Montréal, Canada is the second-most populous city in Canada and the most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill at its heart.
Montréal is a big and busy place with so much to see and do.
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We had a very long drive from Niagara Falls as we arrived at our third stop on our ultimate family road trip. Super excited to arrive in Montréal early in the afternoon, our first stop was to Tourisme Montréal to pick up our package of information and tickets to a few attractions.
When traveling with our kids, we want to be sure there is plenty of things to do and see. The most important aspect of any of our trips is being able to learn about the areas we visit.
It was a perfect time to visit Montréal in the summer with many great tours available as well. The weather could not be any more perfect and we did not have to worry about rain or cold.
Tourisme Montréal is the perfect place to check out before you head out to Montréal. It highlights everything you need to know and where you would want to see and eat. I had reached out to their office a few weeks prior to our visit to obtain some travel tips on attractions and amusement parks that all of us can enjoy.
The Tourist Welcome Office is located in Old Montréal. The area was bustling with people in all directions. I was too excited to get started but we wanted to check into our home away from home for the next two evenings.
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Where To Stay in Montréal
Montréal is a big city and we had decided to stay where most of the action is without having to drive around. We decided to stay right in Old Montréal in an apartment we rented through VRBO.
The apartment was centrally located to everything we wanted to visit. It was also a nice change from a hotel room from the previous two stops as this apartment included two bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining room, living, and a laundry area. More than enough space for all of to spread out.
Let me tell you…The laundry area was much needed. And we had strategically chosen an apartment for this third stop for this very reason. We needed to get our laundry done as we have one more stop after this one.
Once we settled in, we decided to take a walk and do some sightseeing before dinner. I love seeing all the beautiful historic buildings and taking a stroll on the cobblestone streets. It definitely reminds me of our trip to France.
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Old Montréal and Old Port
Old Montréal is the home to the city’s most historic and newest attractions. Old Montréal and the Old Port make up one of the city’s most constantly evolving and dynamic quarters, with attractions ranging from cathedrals and museums to an observation wheel and river cruises.
You can travel through the past, present, and future here in Old Montréal with how vibrant it is and the many attractions here. I will highlight some of the best below that you can do with the kids.
Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex
What better way to learn of the history of Old Montréal than at Pointe-à-Callière? I would recommend starting out your visit with their spectacular show Generations MTL in their multimedia room. It is projected in an incredible immersive set specially spaced with archaeological remains along with technological wizardry and artistic way that will be sure to dazzle you.
Absolutely amazing to learn about the history of the city from no other than the people that live there. The 17-minute show with 6 individuals proudly showcasing their heritage and story of Montréal. There is so much to do and see here at Pointe-à-Callière. Check out this post here with a more in-depth look at our visit.
La Grande Roue de Montréal
La Grande Roue de Montreal is a climate-controlled as well as the tallest observation wheel in Canada. Allowing visitors to see the city and its beautiful surrounding in a 360 panoramic view from 60 meters in the air, which is equivalent to a 20 story building. On a clear day, visitors can see 28 km away.
Open year-round, visitors are assured to have a comfortable experience with air-conditioning in the summer and temperate in the winter.
SOS Labyrinthe is an adventure waiting to happen. We did not know what to expect when we decided to go inside this building in Old Port. This building is over 105 years old and SOS Labyrinthe celebrates its iconic history throughout its theme.
When you arrive, you are directed into a room with the other participants where they inform you of the history and the objective. There are four historic treasures that you find in this maze filled room full of twists and turns. With so many obstacles and surprises, you are bound to have a few or many laughs. As well as many dead ends.
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The most important thing is that you come out of there having fun.
Each treasure is linked to historical facts related to Montréal, its river, or its harbor. A number of posters tell the stories behind these treasures, allowing you to grasp the historical significance of these little known facts.
You won’t have to worry about getting lost here. There are staff in in-line skates throughout the maze to assist you if you have questions or get lost.
Voiles en Voiles
This has got to be the favorite for the boys! They first spotted this adventure park from way up high from the observation wheel and made it a point to let us know that was our next stop.
Voiles en Voiles is a family adventure park that will make you experience memorable emotions! They had an amazing time taking on the spectacular life-size boats with aerial routes. This attraction also has a pirate cinema, climbing walls, inflatable games, and an arena of combat of archers in foam all completely safe for all.
Safety is their number one priority! There are helmets and harnesses for all participants. There are “patrollers” that are specially trained to intervene if you are in need of help high up in the air.
The boys started out with the easy obstacles first and slowly made their way to the top.
Each level gets harder and harder and eventually when they make it to the top, it definitely requires more physical and mental strength.
We spent a few hours here and would’ve spent more if it was not time to eat. One tip for visiting Voiles en Voiles is scheduling your visit for first thing in the morning. We were not able to enjoy this right after riding the observation wheel as they were completely booked, so we ended up scheduling for the next morning.
Boy, we were glad we did! The boys were full of energy and had so much fun. The summer morning sun was perfect as well.
As the morning went on, we noticed the boys were getting quite tired and hungry along with the increasing temperature, it was time to call it quits.
On the very last leg of their adventure, our little guy was way up high and was not able to make it across the obstacle and required the “patroller” to assist him.
The “patroller” was so good about calming him down and assisting him to the finish line :-). Our little guy did a wonderful job finishing out the obstacle course.
Even though they are tired, they cannot miss the rock climbing here in Montreal. One last thing to do before they head out for lunch.
For years, Saint-Paul Street was Montréal’s main street. Many of the buildings, which date from the 19th century, have been renovated and today serve as artisanal boutiques, designer shops, art galleries, artists’ studios, and even homes, not to forget the famous Marché Bonsecours.
Those cobblestone streets overflow with warm, inviting restaurants, chansonnier bars, jazz clubs, and seductive lounges.
Absolutely breath-taking as we strolled through the cobblestone streets and taking in the sights of the different shops and the beautiful architecture of the buildings.
Notre Dame Basilica
Notre Dame Basilica is the crown jewel of Old Montreal. It stands as a majestic testament to the importance of religion and art throughout the city’s history.
Built between 1824 and 1829, this site of national historic significance features dual towers reminiscent of Notre-Dame-de-Paris. The West Tower houses the famous 10,900-kg Jean-Baptiste bell, while the East Tower rings with a carillon of ten bells. Three large statues – Saint-Joseph, the Virgin Mary and Saint-Jean-Baptiste – keep vigil over the entrance to this religious sanctuary that welcomes millions of visitors each year.
Any time we can are made aware of Chinatown in any of our trips, we make sure we visit it. A short walk from the Notre Dame Basilica, we were met with a huge sign informing us we have arrived.
The narrow streets are lined with shops selling exotic foods, traditional crafts, martial arts accessories, herbs, and natural medicines. Acupuncture and Asian medical services can also be found here.
We love exploring the different shops, seeing the community come together to celebrate their culture but most importantly, we love to eat authentic Chinese foods.
Here the boys are enjoying their eggrolls!
The food did not disappoint especially for the mister who tends to be critical when it comes to good food. You can check us out here as we visited Chinatown NYC and devoured the food there.
Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts
Our very last stop here in Montréal is the Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts. It is one of Canada’s most visited museums and the eighth-most visited museum in North America, boasting more than 1.3 million visitors.
The Museum’s original temporary exhibitions combine various artistic disciplines – fine arts, music, film, fashion, and design – and are exported around the world.
Its rich encyclopedic collection, distributed among five pavilions, includes international art, world cultures, decorative arts and design, and Quebec and Canadian art.
The boys truly enjoy visiting museums and learning all sorts of things. It is an especially great time for them as they are able to understand and appreciate all things.
An amazing 48 hours in Montréal, Canada. These last couple of days here in Montréal has been nothing short of fun and learning. We loved it so much here that we extended our stay by a few hours than originally planned. Making our plan to our next stop a bit of a delay. But definitely no regrets from any of us.
We wished we had more time to explore but we had a jam-packed itinerary on our 11-day ultimate family road trip and we are off to our next stop.
What is your favorite place to see in Montréal?