a girl holding cotton candy in front of the ferris wheel which is one of the most fun things to do in montreal in summer

15 Fun Things to Do in Montreal in the Summer (2023)

Are you looking for fun things to do in Montreal in the summer? You’ve come to the right place!

The perfect blend of a charming old town and a dynamic metropolis, Montreal is one of my favourite places in Canada and I’ve visited it many times. And visiting Montreal in summer is one of the best seasons.

Whether it is your first time in the city or you’re looking for more unique things to do in Montreal after you hit all the main tourist attractions, there are plenty of summer options. 

From walking through Old Montreal to finding a beach within the city, let’s get right into the best fun activities in Montreal in summer!

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🤩 Short on time? See the best sights in Montreal on this 1-day full-city tour!

15 Fun Things to Do in Montreal in Summer

person ziplining in montreal

1. Zipline in Old Montreal

Starting with one of the most fun and unique things to do in Montreal, did you know that Montreal is home to the biggest urban zipline in Canada?

Situated in the Old Port, this 85 ft (26m) tall zipline is a breathtaking activity every adrenaline lover should add to their Montreal itinerary. You might get nervous as you climb the stairs up to the platform, but the feeling disappears as soon as the ride starts. 

As you soar through the air, you’ll have the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. Admire the city landmarks in front of you or look down as you glide above the St.Lawrence River

Montreal Zipline is open every day until mid-October, making it one of the best fun things to do in Montreal in the summer and even early fall. Go on a weekday for a shorter wait.

🤩 Book your zipline ticket online to save money!

the water inside lachine canal in montreal
Unsplash photo by Chris Liverani

2. Lachine Canal 

Lachine Canal passing is an iconic area in Montreal and a National Historic Site. The canal is 13.5km long, with a walking and cycling path on each side. 

It is a popular spot for outdoor activities, but for 150 years, it was the industrial heart of Montreal.

You can still see the remains of its industrial past along the canal, as this small canal was a gateway to a network of canals that linked the Atlantic to the heart of the continent.

When you are looking for fun stuff to do in Montreal in the summer, the canal offers a variety of outdoor activities. Simply go for a stroll, rent a bike, or try out canoeing, kayaking, and even stand-up paddling! For more adventure in Montreal, you can try white-water rafting on the Lachine Rapids.

🤩 Discover the thrill of white-water rafting on this Lachine Rapids tour!

a waterfall inside the montreal botanical garden which is a fun summer activity in montreal
Unsplash photo by Catherine Gosselin

3. Royal Botanical Garden 

Spanning more than 75 hectares with over 20 000 plant species, Montreal Botanical Garden is a place where you can easily spend a couple of hours in the summer. 

You will want to get a map as soon as you enter, as the Montreal Botanical Garden includes 20 thematic outdoor gardens, and you don’t want to accidentally miss any of them!

Some of the most interesting sections are the Rose Garden, with over 900 different species of roses, the Japanese Garden, The First Nations Garden, and the Chinese Garden. There are also several smaller themed gardens, including the Food Garden and the Medicinal Plants Garden.

The Botanical Garden is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the warmer months when flowers are in full bloom.

🤩 Visit the Montreal Botanical Gardens and other popular attractions with this city pass!

a cute shop seen while walking through Old Montreal in the summer

4. Old Montreal Walking Tour 

Montreal is undoubtedly a cool city to visit and wander around admiring the architecture. However, the city’s history and intriguing stories are why it is fantastic!

That makes joining a Montreal walking tour the best way to explore Montreal in the summer. 

The Old Montreal neighbourhood dates back to the early 17th century and has many hidden spots and alleys you could easily miss without a guide. 

You will stroll the picturesque Saint Paul Street, admire the stunning Basilique Notre-Dame, and see the precise spot where the first building was built in Montreal!

Plus, you will get insider info from a local tour guide on the best restaurants and bars you shouldn’t miss. I love finding new places in Old Montreal every time I visit.

🚶‍♀️Discover the best spots in Old Montreal on this walking tour!

a shop in Montreal on Saint-Laurent covered in street art

5. See Street-Art along Saint-Laurent

For urban art, head to Saint Laurent Boulevard. This neighbourhood is home to Montreal’s largest open-air gallery. As you stroll the streets, every corner reveals a new masterpiece, each a bold expression of artistic talent. 

These stunning murals change every year, making this spot somewhat of a living museum. I always see something different every time I visit Saint-Laurent.

If you are visiting in June, check out the MURAL Festival, where local and international artists paint new murals over the last year’s ones. It’s a great early summer activity in Montreal to attend the festival.

And don’t forget to stop for food while you are here. Some of the best places to eat, like Schwartz, are on this street!

🚶‍♀️Find the best street art in Montreal on this guided mural tour!

the montreal port at night after finishing a montreal boat tour
Unsplash photo by Walid Amghar

6. Boat Tour on the Saint Lawrence 

Not all fun things to do in old Montreal are on land, hop on a boat tour and see the city from a different perspective!

The Saint Lawrence boat tour is a fantastic way to see iconic landmarks like Jacques Cartier Bridge, Olympic Stadium, and Îles-de-Boucherville National Park. 

When seeking fun things to do in Montreal at night, you can also take a night tour!

These tours usually last about 1.5 hours, which is great if you are short on time. 

Seeing cities by boat is one of my favourite city adventures. 

🛥️ Discover Montreal from the water on this sightseeing cruise!

a farm stand at jean-talon market in montreal while visiting during summer

7. Jean-Talon Market

Jean-Talon Market is the must-visit spot in Montreal for foodies. This open-air food market is situated in the heart of the vibrant Little Italy quarter, so it is easy to reach regardless of where you stay in Montreal. 

The Market is known as one of North America’s largest public markets. It hosts up to 300 vendors offering a wide variety of fresh, local produce, cheese, wines, oils, and more! 

Summer is the best time to visit when so many things are in-season and the outdoor part of the market is open. The market is lively, but try to avoid weekends for fewer crowds.

If you’re thinking visiting a market is not for you because you don’t plan to cook while in Montreal, don’t worry! The Market has a large food court with many small bakeries, restaurants, and bars preparing delicious meals you can try. I ate my way through this market.

🤩 Find the best spots to eat in Jean-Talon and Little Italy on this food tour!

a girl looking out over mont royal in montreal

8. Explore Mont-Royal

Nature lovers don’t have to venture far to enjoy a summer hike! Mont-Royal is a mountain in the center of Montreal, right next to Downtown Montreal.

Sure, Mont Royal is not like hiking in Jasper National Park, but it is a fantastic way to escape the crowds and enjoy this green heart of the city.

You can choose from several hiking trails leading you to lookout points where you’ll get a breathtaking view of the whole city! One of the largest viewpoints is Belvedere Kondiaronk, which requires climbing about 400 steep steps.

If hiking is not your thing, you can still admire the view! There are several parking lots right next to the viewpoint. That way, you can avoid the climb, stroll the park, and admire the views. 

Parking is limited at the viewpoints, so you might have to loop around to find a spot, especially on summer weekends.

🚶‍♀️Explore Mont-Royal and Mile End on this walking tour!

holding smoked meat sandwiches from schwartz in montreal

9. Eat Your Way through Montreal 

Montreal is a foodie paradise. Montreal’s culinary scene is a melting pot of all the world’s cuisines, coming together to create remarkable gastronomic experiences.

With so many options, it might seem impossible to pick the best places to eat in Montreal

Some of Montreal’s most iconic dishes you need to try are poutine, Montreal smoked meat, and Montreal bagel. The best way to try as many of Montreal’s specialties in one go is on a food tour!

You will walk around learning more about the city, and stop along the way for a quick bite or a refreshment. Combine it with beautiful summer weather and it’s the perfect combination really!

🍴 Eat your way through Montreal on this Old Montreal walking food & drink tour!

the inside of notre dame in montreal is beautiful

10. Notre Dame 

Montreal’s Notre Dame is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and it’s best to visit it any time of the year, including summer. 

It was built in the early 19th century in a neo-gothic style, so it is several centuries younger than its Parisian counterpart. 

While the exterior of this basilica is certainly impressive, you should also enter the church and see the Aura light show.

This unique light show and series of multimedia displays are meant to enhance architectural beauty and artwork inside the basilica. The Aura visit is divided into two parts. First, you get to walk around the basilica and then watch a 20 min long light show.

You need tickets in advance, so book before you go so you don’t miss out on this top Montreal attraction.

🚶‍♀️Visit the inside of Notre Dame and more on this walking tour!

11. Enjoy a Rooftop Patio

Pub crawls are a fun night activity for those who enjoy the nightlife, but how about a more relaxed version – rooftop patios?

One of the perks of having lots of tall buildings in the city center is all the rooftop patios hiding on top of them! If you’re seeking fun places in Montreal to grab a mocktail after a day exploring the city, you will love Montreal’s rooftop patios.

Some of the best rooftop patios in Montreal are Nacarat Bar in Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Terrasse William Gray, Terrasse Nelligan, and Terrasse Sur L’Auberge. Each has an immaculate view over the city to enjoy with your meal or drink!

bikes waiting to be rented which is one of the most fun things to do in montreal in the summer
Unsplash photo by Annie Vo

12. Rent a Bicycle and Explore

Did you know that the Greater Montreal area has more than 3450 km of bikeways? That means there are endless bike routes in Montreal to explore during the summertime!

Rent a bicycle and enjoy one of North America’s most bike-friendly cities. It is a fantastic alternative to public transport and allows you to cover more ground than simply walking. 

You can go sightseeing and cycle through downtown Montreal or do as the locals do and relax on one of the scenic waterfront cycling routes. 

Some of the most popular bike routes in the city are the St-Lawrence Waterfront Cycling Path, Parc Jean-Drapeau Bike Path, or The Lachine Canal Bike Path.

🚴 Discover Downtown, Old Montreal and the Waterfront on this bike tour!

montreal biodome exterior
Unsplash photo by Matthieu Joannon

13. Montreal Biodome 

If you’re a science lover, you’re in for a treat! Montreal Biodome is a former Olympic velodrome and it is home to a one-of-a-kind exhibition of 5 ecosystems of America.

The five ecosystems are the Tropical Rainforest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Laurentian Maple Forest, the Labrador Coast, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

This combination of a zoo and a museum is an immersive experience for children and adults alike! You will see animals like Canada Lynx or Golden Lion Tamarin, each living in their designated ecosystem with plants native to their area.

The Sub-Antarctic Islands are a cool treat on a hot summer day. 

🤩 Visit the Montreal Biodome and other popular attractions with this city pass!

14. Visit the Beach

Another activity to add to your summer in Canada itinerary is going to the beach! Yes, you can enjoy the beach even in Montreal.

Sure, swimming on Montreal lake beaches is not snorkelling in Barbados, but summers in Montreal can get pretty hot, so a beach will be a lovely idea!

Some of the best beaches in Montreal are Jean-Doré Beach, Verdun Beach in the city center, and Plage du Cap-Saint-Jacques. All are sandy beaches with soft entrances and lifeguards on duty during summer.

a girl standing in front of the montreal ferris wheel

15. Ride the Ferris Wheel

Finally, you can’t have a list of fun things to do in Montreal in the summer without riding the Ferris Wheel. Sure, it is a tourist activity, but you are a tourist here, so go all out!

Montreal’s Ferris Wheel is located in the Old Port of Montreal, open 365 days a year from 10 AM to 11 PM. The cabins are climatized, so they’ll be a cool refuge in the summer and a cozy warm place in winter. 

See Montreal from a 197 ft (60m) high rotating cabin and get a whole new perspective of this large city. On a clear day, you can see up to 28km (17 m) away!

For fun activities in Montreal at night, going for a ride and admiring the city lights of Montreal from the Ferris Wheel is a cool idea to add to your itinerary.

🎡 Ride the Ferris Wheel after dark and discover the city on this night-time city tour!

FAQs about Fun Things to Do in Montreal

What is Something Cool About Montreal? 

Something cool about Montreal is that it is the largest city in the province of Quebec and its historic neighbourhood of Old Montreal dates back to the early 17th century. Also, Montreal is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, with over 3000km of bike lanes. The city is a foodie heaven with endless restaurants serving every cuisine you could imagine!

Is Montreal a Fun City to Visit?

Yes, Montreal is a fun city to visit! Montreal is a lively metropolis with an endless list of fun things to do. Whether you’re looking for adventurous activities like zip lining the Old Montreal or you’re into nightlife or food tours, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Montreal. 

What are Things Not to Do in Montreal?

There aren’t many things not to do in Montreal, as the city is relatively safe. Montreal locals take hockey seriously, so you should avoid wearing a Leaf’s jersey (the main competitor). Also, don’t come to Montreal without knowing how to at least say Hi in French! 

🤩 Discover Montreal by scooter on this guided scooter tour!

Final Thoughts on Fun Activities in Montreal in the Summer

There’s no shortage of fun summer activities in Montreal and it will win you over with its charming architecture, fun events, and vibrant atmosphere.

This lively city has something for every type of traveller, from the unique Old Town zipline for adrenaline junkies to seemingly endless bars, markets, and restaurants for foodies. 

Outdoor enthusiasts should not miss a hike up Mount Royal for a panoramic view of the city or rent a bike to explore the city at your own pace. 

And when you finish in Montreal, don’t forget to spend a few days in Quebec City

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