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Museum Guide for Montreal

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Montreal has a thriving museum culture, boasting both locally-focused institutions and international collaborations. Whether it's taking in a Renoir or checking out dinosaur bones, powering a water turbine or getting interactive with insects, you can find it here. History, art, nature, and science that appeals to all ages — let this guide show you the best spots in which to play and learn.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Thrifty Traveller

10 Places

3 City Tips

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10 Places

Pointe-a-Calliere Museum

History Museums, Speciality Museums

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)

Art Museums

Montreal Science Centre

Science Museums, Speciality Museums

McCord Museum

History Museums

Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal

Art Museums

Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d'Architecture)

Speciality Museums

Montreal Insectarium

Speciality Museums

Musee Redpath

Natural History Museums

Chateau Ramezay Historic Site and Museum of Montreal

History Museums

Lachine Fur Trade Museum

Historic Sites, Speciality Museums

Maddie S's City Tips

  • A few of Montreal's top museums are free of charge. Definitely take advantage of this while you're in the area, no matter what your budget is.
  • The Board of Museums offers a 3-Day Museum pass, and for a little more, it includes all public transportation. Well worth it, if you plan to visit multiple spots.
  • While many exhibits in Montreal are more interactive than in most cities, it's best not to touch something if you aren't sure. Keep an eye out for signs (and glaring guards.)
  • Save
    Pointe-a-Calliere Museum
    History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Pointe-à-Callière is built atop an excavation site of preserved ruins of the old city. This cavernous setting on the lower level acts as an interactive archaeology exhibit, and sets a tone of discovery for your entire visit. Walk through 1,000 years of history and witness Montreal's growth, brought to life by artifacts and haunting CGI. A multi-media presentation on the lobby floor immerses visitors in the city's past, from native and colonial times to the present day, and it's not all local, either: Pointe-à-Callière always has a wonderful temporary exhibit to explore on its upper floors. Expertly curated, this museum will give you the greatest understanding, both of Montreal's layout and its long past.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you're hungry, or just want to take in a view, head up to the top floor for afternoon tea. The outdoor terrace seating in the summer comes with gorgeous views.
    • There are often crowds on weekends and school trips on weekday mornings: try visiting on a weekday afternoon for the shortest lines.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A lot to see 22/08/2017
    • Very nice museum 22/08/2017
    • Pointe-a-Calliere Museum
    Address:
    350 Place Royale
    Montreal, Quebec H2Y 3Y5
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-872-9150
    Price range:
    US$13 - US$13
    Hours:
    Tue - Fri
    10:00 - 18:00
    Sat - Sun
    11:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is spread across three massive neo-classical buildings, each with its own stunning collection. The main building is home to the contemporary exhibit, where a dizzying whirlwind of colored glass, sculpture, eclectic imagery, and 3D interactive exhibits dare visitors to test all of their senses. Alongside the modern, Picasso and Matisse round out an extensive European collection of paintings, and the Museum's bevy of Canadian artists on display is second to none. Immerse yourself in intricate stained glass windows, delicate tapestries, and complex oil paintings all under the three roofs of the MOFA.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Museum hours vary based on the day of the week — check ahead of time to avoid turning up too early or too late.
    • Viewing the permanent collection is always free. Special exhibits come with costs, however.
    • One of the best exhibits is in the main building. In a pitch-dark room, guests are made to wear 3D goggles and walk in a counter-clockwise circle. Try it to see what happens!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 22/08/2017
    • Absolutely Wonderful Collection of Art 22/08/2017
    • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)
    Address:
    1380 Sherbrooke W
    Montreal, Quebec H3G 1J5
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-285-2000
    Price range:
    US$8 - US$8
    Hours:
    Wed
    10:00 - 21:00
    Thu - Tue
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Montreal Science Centre
    Science Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Montreal Science Center is a hands-on affair. With plenty to see and do, interactive exhibits rule the day here, and the line-up has a significant focus on environmental conservation and technology. Especially wonderful for travelers with children thanks to its Clic Play area, the special exhibits and educational IMAX feature films will appeal to all ages. The museum's location right on the King Edward Pier lends it a commanding view as visitors exit the building. Find yourself right in the heart of Old Montreal, ready to continue exploring after your visit to this state-of-the-art facility.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The snack bar in the museum is expensive and has limited options. Definitely take advantage of the location to grab a bite in Old Montreal before or after instead.
    • Best for visitors traveling with kids, and for the young at heart: exhibits are mostly introductory, explanatory, and interactive.
    • The museum is free for children under 4 years of age.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #46 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent for hands on experiences 14/08/2017
    • amazing!! 14/08/2017
    • Montreal Science Centre
    Address:
    2, de la Commune Street West
    Quai King-Edward
    Montreal, Quebec H2Y 4B2
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-496-4724
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    McCord Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The McCord Museum is a research and teaching site that brings topics both local and international to center stage. Its key aim is to preserve the history and culture of Montreal itself, through manuscripts, artifacts, and over 15,000 preserved objects relating directly to the history, foundation, and evolution of the city. It explores and creates a dialogue on social issues, politics and ethnography especially, and though the establishment may seem quite small, its impact on visitors can be huge.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Admission is free at all times for children under 12 years of age.
    • Admission is free on Wednesdays after 5pm.
    • The museum's mobile application is free and can help with pre-planning your trip to the exhibits.
    From the community
    Ranked #60 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    • Look into what the exhibits are 21/08/2017
    • Aislin's Political Cartoon Exhibition 21/08/2017
    • McCord Museum
    Address:
    690 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
    Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E9
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-861-6701
    Price range:
    US$13 - US$13
    Hours:
    Mon - Tue
    10:00 - 18:00
    Wed
    10:00 - 21:00
    Thu - Fri
    10:00 - 18:00
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal was founded on the idea of bringing together some of the best works of living artists worldwide. Today, it boasts a wide sections of Quebecois, Canadian, and international art, with over 7,000 works to browse through in its permanent collection alone. Plus, frequently offered talks, classes, and interactive workshops highlight the importance of art in our daily lives and its relevance to the modern world. From Paul-Émile Borduas to Yves Gaucher, come to experience the modern generation of artists with a museum that's passionate about its presentation and accessibility.

    Good for
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Family Sundays from 1.30-2.30pm at the museum provide a great opportunity for young artists to explore alongside their parent or guardian.
    • Tuesdays from 1.30-4.00pm, the museum puts on a painting class for adults. There is a charge but access to the museum after is free, plus you'll get 15% off at the gift shop.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #86 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    • Just AWFUL!! 18/08/2017
    • Very contemporary, but not really large 17/08/2017
    • Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal
    Address:
    185 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest
    Montreal, Quebec H2X 3X5
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-847-6226
    Price range:
    US$9 - US$9
    Hours:
    Tue
    11:00 - 18:00
    Wed - Fri
    11:00 - 21:00
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d'Architecture)
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal makes its mission well known: to show the complexities of the art and science behind creating buildings, and describing architecture's evolving role in society today. Highly technical, visitors can enjoy the gardens surrounding the area after spending some time learning how architects use blueprints and computers to build some of the most beautiful and complex structures in the world. Great to visit for something off the beaten path, not often highlighted in other cities.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • While some exhibits may be difficult for laymen, there is enough information to engage visitors with all degrees of architectural know-how.
    • Museum entry is free on Wednesdays.
    • If you cross the street at Rue Rene-Levesque after your visit, you'll have one of the most lovely views of the South Shore right on hand. Great for a stroll.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #156 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    • Canadian centre of architecture 17/08/2017
    • A place to be in Montreal 18/07/2017
    • Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d'Architecture)
    Address:
    1920 rue Baile
    Montreal, Quebec H3H 2S6
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-939-7026
    Hours:
    Wed
    11:00 - 18:00
    Thu
    11:00 - 21:00
    Fri - Mon
    11:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Montreal Insectarium
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Montreal Insectarium: where creepy-crawlies become cool! Not your average museum, the Insectarium invites enthusiasts and the squeamish alike to explore the beetles, butterflies, ant farms and more that are on display here. Some exhibits are even interactive, with live butterflies enjoying their natural habitat, untroubled by your visit. So if you'd like to try something new, exciting, and a little bit unusual — or cure that phobia once and for all — wing it, and come on down!

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Insectarium can be visited alone or as a package deal with the nearby Montreal Botanical Gardens.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting 20/08/2017
    • Crowded but fun 19/08/2017
    • Montreal Insectarium
    Address:
    4581 rue Sherbrooke Est
    Included With Teh Botanical Garden
    Montreal, Quebec H1X 2B2
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-872-1400
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee Redpath
    Natural History Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Musee Redpath is located on the gorgeous grounds of McGill University, and is home to a wonderful collection of natural history. Bones and artifacts, fossils, minerals, and even the odd T-Rex: come here to trace the evolution of sea creatures, or to marvel at the overhead flight of a pterodactyl. The Musee is set in a beautifully academic backdrop, highlighting the achievements of celebrated Anthropologists and Paleontologists in a charmingly Victorian display.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Admission to Musee Redpath is always free!
    • If you're looking for the bathroom, head downstairs: it is located at the basement level.
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hidden Treasure 16/08/2017
    • A bit overrated but still not that bad 05/08/2017
    • Musee Redpath
    Address:
    859 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
    Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C4
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-398-4086
    Other:
  • Save
    Chateau Ramezay Historic Site and Museum of Montreal
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Voted by UNESCO as one of the 1001 must-see historic places, Chateau Ramezay is Quebec's first historical heritage building. Once a stately home in the 18th century, today it transports visitors back to that time period with costumed staff and beautifully maintained gardens. The furnished house compliments its rustic, period-appropriate decor with multimedia presentations that help to describe what life was like for early settlers, with the aim of preserving and celebrating that slice of cultural past.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • The Chateau offers a traditional colonial bread-making class: great fun for anyone with a knack in the kitchen, or families looking to get doughy!
    • The Chateau is a fully accessible space, including all of its grounds, exhibits, and rooms.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Extremely detailed and a bit boring; rude staff 19/08/2017
    • good tour guide 17/08/2017
    • Chateau Ramezay Historic Site and Museum of Montreal
    Address:
    280 Notre-Dame St. E.
    Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1C5
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-861-3708
    Other:
  • Save
    Lachine Fur Trade Museum
    Historic Sites, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Situated on the placid Lake Saint-Louis, the Lachine Fur Trade Museum follows the story of one of Montreal's founding industries through its booming phases in the 18th and 19th centuries. The narrative is housed in an old warehouse facility, built in 1803, whose stone facings bring to life the importance of trading posts and storage centers along the fur route in Quebec. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the daily life of the trade, through a combination of hands-on exhibits and authentic ambiance. Expect to discover another unique perspective of Montreal itself, and a rare insight into a trade item that helped build wealth in the region. Great for history buffs and curiosity seekers alike!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • If you have an OPUS transport card, showing it at the ticket counter will entitle you to 2-for-1 tickets.
    • The Museum boasts especially attentive guides — taking their tour can add a lot of depth and perspective to your visit. Highly recommended!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #115 of 412 things to do in Montreal
    • History of the Fur Trade 21/08/2017
    • Great museum accessible via bicycle on the canal. 21/08/2017
    • Lachine Fur Trade Museum
    Address:
    1255 St-Joseph Blvd
    arrondissement de Lachine
    Montreal, Quebec H8S 2M2
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 514-637-7433
    Other:
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