27 of the Most Instagrammable Places in Montreal & Best Photo Spots

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I remember the first time I crossed the Pont Jacques-Cartier into Montreal. After driving up from Philadelphia, it felt like I was entering a new world. It didn’t feel like we were in North America anymore, somehow it seemed like we had driven into Europe. Montreal is charming and sophisticated, which is why it quickly became a city I returned to again and again. And that’s also why it’s such a fun city to photograph. Here are my favorite photography spots and my picks for the most Instagrammable places in Montreal.

 

 

The Most Instagrammable Places in Montreal

In no particular order…

 

 

The Streets of Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal)

 

Vieux Montreal is the historic center of the city. It’s lined with beautiful cafes and charming architecture. Of course, during the high tourist season you will find it packed with tourists, so if you want empty streets come here closer to sunrise.

 

While there are several prominent landmarks here that you won’t want to miss (some are below), I really just enjoy walking up and down the streets exploring the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood. Highlights for street photography include Rue St.Paul and Place Jacques Cartier, but it’s really a neighborhood where you want to spend time and see what piques your interest.

 

An alternative to exploring on your own is to go on a guided tour of the Old City where you can see the important architecture and landmarks while also getting to learn from a knowledgable guide about the places you’re visiting. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: Start near Place Jacques-Cartier, Montréal, QC, Canada

 

 

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)

 

A great museum in its own right, it also has some lovely photography spots in various galleries. You can spend an hour or two here, or you could spend the better part of a day if you really explore every wing and collection.

 

There are several great Instagram spots in the museum (I’ve posted three separate shots on my own Instagram account), but you can also get creative and find your own take on this Montreal landmark. Take advantage of the amazing architecture of the building, but don’t skip the interesting angles and colors of the various galleries!

 

Location: 1380 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada

 

 

Pastel Rita

 

If you don’t believe me that Pastel Rita is one of the most Instagrammable places in Montreal, then just check out their Instagram. It’s pic after pic of beautiful photography, showcasing the cafe’s different interiors. From the pink pastel booths to the turquoise countertops, this cafe is a photography enthusiast dream come true. Extra points for the super cool lighting fixtures throughout.

 

Location: S5761 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2T 1S9, Canada

 

 

Mont-Royal Kondiaronk Lookout

 

Mont-Royal is a beautiful natural retreat from the city, but it’s even better when you can combine your escape with a peek back over the city with this amazing view from the Kondiaronk Lookout at the Belvedere.

 

If you have a group and want to see the best of Mount Royal, this guided tour starts at the top of Mount-Royal and continues to cover many of the best areas in Montreal for photography while your guide teaches you about the different parts of the city. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: 1196 Voie Camillien-Houde, Montréal, QC H3H 1A1, Canada

 

 

Pont Jacques-Cartier (Jacques Cartier Bridge)

 

Visible from many different places in the city, the Pont Jacques-Cartier spans the Sait-Lawrence River. Every night the bridge is lit up in beautiful lights, which is a spectacular welcome if you happen to arrive in the city at night.

 

Location: Pont Jacques-Cartier. Click here for a map of the best places to photograph the bridge from. 

 

 

Jardin Botanique de Montréal (Montreal Botanical Gardens)

 

I used to skip Botanical Gardens when traveling, but after falling in love with the beautiful botanical gardens in Belgrade, I vowed never to let that happen again. Montreal’s Botanical Gardens are world-class, with beautiful garden spaces and different greenhouses to explore. Don’t skip the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, but be very respectful to their respective cultures if you choose to Instagram them.

 

Location: 4101 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, QC H1X 2B2, Canada

 

 

Parc Frédéric-Back (Frederick Back Park)

 

An ambitious environmental rehabilitation project, the park is the transformed former city dump. The park is named after a famous Quebecois environmentalist Frederic Beck. This is a great place for nature photography or even a sci-fi themed photoshoot.

 

Location: 2235 Rue Michel-Jurdant, Montréal, QC H1Z 4N1, Canada

 

 

Rue Duluth

 

Rue Duluth is full of great bars and street art. This door is located across from my favorite Montreal brewery, Reservoir. This particular work is by the street artist Labrona. You can find his work all over the city.

 

Location: 9 Avenue Duluth E, Montréal, QC H2W 1G7, Canada

 

 

Marche Bonsecours

 

One of the main landmarks in Vieux Montreal, you should set aside time to explore this beautiful market. Inside are hip (and slightly expensive) shops, and the building has spectacular architecture and was named
one of Canada’s “ten finest heritage buildings.”

The Marche Bonsecours is a stop on the guided tour of the Old City, so you can visit with a tour guide if you prefer to learn more about the building while you are there. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: 350 St Paul St E, Montreal, QC H2Y 1H2, Canada

 

 

Champe-de-Mars Station

 

Montreal’s metro stations aren’t famous for their beauty, but they do have cool angles, interesting lights, and just generally make for great Montreal city photography locations. Champe-de-Mars Station is the one most used for visitors to Vieux Montreal, so more than likely you’ll have a chance to see this station for yourself.

 

Location: Montreal, QC H2X 3E2, Canada

 

 

Station Namur

 

This metro station in Côte-des-Neiges features the gigantic, futuristic illuminated sculpture called Système, which is the work of artist Pierre Granche. The station is a bit off-the-beaten-path for the average tourist, but the opportunities for seriously cool photography here are endless. This is definitely worth going out of your way for if you want to find a hidden Montreal Instagram spot.

 

Location: Montreal, QC H4P 2G9, Canada

 

 

Habitat 67

 

 

Located across the Saint-Lawrence River from Vieux Montreal, Habitat 67 is a model housing complex built for the 1967 Montreal Expo. This Brutalist landmark is one of the most famous buildings in Canada, and it was even on a commemorative stamp in 2017.

 

You can see it across the river (like I did) or you can get up close and personal by crossing the river. Another option is to go on this City architecture tour. The tour includes a 13km bike ride through the important architecture of the city and a stop at one of Montreal’s best bakeries. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: 2600 Av Pierre-Dupuy, Montréal, QC H3C 3R6, Canada

 

 

Houses in La Plateau

 

Some of the most famous Montreal Instagram houses are the colorful stretch of homes on Avenue Laval, although there are more beautiful areas in the neighborhood called La Plateau. Take your time to explore the area, and see which stretch is your favorite.

 

Just remember your photography etiquette when photographing people’s homes. Don’t go on their steps or onto their personal property. Stay in the public spaces, and don’t be a nuisance.

 

Location: Avenue Laval between Mont-Royal Ave and Square Saint-Louis

 

 

Downtown Skyline

 

I love the skyscrapers in downtown Montreal. You can photograph them at ground level looking up, or get up in the sky and see them at eye level. This was taken on my first trip to Montreal from the roof of the Residence Inn by Mariott.

 

Location: Residence Inn by Marriott Montreal Downtown, 2045 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3A 1T6, Canada. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.

 

 

Chez Alexander et Fils

 

This is one of my favorite places in Montreal. The lighting and seating out front are perfection. They look just like a beautiful French sidewalk cafe, but extra. This cigar lounge is one of my favorite places to just relax in the city. There’s also a great champagne bar inside.

 

Despite how beautiful this place is, I can’t find a single great pic of it on Instagram to show you. My own photos aren’t great either. I really want someone to go here, take gorgeous Insta pics, and let me know. This place deserves so much better.

 

Location: 1454 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3A 1T5, Canada

 

 

Montreal Observation Wheel

 

The Montreal Observation Wheel offers two possibilities for great Instagram shots. You can photograph it from the ground, but it also offers great panoramic views from the gondolas as you ride.

 

You can order a Montreal Observation Wheel Fastpass online so that you can skip the line when you get there. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: 362 Rue de la Commune E, Montréal, QC H2Y 0B4, Canada

 

 

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

 

If a church is beautiful enough for Celine Dion, well then no one on earth can claim it’s not beautiful. You’ll want to make sure to get photographs of the beautiful exteriors, but don’t skip coming inside! There’s really nothing quite as breathtaking as seeing the altar in person.

 

Touring Notre-Dame is included on this guided tour of the Old City. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: 110 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H2Y 1T2, Canada

 

 

Bota Bota Spa

 

I really should get a tattoo that reads “Will travel for spa.” I’m obsessed with Turkish baths, Thai massages, and even spas in salt mines. So this spa on the river? Yes, please! You can check their website for prices and packages.

 

Location: Old Port of Montreal, de la Commune West &, McGill St, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2E2, Canada

 

 

Biosphere

 

Today this geodesic dome serves as a museum, and it just might be the most Instagrammable museum in Canada. Located on Saint Helen’s island, it’s best photographed from a distance. Play with photography the Biosphere at different times of day, from different perspectives, and with varying light to see what you come up with.

 

Location: 160 Chemin du Tour de l’isle, Montréal, QC H3C 4G8, Canada

 

 

Farine Five Roses Sign

 

Hurry and get this pic before it’s gone. While the Farine Five Roses sign has been a part of the Montreal skyline since 1946, it’s possible that it might be shut off for good in the near future.

 

Location: Montreal, QC H3C 1Y4, Canada

 

Tommy Cafe

 

This charming cafe has two locations, so pick whichever is closer to you. The woodsy and green aesthetic makes this not only a great Instagrammable Montreal cafe but also a genuinely relaxing place to enjoy your meal.

 

Location: 101 Saint-Paul St W, Montreal, QC H2Y 1Z5, Canada & 200 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H2Y 1T3, Canada 

 

 

Oratoire Saint-Joseph

 

This beautiful church is a Mount Royal landmark and the largest church in Canada. You should take the time to go inside to photograph as well, as the interiors are stunning.

 

If you have a group and want to see the best of Mount Royal, this guided tour starts at the top of Mount-Royal and continues to cover many of the best areas in Montreal for photography while your guide teaches you about the different parts of the city. Check prices and reviews for the tour here.

 

Location: Montreal, QC H3V 1A6, Canada

 

 

Palais des Congres de Montreal

 

This rainbow-colored venue is a convention center near Chinatown. It’s connected to Montreal’s Underground City, so it’s a great place to shoot inside even on a cold Montreal winter day.

 

Location: 1001 Jean Paul Riopelle Pl, Montreal, QC H2Z 1H5 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5, Canada

 

 

Cathédrale Marie Reine du Monde (Mary Queen of the World Cathedral)

 

Built after a previous church burnt down, this 19th-century Catholic cathedral is built to be a scaled-down version of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

 

Location: 1085 Rue de la Cathédrale, Montréal, QC H3B 2V3, Canada

 

 

Westmount Public Library

 

Commisioned in 1897 as part of the area’s celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the Westmount Public Library is an iconic building in the neighborhood built in the Richardsonian Romanesque.  It features a Shakespearean quotation on the front porch.

 

Location: 4574 Sherbrooke St W, Westmount, QC H3Z 1G1, Canada

 

 

Gates of China Town

 

One of the oldest Asian districts in North America, it has historically also been home to many Jewish immigrants. There are four gates, though I have to admit that the Western Gate (address below) is my favorite.

 

Location: 210 Rue de la Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H2Z 2A2, Canada

 

 

La Vague on Rue Saint-Denis

 

This interesting art installation on Rue Saint-Denis is incredibly photogenic, but it also serves a practical purpose since it has misters on it that cool the air five degrees. This refreshing effect combined with the cooling blue color, create a perfect place to relax on a hot summer’s day. The fact that it also makes for a fabulous Montreal Instagram location is just an added bonus.

 

Location: 4301 St Denis St, Montreal, QC, Canada

 

 

5 Things to Pack for a Trip to Montreal

  • The Lonely Planet Montreal and Quebec City guidebook for your trip. I used a Kindle version during my first few trips to Montreal. This was especially helpful for information about Old Montreal.
  • Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS system, and general travel genie.
  • A Camera since Montreal in fall is super photogenic. I use a mix of my Nikon D810 and my  Samsung8 smartphone these days.
  • A Full Sized Travel Towel for anyone taking advantage of Montreal’s hostels or shared accommodations. This is the best travel towel in the world, and you’ll need it if you are staying in hostels or anywhere that requires you to bring your own towel.
  • Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when in cities like Berlin where there are pickpockets that target tourists.

    I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them.  It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in the cities, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.

 

 

The Most Instagrammable Montreal Hotels & Hostels

Every time I’ve been to Montreal, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how great a deal we’ve been able to get on quality hotel rooms. There are a ton of accommodation options in Montreal, and I think it’s much more affordable than other East Coast cities.

 

  • Budget: A room in a hostel, usually $20-25 USD per night for a dorm bed or under $50 for a double.
  • Mid-range: Around $50-80
  • Luxury: Around $100 per night or more

 

Budget: For a great budget-friendly hostel, you can stay in the dorms at M Montreal Hostel on Rue Saint-Andre.  The rooms are modern and clean, but the real photogenic aspect of this hostel is the roof deck (including the hot tub!). You’ll also love the funky common areas like the billiards table and the bar. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.

 

 

 

Mid-Range: For an affordable, yet luxurious stay in Montreal, I recommend the three-star Hotel Chateau de l’Argoat. The rooms have an old-world charm look and feel, yet they are still rich in color. Just imagine tucking in by a beautiful fireplace complete with a warming fire for those cold Montreal nights.  Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.

 

 

 

Luxury: I adore a historic hotel, and if you’re going to sleep in history in Montreal it needs to be at the Le Mount Stephen, a five-star hotel with absolutely stunning interiors. The building is a nineteenth-century mansion, and I’ve never seen wooden paneling this beautiful in a hotel. The staircase deserves an Instagram fashion show. Located just half a kilometer from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, there are great cafes and restaurants in the area as well. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.

 

 

 

Pin this Montreal Instagram Guide for Your Trip to Canada

 

27 of the Most Instagrammable Places in Montreal & Best Photo Spots

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