Montreal is a fascinating city that seamlessly combines European history with North American modernism, personality and charm. Located in eastern Canada, Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec and the second largest city in Canada.
It is a predominantly francophone city and it is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. Thanks to its unique culture, eclectic arts scene, and unparalleled options for restaurants and bars, Montreal is well worth a spot on your Eastern Canada travel itinerary.
The island of Montreal is separated into 19 boroughs (or arrondissements). The neighbourhoods to the west are generally considered more Anglophone, whereas the neighbourhoods to the east are more traditionally French-speaking.
This eclectic mix of cultures, attractions and activities is one of the many reasons Montreal is so charming. From world-class tourist attractions and renowned restaurants and delis to lush parks and port-side bike paths, there's truly something for everyone in Montreal.
The best place to stay in Montreal will depend on your interests and how much time you have to spend in this intriguing city. Whether you're visiting Montreal for the first time, are travelling with kids, or are looking for the best bagels in town, there's an option for you.
Looking for hotel recommendations? Here are our suggestions...
First-time visitors: Le Petit Hotel in Old Montreal
Couples: Hotel St Thomas in the Latin Quarter
Families: Auberge de La Fontaine in Plateau Mont-Royal
On a budget: Gite L'Imprévu in Saint-Henri
Foodies: Les Lofts du Plateau in Mile End
For living like a local: this spacious apartment in Rosemont La Petite Patrie
See the city's most famous and important attractions
Experience the heart and soul, and the oldest neighbourhood in the city
Enjoy European-style buildings and cobblestone streets
Old Montreal (or View Montreal) is the best place to stay in Montreal if you're visiting for the first time. As the name suggests, Old Montreal is the oldest neighbourhood in the city.
It is considered one of the most beautiful areas in Montreal thanks to its charming European-style buildings and cobblestone streets. Easy to navigate and with plenty to see and do, Old Montreal is the perfect place to stay if you're looking to be at the centre of the action.
Vieux Montreal is also where you'll find the city's most important and popular tourist attractions, including the Grand Notre Dame Cathedral, and Saint Paul Street, a lively area home to boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and cafes.
A must-see in the neighbourhood is the historic Bonsecours Market, a 150-year-old public market that is a great example of French-Canadian architecture and offers a variety of stalls serving fresh and delicious produce, sweets and treats.
Easy to navigate, you can explore Old Montreal on foot or by bike. One of the best bike paths is the Lachine Canal, a 13.5-kilometre path that takes riders from the Bonaventure Expressway of the Old Port to Chemin du Musee. Take in sweeping views of Montreal as you cruise along the waterways.
Stay at Le Petit Hotel, just a block away from the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Centrally located, well-connected and easy-to-navigate neighbourhood
Enjoy lively and vibrant nightlife
Plenty of cultural attractions as well as shopping, coffee and treats
The Latin Quarter is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood within Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles. Situated between Downtown Montreal, the Village and Plateau Mont-Royal, this neighbourhood is set at the centre of the city making it easy to navigate and within walking distance of top attractions, popular activities, and the city's best restaurants, shops and bars.
Next to the Village, the Latin Quarter is home to some of the best nightlife in the city. Saint-Denis Street is where you'll find an array of unique restaurants and bars that serve urbane cocktails, delicious dishes, and mouthwatering offerings from traditional French-Canadian fare to international delicacies.
The Latin Quarter is the best neighbourhood in Montreal for couples because it offers so much to see and do. Beyond the bar scene, this neighbourhood is home to theatres, art galleries and music venues where you can immerse yourself in the local culture. Other notable attractions include the Metropolis, les Foufounes Electrics and Place Emilie-Gamelin.
Stay at Hotel St Thomas for comfortable rooms with city views.
Stay in a safe neighbourhood close to popular attractions and activities
Relax and explore lush and leafy parks
Dine at world-class restaurants, shops, delis and cafes
For an unforgettable family adventure, look no further than Montreal's Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood. Located at the base of Mont Royal, this is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city that has restaurants and shops, as well as lush parks and an abundance of cyclists.
By staying in Plateau Mont-Royal, you and your family can enjoy views of colourful houses and funky street art as you tour Montreal's streets.
One of the best activities to enjoy in Plateau Mont-Royal is to hike up to the top of the mountain and take in the city views. From the top, you'll be able to see out over Montreal and enjoy a day in nature while in the heart of the city.
Park Lafontaine is another great place to while away the day. Considered among the best parks in Montreal, Park Lafontaine is 89 acres of sprawling, grassy land that includes two man-made ponds and a waterfall. Whether you pop in for a picnic or an afternoon of relaxation, your kids will love exploring this leafy mid-city oasis.
Fancy a bite to eat? Mont-Royal is also the best place to stay in Montreal with kids because it's home to amazing, world-class restaurants. Pop into Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Deli and sample some of the best smoked meat sandwiches in the world. Keen to sink your teeth into some poutine? La Banquise is a must!
Stay at Auberge de La Fontaine within walking distance of shops, restaurants and the park.
Great selection of affordable accommodation options
Hip restaurants, cafes and bars
Incredible Art Deco design at the Atwater Market
For travellers looking to save a little money, the best place to stay in Montreal is Saint-Henri. Laid-back and peaceful, Saint-Henri is a downtown district that boasts a good selection of budget-friendly accommodation options. From charming boutiques to unique lofts, there's something for every style and budget in Saint-Henri.
A former working-class neighbourhood, Saint-Henri has gentrified over the past few years and is now a haven for hipsters and young professionals. It combines quaint squares and colourful streets with hip cafes, trendy bars, and charming cafes.
Whether you choose to dine on delicious dishes at Tacos Victor or Ludger or indulge in sweet treats at Rustique, you will absolutely adore the culinary adventures available to you throughout Saint-Henri.
At the heart of Saint-Henri is the art-deco Atwater Market. Opened in 1933, Atwater Market is the second-largest farmers market in Montreal. In addition to its incredible architecture and design, the Atwater Market is famous for its outstanding food options, like the Satay Brothers, La Cabane Bar Laitier, and Roule Ma Poule.
With so many vendors to choose from, there's guaranteed to be something delicious to satisfy any taste on every budget.
Stay at Gite L'Imprévu, a friendly B&B with excellent breakfasts.
One of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world
Try the best bagels in Montreal at St-Viateur
Sip traditional Italian espresso at Café Olimpico
Located near the Le Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood, Mile End is where you'll find everything from hundred-year-old bagel shops and traditional Italian-style cafes to hip and modern eateries and one-of-a-kind boutique shops.
No trip to Montreal is complete without sampling a fresh Montreal-style bagel or two. And, there's no better place to dig into this Montreal speciality than St-Viateur. At the heart of the multi-cultural Mile End, St-Viateur has been baking up delicious bagels since 1957.
For a pick-me-up before a night on the town, Café Olimpico is a can't-miss. An authentic Italian café in the heart of Montreal, Café Olimpico is said to serve up the best espresso in town. Family run since 1970, at Café Olimpico you'll be able to enjoy a delicious drink in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Stay at Les Lofts du Plateau in a spacious apartment with a fully-equipped kitchen.
Centrally located with great restaurants, shops and cafes
Great local vibe
Where you'll find Little Italy, delicious pizza and lively bocce games
The best place to stay in Montreal to live like a local is Rosemont La Petite Patrie. This centrally located neighbourhood is well-connected to other parts of the city by metro, and it offers a great number of parks, restaurants and cafes to explore and enjoy. A residential neighbourhood east of the city centre, Rosemont La Petite Patrie is the perfect place to say to get away from the crowds of tourists without straying too far from the action.
Rosemont La Petite Patrie is a charming neighbourhood with a local vibe. It is mostly residential but offers a handful of restaurants, cafes, and bars, including Gite du Survenant Montreal, where you can enjoy home-cooked meals. For a truly local experience, head to Jean-Talon Market, a spectacular open-air market where you can browse stalls of fresh produce and local delicacies.
This area of the city is also home to Montreal's thriving and exciting Little Italy community. If you like pizza and espresso – and who doesn't – this is the place for you! After dinner, head to Dante Park, a small greenspace at the heart of the neighbourhood where you'll find bocce courts popular with locals. Whether you choose to watch or challenge a neighbour to a game or two, you'll feel right at home in this fantastic Montreal neighbourhood.
Stay in this spacious apartment in Little Italy.
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Last Updated 20 January 2024