Montreal is a city found in the province of Quebec, Canada and it ranks as the world's second biggest French speaking city after Paris. The area began as a small trading town and grew successfully thanks to its location on the Saint Lawrence River. The city is a nice combination of old and new, with some historic areas and landmarks with lots of new attractions mixed in. There is always something going on in Montreal, whether it is during the day or after the sun goes down thanks to the vibrant nightlife. Montreal is called the Festival City because of all the events and activities that are put on and no matter when you visit there is bound to be some sort of celebration for you to enjoy.
If you have something specific that you want to do while you are in Montreal then where you stay can be important. Although the city is easy to get around and has a great public transportation system, you can save time and money by booking a hotel close to where you are planning to spend most of your vacation. While you are out and about around town it can be a good idea to keep your bags and belongings safe in a luggage storage locker in Montreal.
Where to stay in Old Montreal
If you are visiting the city for the first time, many people recommend staying in Old Montreal, which you might also see being referred to as Vieux Montreal. It is a national historic site as well as the oldest neighborhood in the city and many locals think of it as the heart and soul of Montreal. You will enjoy walking along the cobblestone streets and seeing all of the European-style architecture on the buildings.
There are lots of historic areas in this neighborhood, like the Vieux Port for example. This place, which in English translates to the Old Port, has lots of fun activities and events for you to enjoy. Other highlights include the famous Notre Dame Basilica which is an impressive building that is well worth stopping by. Place des Arts and Place Jacques Cartier are also places that you should visit in the area and both offer some fun activities and different ways to experience the city.
This neighborhood is a good spot for tourists and people that like walking since most of its main attractions are accessible by foot. For example, you can easily reach Saint Paul Street from here which is a good spot to go shopping and to try the local cuisine as it is where lots of shops, boutiques and restaurants have chosen to set up.
If you are looking for luxury hotels in this area, try Inter Continental Montreal which is a popular boutique hotel, or the W Hotel Montreal which is one of the best pet friendly hotels in the city. For hotels in the mid range try L'Hotel Montreal or Auberge du Vieux Port, and cheap hotels in the area include Auberge Alternative and Auberge Saint-Paul Old Montreal.
Where to stay in Saint-Henri
If you choose to stay in the Saint-Henri neighborhood in Montreal then you will experience a small but lively area with affordable hotels. It is home to some of the trendiest spots to eat and is where a lot of young locals tend to gather. The streets are lined with vibrant Art Deco houses and buildings, and even if you don't choose a Montreal hotel in this area it is still worth stopping by.
In Saint-Henri you will find the Atwater Market which first opened in 1933 and is the second biggest farmers market in the whole Montreal city. At the market, located next to an impressive clock tower, there are vendors selling fresh produce and food stalls selling ready-made meals.
While you are here, we recommend taking a walk along the Lachine Canal. This picturesque area is perfect for a calm stroll or bike ride and will bring you all the way to Old Montreal if you go far enough. The best hotels in this area include Destination Stays Saint-Henri or Le Nouvel Hotel.
Where to stay in Le Plateau Mont Royal
The hotels found in this area are located on the base of Mount Royal, which is one of the local greenspaces that offers a nice break from all of the concrete and buildings. This small mountain boasts some great views of the city from the summit and is definitely somewhere that you should stop by if you are staying in the area.
On top of Mount Royal Park you can see Saint Joseph's Oratory which is an old and important historic building. Another nice park that you can visit is Parc Lafontaine, which is big enough to take a lengthy walk and has a pond that can be perfect for a picnic or just a place to sit and enjoy the nice weather. If you are visiting in the winter you can probably go snowshoeing or skating in the parks.
Many people say that this is one of the city's best spots for families to stay since it is close by to the downtown area where most of the main attractions are. The colorful houses and street art painted on the buildings are also popular among kids and those who want to relax in a picturesque part of the city. Every Sunday you can enjoy the tam-tam gathering and you will find lots of other things to do on Mont Royal Avenue or Saint Denis Street, including plenty of free fun.
As for hotels in the Plateau de Mont Royal you can stay at a luxury hotel like the Parc Avenue Residences or the neighborhood's best mid range hotel which is Manoir Sherbrooke near Little Italy.
Where to stay in the Gay Village
Montreal's Gay Village is a popular spot among the LGBTQ community and a great place to shop and party. This vibrant part of the city has around 80 bars and nightclubs on its own. It is where the pride festival happens every year and is an affordable spot to stay in Montreal. Also, it is not too far from the downtown area so you can get almost anywhere pretty quickly from here.
You can easily reach Sainte Catherine Street which is full of restaurants, hip bars, cafes, boutiques, clubs and stores. Visitors can dance through the night at one of the nightclubs with the friendly local community, and from July to August the neighborhood is even more exciting with the gay pride festivities going on. The Village Au Pied-du-Courant is also found nearby, which has a man-made beach and lots of fun outdoor activities available throughout the whole year.
The Gay Village is best suited to the younger population or those who like to party since this part of the city doesn't sleep. You can sample local beers and cocktails at one of the many bars or catch performances like comedy shows and other entertaining events at the Cabaret Mado. As well, you are just a short walk away from a metro station where you can participate in the rest of the events that the city has to offer.
The places to stay in this area are all fairly affordable so you can find a modern hotel at a good price. Try the Maison des Jardines B&B or the Chambre Privée au Village which has comfy rooms.
Where to stay in Downtown Montreal
If you are planning on doing some partying in the bars or visiting a Montreal museum then you should consider staying in Downtown Montreal. This is where most things happen and the place that many businesses and institutions are set up. If you are a sports fan you can visit the Bell Centre and can maybe even catch a hockey game if you are visiting during the season.
There are lots of museums located in this area, like the Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art which are both worth a visit. If you decide to stay somewhere in the city center then you will be in walking distance from art galleries, landmarks and festival venues. Thanks to the underground city and this neighborhood's location in central Montreal you can get from one place to another pretty easily, so if you have a busy schedule to keep then it might be the right neighborhood for you.
This is the city's official business district and people traveling for work will most likely stay here, and it is best suited to those who are planning to spend a lot of time shopping in the retail stores or partaking in the nightlife at the nearby bars and restaurants. People who don't mind the busy streets and noisy bustle of daily life will enjoy it here. Tourists will love walking through the neighborhood since the buildings are almost like an art gallery and you can see some great street art, like the huge mural of Leonard Cohen.
If you want to treat yourself you can stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel which has an impressive on-site restaurant. Try the Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville which has a rooftop terrace and on-site fitness center or Hotel St-Denis if you want to stay somewhere nice but save money.
Where to stay in Mile End
The Mile End is located next to the Plateau Mont Royal so many of the activities that you can find in one area can easily be accessed in the other. This is also probably one of the best spots for food enthusiasts since it is where some of the top restaurants, bistros, coffee shops and cafes can be found.
If you like to go shopping you will also be spending time in the Mile End. You can find everything from vintage clothing stores and antique furniture stores to fashion boutiques and independent shops. If you get hungry while you are shopping around the neighborhood you won't have to look far for a café or coffee shop to satisfy your cravings.
You will also be close to two different parks; the Aire Commune and Marché des Possibles. These public areas are a good spot to go when you want a break from the busy streets and buildings. They are open to the public and often have activities with food, crafts and live music.
You can find expensive Montreal hotels in this neighborhood as well as more affordable ones. The best luxury hotel in the Mile End has to be the Sir Montcalm Gite B&B which offers free continental breakfast, or the Samesun Montreal Central which is a good choice for a budget hotel.
Finding the Best Montreal Hotels
There are lots of other great areas in Montreal that we didn't mention, like the Latin Quarter in the Quartier des Spectacles which has festivals, events, clubs and bars that are open all night. It is well worth stopping by all of the local neighborhoods since each one offers something different. This Quebec city is a great location for a leisure getaway or work trips because of its many interesting cultural attractions as well as business facilities.
When you are choosing a hotel the location is definitely important, and you should also consider the hotel features that are offered. If you are visiting in the summer make sure that you have a place with air conditioning, and an indoor swimming pool could be a bonus too. Every place is different and even the hotels in the historic areas of the city have modern rooms. No matter where you choose to stay you will have a great time in this amazing location in Canada!