If you are stuck trying to decide where to stay in Montreal, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article we will be looking at all the best neighbourhoods for you to consider when planning your trip to the island city.
As the largest French speaking city in Canada, Montreal boasts the best of that distinct Canadian blend of French and North American culture. There is tons to see and do here, and the many districts each have their own unique flares.
With historical port districts to vibrant party neighbourhoods, there is an aspect of Montreal to suit every visitor. Today, we will be helping you find the perfect part of Montreal to spend your vacation.
See more: Where to Stay in Toronto
With its dual heritage and colourful history, Montreal is a pretty diverse city. With such a range of distinct districts, it can seem a challenge to decide where to book your accommodation to best take advantage of all there is to enjoy.
For first timers, or those visiting Montreal for a shorter time, Old Montreal would be perfect. Many of the city’s primary tourist sites are located in the area, so you can easily hop from attraction to attraction in just a few minutes.
If you want to stay close to the city’s vibrant nightlife, then the Gay Village is perfect for you. The Gay Village is also an amazing location if you are working with a smaller budget but still want to keep close to the city centre.
Alternatively, try the Latin Quarter at the north end of the downtown area if you love nightlife but want to stay even more central.
To maximise your time spent hitting the shops, Downtown Montreal and the area around the Underground City are the perfect neighbourhoods to consider.
You’ll find everything from artsy boutiques to chain stores. The Underground city is a particularly unique shopping experience not to be missed.
Even if the things you want to see and do are scattered all over the city, there’s still no need to worry. Montreal has an excellent public transport system. Just try to stay close to one of the many metro stations and you will be easily able to travel to whatever corner of the city you need.
|💖 Best Area:||Old Montreal – Vieux-Montréal|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||InterContinental Montreal, an IHG Hotel|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||LHotel|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||Auberge Saint-Paul Old Montreal|
- Where to Stay in Montreal: 8 Best Areas to Stay in Montreal
- Old Montreal- Vieux-Montréal, where to stay in Montreal for first time
- Downtown, best area to stay in Montreal for business
- Quartier des Spectacles – Latin Quarter
- Plateau Mont-Royal, where to stay in Montreal for a family
- Mile End, one of the trendiest areas of Montreal
- Gay Village, where to stay in Montreal for nightlife
- Rosemont La Petite Patrie, a relaxed, residential area in Montreal
- Underground City, best place to stay in Montreal for shopping
- Staying near Montreal Airport
Where to Stay in Montreal: 8 Best Areas to Stay in Montreal
Today we will be looking at the eight best neighbourhoods to consider when deciding where to stay in Montreal. With areas ranging from bustling tourist hubs to more laid-back residential districts, we’re sure to find the perfect destination for you.
I’ve provided handy summaries of what each neighbourhood has to offer, so you’ll easily be able to pick out which most appeal.
1. Old Montreal- Vieux-Montréal, where to stay in Montreal for first time
Old Montreal is probably the most romantic location in the city. Full of 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 centre.
Also known as Vieux Montreal, many of Montreal’s top tourist attractions are located here, within a short walk of one another. Combined with how charming the streets themselves are, that makes it a great location for those visiting Montreal for the first time.
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 ambience and the romance of waterfront views from Vieux Port.
The jewel of Old Montreal is the stunning Notre Dame Basilica of 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.
Many of the older buildings in Old Montreal have been converted into museums commemorating their notable tenants. Château Ramezay 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 the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History. Housed in appropriately historic buildings, the museum boasts a variety of fascinating exhibits and interactive displays.
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 Saint Paul Street. In addition to its many small art galleries, this area is known for its chic 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 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.
You Should Stay In Old Montreal If you want to stay somewhere with a wonderful historic atmosphere, a room with views over the St Lawrence River would be ideal, you are planning a romantic break, you want to stay right at the heart of the city centre, it is your first time visiting Montreal, you are planning a shorter trip.
Best places to stay in Old Montreal:
Best luxury hotel: InterContinental Montreal, an IHG Hotel This modernly-furnished hotel is connected to the Montreal Convention Centre, and only minutes away from historical Old Montreal. It offers on-site dining, a fitness center, an indoor saltwater pool, a sauna, and a beauty salon. It has guest rooms with a cable TV, an iPod dock, air conditioning, a desk, and a minibar.
Best mid-range hotel: LHotel This hotel offers an on-site bar, art gallery, free WiFi, and elegant rooms with large windows and antique furniture. It’s located within walking distance from Palais des Congrès Convention Centre, Place d’Armes Metro Station, Shopping and restaurants on St. Catherine Street.
Best budget hotel: Auberge Saint-Paul Old Montreal This hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen, lounge area. , and laundry facilities. It’s within a short stroll from tourist attractions such as Montreal Notre-Dame Basilica, Château Ramezay – Historic Site, and Museum of Montreal.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN OLD MONTREAL
2. Downtown, best area to stay in Montreal for business
If your main goal is to be as central as possible, Downtown Montreal is as central as it gets. Right at the heart of Montreal, staying in the Downtown area will have you surrounded by top attractions, bustling shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife, all within comfortable walking distance.
If you love the super urban vibe, then Downtown Montreal has that aesthetic in spades. The business and financial centre 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 centres and malls to enjoy browsing the stores of in style. Meanwhile, the streets are lined with numerous big-name brands and chain stores.
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.
The McCord Museum hosts an eclectic array of exhibits on locally significant topics, from national sports to Canada’s indigenous cultures. Meanwhile, the Musée Grévin Montreal is a fun waxworks museum, where you can take pictures with numerous famous and political figures.
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.
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.
You Should Stay In Downtown If 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 visiting Montreal on a business trip, you are attending an event at center bell.
Best hotels in Downtown Montreal, Canada:
Best luxury hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal This 5-star hotel offers spacious rooms with a marble bathroom with heated floors, a 19-inch flat-screen TV, a digital control of lights and curtains, automatic toilets, a minibar and flat-screen TV in the bedroom, and free wifi. It has a fitness centre, a business centre, a 24-hour concierge service, and an on-site restaurant that serves contemporary French cuisine.
Best mid-range hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville This 4-star hotel is 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. It features spacious rooms with free WiFi, a 32-inch flat-screen cable TV, a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker, a desk, and a chair.
Best budget hotel: Hotel St-Denis This hotel offers bright and simply furnished rooms with cable TVs, work desks, coffee makers, and hair dryers. Close to the Berri-UQAM Subway Station, the historic St-Denis Theatre, and the Place des Arts Performing Arts Center.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN DOWNTOWN
3. Quartier des Spectacles – Latin Quarter
The Northern end of downtown is known for being Montreal’s Latin Quarter. If you are wondering where to stay in Montreal to get the best of both city centre 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 neighbourhoods so close together makes it super easy for revellers to move between the two. Staying in either neighbourhood means you will be on the doorstep of all the best parties Montreal has to offer.
Aside from nightlife, the Quartier Des Spectacles is known for being Montreal’s centre 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 Festivales, 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 centre point for the many festivals that take place in the Latin Quarter throughout the year.
The Place des Arts is 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, 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.
You Should 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 centre, you are visiting a student at one of Montreal’s universities.
Best places to stay in Montreal in Latin Quarter:
- Best luxury hotel: Loft Hotel Montreal
- Best budget hotel: Auberge Le jardin d’Antoine
- Best mid-range hotel: Le Relais Lyonnais
4. Plateau Mont-Royal, where to stay in Montreal for a family
Le Plateau Mont-Royal is one of the most laid-back neighbourhoods of the city centre. Just outside of Downtown Montreal, Le 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 Le 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 colourful streets and wonderful street art as you browse the local shops and galleries. 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 Le Plateau Mont-Royal from the Latin Quarterm is lined with hip bars. Ideal if you want to dabble in Montreal’s nightlife whilst avoiding the boisterous crowds.
Le Plateau Mont-Royal is home to some of Montreal’s diaspora neighbourhoods. 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, Le Plateau Mont-Royal’s numerous open parks and proximity to Mont Royal makes this a great place to visit for those travelling 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 centre that you don’t have to worry about shepherding children across the city to the various tourist sites.
You Should Stay In Plateau Mont-Royal If you want to stay close to the city centre but away from the crowds of the downtown area, you would like to stay close to the nightlife districts but away from the boisterous party streets, you want to stay in a more laid-back area with a residential atmosphere, you are travelling with children, access to greenspace is a priority.
Best Places to Stay in Plateau Mont-Royal:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN PLATEAU MONT-ROYRAL
5. Mile End, one of the trendiest areas of Montreal
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 neighbourhoods 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.
You Should Stay In Mile End If you don’t mind being a little bit away from the city centre, 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:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN MILE END
6. Gay Village, where to stay in Montreal for nightlife
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 colourful 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 antiques 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 centre 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.
You Should Stay In Gay Village If vibrant nightlife is a priority for you, an explicitly LGBTQ friendly neighbourhood 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 Gay Village:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN GAY VILLAGE
7. Rosemont La Petite Patrie, a relaxed, residential area in Montreal
Rosemont La Petite Patrie is a large suburban neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood that can have you in downtown in just a few minutes.
Being further from the city centre 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.
You Should 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.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN MONTREAL BOTANIC GARDEN
8. Underground City, best place to stay in Montreal for shopping
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 centres, 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.
You Should Stay In Underground City If You want to stay in a really unique location, Staying close to the city centre 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:
- luxury: Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
- mid-range: DoubleTree By Hilton Montrea
- budget: Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville
9. Staying near 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:
Best luxury hotel: 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. It has rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, in-room safes, and coffee makers with free coffee and tea.
Best mid-range hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Montreal Airport This 3-star hotel offers shuttle bus services from/to Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. It features modern rooms with a flat-screen TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, a microwave, and a small refrigerator in some rooms.
Best budget hotel: Comfort Inn Airport Dorval this pet-friendly hotel is 3 km from Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, offers free WiFi, and air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen cable TV, a refrigerator, and microwave.
🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Montreal in this video or continue reading:
See more: Where to Stay in Ottawa
So, that’s Montreal. As you can see, the city has tons to offer and so many wonderful districts to choose from. With so much character and plenty to see and do, Montreal is the ideal location for a city break. Whether you prefer sightseeing, shopping, or partying, Montreal has it all in spades.
Now that you have had a chance to read about the best neighbourhoods to stay in, you should have a good idea of which district would be perfect for you to consider for your trip. All that’s left to do is pick out your ideal hotel and get to booking your perfect city vacation.