Canada, Quebec, Montreal, Old Port clock tower

Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Old Port

Top choice in Old Montréal

Montréal's Old Port has morphed into a park and fun zone paralleling the mighty St Lawrence River for 2.5km and punctuated by four grand quais (quays). Locals and visitors alike come here for strolling, cycling and in-line skating. Cruise boats, ferries, jet boats and speedboats all depart for tours from various docks. In winter you can cut a fine figure on an outdoor ice-skating rink.

Historical relics include the striking white Tour de l’Horloge (Clock Tower) at the northern end of Quai de l'Horloge. Built in 1922 to honor sailors who died in WWI, it affords commanding views of the river and city.

A perennial family favorite is the Centre des Sciences de Montréal. There are plenty of buttons to push, knobs to pull and games to play as you make your way through the high-tech exhibition halls. The permanent exhibit – Mission Gaia – seeks solutions to environmental or social disasters, while idTV allows you to write your own news story with a virtual editor and report it live.

The center also includes an IMAX cinema showing vivid nature and science films in 2D or 3D.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Montréal attractions

1. Marché Bonsecours

0.06 MILES

This sprawling neoclassical building houses shops selling tourist-targeted arts and crafts, leather goods and garments, and several cafes. The upstairs…

2. Quai Jacques-Cartier & Around

0.08 MILES

This pier is the anchor of the Old Port area, home to restaurants, an open-air stage and a handicraft center. Every year the port stages a number of…

3. Rue de la Commune Est


Set back from the waterfront, ‘the Common’ is a showcase of the rejuvenation that has swept Old Montréal. Compare it with old photos and you’ll see the…

4. Place Jacques-Cartier

0.11 MILES

The liveliest spot in Old Montréal, this gently inclined square hums with performance artists, street musicians and the animated chatter from terrace…

5. Château Ramezay

0.13 MILES

A home of French governors in the early 18th century, this mansion is one of the finest examples from the ancien régime. It was built for the 11th…

6. Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours

0.13 MILES

Known as the Sailors’ Church, this enchanting chapel derives its name from the sailors who left behind votive lamps in the shapes of ships in thanksgiving…

7. Pavillon du Bassin Bonsecours

0.16 MILES

This pavilion has a snack bar in summer and winter. On frosty days, it's a fine place to warm up after ice-skating on the rink in front.

8. Parc du Bassin Bonsecours

0.17 MILES

Perched over the river, the Parc du Bassin Bonsecours is a grassy expanse enclosed by a waterway and crisscrossed with footbridges. In summer you can rent…