As one of the biggest cities in Canada, Montreal has a number of great museums that are worth visiting. Here are some of the highest-rated ones in the city.
The Top Museums in Montreal
Museums are fascinating and often very educational places to visit. This article is not a list of every museum in Montreal, just a selection. There are plenty of other good ones worth checking out, but these are some of the most notable museums on offer.
Located at 280 Notre-Dame Street East, the Château Ramezay is a National Historic Site and a great place to learn about the society and culture of New France. The building itself has stood for over 300 years and has plenty of history packed into its walls. There is also a garden designed in the New France style that is free to visit and looks to replicate what the original gardens on the site may have been like.
For more information check out our Château Ramezay article.
A history museum on the campus of McGill University at 690 Sherbrooke Street West. There are a wide variety of different exhibitions and types of displays, including thousands of objects from indigenous cultures both in Canada as well as Alaska and south of the border. Also of note is the extensive collection of photographs. There are over a million pictures within the museum’s collections which provide a fascinating look back at the history of the area.
For more information visit the McCord Museum website.
Located at 4777 Avenue Pierre-de Coubertin, the building that is now the Biodome was originally the velodrome for the 1976 Olympics. Converted to a museum in the early 1990s, today it contains four different ecosystems within its walls. With a tropical forest, temperate forest, estuary and polar region, these different sections of the museum provide very different experiences. They contain a variety of animals native to those regions as well.
To learn more visit the Montreal Biodome website.
Montreal Holocaust Museum
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Montreal has the third-largest Holocaust survivor population in the world (relative to total population), behind only Israel and New York. The contents of this museum were nearly all donated by survivors and stand as both an educational and incredibly sobering experience. It’s the only officially recognized Holocaust museum in Canada.
To learn more click Montreal Holocaust Museum.
The biggest museum of its kind on the entire continent, the insectarium has extensive collections of all sorts of bugs. There are around a quarter of a million different species of insects in the museum whether alive or dead, from the smallest fleas to beautiful butterflies. The museum is located at 4581 Sherbrooke Street East and is on the same site as the world-class Montreal Botanical Garden. The garden is also well-worth a visit and is one of the most popular attractions in the city.
For more information check out the Montreal Insectarium website.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Called the Musee des Beaux Arts in French, this is the biggest art museum and second-biggest museum of any kind in the country. Located at 1380 Sherbrooke Street West, the museum itself is historic (founded over 160 years ago), and there are tens of thousands of pieces on display. The museum is split into five different pavilions, covering different styles from ancient archaeological art to modern works. The MMFA is also free for all those ages 20 and younger.
To learn more see our article about the Musee des Beaux Arts.
Montreal Science Centre
Located at 2 Rue de la Commune Ouest on the King Edward Pier, this museum is very family-friendly and great for the younger ones. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun for adults too, however! There’s all sorts of permanent and rotating exhibitions about science and technology, and most of them are interactive in some way. There’s also an IMAX theatre where you can watch movies on a massive screen.
To learn more click Montreal Science Centre.
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal
The oldest contemporary art museum in the country (open since 1964). Normally located at 185 Saint-Catherine Street West in the Place des Arts, the museum includes the work of many Quebecois artists as well as those from abroad. The museum is temporarily moving to the Galerie PVM at 1 Place Ville Marie while the main building undergoes renovations. This work will double the size of the museum and is expected to be done in 2024.
Visit the Musée d’Art Contemporain website for more information.
Built on the site of the very first settlement in the area (now 350 Place Royale), Pointe-à-Callière is a top archaeological museum and the biggest of its kind in Canada. Its focus is on the history of the first Europeans who settled in what’s now Montreal back in the 17th century, with an underground crypt to explore amongst its other collections. There are usually some temporary international exhibitions that rotate through.
For more information visit the Pointe-à-Callière website.
Like the McCord Museum, the Redpath Museum is located on the McGill University campus, at 859 Sherbrooke Street West. A natural history museum with millions of artifacts in its collections, there are items on display from all over the world and from all across different eras. From Egyptians mummies to Samurai armour to ancient fossils and more there is plenty to experience.
To learn more check out the Redpath Museum website.
To learn more about the city and some of the museums within it you can visit the City of Montreal website.
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