Free Things to Do in Montreal

Montreal, founded in 1642, is one of the oldest cities in North America. The French-Canadian city of over 1.6 million residents combines a Gallic flair and history with modern conveniences and style. French is the official language there, making it the second largest French-speaking city in the world (behind Paris, of course). Don’t worry that they won’t understand you. Virtually all citizens are bilingual.

Montreal is a fun and compact city to explore. It also offers a number of things to do without spending any money. Just a few of these are listed below:

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, located near McGill University on Sherbrooke Street, features a diverse permanent collection of European and Canadian Art. Among the museum’s holdings are paintings by Picasso, Munch, and Miro. Admission to the permanent collection is free.

Notre Dame Basilica This lovely neo-Gothic church sits at the edge of Montreal’s Old Town and features an elaborate altar and side chapels. The church charges for a tour and its “Sound and Light” presentation, but you can attend services for free. What better way to get a feel for the city?

Parc la Fontaine Locate atop Mont Royal, LaFontaine park is a lovely oasis in the center of the city. The park has ponds, hiking and biking trails, and playgrounds.

Old Montreal Old Montreal is the original part of this historic city and abuts the Saint Lawrence River. Many of the buildings here date back to the 17th century. You’ll find more than a little bit of France here, too, with sidewalk cafes, stone townhouses, and the walls of the old fortified city.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: juan_m

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