opt for more modern accommodations in the heart of the neighborhood.
Explore Mount Royal Park
Mount Royal Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec. It is known for its stunning views of the city, its lush greenery, and its many outdoor activities. Visitors to Montreal should make it a priority to spend some time exploring this unique park.
One of the best ways to experience Mount Royal Park is by hiking or biking on its many trails. The park features over 200 hectares of forested land and offers a variety of trails for hikers and bikers of all skill levels. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park or take on more challenging hikes up to the summit of Mount Royal.
At the summit of Mount Royal, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the city. There is a lookout point that provides stunning panoramic views of Montreal’s skyline, as well as a number of picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery.
Mount Royal Park is also home to a number of beautiful gardens and green spaces. The park’s Beaver Lake is a popular spot for picnicking and swimming in the summer months, while its Smith House Gardens feature beautiful landscaping and a stunning collection of animals, flowers and plants.
Visitors to Mount Royal Park can also take part in a variety of outdoor activities. The park features a number of tennis courts, soccer fields, and baseball diamonds, as well as an outdoor ice rink in the winter months. There is also a popular toboggan run that is open during the winter.
One of the best times to visit Mount Royal Park is during the summer months when the park comes alive with festivals and events. The Tam-Tams, a weekly drum circle and festival that takes place on Sundays, is one of the most popular events in the city and draws thousands of visitors each week. Other events include outdoor concerts, food festivals, and cultural celebrations.
In addition to its many attractions, Mount Royal Park is also home to some of the best accommodations in the city. Visitors can stay in nearby hotels and enjoy easy access to the park’s many activities and attractions.
Attend the Montreal Jazz Festival
The Montreal International Jazz Festival is one of the most popular events in Montreal, Quebec. It is known for its world-class music performances, lively atmosphere, and diverse range of artists from all over the world. Visitors to Montreal should make it a priority to attend this unique festival.
The Montreal Jazz Festival takes place in late June and early July and features over 500 concerts across 10 different stages. The festival attracts over 2 million visitors each year and is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. The festival is known for its diverse range of musical genres, including jazz, blues, funk, and world music.
The festival is held in the Quartier des Spectacles, a lively area of the city that is transformed into a pedestrian zone during the festival. The Quartier des Spectacles is home to a number of outdoor stages, as well as many indoor venues, including theaters, concert halls, and clubs. Visitors can stroll through the area and enjoy the many free outdoor performances, or purchase tickets to see some of the festival’s biggest names.
One of the highlights of the Montreal Jazz Festival is the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal TD Grand Event. This is the festival’s flagship concert series, which takes place over several nights at the Place des Arts. The Grand Event features some of the biggest names in jazz and attracts thousands of visitors each night.
In addition to its many concerts, the Montreal Jazz Festival also features a variety of other events and activities. Visitors can attend workshops and master classes with some of the festival’s performers, as well as enjoy food and drink at the festival’s many outdoor vendors. There are also a number of art exhibits, film screenings, and cultural events that take place during the festival.
One of the best ways to experience the Montreal Jazz Festival is by purchasing a festival pass. The pass provides access to all of the festival’s concerts, as well as priority seating and exclusive access to the festival’s VIP lounges. Passes can be purchased online or at the festival box office.
In addition to its many attractions, Montreal is also home to a variety of accommodations for visitors. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for every budget and preference. Many hotels are located within walking distance of the festival grounds, making it easy for visitors to enjoy all that the festival has to offer.
Take a dip at the beach
Montreal is known for its vibrant city life, but many people may not know that it also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. During the summer months, visitors can escape the city and take a dip at one of the many beaches located in and around Montreal.
One of the most popular beaches is the Plage de l’Horloge in the Parc Jean-Drapeau. This man-made beach is located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River and features a large stretch of sand, as well as a playground, picnic tables, and a bike path. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the river, kayaking, and paddleboarding, or simply relax in the sun and enjoy the stunning views of Montreal’s skyline.
Another popular beach is the Cap St. Jacques Nature Park. This beautiful park is located on the western tip of the island and features a long stretch of sandy beach, as well as a nature reserve and hiking trails. Visitors can swim in the lake, go fishing, or take a canoe or paddleboard out on the water.
For those who want to get away from the crowds, the Oka National Park is an ideal destination. This park is located about an hour outside of Montreal and features a beautiful sandy beach, as well as hiking trails and camping facilities. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the clear waters of the lake, or simply relax on the beach and take in the natural beauty of the park.
Montreal’s beaches are also home to a variety of water sports and activities. Visitors can take part in kayaking or paddleboarding lessons, or rent a boat or jet ski for a fun day on the water. There are also a number of beach volleyball courts and other sports facilities available for those who want to stay active.
In addition to its many attractions, Montreal is also home to a variety of accommodations for visitors. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for every budget and preference. Many hotels are located within walking distance of the city’s beaches, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a day at the beach and then return to the city to explore all that Montreal has to offer.
Picnic in a park
Montreal is known for its many beautiful parks, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing picnic. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy the warm weather and beautiful scenery while indulging in delicious food and drink in one of Montreal’s many parks.
One of the most popular parks for a picnic is the Parc La Fontaine. Located in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, this park features a large lake, a fountain, and a variety of walking paths and gardens. Visitors can find plenty of shaded areas to set up their picnic blankets and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the park.
Another popular park for a picnic is the Parc Jean-Drapeau. This park is located on the Saint Lawrence River and features a large beach, as well as a variety of walking and biking paths. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the grassy area overlooking the river or on the beach, while taking in the stunning views of Montreal’s skyline.
For those who want to escape the city and enjoy a picnic in a more natural setting, the Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park is an ideal destination. This park is located in the west end of Montreal and features a large forested area, as well as a variety of hiking and biking trails. Visitors can find a secluded spot in the woods to set up their picnic and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Montreal’s parks are also home to a variety of activities and events. Visitors can enjoy outdoor concerts and festivals, as well as sports and fitness activities such as yoga classes and boot camps. There are also a variety of playgrounds and water features for children to enjoy.
In addition to its many attractions, Montreal is also home to a variety of food options for picnics. Visitors can purchase food and drinks from local markets and specialty stores, or they can visit one of the many restaurants and cafes located near the parks. Some parks even have food vendors and food trucks on site, offering a variety of cuisines to choose from.
Attend the Just for Laughs Festival
The Just For Laughs Festival, or Juste Pour Rire in French, is one of the largest and most well-known comedy festivals in the world. Held annually in Montreal during the summer months, the festival attracts some of the biggest names in comedy and features a variety of performances, including stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy.
The festival was founded in 1983 by Gilbert Rozon, who sought to create a platform for French-speaking comedians in Quebec. Over the years, the festival has grown to include both English and French performances, attracting a diverse range of comedians from all over the world.
The festival takes place over several weeks, with events held in various venues throughout the city. One of the main venues is the Place des Arts, a large performing arts complex located in the heart of downtown Montreal. The complex features several theaters, including the iconic Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, which has hosted some of the festival’s biggest acts over the years.
In addition to its main stage performances, the festival also features a variety of outdoor events and street performances. The streets of Montreal come alive during the festival, with comedians taking to the streets to perform for crowds of locals and tourists alike. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of food and drink vendors, as well as live music and other entertainment.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Just For Laughs Awards Show, which honors some of the biggest names in comedy. The show has previously honored legends such as Steve Martin, Tina Fey, and Dave Chappelle, among others.
For those looking to experience the festival on a budget, the festival also offers a range of free events and performances. These include outdoor shows, comedy workshops, and other activities designed to engage and entertain visitors of all ages.
The Just For Laughs Festival is not only a platform for established comedians but also provides opportunities for up-and-coming performers to showcase their talents. The festival’s New Faces shows are a popular feature and have helped to launch the careers of many comedians over the years.
Visit one of the thousand stores in the city
Montreal is a shopper’s paradise, with a vast array of stores, boutiques, and markets to explore. From high-end designer boutiques to vintage thrift stores, there is something for every taste and budget. With so many options available, it can be challenging to decide where to start. Here are some of the top stores to visit in Montreal:
Holt Renfrew – Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, Holt Renfrew is a high-end department store that offers a range of luxury brands, including Chanel, Gucci, and Prada.
Ogilvy – Founded in 1866, Ogilvy is one of Montreal’s oldest and most iconic department stores. The store is known for its beautiful architecture and offers a range of high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton and Dior.
Rue Sainte-Catherine – Known as Montreal’s shopping street, Rue Sainte-Catherine is a bustling thoroughfare that features a range of shops, boutiques, and department stores. Visitors can find everything from fast fashion to designer labels along this popular street.
Atwater Market – Located in the Saint-Henri neighborhood, Atwater Market is a popular destination for foodies and shoppers alike. The market offers a range of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods, as well as a variety of artisanal crafts and souvenirs.
Mile End – This trendy neighborhood is home to a range of independent boutiques and vintage stores. Visitors can find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces at stores like Annex Vintage and Citizen Vintage.
Jean-Talon Market – Located in the Little Italy neighborhood, Jean-Talon Market is one of Montreal’s largest and most popular markets. Visitors can find a range of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local specialties, as well as a variety of artisanal crafts and souvenirs.
Galerie D’Art Point Rouge – This contemporary art gallery features a range of works by local and international artists. Visitors can browse paintings, sculptures, and other works of art in a beautiful and modern setting.
Quartier des Spectacles – Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, Quartier des Spectacles is a vibrant cultural district that features a range of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Visitors can also enjoy a range of performances and events, including live music and theater.
At last, Montreal offers a diverse and exciting shopping experience, with a range of stores and markets to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re looking for high-end designer boutiques or unique independent stores, there is something for everyone in this beautiful and vibrant city.
Visit the Famous Casino of Montreal
The Casino de Montreal is one of the largest casinos in Canada and a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The casino features over 3,000 slot machines, 100 gaming tables, and a variety of other games and activities.
Upon entering the casino, visitors will be struck by its grandeur and opulence. The casino is located on a man-made island and features stunning architecture and decor throughout its expansive interior. Guests can choose from a wide variety of gaming options, including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, and poker.
For those looking for a break from gaming, the casino also features a range of entertainment options. The Cabaret du Casino is a 600-seat theater that hosts a variety of shows and performances throughout the year, including music concerts, comedy shows, and dance performances. The casino also features several bars and restaurants, including the popular Le Montreal Restaurant and Bar, which offers stunning views of the St. Lawrence River.
One of the unique features of the casino is its involvement in the arts community. The casino has a large collection of contemporary art, and visitors can take a guided tour of the exhibits to learn more about the artwork on display.
Visit the Botanical Garden – Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Botanical Garden, which features over 22,000 plant species across 75 hectares.
Explore the Plateau neighborhood – Wander through the eclectic Plateau neighborhood and admire the colorful street art and unique boutiques.
Check out the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Beat the heat and explore the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which features an impressive collection of over 40,000 works of art.
Take a boat tour – See the city from a different perspective with a boat tour on the St. Lawrence River.
Attend the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival – This three-day music festival brings together some of the biggest names in the music industry for an unforgettable weekend.
Visit the Atwater Market – Indulge in some delicious fresh produce and local delicacies at the Atwater Market, one of Montreal’s oldest and most popular public markets.
Explore the Underground City – Beat the heat by exploring the Underground City, a vast network of tunnels and malls that connect over 20 miles of downtown Montreal.
Attend the International Fireworks Competition – Watch the night sky light up with the International Fireworks Competition, which takes place over several weekends throughout the summer.
Take a day trip to Quebec City – Escape the city and take a day trip to Quebec City, a charming and historic city just a few hours’ drive from Montreal.
Montreal is a city with a rich and diverse range of activities and experiences to offer visitors in the summer. From exploring the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal and climbing Mount Royal for stunning views of the city, to attending world-renowned festivals such as the Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs, there is no shortage of things to do in this vibrant city.
The city’s beautiful parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces provide ample opportunities to relax and soak up the sun, while the bustling shopping districts and markets offer endless options for food, fashion, and souvenirs. With so much to see and do, Montreal is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking for a memorable summer adventure.