12 Best Museums In Montreal

Ah, Montreal - the Canadian city where old-world charm and contemporary design collide in a vibrant blend of culture. From poutine to cobblestone streets, there's so much to love about this unique corner of North America. But for me, nothing beats the rich tapestry of museums that call this city home.

I fell in love with these cultural gems during my first visit years ago and have returned time and again, lured by their diverse offerings. So welcome to an enchanting journey as we explore the best museums in Montreal that have captured not only my heart but those of countless visitors worldwide.

1. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, also known as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, is a world-renowned art museum located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec. It is the largest art museum in Canada by gallery space, and one of the most-visited museums in North America. I have had the pleasure of visiting this museum several times, and each time I have been impressed by its bold, innovative, and caring approach to art and culture.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a rich encyclopedic collection that is distributed among five pavilions. The museum's art gallery collection includes period art collections, contemporary paintings, and artifacts from various cultures and time periods. The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits that combine various artistic disciplines such as fine arts, music, film, fashion, and design.

The museum's architecture is also a sight to behold. The Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace is a stunning example of contemporary architecture, while the original Beaux Arts building is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture. The museum also has a sculpture garden that is a great place to relax and enjoy some fresh air while taking in some amazing art.

Contact:

Address: 1380 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1J5, Canada

Phone: +1 514-285-2000

2. Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal / Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

As an art enthusiast, I highly recommend visiting the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC), which is Canada's largest museum dedicated solely to contemporary art. Situated in the center of Montreal, the MAC is an essential stop for anyone who wants to appreciate modern art and installations.

Founded in 1964, the museum has an extensive collection of contemporary art, including sculptures, paintings, and installations by both Canadian and international artists. The MAC is part of the Place des Arts complex and is located on the Place des festivals in the Quartier des spectacles.

The museum's temporary space at Place Ville Marie is an excellent place to start, where you'll find a wide range of permanent exhibitions and installations that showcase the diversity and creativity of contemporary art. The MAC's permanent collection is also worth exploring, featuring works by renowned artists such as David Altmejd, Pierre Huyghe, and John Akomfrah.

The MAC is committed to promoting contemporary art and culture in Quebec and Canada, making it a vital part of Montreal's artistic landscape. The contemporary art museum offers a range of educational programs and workshops for visitors of all ages, making it an excellent destination for families and school groups.

Contact:

Address: Pl. Ville-Marie local 11220, Montréal, QC H3B 3Y1, Canada

Phone: +1 514-847-6226

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3. Mccord Museum

McCord Stewart Museum

As a museum enthusiast, I can confidently say that the Mccord Museum is one of the best Montreal museums in the city to visit. Located near McGill University on Sherbrooke Street, this mid-size social history museum celebrates life in Montreal, both past and present. The museum boasts of 1.5 million artifacts, and it's a perfect place to learn about Canadian history, art, costume, and Indigenous people.

One of the things that make the Mccord Stewart Museum stand out is its Indigenous exhibit. The museum has an impressive collection of First Nations artifacts, including beaded leather handicrafts, Inuit soapstone sculptures, and indigenous art by renowned artists. The museum also has a collection of Canadian art, including Montreal old paintings, which is a treat for art lovers.

The Mccord Museum also hosts speciality museums, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture, making it a perfect place for architecture enthusiasts. The museum has an extensive collection of Canadian history, and visitors can learn about the country's past through interactive exhibits.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and visitors can purchase tickets online or at the museum's entrance.

Contact:

Address: 690 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E9, Canada

Phone: +1 514-861-6701

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4. Montréal Science Centre

Montréal Science Centre

As a science enthusiast, I was excited to visit the Montréal Science Centre during my recent trip to Montreal. The Science Centre is a museum dedicated to promoting science and technology through interactive exhibits.

One of the highlights of my visit was the Human exhibit, which explores the human body and mind. The exhibit features interactive displays that allow visitors to explore the workings of the human brain, the senses, and the digestive system. The exhibit is both informative and engaging, making it a great experience for all ages.

Another exhibit that caught my attention was the Water in the Universe exhibit. This exhibit explores the importance of water in the universe and how it has shaped the world we live in. The exhibit features a variety of interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about the properties of water, its role in the formation of planets, and the search for water on other planets.

In addition to its exhibits, the Montréal Science Centre also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the popular Nocturne Evenings. During these events, the museum stays open late, and you can enjoy special exhibits, activities, and performances.

Contact:

Address: 2 De la Commune St W, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 4B2, Canada

Phone: +1 514-496-4724

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5. Château Ramezay

Château Ramezay

I recently visited the Château Ramezay in Montreal and was impressed by the rich history and architecture of this historic site. The Château Ramezay is a museum and historic site that has been classified as a national historic monument of Canada. It can be found in the heart of Old Montreal, making it easily accessible to travelers.

The museum offers you the opportunity to relive over 500 years of history through its exhibits, multimedia circuit, and French colonial garden. The Château Claude de Ramezay has a rich collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history of Montreal and Quebec. The temporary exhibitions cover a wide range of topics, from pre-contact to the 20th century.

One of the highlights of the Château Ramezay is the Governor’s Garden, which is a beautiful and well-maintained garden that offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The botanical garden features a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a fountain and a pond.

The architecture of the Château Ramezay is also noteworthy. The building itself is a beautiful example of 18th-century architecture, with its stone walls and elegant design. The museum also features some ruins that have been preserved from the original building, adding to the historic charm of the site.

Contact:

Address: 280 Notre-Dame St. East, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1C5, Canada

Phone: +1 514-861-3708

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6. Redpath Museum

Redpath Museum at McGill University in Montreal

I have visited many museums in Montreal, but the Retro Redpath Museum stands out as one of the best. Established in 1882, the Redpath Museum is a natural history museum that features a vast collection of ancient and modern organisms, minerals, and world culture artifacts.

This private museum is named after Peter Redpath, a sugar baron who generously supported the museum. The Redpath Museum is located on the campus of McGill University and serves as a teaching and research unit. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and it is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.

The Redpath Museum of natural history is a great place to learn about animals and their habitats. This Montreal museum has a collection of skeletons of rare and extinct animals, including dinosaurs. The museum also has a fine collection of Egyptian antiquities, which are fascinating to explore.

The Redpath Museum is a natural history museum that showcases the history of life on Earth. The museum has a vast collection of fossils that includes the ancestors of all reptiles and mammals that came from the sea. Furthermore, the museum also has a collection of minerals that are beautiful to look at.

Contact:

Address: 859 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C4, Canada

Phone: +1 514-398-4861

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Booking.com

7. Montreal Holocaust Museum

Montreal Holocaust Museum

I visited the Montréal Holocaust Museum during my recent trip to Montreal, and I was deeply moved by the exhibits and the stories of the Holocaust survivors. The museum is dedicated to educating people of all ages and backgrounds about the Holocaust, while sensitizing the public to the universal perils of antisemitism, racism, hate, and indifference.

The  Holocaust Museum is located at 5151 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road and is one of the best museums in Montreal to visit for anyone interested in learning about the Holocaust. The museum tells the story of Jewish communities before, during, and after the Holocaust, and it does so through unique artifacts and the personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

The museum has a collection of over 13,000 objects, including photographs, documents, and personal items that belonged to Holocaust survivors. The exhibits are arranged chronologically, and they provide a comprehensive and engaging overview of the Holocaust. The museum also has an extensive library and archive that is open to researchers and scholars.

One of the highlights of the museum is the testimony of Holocaust survivors. The museum has recorded the personal stories of over 500 survivors, and visitors can listen to their testimonies in the museum's audio-visual room. The testimonies are a powerful reminder of the human cost of the Holocaust and the importance of never forgetting the lessons of history.

Contact:

Address: 5151 Chem. de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3W 1M6, Canada

Phone: +1 514-345-2605

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8. Pointe-à-Callière - Museum of Archaeology and History

Pointe-à-Callière - Museum of Archaeology and History in Montreal

As a history buff, I love exploring museums that offer a glimpse into the past. One of my favorite museums in Montreal is Pointe-à-Callière, the Museum of Archaeology and History.

Pointe-à-Callière is a designated national archaeological and historic site that focuses on several centuries of history, from the time of the First Peoples to the present day. It is the largest archaeology museum in Canada, and visitors can explore the ruins below the streets of Montreal to get a sense of what life was like in the early days of the city.

The museum is housed in several architectural buildings, including the Fort Ville-Marie - Quebecor Pavilion and the Collector Sewer. The exhibits are beautifully curated, and visitors can see artifacts from various periods of Montreal's history. The museum also offers guided tours that are perfect for travelers who want to learn more about the city's rich history.

One of the highlights of Pointe-à-Callière is the archaeological circuit, which takes visitors through the ruins of the city's first settlement. The circuit includes interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what life was like in the early days of Montreal. There are also exhibits that showcase the city's growth and development over the centuries.

Contact:

Address: 350 Place Royale, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 3Y5, Canada

Phone: +1 514-872-9150

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9. Space for Life Museum

Space for Life museum

The Space for Life Museum is composed of five different attractions, including the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique, and the Planétarium. This makes it the largest natural science museum complex in Canada.

One of the highlights of the Space for Life Museum is the Biodôme, which is a replica of four different ecosystems found in the Americas. Visitors can explore the lush tropical rainforest, the Laurentian maple forest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. The Montreal Biodome is home to over 4,800 animals and 750 plant species, making it a truly immersive experience.

Another attraction worth mentioning is the Biosphère, which is an architectural masterpiece located on Île Sainte-Hélène. This museum is dedicated to the environment and showcases the importance of protecting our planet. Visitors can learn about the ecosystems found in the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes basin, as well as the impact of human activity on these ecosystems.

Contact:

Address: 4101 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, Quebec H1X 2B2, Canada

Phone: +1 514-868-3000

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10. Maison Saint-Gabriel Museum

Maison Saint-Gabriel

As I explored the city of Montreal, I came across the Maison Saint-Gabriel Museum, which is a must-see for anyone interested in history and culture. This museum is a living example of the rural life that existed in New France and is located in the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood of Montreal.

The Maison Saint-Gabriel is the oldest example of rural habitation in Montreal and was acquired by Marguerite Bourgeoys in 1668. The museum is set amidst farmhouse gardens recreated in the spirit of the 17th century. The architecture of the museum is an excellent example of the rural architecture of Montreal, and visitors can take a guided tour of the initial home of the King's Wards.

The museum team at Maison Saint-Gabriel is knowledgeable and friendly, and they offer a Wi-Fi audio tour to help you learn more about the history and culture of the museum. The museum is also partially accessible for persons with restricted physical ability, making it a great destination for everyone.

Visitors can explore the museum's gardens, which have been restored in the spirit of New France, and learn about the daily life of the people who lived in this old farmhouse. The museum's guides, dressed in period costumes, describe the daily life of the people who lived in this old farmhouse.

The Maison Saint-Gabriel Museum is an essential stop on any tour of Montreal's historic sites. It is also a part of the historic Golden Square Mile, which is a historic neighborhood in Montreal that is home to many historic sites and buildings.

Contact:

Address: 2146 Pl. Dublin, Montréal, QC H3K 2A2, Canada

Phone: +1 514-935-8136

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11. Insectarium

Montreal Insectarium

Last year I visited the Insectarium in Montreal, which is a unique museum dedicated to insects. As a natural history museum, the Insectarium houses a diverse collection of insects from around the world, including live specimens and preserved specimens.

The Insectarium is a great place to learn about the fascinating world of bugs and insects. The museum offers various exhibits and displays that showcase the diversity of insects and their habitats. Visitors can explore the underground galleries known as the Alcoves, which are inspired by the habitats of insects. The Alcoves engage all your senses and offer a unique experience that is both educational and entertaining.

One of the highlights of the Insectarium is the Tête-à-Tête exhibit, which offers an extraordinary one-on-one encounter with some of the twenty or so species present in the Insectarium's vivariums. Guests can get up close and personal with various insects, including butterflies, beetles, and spiders.

The Insectarium is part of the Montreal Space for Life, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and you can spend around 2-3 hours exploring the museum.

Contact:

Address: 4581 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, Quebec H1X 2B2, Canada

Phone: +1 514-868-3000

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12. Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

As an avid museum-goer, I was thrilled to visit the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal,which is also part of the Space for Life complex.

The architecture of the planetarium is stunning, with its unique shape and design. The building is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which makes it a great spot for taking photos. The inside of the planetarium is just as impressive, with its high-tech media presentation that takes visitors on a journey through space.

I appreciated that the planetarium provided headphones for visitors to use during the show. This allowed me to fully immerse myself in the experience without any distractions. The media presentation was informative and engaging, making it a great educational experience for all ages.

Contact:

Address: 4801 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave, Montreal, Quebec H1V 3V4, Canada

Phone: +1 514-868-3000

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FAQ

Q: What are some of the best museums to visit in Montreal?

A: Montreal is home to numerous museums, and some of the best ones to visit include the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the McCord Museum, and the Montreal Science Centre. These museums offer a variety of exhibits and collections that cater to different interests and preferences.

Q: What are some downtown Montreal museums worth visiting?

A: Downtown Montreal is home to several museums that are worth visiting, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum, and the Montreal Science Centre. These museums are easily accessible by public transportation, and they offer a wide range of exhibits and collections that cater to different interests.

Q: Are there any free museums to visit in Montreal?

A: Yes, there are several free museums to visit in Montreal, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which offers free admission to its permanent collections, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, which offers free admission on Thursdays. Additionally, many museums in Montreal offer free admission to children under a certain age or on specific days of the week.

Recommended Hotels In Montreal

William Gray hotel room

William Gray

Guests can enjoy the on-site bar and private parking is available on site.
All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV. You will find a coffee machine in the room. Every room has a private bathroom with bathrobes and slippers. There is free shuttle service, a 24-hour front desk, a cash machine and gift shop at the property.

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Fairmont Queen Elizabeth

Connected to Montreal's underground city, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth offers access to more than 20 miles of underground pedestrian walkways, shopping centers, entertainment venues and attractions. A wellness center with an indoor pool is featured at the hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal

Featuring a bar, Four Seasons is located in the center of Montreal, a 3-minute walk from Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. With free WiFi, this 5-star hotel offers room service and a 24-hour front desk. The hotel has family rooms.Popular points of interest near the hotel include Bell Centre, Ogilvy and Eaton Center Montreal.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO MONTREAL

Book Your Hotel In Montreal

You can book your hotel in Montreal with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like hostels, guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Montreal

Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Montreal. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Montreal?

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Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Montreal?

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Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never go to Montreal without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel to Montréal. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Montreal:

Be sure to visit our Montreal Travel Guide for even more planning tips.

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