Montreal/Old Montreal

Old Montreal (French: Vieux-Montréal) is what many visitors come to Montreal for: old cobblestoned streets lined with buildings dating from the 17th through 19th centuries, grand old French restaurants, history museums, and the riverfront Old Port. That's not to say that Old Montreal is completely removed from the rest of Montreal — back a few blocks from the mimes and steakhouses, you'll find warehouses converted to boutique shops and loft apartments.

During the summer, Place Jacques-Cartier is packed with street performers and restaurant terraces overflowing with tourists. Winter presents a much more subdued scene, with bundled figures hurrying from gallery to restaurant to hotel in the cold and snow.

It is a mistake to call Old Montreal the "Old City" or "Old Town". Locals do not call it this, only guide books do.

Get in

By metro

Old Montreal is served by three metro stations — Square-Victoria, Champ-de-Mars, and Place-d'Armes. They are a short walk into the heart of things, but there's a bit of a hill.

By car

Street parking is scarce and runs $3 per hour. Parking complexes run $6/1hr, $15 max, $20 for 12-24 hours.

A few small commercial lots operate around City Hall for $20/day. Note that the streets are small and one-way, and thronged with pedestrians in the summer. Plans are in the works to turn rue Saint-Paul into a pedestrian walk, further complicating things.

By bus

Buses don't run in Old Montreal itself, but they can get you within a few blocks.

From the Plateau, the 55 runs down Saint-Laurent to Saint-Jacques and up St. Urbain and the 30 runs down rue Berri (1 block east of Saint-Denis). From downtown, take the 75 de la Commune, get off at McGill/Wellington: it's then a four block walk to the edge of the cobblestone.

By boat

Ferries (navettes) run to and from Île Sainte-Hélène May to October and to the suburb of Longueuil on the south shore.

Get around

Old Montreal is small enough that walking is usually the best way to get around. Sidewalks are narrow and the streets cobblestone, making slow going for wheelchairs and strollers.

Bike rentals



Old Montreal has the largest concentration of historical homes and museums — plus the ultra-modern Montréal Science Centre.




Marché Bonsecours

Worth a visit for the neoclassical building itself,   Marche Bonsecours houses local art and design boutiques. The Market is open daily 10AM-6PM, 9PM weekends 1 Apr-31 Dec and daily 24 Jun-Labor Day.

Art galleries


Restaurants cater to tourists, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few gems that draw locals. Note that many of the restaurants along Place Jacques-Cartier shut down or at least close their terraces and gardens forcing patrons into a smaller, and often less charming, inside dining room. Prices for each range are slightly higher here than elsewhere in the city.





Old Montreal has limited nightlife options as most bars and lounges are found in hotels or part of restaurants. Standalone bars are more popular for after-work drinks than the late-night partying which happens in the Plateau and Downtown's Crescent Street.






There are no cyber-cafes in Old Montreal, but a few cafes and restaurants in the area participate in Île Sans Fils, Montreal's free, public wi-fi program. Your best bet, if you're without laptop, is to ask to use the business center at one of the larger hotels-—expect to be charged accordingly.

Go next

Routes through Old Montreal

Saint-Laurent Downtown  W  E  Quartier Latin Laval

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