One of Montréal's most fascinating sites, this museum takes visitors on a historical journey through the centuries, beginning with the early days of Montréal. Visitors should start with Yours Truly, Montréal, an 18-minute multimedia show that covers the arrival of the Amerindians, the founding of Montréal and other key moments. Afterward, head to the archaeological crypt where you can explore the remains of the city’s ancient sewage and river system, and the foundations of its first buildings and public square.
Interactive exhibits allow visitors to hear what life was like in the 17th and 18th centuries from characters on video screens.
Kids will get a kick out of the 'Pirates or Privateers?' exhibit, which explores the world of early-18th-century sailors. Hands-on displays cover the food, navigational gear, tools and weaponry used by the recruits of Captain Iberville. Other attractions include a restored 1915 pumping station. Across the street is the Mariners' House, which hosts a simulated archaeological dig (great for kids) and temporary exhibitions, including some of Montréal's top gallery shows.
The lookout at the top of the tower (free to visit) provides an excellent view of the Old Port.