Things to do in Montreal

Fantastic Montreal Museums to Visit

Embark on a captivating journey through Montreal’s diverse museums and galleries.

Montreal is the perfect place to visit for those with a yearning for learning. The city has a rich history that it takes great pride in documenting and sharing with visitors. Its museums are surrounded by beautiful art and historical artifacts sure to pique the interest of the average history lover. With sweeping exhibitions that cater to creative minds, Montreal is a natural playground for knowledge seekers of all kinds.

Of all the things to do in Montreal, a trip to a museum rises above the rest as an escapist trek across space and time. Seekers of knowledge and culture look no further. Add one of Montreal's museums to your itinerary.

Mix of Art Styles

Montreal’s art galleries celebrate the city’s vibrant art scene in all its facets. Explore these fascinating museums, which house a variety of artistic styles and mediums under the same roof.

1. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal is a historic galley with decades of local history. Art knows no bounds in this elegantly eclectic museum. Archaeological objects share walls with pencilled sketches, while modern pieces are a playful mirror for long-revered works.

Chart a course through Canadian history with a chronological collection of regional art. Rain or shine, the sculpture garden's curves and carvings make for a charming stroll.

Their collection continues to grow as time passes, serving as a sturdy bridge between past and present. Today, the Musée des Beaux-Arts collections are stronger than ever, reinforcing their position as an important cultural institution in Montreal.

Photographer: HUI GAO

Contemporary Art

Discover the latest creative trends as modern artists make waves in Montreal's cultural scene at these unique, ever-changing museums.

2. Musée d’art Contemporain

As the winds of change breeze across Montreal, the Musée d’art Contemporain is experiencing a transformation of its own. The museum showcases a lineup of modern artists with a contemporary flair. With thousands of works in its extensive repertoire, this museum offers a comprehensive look at modern-day art.

Sculptures, paintings, photos, and everything in between — MAC’s collection has it all. Pieces steeped in the present offer acute looks at the surrounding society. The result is a gallery experience as sharp as it is stunning. And if you’re out and about in the city, you might notice bits of the museum's collection studded through its streets.

History and Archaeology

There’s an uncharted history beneath the bustling streets of Montreal—unveiling the city’s rich history filled with untold stories of ancient civilizations.

3. Pointe-à-Callière

Montreal stands proudly atop a foundation of history, and Pointe-à-Callière makes these stories known. Centuries of Montreal history come to life in this gallery, primed for viewing until the next discovery arrives in the halls.

Doubling as an archaeological site, Pointe-à-Callière has an enduring fondness for the world beneath our feet. Its landmark exhibition, Memory Collector, is a tribute to the continent’s first collector sewer.

With a penchant for storytelling ourselves, we admire the museum’s brilliant use of light and color to spin a dazzling tale of engineering. Fantasy becomes a reality here, where visitors become pirates, archaeologists, and historians.

Montreal History

Montreal is a city that overflows with culture, spilling onto every street. To truly immerse yourself in Montreal’s legacy, visit these local archives.

4. Maison Saint-Gabriel

A slice of the French countryside flourishes under Montreal’s endless sky. Maison Saint-Gabriel is a living portrait of a New France homestead, eternally frozen in the 17th century. Quiet joys abound in this fruitful farmhouse, where history entwines with natural harmony.

Interactive exhibits find new meaning here. Dressed in period costumes, charming guides lead guests through Montreal’s rich, rural heritage. Take part in long-held traditions for an authentic look into daily farmhouse life.

Harvesting honey, weaving baskets, and strolling through the garden — simple life and all its tranquil pleasures are rooted in this museum. The result is an experience that is both enlightening and rejuvenating.

5. Musée McCord Stewart

Montreal is a thriving city that owes much of its success to the diversity and vitality of its communities. The Musée McCord Stewart is dedicated to showcasing the collective history of these vibrant cultures through the unique perspectives and keen eyes of artists and archivists. This modern approach to social history offers visitors an immersive artistic experience that brings the past to the present.

Permanent exhibitions such as Indigenous Voices of Today evoke a profound sense of resilience in the face of adversity. A fixture of Montreal’s museum scene for over a century, these hallowed halls paint a picture of hope and heart in a buzzing city. Photos, fashion, and furniture round out this lush collection of local artifacts.

Photographer: Laura Dumitriu

6. Musée Marguerite-Bourgeoys

One of Montreal’s enduring pioneers finds an eternal home at the Musée Marguerite-Bourgeoys. The titular saint was an educator and entrepreneur; her values formed the core around which the city’s population prospered.

Dive into Bourgeoys’ life through a series of engaging displays. In the past, temporary exhibitions have included a first-rate chronicle of women in science and a Noah’s Ark adaptation in sculpture.

Marguerite Bourgeoys’ chapel still stuns with intricate carvings and a heavenly altarpiece. Underground, there's an archaeological site where guests can journey to Montreal’s earliest days.

7. Musée des Pompiers de Montréal

The history of Montreal starts to heat up at the Musée des Pompiers de Montréal. This niche museum spotlights the city’s fire department. This extensive gallery is tucked inside a palatial fire station, green-roofed and spire-topped. Packed with equipment and artifacts, a trek through Musée des Pompiers starts with a bang.

Everything is fire engine red, adorned in a rosy glow, from the walls to the uniforms and assortment of antique vehicles. Ancient tools spark wonder at the might of firefighters long retired. End your visit a little wiser about the everyday heroes around you.

8. Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises

Montreal's history is best told by the residents who make it. That’s the idea behind Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises. Here, you’ll find a kaleidoscopic view of the city. As Montrealers, this museum’s permanent collection strikes a chord in us.

Dedicated to the city’s history-making corners and communities, the varied assortment of artifacts and photos points to the root of Montreal’s pulsing energy: its people. Rotating exhibits depict the city from unique perspectives, adopting new points of view to shed light on this community from the present to times long past.

Natural History

The untamed splendor of the wild is what makes the Natural History Museum so exciting. If you’re fascinated by nature's wonders, this museum is worth a visit.

9. Musée Redpath

The natural world runs wild inside this ornate corral. Dutifully run by the folks at McGill University, Musée Redpath is Montreal’s hub for earthly discoveries. From microscopic minerals to formidable fossils, the planet’s inhabitants all have a place on this stage.

A life-sized menagerie stands poised to pounce on unsuspecting visitors. Victorian architecture makes a stately zoo for these animals and their bonier, prehistoric companions.

Shining gemstones and salty seashells speckle their glass cases in a flood of shining color. Untold secrets exist all around you. At Musée Redpath, you might uncover a few.

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Une publication partagée par McGill's Redpath Museum / Musée Redpath de l'Université McGill (@redpathmuseum)


Montreal’s concrete fingers stretch high into the clouds. See how the city found its signature style at this museum.

10. Canadian Centre for Architecture

Have you ever wondered about the buildings around you? Do they directly or indirectly impact your life? Did you know that a building's shape and size can reveal a lot about the world around us? These are some thought-provoking questions presented at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

The Canadian Centre for Architecture hosts a collection of books, photos, and artifacts concerning the art of design and construction. You’ll find fun, family-friendly exhibits, and profiles of notable architects. But more than that, CCA presents a collection of ideas.

The goal of any visit here is to consider the surrounding environment. Achieve that, and the next time you look up at the Montreal skyline, you might see it differently.

The Holocaust

An event like the Holocaust echoes long into history’s course. Take a day to reflect on this mighty collection.

11. Musée Holocauste Montréal

Remembrance is a powerful tool. See it wielded at Musée Holocauste Montréal, where today’s generations deepen their understanding of this devastating tragedy. Permanent installations in this space showcase a wide array of artifacts.

Maps, letters, toys, and personal effects appear plucked from a distant era, although the gallery itself reminds visitors the chronicle within remains sharply relevant to today’s world.

Survivors’ stories reveal fascinating accounts of the postwar period. At the end of the visit, step into the commemoration room for a quiet moment to reflect on the museum’s moving testimonies.


When it's snowy or drizzly outside, you can still keep yourself busy with indoor activities in Montreal. Explore the city’s earthly wonders at these science hubs, whatever the weather.

12. Centre des Sciences Montréal

The Centre des Sciences Montréal is where visitors of all ages can discover the wonders of science.

Uncover the hidden treasures around you as you embark on a journey of secrets buried in plain sight. The adventure starts within — literally. The museum's Human exhibition is an interactive tour through your body and the complex systems that keep it moving.

Motion is under the microscope in the Explore—Life-Sized Science exhibition, which is filled with engaging experiments powered by light and water. Cells, circuits, and celestial bodies are all ripe for exploration here.

13. Biodôme de Montréal

There are plenty of things to do in Montreal. If you’re lucky, some of them might give you an up-close look at the region’s fuzziest inhabitants. At Biodôme de Montréal, this heartwarming experience is a guarantee.

The Biodôme is a unique attraction that never fails to amaze visitors. Opening its doors is like stepping into a portal from a faraway land. You won't find a rainforest, ocean, and subarctic island under one roof anywhere else in Montreal. Every visit is a new opportunity to embark on a new adventure through the dense tropical forest. Who knows? You might even make friends with some friendly parrots while there!

Photographer: Zitesh Kaushal

14. Montréal Insectarium

Can’t get enough of the city’s nonhuman inhabitants? Head straight from the Biodôme to its neighbor, the Montreal Insectarium. Here, you’ll find some creepy crawlies in all their many-legged glory.

You can find a quiet moment of joy on a butterfly's wings or rediscover your sense of wonder through the purposeful march of an ant. The earth’s tiniest inhabitants can spark your imagination. In these caverns and gardens, you’ll get an intimate look at the crawling, fluttering, and buzzing members of the insect world.

Historic Homes

What better way to appreciate history than to walk right into it? Step into the past at the threshold of these preserved abodes.

15. Château Ramezay

Chirping birds provide the background music for this serene oasis. Walking through Château Ramezay is to visit another period, where the sprawling metropolis of today’s Montreal was merely a distant vision.

More than 30,000 objects line the halls of this opulent residence, each a piece of Montreal's history. Artwork, tools, clothes, and furniture are witnesses to the city's past and continue to share their stories today.

Outside, the Governor's Garden is a horticulturist’s dream. Amble through the orchard and settle onto the lawn for a spell. Reality will still be there when your quaint escape is through.

16. Musée de Lachine

Montreal’s oldest building stands sturdy on its foundation, built over three centuries ago. Perched on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the Musée de Lachine is a fascinating portrait of history enveloped by the present.

Long retired from its trading post position, the building now houses Montreal antiquities. Tools and personal effects reveal a portal to another era closely tied to the land’s natural bounty. Modernity knocks at the door. Open it to feast your eyes on a contemporary sculpture garden, making a delightful picnic place.

Exploring the Heart of Culture: Montreal’s Museums Unveiled

Montreal’s museum scene is a melting pot of history, art, and culture, that showcases many of the earth's marvels, but sometimes your senses crave an escape that is more out of this world.

That’s where we come in. Curtains drawn, the stage illuminates your entrance to the unknown. Led by our charming cast of characters, this is your ticket into a night of total delight.

We’ll spin a tale before your very eyes, told through spectacular visuals and exhilarating physical feats. Breathtaking tricks and tear-jerking stories carry you into a land of make-believe. And it all waits right here in the heart of this vibrant, pulsing city.

The journey awaits. See where our shows in Montreal will take you today.

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