Underground City Montreal: 100+ Best Things to do
Let’s be honest.
It’s easy to get lost in the Underground City of Montreal.
But don’t despair, this 33km underground labyrinth has a ton of things to do and is a great way to stay out of the rain, snow and subzero temperatures.
That’s why we made this guide to help you find your way. Read on to find out about:
- The best restaurants, shops and attractions and things to do in and around the Underground City Montreal.
- Essential local tips for navigating the world’s largest indoor network of tunnels.
- 7 Local tips and secret areas from our expert guides
- An interactive map
Here’s the deal:
When in Montreal, do as Montrealers do. That means use it as a passageway, not a destination.
Local Tip #1
The best way to get around is on foot and by metro. Consider every metro station as a unique microcosm of shops, eateries and speakeasies.
To help you out, we’ve plotted every thing to do on this interactive map of the Montreal Underground City:
Where it all started for Montreal’s Underground City.
Three things contributed to building the Underground City Montreal:
- High Population Density
- Cold… cold weather
Since the 1960’s, the luxury hotels and skyscrapers around Bonaventure central train station had all three. Here’s what you can do around here:
Brunch atop a skyscraper @ Les Enfants Terribles
The most stunning view in Montreal. Great food and drinks on the 44th floor of Place Ville Marie.
Tour the underground city with and expert guide @ Fitz Tours
Let’s face it, it’s easy to get lost in the Underground City Montreal. It happens even to the most seasoned locals. That’s why Fitz operates Underground City walking tours!
- Tours begin at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
- Without ever getting lost, nor stepping outside, your expert guide will lead you through tunnels, escalators and elevators and show you the most important areas of the Underground City.
- You’ll gain valuable insight, learn local secrets and marvel at pieces of art that many locals overlook.
- Tickets include metro pass and access to the 360° observation deck on the 46th floor of the Place Ville Marie skyscraper.
Marvel @ Mary Queen of the World Cathedral
A downscaled version of the Saint-Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Go skating @ Atrium Le 1000
Kind of like our version of NYC’s Rockefeller Center but 100% indoors.
Watch a hockey game @ Bell Center
It doesn’t matter if the Canadiens win or lose, it’s about participating in the local religion.
SQUARE VICTORIA OACI
The most beautiful part of the Underground City Montreal.
From here you can access the more local side of Old Montreal.
For instance, Square Victoria is home to many corporate offices which thousands of Montrealers call their workplace. This means great food and bars at fair prices.
To begin, we recommend exploring Montreal’s luxurious World Trade Center and its hidden treasures.
Indulge in a superior cocktail @ Stillife
A unique industrial design where they focus on low waste, multiple use ingredients, locality and the transformation of ingredients in ways you’ve never tasted before. They give a new definition to flavour, simplicity and experience.
Make your stay luxurious @ Hotel le St-James
Because if it’s good enough for our Royal Family, will it be good enough for you?
Have lunch @ Crew Collective Café
Opulent café and the world’s most beautiful co-working space according to Forbes magazine.
Trendy Vietnamese food @ Hà
Healthy and delicious.
Local Tip #2
A piece of world history stands in one of the most beautiful corridors of the underground city Montreal. This is because the city of Berlin gave a piece of the famous Berlin Wall to the City of Montreal in 1992. Inside the World Trade Center, it now stands on where Montreal’s fortifications used to stand. A wall on the wall!
Have the haddock in stout batter @ Brit & Chips
Meticulously crafted and sustainable Fish & Chips on par with the best Chippers in the UK. Many creative fish and batter varieties.
Another location around Guy Concordia Metro Station
Become a sinner @ Le Confessional
Hot nightclub in Old Montreal
Go see some short films in VR @ Phi Center
This venue is dedicated to the promotion of the arts in all its forms. Regular screenings, exhibitions and state of the art technology.
Relax on the water circuit, Nordic style @ Bota Bota Spa
There’s nothing better to let the stress melt away. Several floors of indoor/outdoor pools, saunas, and steam rooms on a refurbished boat overlooking Old Montreal.
Local Tip #3
Can’t decide between sightseeing or relaxing at the spa? Do both!
That’s why there’s the Fitz Bike & Spa Wellness Tour. Local guides will take you around different neighbourhoods and even throw together a healthy picnic. Best of all, they’ll drop you off at the spa where you can spend the rest of your day. The ultimate experience to feed mind, body and soul.
From here you can either head north into Chinatown, or south into Old Montreal.
It may be small compared to Toronto or New York. However, Montreal’s Asian district (a.k.a. Chinatown) is one of North America’s oldest.
It’s absolutely worth checking out! For example, it boasts a pedestrian street. Not to mention the many delicious and affordable asian eateries and hidden speakeasies can be found here.
Stuff your belly @ Noodle Factory
Generous portions in this no-frills institution. A Montreal tour guide favourite!
Dim Sum Brunch @ Kim Fung
This is the real deal. Waiters going around to your round table with carts filled with abundant portions of different sorts of dumpling.
Get your tiki on @ Mal Nécessaire
If you enjoy tiki culture as much as this humble writer, then this basement tiki cocktail bar is for you. Exotic cocktails served in whole pineapples, live DJ’s and succulent Asian food made by the kitchen next door.
Fresh noodles @ Lan Zhou Noodle Shop
Fresh, taiwanese hand-pulled noodles of various sizes served in giant bowls of succulent broth.
Authentic hand-pulled noodles @ NUDO
This neon lit basement is the first hand-pulled noodle restaurant in Chinatown. Here, for instance, it’s about the food, not the decor.
Look glam for your tiktok video @ C&C Korean Cosmetics
With brands like Etude House, Innisfree, Missha, Skin79, Skin Food, The Face Shop and Tony Moly, you’ll be kawaii in no time.
Heal yourself @ Tat Sang Tang Chinese Herbs
The place is run by an elderly man who would be the human reincarnation of Rafiki in the Lion King. Tell him your ailment and he’ll prepare a mix of various herbs and roots that’ll heal you faster than waiting to see a doctor. (Not that that’s very hard to beat here)
Slurp down a bowl @ Pho Bang New York
You like Pho? We do to. Generous portions, delicious broth and lots of noodles! A chinatown institution.
Local Tip #4
Look for the ‘RÉSO’ signs to navigate around the Underground City.
Place d’Armes Metro will give you access to the heart of Old Montreal.
The impressive Notre-Dame Basilica, cobble stone streets, unique bars and tasty restaurants are just a 5-minute walk away from the underground city Montreal.
See Montreal’s architectural jewel come to life @ Aura Light Show
The best way to see the Notre Dame Basilica. This is truly a feat of Montreal’s multimedia projection industry.
*Check out our article for more ideas on the best things to do in Old Montreal.
Grab some rooftop drinks @ Hotel Place d’Armes
A great way to catch some air and a great view of Old Montreal and surroundings.
Get #instaworthy @ Tommy Café
The Victorian architecture of this café right next to the Basilica is one-of-a-kind. Oh, and the coffee and snacks are delicious too!
Eat well, drink well @ L’Assomoir
Large stylish restaurant / bar that opens late. Great for groups.
Mark a special occasion with the 7-course menu @ Toqué!
Signature Québécois dishes from acclaimed chef Normand Laprise have made this locale one of Canada’s most acclaimed restaurants.
CHAMPS DE MARS
Montreal’s certain « je ne sais quoi…»
This metro station will give you access to the more touristic part of Old Montreal. However, this doesn’t mean that everything is overpriced.
Several outstanding establishments recently appeared here. In return, many locals began to flock back here ever since. In addition, the gorgeous architecture makes this area perfect for a romantic date night.
Have a healthy steak @ Maggie Oakes
Premium market vegetables and meats are served in this modern steakhouse.
Meet some locals @ The Coldroom
The Rubber Duck Squad will be happy to fix you a drink in this hidden stone basement establishment.
Chill out on a rooftop a view @ Perché
Ferns, sofas, mojitos and tartares on an outdoor rooftop patio… what do you need more? Refresh yourself on some cocktails and fresh food while keeping an overlook on the city hall, Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence river.
Go back in time to pre-revolutionary Cuba @ El Pequeño Bar
Canada’s smallest bar makes up for its size with quality rums and an unequaled atmosphere. Try the cubano sandwich served inside a cigar box.
Dine on game and fresh fish @ Club Chasse & Pêche
A Québec lodge restaurant for high quality cuisine from our backwoods and waters.
Try the seafood platter @ Le Bremner
This place was the first to get Montrealers back to Old Montreal. Thanks Chuck Hughes! Montreal’s best seafood restaurant.
Get productive and chill @ Anticafé Montréal
Pay by time co-working space. Cafés, tea and snacks are on the house. Another location at Place des Arts.
This is student territory.
Situated in the heart of the beautiful Latin Quarter, UQAM University is surrounded by great pubs, breweries, affordable eateries and classic French architecture.
Stroll along Saint-Denis street and bask in the unique charm that is so very Montréal.
Summer chilling @ Place Émilie Gamelin
A green space with patios in the middle of the city. Numerous events take place here throughout the warmer months.
Eat out without breaking the bank @ Cinko
Everything on the menu is under 10$. Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter.
Share a pitcher of beer with your friends @ Terrasse Saint-Sulpice
One of the largest outdoor patios in Montreal. A place where students, locals and visitors hang out.
Have a great coffee @ Café Saint Henri
Premium quality beans are bought directly from the producer. Modern roasting techniques make for a unique cup of coffee.
Have a flight of locally brewed beers @ Saint Bock
The mecca of brewpubs in Canada. 40 craft beers on tap as well as a huge selection of international imports and local creations. Dozens of in house brews. If you’re into beer, you need to pay this place a visit.
Try to beat the local record @ ArcadeMTL
Unlimited access to all vintage arcades and gaming consoles as well as cheap drinks… Warning: The more pints of ‘Mario Brosses’ the harder it will be to beat the high score on Donkey Kong. Hours of fun!
Cocktails without the attitude @ La Distillerie No1
Great cocktails served in mason jars that won’t empty themselves after two sips! Also, this is a BYOF Bar. (Bring your own food)
Find the secret button to the trap door @ 4e Mur
A classic speakeasy hidden behind the door of a detective agency. Everyone is seated, the mixologists will remember your name as you enjoy live burlesque or jazz concerts.
Healthy, sustainable grub @ Panthère Verte
Savoury vegan fast food. The best falafel sandwich in Montreal.
Meet some good people @ L’escalier
Live music, cultural bar and vegetarian café all in a cozy, rustic setting.
Go clubbing @ StereoBar
Cutting edge electro music with a booming sound system and lineup of independent DJ’s. When big names come to town, this is where they play.
Release the lumberjack in you @ Rage Axe Throwing
Oh yeah, you’re in Canada now.
Welcome to the heritage of Montreal’s red-light district.
It may not look like much when you take this exit of the underground city Montreal, but this area is abundant with legendary concert venues, watering holes and strip clubs.
Although it might seem a bit shady, don’t worry. Montreal is a super safe city.
Go down the vintage rabbit hole @ Eva B
The holy grail of thrift stores. One is greeted with popcorn and cider upon entering this multi-story fun house where you can explore a surreal array of 2nd hand clothes. There’s even a café amongst the trees in the courtyard.
Check out a show @ Club Soda
The list of major artists that have played in this music venue is long. Better check who’s playing before you plan your trip to Montreal!
Or check out another show @ Metropolis (Mtelus)
A temple of music with a crowd capacity of 2300. A major destination in Montreal when it comes to live performances from famous international and local artists.
Eat Montreal’s multiculturalism @ Le Central
Another great food court with a broad choice of Montreal’s favourite local eateries.
Blow your mind in so many different ways @ SAT
The Society for Arts & Technology is a multi-story complex dedicated to the promotion and research of digital creativity. You can party hardy under the projections of the SATosphere, feast on some fresh cuisine on the rooftop terrasse of the Labo Culinaire restaurant, check out numerous exhibitions or chill in their café. You could technically spend an entire day here!
Drinks after the show @ Taverne Midway
This emblem of Montreal has seen the wildest chapters of the city’s history. A great place meet some cool people in the heart of the action.
Rock out @ Foufounes Électriques
A landmark of Montreal’s rock music. This place has seen legends like Nirvana play concerts in its huge refurbished old garage. Good for rowdy late night drinking with colourful people who have a lot of stories to tell!
Start or finish your night @ Bar Pamplemousse
Premium spirits, beer and wine and a creative menu. A cool option to hang out before or after a concert.
Strip karaoke @ Café Cléopâtre
Montreal’s oldest strip Club is still alive and kicking. Regular events and shows all week round. The most fun is by far ‘bareoke’ where you and your friends give the strippers a break and take the stage.
Munch on a few steamés @ Montreal Pool Room
Because what’s better than leaving the strip club and stuffing your face with hotdogs. Nothing beats Montreal’s steamed hotdogs with a side order of fries and vinegar. Ahh, don’t you just love the finer things in life?
PLACE DES ARTS
Montreal’s main stage.
With over 100 festivals year round, 26 000 venue seats within a 1km radius and several museums, there’s plenty of entertainment to keep you here all year round.
The International Montreal Jazz Fest, Just for Laugh Comedy Festival and Francofolies are just the tip of the iceberg…
Stimulate all your senses @ the MAC
The Museum of Contemporary Art showcases interactive multimedia exhibitions made by artists from Montreal and across the world.
Enjoy a concert @ L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
As Montreal’s cultural ambassador of international acclaim, the Symphonic Orchestra under direction of Kent Nagano is at the forefront of symphonic performances of all kind.
Get a ticket for @ L’Opera de Montréal
Astounding performances of classic and new Opera productions.
Hidden Gem #5
Inside Place des Arts lies a darkened tunnel with tiny spot lights emanating from the floor and a giant wall of video screens, formed into a mosaic. Furthermore, the 35 screens show a myriad of short works, usually related to seasonal themes or the cultural offerings proposed by the institutions of the neighbourhood.
Get productive and chill @ Anticafé Montréal
Pay by time co-working space. Cafés, tea and snacks are on the house.
Another location in Old Montreal.
Taste some premium local craft beer @ Benelux
Brewpub which stands out through its unique concoctions and cask takeovers.
Brunch @ Café Parvis
Colourful and fresh dishes are served amidst the plants, bricks and classic wooden furniture of this luminous café. Spacious yet cozy.
Decompress @ Bar Furco
Set in a former fur warehouse, this stylish bar serves an interesting array of organic wines, cocktails as well as a simple yet colourful cuisine.
Dinner & Show @ Le Balcon
Cabaret hall with musical performances ranging from Jazz, blues and motown.
Authentic Thai Food @ Mae Sri
Only fresh ingredients and Thai family recipes in this stylish eatery. The real deal.
The Golden Square Mile
It doesn’t take long to see that this area was built by most of Canada’s colonial, beaver-killing millionaires. Connecting the McGill Ghetto (local term for McGill University’s residential neighbourhood) and downtown, come here to shop, eat or chill out on the beautiful campus.
Taste signature dishes from Montreal’s best chefs under one roof @ Time Out Market
This is not your ordinary food court. Inside the brand new Eaton Center you can find stands from the city’s top restaurants. That’s why this is Montreal’s new culinary destination. It’s all here.
Vegetarian grub @ Lola Rosa Café
Located right next to McGill University campus, this is the vegetarian restaurant meat-eaters adore. A student favourite!
Burgers, fries and peanuts @ Five Guys
In case you miss the U.S. too much.
Live music & dinner @ House of Jazz
What would Montreal be without Jazz? An iconic art-nouveau venue featuring talented lineups.
Local Tip #6
Stash your coat and bags!
It may be cold outside, but it gets warm down there! Luckily, there’s a locker service in the Underground City Montreal. You can find it in the 3 malls around McGill metro station: Eaton Center, Place Montreal Trust or Place Ville-Marie. Just ask at the information desk!
The underground city Montreal at its busiest.
This is the financial heart of Downtown Montreal.
Amongst the concrete jungle of high-rise buildings you can find the staple institutions that contribute to Montreal’s international reputation.
Feast on some macarons @ Maison Christian Faure Centre-ville
Exquisite signature French pastries and light lunch.
Shop @ La Maison Simons
A huge family-run fashion department store with many private importations from Europe. Established in 1840 in Quebec City.
Bite into a piece of history @ Dunn’s Famous
Smoked Meat in a vintage Montreal fast food chain.
100% legal recreational cannabis @ SQDC
A vast selection of high-quality cannabis products in various strengths and flavours. The staff provides an excellent service in informing one about the different strains available. Prepare to wait in line, demand is high. (No pun intended)
Late night diner @ Rueben’s Deli
Montreal Smoked Meat, steak and cheesecakes all under one roof in this cozy diner.
Wine & Dine like in the Roaring Twenties @ Dominion Square Tavern
Established in 1927 this is one of Montreal’s oldest taverns completely refurbished with an excellent menu and creative cocktails. One of the city’s most beautiful restaurants.
Modern Portuguese cuisine @ Ferreira Café
A high-end gastronomical experience with fresh mediterranean products.
Get a VIP table @ Chez Parée
Montreal’s famous gentlemen’s club where the nights get as hot as our winters are cold. An unusual spot to check out a hockey game too!
Haute couture espressos @ Café Myriad
Situated inside Club Monaco, this is one of Montreal’s most chique cafés with its Victorian architecture, granite counters and designer clothes. Another location around Guy-Concordia Metro.
Catch a movie @ Scotiabank Cinema Montreal
International releases, blockbusters, IMAX & 3D on giant screens. Many movies in English!
METRO GUY CONCORDIA
This part of town has it all.
From fancy establishments or low key eateries, what matters is what’s good.
This pocket of the underground city Montreal connects several university buildings and gives to access to three unique sectors:
- Crescent Street for the party animals.
- Luxurious establishments for the sophisticated jet-setters.
- Montreal’s New Chinatown for the ‘kawaii’ thrill seekers.
Crescent Street & Surroundings
The heart of Downtown Montreal’s nightlife.
On the other side of Guy Concordia Metro lies a whole microcosm of eateries, bars, irish pubs and wild clubs.
Montreal’s best shawarma sandwich @ Boustan
Ahh the Creation Sandwich… there’s nothing quite like it. Don’t forget the side order of their famous garlic potatoes. A late night must!
Party @ Sir Winston Churchill Pub
Historical bar attracting celebrities, rock stars and sports icons. Make sure to go upstairs to Winnie’s pub and Karina’s club. Three stories to let the good times roll.
Have the haddock in stout batter @ Brit & Chips
Meticulously crafted and sustainable Fish & Chips on par with the best Chippers in the UK. Many creative fish and batter varieties.
Another location at Metro Square Victoria OACI.
Wet your whistle @ McKibbin’s
A rustic Irish Pub with regular events such as Open Mic and Karaoke nights.
Drink your blues away @ Grumpy’s
Dark wooden tavern with live Jazz and Blues acts. A must for those looking for old school authenticity.
Bring your gang or make some friends friends @ Hurley’s
A large yet cozy Irish Pub playing sports games and live music with tasty grub and a wide selection of single malts. Large outdoor terrasse.
Taste some local brews @ Brutopia
Spacious 3-story microbrewery offering an outdoor terrasse, live music and pub food.
Fun & classy vegan fine dining @ LOV
Responsible plant-based cuisine as healthy as it is delicious.
Buy the gift of a lifetime @ Tiffany & Co and Ogilvy
Designer jewlery and fragrances for the people that matter in your life. (This includes yourself.)
Dine and dance @ Thursday’s
Is it a bistro? Is it a club? Yes, it’s everything at once! Salmon tartar, rosé and live DJ’s.
Healthy salads @ Mandy’s
Fresh ingredients make delicious results. Your taste buds will thank you.
This area has some of the city’s finest establishments. Treat yourself to premium mixology, colonial dining halls and chic European designer labels.
Dress to kill @ Hermès, Burberry and Holt Renfrew
Haute couture & perfumes imported from Paris and London. You’ll look sharp and smell even better for your swanky dinner date.
Increase your general knowledge @ Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Luxurious doesn’t need to be expensive. With over 1M visitors per year, the MMFA’s collection features over 43 000 works from Antiquity to today. A must for anyone interested in art and culture.
Puff some Cuban cigars @ Stogie’s Cigar Lounge
No embargo, no problem. Expect to enjoy quality cigars, scotch and vodkas in cozy leather armchairs.
Feast on elaborate Scottish & British cuisine @ Bar George
Brunch or dinner in a majestic 19th century colonial villa.
Experience a superior level of mixology @ The Cloakroom
A luxurious one-stop for refined tastes: A barbershop, japanese tailored menswear and an initmate bar hidden behind a 19th century facade. Ice cubes chizzled by hand of course.
Forget it Jake, it’s the new Chinatown!
Walk along the stretch of Saint Catherine street between Guy and Atwater Metro stations. You’ll find blossoming cool new eateries, old-school dumpling houses, ‘kawaii’ shops and stores selling goods from virtually every Asian country you can think of.
Feast on the best Ramen in town @ Kazu
Montreal’s legendary ramen shop. No reservations.
Pitchers of beer & chicken wings @ Cock & Bull
Laid-back watering hole offering classic pub grub, sports on TV & live music every night.
Mouth watering, fresh chinese dumplings @ Sammi & Soupe Dumpling
Great late night snack after a movie at the Forum Cinema.
Comic books and collector cards @ Capitaine Quebec
For the geek in you.
Authentic Indian cuisine @ Thali
Thali is a local legend. What they lack in decor their make up in quality and price! A student favourite!
All-you-can-eat Korean Barbeque @ Seoul Chako
Eat disproportionate amounts of food with your friends. Come hungry. Eat, drink, repeat. No better way to start a night out.
Late-night Asian Beer Garden @ Kampai Garden
Pokeh bowls, signature dishes, cocktails and a pool table. A great place to eat, drink and party.
Local Tip #7
There’s a secret elevator inside Concordia University’s EV building. Take it to the 11th floor. You’ll get an awesome panoramic view of the city!
1515 Saint-Catherine St W. If anyone asks, just say you’re a student!
Before you go explore…
We hope this guide was helpful to you.
If it was, make sure to share this link on social and send it to a friend (local or visitor) who could benefit from learning more about the Underground City Montreal.