Sightseeing in Montreal for the First Time

Never been to Montreal before? Then you are like me, before my recent visit to Montreal for the first time. In the two days that I had,  I walked a lot and  I saw a lot, and felt very happy with this visit. I have written about local food, and now I want to conclude my two-day visit to Montreal with my recommendations where to walk around.

1. Parc de Mont Royal 

The park is situated on top of a hill, Mont Royal, in the center of Montreal. The easiest way to visit the park is to take a car or bus to Smith House, which is the information center of the park.

Take a short walk to the Chalet, where you have a panoramic view of the city.

There are other trails in the park for walkers, joggers and cyclists.

This park was designed by Federick Omsted, who also designed Central Park in New York.


2. Saint Joseph’s Oratory

This is as much a place for worship as it is a museum. The Basilica rises on a knoll and  a flight of steps is designated for pilgrims who visit the place.

There are much to see inside and outside, depending on what is open. There are a crypt,  a votive chapel, a museum and a garden which is designed for meditation in the outdoors. The chimes or Carillon in the courtyard has 56 bells. They were brought over from Paris when these bells, originally made for the Eiffel Tower but could not be used due to technical difficulties. These bells are played at fixed hours.

I was fortunate to be there at the concert hour and I found myself mesmerized by these bells ringing the Toccata by Bach.

3. Notre Dame Basilica

Situated in Place d-Arme in Old Montreal, this is a church worth visiting, because it represented an important page in the history of Montreal. Nowadays, many weddings and funerals of celebrities and dignitaries are held in this church.

Stain glass windows in this church depict early lives of Montreal. The bells of this church were manufactured by the same factory that made the Big Ben in London. The organ of this church has 4 keyboards, 90 stops and 7000 pipes. It is worth attending a service here to listen to the organ music.

Since the Basilica is in the center of the old town, it is convenient to walk around Old Montreal to get a feel of the old banking area, the old warehouses and the old port.

4. Atwater Market

Even though it is “on the other side of town”, getting there by car is not a problem, nor is parking. I am amazed the by range of fresh produce and meat available. There are delis, pastry shops and a bread store which is sold out every day. I am impressed by the colors and tastes this market can offer.

5. Musee des Beaux-Arts

The two buildings of the art museum is linked by an underground walkway. There is an impressive collection of art work and this is a place to visit and to revisit and revisit.

Although one may want to see Montreal as much as possible on the first visit, an experience of Montreal cannot go without tasting some of its local specialties. Even for bragging rights, you must try the Montreal poutine, bagels and smoked meat. Check out my food guide link.


3 thoughts on “Sightseeing in Montreal for the First Time

  1. Pingback: Montreal sightseeing | Info007cleanin

  2. Pingback: Things to do in Montreal « Lake Massawippi Lodge

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