Where to Stay in Montreal First Time: 8 Best Areas & neighborhoods

In this guide, I will help you to find where to stay in Montreal for first-timers, without a car, and for family. I’ll also give you the list of the best areas to stay in Montreal (with a map and video), best hotels in Montreal for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed), and the safest places.

Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec, Canada. It is located in the southeastern part of the province, on the Island of Montreal at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers.

Montreal is known for its cultural diversity, with a vibrant mix of French and English-speaking communities. It is one of the most bilingual cities in Canada, with French being the official language. The city also has a significant immigrant population, contributing to its rich multicultural atmosphere.

The city has an extensive public transportation system, including the Montreal Metro, buses, and commuter trains, as well as taxis and Uber, making it relatively easy to navigate around the city, even without a car.

Where to stay in Montreal first time?

The best areas to stay in Montreal for tourists and first-time visitors are Old Montreal, Downtown, Latin Quarter, Plateau Mont-Royal, Mile End, and Gay Village. These are popular and safe locations, offering a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

Old Montreal is the best area to stay in Montreal for first-time visitors due to its central location and proximity to top attraction. Staying here puts you within walking distance to Montreal’s top sights, as well as some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and shops.

Old Montreal and Downtown are the best places to stay in Montreal without a car due to its prime location, walkability, and excellent public transport system. You can easily explore attractions on foot, or by public transport.

Old Montreal is the best base for first-timers and couples seeking a romantic atmosphere with narrow cobblestone streets and old buildings. Downtown is the best location for visitors seeking more shopping options with chain stores and underground malls.

Whether you choose to stay, Old Montreal or Downtown, they are still the most popular places for tourists and are only 15 minutes walk from each other.

Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal), Downtown Montreal, and Plateau Mont-Royal are some of the best areas to stay in Montreal with family. These neighborhoods provide a wide range of family-friendly accommodations and activities for children of all ages.

The Best places to stay in Montreal for couples are Old Montreal, Plateau-Mont-Royal, Downtown, and Gay Village. Regardless of where you choose to stay, Montreal’s vibrant culture, excellent dining scene, and romantic ambiance are sure to make your trip memorable.

If this is your first visit, I recommend spending at least three days in Montreal, which is enough to see major attractions, to enjoy the local food and drink, and get the sense of the city. Consider day trips to Mont Tremblant, and Saint Raphael Ruins if you have more days.

Where did I stay in Montreal?

When I first visited Montreal, I stayed for 3 nights at the mid-range Hôtel Uville Montréal. The hotel has a prime location, close to the waterfront and all of Old Montreal. It offers easy access to fantastic restaurants, shops, and attractions. My room was great, quiet, and clean.

💖 Best Area for first-timers: Old Montreal
💎 Best luxury hotel: InterContinental Montreal, an IHG Hotel
🏨 Best mid-range hotel: Hotel Place D’Armes 
💰 Best budget hotel: Le Petit Hotel St Paul by Gray Collection

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Montreal:

Map of Best Areas & neighborhoods in Montreal
Map of Best Areas & neighborhoods in Montreal

How to get around Montreal without a car as a tourist?

Getting to Montreal is easy by air, train, bus, and car. The city is served by the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, located about 20 km from downtown Montreal, and easily reached by public shuttle bus number 747, or by taxi.

Montreal is well-connected by train services. VIA Rail Canada operates trains to and from various cities in Canada and the United States. The main train station is Gare Centrale, offering easy access to Bonaventure metro station, Underground Pedestrian Network, BIXI bike rentals, taxi, and bus.

There are also bus connections of Greyhound and Megabus to Montreal from other cities in Canada and the United States. Montréal Bus Central Station is in downtown.

If you come with a car, Montreal is also accessible via several major highways, including Autoroute 20 (A-20), Autoroute 40 (A-40), and Autoroute 15 (A-15).

Getting around Montreal is easy on foot, by public transportation, BIXI bike, Uber, Lyft, or car rental. Downtown is pedestrian-friendly and has underground passages, making walking a pleasant option both in winter and summer to explore shops, cafes, and attractions.

Montreal has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and a metro (subway) system. The metro is an efficient way to navigate the city, especially during rush hours.

Best areas to stay in Montreal for tourists & first-timers

1. Old Montreal

Where to stay in Montreal first time - Old Montreal

Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal) is the best overall base for first-time travelers because it is the most convenient location to see tourist attractions. If you book a hotel here, you will be located in the heart of the city, with so many things to do and see within walking distance apart.

Located between the St Lawrence River and downtown Montreal, Old Montreal is the historic neighborhood that dating back to the early 1600s. Covering an area of about one square kilometre, this city’s oldest part is easily explore on foot.

Full of 17th-century historic buildings and quaint cobblestone streets, the atmosphere of years gone by is preserved in spite of it being right at the heart of the city center. Many of Montreal’s top tourist attractions are within a short walk of one another.

If you enjoy learning about the local history, take a stroll down any of the pretty cobblestone streets in Old Montreal and you are sure to stumble upon something fascinating. Being so close to the river, you can enjoy both the historic ambiance and the romance of waterfront views from Vieux Port. 

You can start your tour from the Place d’Armes, the second oldest public site in Montreal which is surrounded by Art Deco buildings, the Bank of Montréal which is the oldest banking institution in Canada, and the magnificent Notre Dame Basilica.

The stunning Gothic Revival church, Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal is the jewel of Old Montreal. The majestic church dates back to the early 1800s and is a perfect example of the area’s historic atmosphere.

It even hosts live music performances, so check the schedule if you want an unforgettable evening out. 

Another impressive building is the Montreal City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) which was built by Henri-Maurice Perrault and Alexander Cowper Hutchison between 1872 and 1878 and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984.

Many of the older buildings in Old Montreal have been converted into museums commemorating their notable tenants. Château Ramezay was constructed in 1705 and the Marguerite-Bourgeoys museum are two such locations just down the road from the Notre Dame Basilica. 

Just a short walk from the Notre Dame Basilica is Pointe-à-Callière, the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History. The museum boasts a variety of fascinating exhibits and interactive displays to demonstrate how French and English colonists interacted and co-existed with First Nations people.

If you get tired of all the history, you can switch things up with a visit to Montreal Science Centre. Just a few minutes from the Notre Dame Basilica, the museum has exhibits and events that will appeal to the whole family.

When you need a break from all the sightseeing, head over to the oldest street in Montreal, Saint Paul Street, where you can find the famous Bonsecours Market that dates back to 1847, and Place Jacques-Cartier, named after the French explorer who discovered Montreal.

In addition to its many small art galleries, this area is known for its chic artisanal boutiques and trendy cafes. 

Old Montreal is also home to the Old Port of Montreal, also known as Vieux Port. Here you can browse souvenir shops and small art galleries whilst enjoying lovely views along the St Lawrence River. 

The Old Port is also home to the La Grande Roue de Montréal. This tallest observation wheel in Canada with its 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel offers visitors stunning views over Montreal, as well as the St Lawrence River and across to Jean-Drapeau Park.

There is a solid mix of accommodation available in Old Montreal. Being so centrally located, most hotels do charge steeper rates, so it is generally not ideal if you are sticking to a budget. However, there are a few exceptions, so it’s worth taking a look in case you can snag a good deal.

For the most part, Vieux Montreal is perfect for those who are happy to spend a little extra to indulge in more high-end accommodation. The area is full of luxury hotels that blend seamlessly into the historic surroundings.  

Of course, with so many sights within walking distance of one another, this is the perfect location for those planning a shorter trip. In which case, you may well want to consider splurging on a fancier hotel if you are only staying for a couple of days. 

Stay In Old Montreal If it is your first time visiting Montreal; you travel without a car; you are planning a shorter trip; you want to stay somewhere with a wonderful historic atmosphere; you are planning a romantic break; you want to stay right at the heart of the city center;

Best places to stay in Old Montreal for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): InterContinental Montreal, an IHG Hotel, 4-star modern hotel, one of the best places to stay in Montreal for first-time visitors, located only minutes away from historical Old Montreal. it is directly connected to the Montreal Convention Centre, and underground city.

mid-range ($$): Hotel Place D’Armes, great family-friendly hotel, located in the heart of Old Montreal, within walking distance to a variety of attractions and Place d’Armes metro.

budget ($): Le Petit Hotel St Paul by Gray Collection, 3-star boutique hotel, one of the best places to stay in Montreal on budget for families and couples. Located in central Montreal, only one block from Notre-Dame Basilica.


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2. Downtown Montreal

Where to stay in Montreal first time - Downtown

Downtown along with Old Montreal is the best area to stay in Montreal without a car. Right at the heart of Montreal, staying in the Downtown area will have you will be located within comfortable walking distance from city’s top attractions, as well as bustling shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife, all

If you love the super urban vibe, then Downtown Montreal has that aesthetic in spades. The business and financial center of Montreal, Downtown is populated by soaring skyscrapers and shining hyper-modern buildings. If you are visiting Montreal for Business, you will likely be spending a lot of time here. 

If you do find yourself wanting an escape from all the concrete and crowds, the pretty cobblestone streets of Old Montreal are just a short walk away to the east. 

Downtown is one of Montreal’s primary commercial hubs. If you love shopping, then this is an amazing location for you. You will find numerous shopping centers and malls to enjoy browsing the stores of in style.

Meanwhile, the streets are lined with numerous big-name brands and chain stores, especially along Sainte-Catherine Street, Montréal’s main commercial artery; and Crescent Street, the epicenter of downtown Montréal nightlife.

The Underground City is also located at the south end of Downtown. Ideal if you are looking for a more memorable shopping experience. 

Downtown is even home to one of Montreal’s principal sports and events venues, the Bell Centre. Hosting everything from ice hockey, to concerts and theatrical performances, there’s always something going on at Centre Bell. 

If wandering around museums is your thing, Downtown Montreal has more than enough to keep you busy, such as: 

  • The McCord Museum hosts an eclectic array of exhibits on locally significant topics, from national sports to Canada’s indigenous cultures.
  • The Musée Grévin Montreal, a fun waxworks museum, where you can take pictures with numerous famous and political figures. 
  • The McGill University’s Redpath Museum, a museum of natural history belonging to McGill University and set on the campus of the university.
  • The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), one of the 10 most-visited museums in North America, founded in 1860.
  • The Musée D’art Contemporain de Montréal, a contemporary art museum.

For something a bit more off-beat, the Barbie Expo is worth a look. Boasting over a thousand dolls, dressed in designer, haute couture outfits, this is especially interesting for anyone with a passion for fashion. 

The southern end of Downtown is known as the Golden Square Mile. Developed in the Victorian era, the area is popular for its beautiful period architecture. In addition to the lovely facades, the Golden Mile boasts a selection of amazing but relaxed restaurants and cafes.

The Golden Mile is also home to several art galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Just down the road is the NuEdge Contemporary Art Gallery, so you can get your fill of a broad range of art styles in a single afternoon. 

Within downtown Montreal, you can also find Montreal’s Chinatown, a vibrant area with colorful shops, restaurants, and is bounded by four monumental gates, hand-made by Chinese workers in the 19th century.

Another interesting place to shop and enjoy the stunning views of the city is the Place Ville Marie with the 46th-floor Observatory.

Being the most central location in the city, and popular with high flying businessmen, accommodation in the Downtown Area can get pretty pricey. You will mostly be able to choose from higher-end, contemporary hotels. If hyper-modern luxury is what you are after, this is where you will find it.

Stay In Downtown If you are visiting Montreal on a business trip; you travel without a car; you want to stay as central as possible; you have a more generous budget; you love to spend your vacation hitting the shops; you are attending an event at the center bell.

Best places to stay in Downtown Montreal for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal, 5-star hotel, featuring spacious rooms for families and couples of all ages, both young and old. It has a fitness center, a business center, a 24-hour concierge service, and an on-site restaurant that serves contemporary French cuisine.

mid-range ($$): Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville, 4-star family-friendly hotel located within walking distance from Place-des-Arts Metro Station, and Montreal’s Underground City. It offers buffet breakfasts, a gym, a sauna, a hot tub.

budget ($): L’Appartement Hôtel, 3-star popular hotel, one of the best places to stay in Montreal on a budget, located short walk from McGill Subway Station, McGill University and Place des Arts, offering a rooftop sundeck with views of the Montreal skyline.


3. Latin Quarter

Where to stay in Montreal first time - Latin Quarter

The Northern end of downtown is known for being Montreal’s Latin Quarter (Quartier des Spectacles). If you are wondering where to stay in Montreal to get the best of both city-center convenience and bustling nightlife, Quartier des Spectacles is your best bet. 

The Latin Quarter is also the location of Montreal’s Red-Light District. As such, you will find a plethora of thrilling clubs and bars to party away your nights. The Latin Quarter even borders Montreal’s Gay Village, the city’s primary nightlife district.

Having both of Montreal’s top party neighborhoods so close together makes it super easy for revelers to move between the two. Staying in either neighborhood means you will be on the doorstep of all the best parties Montreal has to offer. 

At night, the Luminous Pathway is illuminated in more than 30 public spaces and cultural venues like concert halls, exhibition spaces, theatres. You can find information and tickets for Montréal’s cultural events at La Vitrine, a box office at Latin Quarter’s center.

Aside from nightlife, the Quartier Des Spectacles is known for being Montreal’s center for culture and the arts. In addition to its many galleries, theatres, and concert halls, the Quartier Des Spectacles is host to a number of artsy events throughout the year.

The Place des Festivals, in the southern end of the district, is a popular, open-air venue that has a bursting calendar of installations and events. As the name suggests, the Place des Festivales acts as a center point for the many festivals that take place in the Latin Quarter throughout the year.

The Place des Arts are directly across the street. A more traditional, indoor events hall, the Place Des Arts hosts a range of performances from orchestral concerts to opera to comedy. 

Located between several universities including the University of Quebec, the Quartier des Spectacles has a thriving student population. If you are deciding where to stay in Montreal whilst visiting a friend who studies in the city, you may well find they live near the Latin quarter. 

Being located in Downtown Montreal, some of the hotels here can get pretty expensive. However, there’s a surprisingly good mix of luxury and affordable options with some quality budget hotels in the area. 

Stay In Quartier Des Spectacles – Latin Quarter If you want to stay at the heart of Montreal’s nightlife, you love the arts, you want to stay super close to the city center, you are visiting a student at one of Montreal’s universities.

Best places to stay in Montreal in Latin Quarter for first-time visitors:

budget ($$): M Montreal Hostel, great backpacker hostels, one of the best places to stay in Montreal on a budget, located a short wak from Sainte-Catherine Street, Berri-UQAM metro station, and Montreal’s Latin Quarter.

mid-range ($): Hotel St.Thomas, 4-star hotel that has a restaurant, free bikes, and bar in Montréal. It offers easy access to attractions such as Clock Tower Beach, University of Quebec in Montreal UQAM and Place des Arts.

luxury ($$$): Hôtel Birks Montréal, 5-star hotel, one of the best hotels in Downtown Montreal for families and couples, located in the heart of the city, offering easy access to major attractions such as the Eaton Centre Montreal and Museum of Contemporary Art.


4. Plateau Mont-Royal

Where to stay in Montreal first time -  Plateau Mont-Royal

Plateau Mont-Royal is one of the most laid-back neighborhoods in the city center. Just outside of downtown Montreal, Plateau Mont-Royal offers a residential, community vibe, whilst still boasting plenty to keep you entertained. 

Thought by many to be one of the prettiest areas of Montreal, the houses and buildings of Plateau Mont-Royal are an attraction in themselves. The streets are lined with beautiful, vibrant townhouses, whilst many of the walls have been turned into canvas’ for local street artists.

Don’t worry that you’ll be surrounded by grimy graffiti though. Home to the biggest artist community in Canada, the street art here makes the area into a huge open-air gallery. You can take in the colorful streets and wonderful street art as you browse the local shops and galleries.

Other interesting places to visit are the Rialto Theatre, an early 20th-century movie theatre designed in the Beaux-Arts style; Theatre de Verdure, and the 1872 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Roman Catholic church.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of trendy cafes and bars to relax in when you need a break. The area is also close enough to Montreal’s thriving nightlife districts that there is plenty to keep you entertained after dark. 

Saint Laurent Boulevard, which leads into Plateau Mont-Royal from the Latin Quarter is lined with hip bars. Ideal if you want to dabble in Montreal’s nightlife whilst avoiding the boisterous crowds. 

Plateau Mont-Royal is home to some of Montreal’s diaspora neighborhoods. Little Portugal is a charming, leafy public square surrounded by local Portuguese businesses and restaurants. It’s a lovely spot to relax and enjoy some delicious authentic Portuguese food. 

Historically, there has been a strong Jewish presence in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal too. This heritage is evident in Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen. One of the oldest delis in all of Canada, Schwartz’s is an icon of the city and highly popular with both locals and tourists. 

Being just a short walk from Jeanne-Manc park and the base of Mont-Royal, Schwartz’s is a great place to stop to pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy in the nearby greenspaces.

Speaking of green space, Plateau Mont-Royal’s numerous open parks like Parc Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier, La Fontaine Park, and proximity to Mount Royal makes this a great place to visit for those traveling with children. There’s plenty of open space for kids to run around and work off some energy.

Meanwhile, it is close enough to the attractions of the city center that you don’t have to worry about shepherding children across the city to the various tourist sites. 

Stay In Plateau Mont-Royal If you are traveling with children, access to green space is a priority; you want to stay close to the city center but away from the crowds of the downtown area;

Best Places to Stay in Plateau Mont-Royal for first-timers:

midrange ($$): Hotel Kutuma, 4-star hotel, located 5 minutes’ walk from Sherbrooke Metro Station and 15 minute walk from the shopping of Ste-Catherine Street. You can enjoy Ethiopian food at its Le Nil Bleu (The Blue Nile) restaurant.

midrange ($$): François-Denis Apartments, great apartment, offering on-site parking, and units come with parquet floors and feature a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher.

budget ($): Auberge de La Fontaine, 3-star budget-friendly accommodation, ideally located in the centre of Montreal’s vibrant Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood, just steps from over 200 shops and restaurants.


5. Mile End

Where to stay in Montreal first time - Mile End

Technically part of Plateau Mont-Royal, Mile End sits at the far western side of the district, somewhat removed from the city centre. A little more residential than some of the other Montreal neighborhoods on this list, it’s perfect for anyone who prefers a more relaxed atmosphere. 

Far from a sleepy suburb though, Mile End is bursting with trendy cafes, boutiques, and local galleries. Plateau Mont-Royal’s arts community extends into Mile End, bringing with them the stunning street art and creative style imbued throughout the bars and restaurants.

Mile End has been growing into an increasingly trendy neighbourhood in recent years, appealing to the hipster crowd. Whilst there is a certain gentrified air to it all, there is still enough authenticity to the small stores and independent coffee shops that it keeps the laid-back atmosphere. 

Foodies know Mile End for being the best place in Montreal to get a bagel. This may seem like a very niche culinary offering, but it owes to the area’s Jewish heritage and many of the bakeries date back to the early 1900s.

Conveniently located at the base of Mount Royal Park, grab your bagel to-go and enjoy a delicious picnic at the peak of the forested hill. Nothing beats a delicious lunch accompanied by stunning panoramic views across the entire city of Montreal.

Although it’s outside of the city centre, Mile End’s fashionable reputation keeps it from falling into the budget category as far as accommodation is concerned. From fashionable apartments to boutique hotels, the offerings here demand decidedly mid-range to luxury prices.

Whilst there are certainly a few good affordable options if you know where to look, if you were expecting Mile End to be awash with budget hotels you may be disappointed. 

Stay In Mile End If you love food; you don’t mind being a little bit away from the city center, you prefer to stay in a more laid-back area, staying in one of the trendiest areas of Montreal is ideal, you really love bagels.

Best Places to Stay in Montreal in Mile End:


6. Gay Village

Where to stay in Montreal first time - Gay Village

If you are looking for a party, you can’t beat Montreal’s Gay Village. Immediately north of the downtown area, the Gay Village is super central, in addition to being the city’s top nightlife district

As the name suggests, this is the main hub for Montreal’s LGBTQ community. Saint Catherine Street in particular is lined with gay bars and clubs, where you can enjoy some of Montreal’s most colorful nightlife. Being a completely pedestrian street, the whole lane becomes one big party every night. 

If you are visiting Montreal in the summertime, try to plan your trip to coincide with Montreal’s Pride celebrations. Usually hosted in July or August, the whole district transforms into a vibrant party venue, with decorations, parades, and various exciting events. 

Of course, if you are not part of the LGBTQ community, there is still plenty of reason to consider staying in Montreal’s Gay Village. The bustling nightlife is open to everyone and the party atmosphere that permeates the streets is definitely something to experience. 

The Gay Village also borders the Latin quarter of Downtown. Montreal’s two top nightlife districts blend into one another seamlessly, so you can plan a truly epic bar crawl with minimal effort. 

Don’t worry that you will get bored during the daytime though, as there’s plenty to do whilst the sun is up. Away from the main party street, you will find a treasure trove of off-piste boutiques, quaint antique shops, and unique galleries.

One gallery in particular worth visiting is Galerie Blanc on Saint Catherine Street. Unique for being completely open-air, the works are displayed on free-standing walls, in what is essentially a small public square. 

Just a short walk north of the village is the Parc du Pied-du-Courant. This riverside community park boasts a sandy artificial beach, bars, restaurants, and a local crafts market every Sunday. 

On your way to the park, you will pass by several historic buildings, including the Pied-du-Courant Prison. The grand stone building has been converted into a museum, so it’s well worth stopping by to take in some of the area’s history. 

Despite still being a very central location, accommodation in the Gay Village area is surprisingly affordable. There are some really lovely hotels here for very reasonable prices. 

If you are hoping to stay close to the city center but don’t have the budget to spend on the pricier Downtown or Old Montreal hotels, the Gay Village is a great location to consider.

Of course, during the time surrounding Montreal’s Pride Celebrations the area gets particularly popular, and prices go through the roof. If you are planning to visit around July or August you will want to book well in advance, or even consider elsewhere if affordability is your priority.

Stay In Gay Village If vibrant nightlife is a priority for you, and explicitly LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood is a plus, you want to stay close to the city centre without breaking the bank, you are attending the PRIDE festivities.

Best Places to Stay in The Village:

  • mid-range ($$): Maison Des Jardins B & B, great bed and breakfast, 7 minutes’ walk from Beaudry Metro Station, Latin Quarter, and University of Quebec.
  • budget ($): La Loggia Art B&B, 3-star hotel in Montreal city center, conveniently located within 5 minutes’ walk of many restaurants, clubs and shops of The Village.
  • budget ($): Hyatt Place Montreal, 3-star hotel offers a business centre and luggage storage space, as well as a sauna and a 24-hour front desk.

7. Rosemont La Petite Patrie

best areas to stay in Montreal - Rosemont La Petite Patrie

Rosemont La Petite Patrie is a large suburban neighborhood on the edge of the city centre. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Montreal, Rosemont La Petite Patrie has a more sedate and residential vibe, whilst still having plenty to attract visitors. 

With more than fifty parks and community gardens, the sheer amount of greenspace in Rosemont La Petite Patrie lends it the reputation as one of the prettiest Montreal neighbourhoods. A large portion of the north of the area is taken up by Montreal Botanical Garden.

The Montreal Botanical Garden is home to more than just stunning plants. There are also exquisite sculptures, lantern displays, and numerous themed gardens. The complex also boasts an insectarium and the Biodome museum of natural science. 

The Botanical Gardens host an array of events throughout the year, so you should definitely check ahead to see what’s on during your stay in Montreal. If you visit in autumn, you may be lucky enough to attend the magical Chinese Lantern Festival and appreciate the elaborate illuminations. 

The south end of Rosemont La Petite Prairie is Montreal’s Little Italy. If you want to sample some of the best Italian food that Montreal has to offer, then head to any of the charming restaurants and pizzerias in the area. 

Little Italy is also where you will find the Jean Talon Market. The open-air food markets sell everything from fresh, local produce to delicious street food, plants, and flowers. As the largest open-air market in North America, it is definitely worth visiting. 

Even though Rosemont La Petite Patrie is a little removed from the main tourist districts of downtown, you don’t have to worry about missing out on sightseeing. There are plenty of metro stations throughout the neighborhood that can have you in downtown in just a few minutes. 

Being further from the city center does mean that you won’t have to fork out downtown prices for accommodation. Being more residential, there are fewer options to choose from than the tourist centric districts, but you can stay in some super stylish hotels and comfortable B&Bs very affordably.

Stay In Rosemont La Petite Patrie If you want to stay in a more relaxed, residential area, you don’t mind being a little further from the attractions of the Downtown area, and it’s not your first stay in Montreal.


8. Underground City

best areas to stay in Montreal - Underground City

If you are looking for somewhere really different and unique to spend your stay in Montreal, the Underground City is a great place to consider. Although the concept of a completely subterranean city seems futuristic, it was actually established back in the sixties and has been growing ever since.

This sprawling underground network of tunnels connects shopping centers, offices, food courts, and restaurants. In recent years, numerous hotels have joined the Underground City, meaning you can actually stay in the Underground City itself.

With everything you need contained within the Underground City, it would be totally possible to simply stay indoors for the entirety of your vacation. If you are visiting in winter and hate the wet and cold weather, then this would be a perfect way to completely avoid going outside. 

Of course, if you did want to venture to surface level Montreal, you will be ideally located to explore the city. The Underground City is right in the centre of Montreal, at the border between Downtown and Old Montreal.

You will have plenty of popular attractions within walking distance of the Underground City. If you want to visit something a little further away, there are almost sixty metro stations accessible from the Underground network.

If you get claustrophobic easily, this probably isn’t the best place for you, but if you want to be able to say you have stayed in a subterranean metropolis then this is an amazing location to consider. 

Stay In Underground City If You want to stay in a really unique location, Staying close to the city center is essential, Shopping is your priority, You are visiting in the winter and will take any opportunity to avoid the harsh Canadian weather.

Best Places to Stay in Montreal in Underground City for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, 5-star hotel, linked to Montreal’s underground city, offering access to 20 miles of underground pedestrian walkways, shopping centres, entertainment venues and attractions. It is also located on top of the Central train station and is connected to two metro stations.

mid-range ($$): DoubleTree By Hilton Montreal, 4-star hotel, set in the Quartier des Spectacles distric, offering easy access to Sainte-Catherine Street, famous for its shops and restaurants. It is linked to the underground city with access to Place des Arts, Montreal Convention Centre and 2 metro stations.

budget ($): Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville, 3-star hotel, in the center of Montréal’s business district, easy walk from Bonaventure Station, Montréal’s Convention Center, and Rue Sainte-Catherine.


9. Montreal International Airport

best areas to stay in Montreal -  Montreal Airport

If you have a late arrival or early departure, staying near the airport is a smart choice. Below are my recommendations of the best hotels to stay near Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport:

luxury ($$$): Marriott Montreal Airport In-Terminal Hotel This 4-star hotel is connected to Montreal International Airport, it offers an on-site restaurant, an indoor pool with a hot tub, free WiFi in public areas, fitness and business facilities.

mid-range ($$): Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Montreal Airport This 3-star hotel offers shuttle bus services from/to Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

budget ($): Comfort Inn Airport Dorval this pet-friendly hotel is 3 km from Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, offers free WiFi, and air-conditioned room.

Where should I stay in Montreal for the first time?

Old Montréal (Vieux-Montréal) is the best area to stay in Montreal for tourist, especially for first-timers. If you book a hotel here, you will be in the heart of the city, within walking to many tourist attractions, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Montreal?

Old Montreal, Downtown, Latin Quarter, Plateau Mont-Royal, Mile End, Gay Village, Rosemont La Petite Patrie, and Underground City are the best areas to stay in Montreal because they are the most popular areas for tourists that offer many things to do and see.

Where should I stay in Montreal without a car?

Without a doubt, Old Montreal and the Downtown are the best places to book hotels if you travel without a car. You can easily get around by foot or by its extensive public transportation including metro and bus.

Where to stay in Montreal with a car?

Most hotels in Old Town and Downtown offer paid parking. If you are looking for a hotel with free car parking in Montreal, look into À l’Adresse du Centre-Ville and Le Dauphin Montréal-Longueuil.

Is it better to stay in downtown or Old Montreal?

Both Downtown and Old Montreal are best for first-timers. Downtown has better shopping and dining options. Old Montreal offers a more scenic and romantic vibe with many narrow cobblestone streets, and old buildings. 

What is the safest area to stay in Montreal?

Old Montreal and Downtown are the safest places to stay in Montreal for tourists with plenty of things to do and see. It is recommended to always practice common sense as you travel to any big city. 

Where not to stay in Montreal?

You should avoid Montreal Nord, Wellington-St, Notre Dame Quest, and The Red Light district at night. You should also always stay alert, and pay attention to your surroundings.

See more: Where to Stay in Ottawa

In conclusion, Old Montreal, Downtown, Latin Quarter, Plateau Mont-Royal, Mile End, Gay Village,, and Underground City are some of the best places to stay in Montreal for tourists, both families and couples. They offer a wide range of accommodation options for all budgets.

Overall, Old Montreal is the best area to stay in Montreal for first-timers due to its proximity to major sights and its romantic atmosphere. It offers easy access to many top sights, restaurants, bars, and shops.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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