Find French flair just north of the border, with flights from Pittsburgh to Montréal.
Whether you’re exploring the peak of Mont Royal, or wandering through the art of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Montréal. In this Québécois city, European charm and French Canadian history are infused into every point of interest.
Get to the heart of Montréal’s heritage in Vieux-Montréal. With 17th century architecture and chic boutiques along its cobblestone streets, this neighbourhood mixes the best of Montréal’s past and present. Explore the history of the Vieux-Port’s harbours with visits to its churches and markets, beginning at the 1771 chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours and the 1874 Marché Bonsecours.
While the Marché Bonsecours is your one stop shop for one-of-a-kind Québec wares, Montréal’s shopping options come in plenty of other styles. Small storefronts are the speciality of Rue Saint-Paul, but big name brands are always in stock at Le Centre Eaton de Montréal and Ville Souterraine, the underground network connecting the downtown.
Outside of its shops, Montréal has even more activities in store. Sports fans will rejoice at the Bell Centre, where the Montréal Canadiens take to the ice, and occasionally face off with the Pittsburgh Penguins. For football fun, head to the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, where the Alouettes aim for touchdowns.
Le stade olympique Montréal doesn’t see as many sports as it did during the 1976 Summer Olympics, but its 175-metre inclined tower is worth a visit. From this height, you’ll be able to see over the whole of Parc Maisonneuve, home to educational attractions like the Insectarium and Jardin Botanique de Montréal.
On the ground level, Montréal’s parks are always bustling with activity. The city’s most popular park, Parc Jean-Drapeau, is spread across Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame. With points of interest throughout the Montréal islands, you’re never more than a river away from more must-see attractions.
You don’t need to be enrolled to study up on the Quartier Latin, during your trip from Pittsburgh.
The history of the Quartier Latin stretches back to the 17th century when the area was home to Montréal farmers living outside the city walls. In 1878, Université Laval (which would later become Université de Montréal) opened a campus in the neighbourhood. The area acquired its nickname from the lessons given in Latin at the university.
Since the 1960s, Université du Québec a Montréal has been situated in the area, carrying on the Quartier Latin’s educational legacy. Students and non-students alike can enjoy the benefits of the presence of this university.
At the UQAM’s own art gallery, the Galerie de l’UQAM works by students are displayed alongside an ever-changing array of exhibits and a variety of artifacts (including an Egyptian mummy). For a more studious experience, visit the vast library of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Acting as a venue for historical exhibits and cultural events, this airy, modern building contains volumes of things to do.
A student-heavy population helps keep arts attractions in the neighbourhood alive. Whether you’re watching the independent productions of la Maison Théâtre, or exploring all things film in la Cinémathèque québécoise, you can keep it cultured in the Quartier Latin. The star of the neighbourhood is the century-old Théâtre St-Denis, which continues to attract famous entertainers, from almost every field of the performing arts.
Once you’ve had your fill of the arts, raise a glass to the Quartier Latin’s bars. Live music and lively patrons turn these pubs into a party on a nightly basis. Along Rue St-Denis, you’ll find the highest density of options for places to drink in Quartier Latin.
Rue St-Denis runs all the way from the Plateau to Vieux-Montréal, making this thoroughfare a path to the next stop on your visit from Pittsburgh.
The city’s past is on display in the original Montréal neighbourhood of Vieux-Montréal.
Although the walls that once guarded this area no longer exist, history still stands in this section of the city. Founded circa 1640 as Ville Marie, Vieux-Montréal is where Montréal first began.
See the foundations of Montréal in this neighbourhood’s well-aged architecture. From the clock on the Seminaire Saint-Sulpice, dating back to 1701, to the chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Bon-Secours, built in 1771, some of Montréal’s oldest buildings line these cobblestone streets.
The Basilique de Notre-Dame de Montréal is pushing 200 and is one of the relatively younger buildings of the area. Even though this building isn't quite as old as some, its remarkable Gothic Revival architecture makes it worth a visit.
Walking tours through Vieux-Montréal take you past these striking structures, as well as other still-standing remnants of the neighbourhood’s past. There’s no better way to see the neighbourhood than by foot, especially since these narrow, European-style streets aren’t so friendly to cars.
While you walk around Vieux-Montréal, make sure to take a break in Place Jacques Cartier and Vieux-Port. These gathering places are a surefire way to see Montreal’s cultural events and seasonal festivals.
Get an in-depth look at the area’s rich history in the Pointe-à-Callière Archaeology and History Complex. Uncovering the foundations of Montréal, from First Nations peoples, to French settlers, this archaeological museum digs up the city’s past. At the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, you’ll have a window into the change of the city, including Montréal’s more recent modernization.
After a day of taking in Vieux-Montréal’s rich heritage, indulge in the area’s new cafés and restaurants. With varied fare and historic scenery, Vieux-Montréal’s eateries will give you something to savour long after you’ve returned to Pittsburgh.
Fly from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), with a quick connection in Toronto. Pittsburgh to Montréal flight time is 2 hours and 10 minutes on average. Connection times vary. The distance from Pittsburgh to Montréal is around 850 km / 530 mi.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.