Museum of Archaeology and History (Pointe-à-Callière Museum)#10 in Best Things To Do in Montreal
Many say that this is the best place to begin discovering Montreal. While the modern architecture may not be typical of a history museum, the real reason to come here is to hop in the elevator and head underground. Here, an archaeological dig revealed the foundations of the city's original settlement, established in the 17th century. You can follow the development of Montreal from its days as a fledgling colony and on up through the present day to an exhibit showing the city's multicultural lifestyle. During the summer, the museum hosts numerous period fairs and festivals.
Recent visitors highly recommend visiting the museum for its excellent exhibits and great staff. Others said it appeals to children as much as adults thanks to an exhibit devoted to pirates.
Located in the heart of Vieux-Montréal and accessible from the Orange line's Place-des-Armes, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is also a gift shop and restaurant located on-site. Admission costs CA$22 (around $16.50) for adults; CA$15 (about $11) for students ages 18 to 30; CA$13 (about $10) for teenagers ages 13 to 17; CA$8 (about $6) for children ages 5 to 12; kids 4 and younger can enter for free. For more information, visit the museum's website.
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#1 Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)
As the site of the original city of Montreal, Vieux-Montréal (accessible from the Orange Line's Place-d'Armes and Champ-de-Mars métro stations) is the hub of the city's culture. Not much has changed in this neighborhood despite the city's rapid urbanization. Horse-drawn carriages traverse cobblestone streets and meander past such notable sites as the Basilique Notre-Dame, the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), the Vieux-Port (Old Port) and the Marché Bonsecours (Bonsecours Market).
Here, you'll mingle with Montrealers at sidewalk cafes while overlooking the river, or enjoy the summertime street performers at Place Jacques-Cartier. This is also a popular shopping area (despite the kitschy souvenir shops), and numerous bars and clubs bring Vieux-Montréal to life come sundown. Recent visitors said this area is a must for strolling, eating and experiencing the history of Montreal and feels very European thanks to its beautiful architecture.
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