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Where to Stay in Montréal: A Neighborhood Guide

Throughout the sprawling parks, cobblestone pavements, eclectic villages, and chic up-and-coming hipster paradises, the island of Montréal is brimming with endless possibilities, world-class cuisine, and rich history. Steeped in multicultural diversity and celebrated authenticity, these neighborhoods are excellent destinations for immersing yourself into the creative life of the city. From the old European charm of the Old Port to the niche artsy boutiques of Le Plateau and Mile End, this neighborhood guide will help you find the best things to do and places to stay in Montréal.

Downtown Montréal

Downtown Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

A slice of high-end shopping, luxury chain hotels, and world-class restaurants in the heart of Montréal island, this business district is bursting with creative vibes. Stroll through the sprawling and picturesque McGill campus, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, or visit a labyrinth of below-ground shopping centers and public walkways hidden beneath the boulevards. Taste mouthwatering dim sum in Chinatown and take in breathtaking artwork at the world-renowned and locally adored Museum of Fine Arts located in the historic Golden Square Mile Stretch. A commercial center made up of everything you imagine “big city life” to be, Montréal “Centre-Ville” is a vibrant core packed with sparkling skyscrapers, bustling walkways, and dazzling energy, perfect for any glitzy traveler seeking excitement. 

Old Montréal

Old Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

Vieux Port and Vieux Montréal will transport you to old Europe, complete with cobblestone pathways, historical architecture, and boulevards lined with boutiques, cafes, and some of the most delicious and ambient restaurants in the city. Stroll along the Old Port’s tree-lined promenade and docks for quaint waterside views, the architectural landmark Habitat 67 visible across the gleaming water. Make your way through Place Jacques-Cartier, the beating heart of the district, and visit other notable attractions including Grand Notre Dame Cathedral, Place d’Armes, and Champ-de-Mars Park. Sample fine dining at Le Club Chasse et Peche for elegant Quebecois dishes or dig into some poutine at Taverne Gaspar. One of the most popular brunch spots of the city, Olive & Gourmando, requires a little wait time but the dreamy rustic interior and mouthwatering food have solidified the spot as an essential for any foodie. Old Montréal has a mixture of fine hotels and cozy airbnbs ideal for any traveller seeking old European charm unique to Montréal in North America. 

Gay Village

Gay Village, Montréal, Canada.

The geographic centerpiece of Montréal LGBTQ+ culture, the eclectic Gay Village is animated in dazzling rainbow colors. This welcoming and festive quarter of Montréal is well known for having the best party scene in the city. Complete with a patchwork of iconic nightlife spots that stay open late into the night and an annual Pride parade, Montréal’s Gay Village is the best destination for anyone looking to dance the night away. During the daytime, grab a cup of coffee at the rainbow-hued and quirky Graine Brulee, and then explore the open-air festivities, fashion boutiques, antique shops, and eateries that line the Gay village’s stretch of Sainte-Catherine Street. Sample the best elusive ice cream cone in the city at Sachère, a hidden gem with aromatic ice cream and delectable vegan pastries, and then finish your day with some authentic Montréal flair and witness a live performance at the iconic Cabaret Mado

Le Plateau/Mont-Royal

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Montréal, Canada.

The artsy and youthful neighborhood of the Plateau is brimming with life every day of the week; a home away from home for any artistic voyagers to the city. With rows of brightly-colored townhouses complete with Montréal’s iconic spiral staircases, trendy eateries, and boutiques around every corner, Le Plateau sits comfortably along the slope of Mont Royal. Shop ’til you drop at the highly curated thrift stores lining Mont-Royal Ave and St. Denis St, grab a cup of home-brewed lavender lemonade at Maison Oflore, and spend the afternoon chilling at the sprawling La Fontaine Park. Munch on the best poutine in the city at La Banquise, or try the mouthwatering Portuguese chicken at Ma Poule Mouille. One of Montréal’s main attractions, Mont-Royal, has a surrounding park with trails leading to the top look-out point. In Montréal, there is a rule that no buildings can be taller than the Mont-Royal, so make sure to stop by for this amazing view, day or night. 

Mile End

Aire Commune, Mile End, Montréal, Canada.

Considered hipster central of Montréal, Mile End is made up of art galleries, independent bookstores, second-hand clothing boutiques, excellent eateries, and both of the most famous bagel joints in the city. There is major debate if Fairmount Bagel or St. Viateur serves up the tastiest, Montréal-style bagels, so make sure to try both for yourself. Stop by Dragon Flowers, an overflowing array of blooming flowers and birdcages that is a fixture of the artistic fabric of the neighborhood, taste the thriving nightlife scene at the trendy outdoor venue Aire Commune, or try an artisanal beer at the legendary Dieu du Ciel. Mile End is the ideal stomping ground for any trendy and adventurous travelers who like to go with the flow. 

Outremont

Outremont Park, Montréal, Canada.

A visual feast, the upscale neighborhood of Outremont is an excellent destination for an afternoon stroll amongst stately Victorian-era mansions, high-end boutiques, and tree-lined boulevards. Visit the wooded Outremont Park for well-kept grounds and a family-friendly atmosphere, sample Quebecois flavor with Montréal’s famous smoked meats at Lester’s Deli, and tour the lively, picturesque streets of Avenue Laurier Ouest and Avenue Bernard. Uncover a lesser-known vantage point located up a towering staircase in the Mount Royal Cemetery for the most stunning sunset views melting over the entire city from this hidden, locally adored spot  perfect for families and architecture fans.

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

Hochelaga Maisonneuve, Montréal, Canada.

Hochelaga Maisonneuve is a community-focused, eco-friendly neighborhood with a small-town vibe. This neighborhood is flourishing with nature, cultural events, and local, independent shopping. Explore the Maisonneuve Market and HoMa’s green alleyways decorated with healthy plant life behind the bustling commercial streets featuring eco-conscious boutiques and pleasant eateries. HoMa is most famously known for the towering Olympic Stadium and adjacent museums including the famous Biodome that replicates four ecosystems from the Americas, Montréal’s sprawling Botanical Gardens, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, and the Insectarium. Taste some of the most delectable and authentic Creole food in the city at HoMa’s very own Bistro King Creole or dig into vegan sushi and sandwiches at the rustic Cafe Jones

Griffintown

Griffintown, Montréal, Canada.

Bordered by the Lachine Canal, Griffintown is a previously industrialized zone that has been revitalized into a creative oasis. One of the trendiest spots in Montréal, Griffintown consists of converted warehouses, modern condo developments, modish restaurants, and a thriving art scene. Encounter an authentic Griffintown vibe at Perles et Paddock, a renovated garage turned ultra-chic restaurant with tasty bites of French cuisine and specialized cocktails. Enjoy the picturesque trails along the Lachine Canal, a top Montréal picnic destination, or spend the day gallery hopping between hip, local spots such as the Bradley Ertaskiran gallery or the Arsenal Contemporary Artspace. Griffintown is a great place to stay for any travelers seeking a chic, artsy getaway in Montréal reminiscent of Chelsea in Manhattan. 

Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie

Jean-Talon Market, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, Montréal, Canada. Credit: Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

Comprising both the charming streets of Montréal’s Little Italy and the famous Jean-Talon Market, the Rosemont-Petite Patrie neighborhood is a family-friendly, residential spot full of plentiful parks with the perfect sprinkle of culture. Jean-Talon Market is a bountiful open-air farmer’s market that hosts local vendors of fresh produce, meats, cheese, and seasonal goods nestled into the bustling Little Italy, which boasts the best Italian cuisine of Montréal. Try homemade cannolis at Alati-Caserta and fresh Margherita pizza at Pizza Napolitana, spend the day with nature at one of the many inviting and majestic parks, or immerse into francophone culture with independent films displayed at the non-profit cinema Beaubien

Cote Des Neiges

Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal, Canada.

Along the slope of the magnificent Mont-Royal, Cote-Des-Neiges boasts an international community, mouthwatering Vietnamese food, staple tourist destinations, and lush tree-filled greenery interspersed throughout quaint walkways. Visit the famous emerald domed Saint Joseph’s Oratory located on Mont-Royal’s Westmount Summit: a Canadian National Historic Site and Roman Catholic minor basilica that is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and an essential aspect of Montréal’s unique landscape. Indulge in the best pho in Montréal at Pholien or grab a milkshake and some poutine at the old-timey diner Gibeau Orange Julep, a classic CDN joint. Cote Des Neiges is a picturesque, suburb-esque destination perfect for families. 

Westmount

Westmount Park, Westmount, Montréal, Canada.

An enclave within Montréal, Westmont is one of the richest areas in the entire country of Canada, ideal for travelers seeking a lavish vacation. This anglophone suburb consists of the most exquisite Victorian architecture, high-end boutiques, and fine dining experiences in the greater Montréal area. Located close to  Mont-Royal, Westmount has ample amounts of manicured nature spaces to explore, a breath of fresh air from the more hectic neighborhoods of the city. If you are in the mood for luxury look no further than Vago Italien for delectable pasta and fish dishes, or Westmount Square for an upscale shopping extravaganza. If you are traveling on a budget, Westmount has gorgeous nature trails and spectacular architecture for the perfect dreamlike backdrop for an afternoon stroll or Instagram post.

Saint Henri

Saint Henri, Montréal, Canada.

The Saint Henri neighborhood encompasses diverse architecture, flavorful cuisine, a happening art crowd, fashion, and gorgeous green spaces. Saint Henri is a popular spot for local Montréalers, a hidden gem for those looking to avoid the usual tourist route. There is plenty to see and experience from the quaint Lachine Canal to the cutting edge street fashion, including the flagship store of Montréal’s own Atelier New Regime. Stop by Leche Desserts for opulent, creamy donuts or Arthurs Nosh Bar for a stylish brunch and mouth-watering latkes. Featuring an eclectic mix of art deco architecture, converted warehouses, and residential streets, Saint Henri has its own unique, friendly atmosphere and quaint charm. 

Little Burgundy

Little Burgundy, Montréal, Canada.

Located next to Saint Henri, Little Burgundy is a primarily residential neighborhood that is steeped in Montréal history. Known currently for hip young professionals, a serious foodie culture, and trendy shopping, Little Burgundy was previously a highly industrial, working-class neighborhood. A centerpiece for Montréal’s influential jazz scene, Little Burgundy was home to legendary Canadian musicians, including Oliver Jones and Oscar Peterson. Stroll by the picturesque rainbow-colored houses of Coursol street and dine at some of Montréal’s most famous eateries including Joe Beef: a beloved quirky spot that was visited by Anthony Bourdain (reserve months in advance). 

Verdun

Verdun, Montréal, Canada. Credit: joseph s l tan matt / Shutterstock.com

Considered one of the “coolest” hidden gems of Montréal, Verdun is a lively neighborhood with a bustling commercial district full of independent shopping, tasty restaurants, and cafes. Some have the misconception that Montréal remains cold in the summer. Well, it heats up pretty quickly with a burst of bright and reliable sunshine, perfect for relaxing at Verdun’s sandy beach. If you are visiting in the winter, sample Canadian maple syrup taffies at Cabane Panache et Bois rond: a city-based sugar shack festival. Taste classic Montréal bagels at Bagel St-Lo, or greasy poutine at Pierette Patatas. Spend the day discovering independent bookstores, like Les Bons Débarras, for a mixture of second-hand titles in both French and English. 

Quartier Latin

Place Emilie-Gamelin, Quartier Latin, Montréal, Canada.

Located in the Quartier des Spectacles, the Quartier Latin is a bustling, student-driven neighborhood with exciting restaurants, legendary bars, cozy cafes, and plenty of activities for your itinerary. Discover art installations, concerts, and other festivities throughout the summer at Place Emilie-Gamelin, unleash your inner nerd at the local gaming bar Arcade Montréal, or explore the tree-lined commercial boulevard of St. Denis street, home to many of the city’s most spectacular establishments. With affordable student housing and major schools located in the neighborhood, the Quartier Latin is brimming with youthful energy and buzzing nightlife culture ideal for outgoing, younger travelers. 

Park-Ex

Fameaux Gyros Elatos, Park Ex, Montréal, Canada.

Park-Ex is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Montréal along with Cote-des-Neiges, with a mixture of Greek, Jewish, South Asian, Latin American, Caribbean, and francophone Quebecois communities making up its population. Historically a working-class neighborhood, Park-Ex remains relatively ungentrified with the makings of an old-timey and friendly residential area. What to do in Park-Ex? Come hungry because the multicultural fabric of the neighborhood makes for some of the most delicious eateries in all of Montréal. Indulge in flavorful Indian cuisine at Punjab Palace restaurant or stop by Fameux Gyros Elatos: a Montréal staple of luscious Greek gyro meats and other savory dishes. Park-Ex is a family-friendly neighborhood that is also a fantastic rest stop for any foodies. 

Villeray

Villeray, Montréal, Canada.

Villeray is a picturesque, family-oriented neighborhood that is widely considered up-and-coming, with trendy restaurants, cafes, and fashion boutiques popping up every month. Jarry Park has something for everyone with a glistening public pool, sports fields, grassy fields, and a quaint gazebo. Visit the St. Michel flea market for local vendors of unique vintage antiques, stop by Tohu cinema for mind-blowing circus performances, or visit Bar Le Record for live vinyl spinning of vintage tunes and some delicious bites. Villeray is part of the same borough as Park-Extension, making it one of the most diverse areas in not just Montréal, but the country, brimming with old town charm and authenticity.