I went on a road trip between Quebec and Ontario during which I absolutely fell in love with Montreal!
If you are also planning to visit Montreal soon and wondering where to stay, I got you covered!
In short, Old Montréal (Vieux Montreal) is the best place to stay during your first trip to Montreal – all the major attractions are within walking distance, and there’s a great selection of hotels.
Read this post to learn everything about the 7 tourist friendly neighborhoods in Montreal and why I recommend staying in each (depending on your interest/budget etc.).
I also went ahead and manually compared all the accommodation options in each of those areas and hand-picked only the top rated ones for you. This way you can book your ideal place in just a couple of clicks!
It’s worth noting the best neighborhoods in Montreal are very popular, so it’s wise to book early to get the best rates.
If you’re in a hurry
These are the best hotels in the city center:
Which area should you choose?
First of all, here is a map of the Montreal neighborhoods I’ll be talking about in this article:
Montreal is the biggest city in Quebec (with over 1.7 million people) and the second most populated city in the entire country of Canada! Another curious fact for visitors is that it is the second largest city in the Francophone world, trailing just after Paris!
Montréal is a large city, and it is divided into several different areas, each one with its own unique charm and advantages. In case you need help choosing the best area for you, here is my list of personalized recommendations:
Now let me tell you everything you need to know about the 7 most popular neighborhoods for a stay in Montreal!
1. Old Montreal – where to stay in Montreal for the first time
Pondering where to stay in Montreal for the first time? Well, Old Montréal (or ‘Vieux-Montreal’ in French) is the heart and soul of the city and the oldest neighborhood in Montreal!
In this historic district, you’ll see the European style reflected in some of the buildings and the cobblestone streets. Montreal Old Town is a district that retains its old-world charm and combines it with modern designs!
Old Montreal is a great destination if you’d like to explore the area on foot and admire the stunning architecture. You can join a walking tour of the city or simply roam around the streets and stop whenever something grabs your attention.
When you get to the edge of the area, stop at the Old Port (Vieux Port) and explore the riverfront complex that consists of stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. Starting in the Old Port, you’ll find one of the most scenic bike paths – the Lachine Canal multipurpose path (trail map).
However, for the very best views of Montreal and the St Lawrence River, I recommend going for a ride on La Grande Roue de Montréal, the city’s impressive Ferris wheel.
Did you know that Montreal is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world?
The main attraction in this neighborhood is the historic building of the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal (map), a 19th-century church famous for its stained glass windows.
Around the Notre Dame Basilica, you’ll find Saint Paul Street, with its trendy boutiques, fine restaurants, art galleries, and coffee shops. Here, you can window shop or stop at a cafe and do some people-watching!
Other cool spots I’d recommend visiting in Old Montreal are the Montreal Science Centre, Pointe-à-callière, i.e., the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, and the Bonsecours Market shopping mall (map).
Old Montreal is also the best place to stay in the city if you want to catch a Cirque du Soleil show, seeing as the circus is located right by the Old Port in Montreal. I highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance, as all Cirque du Soleil are extremely popular – you don’t want to miss out!
Now, let’s take a look at the most popular hotels in Old Montreal!
Luxury (US$200 and up)
- Hotel Gault – This contemporary boutique hotel is in a central location in Old Montreal and features luxurious guest rooms, a library with a fireplace, and heated bathroom floors.
- Hotel Nelligan – Situated in a historic building, the Hotel Nelligan boasts exposed brick walls and provides access to 2 fine dining restaurants, a rooftop terrace, and a concierge service.
Mid-range (from US$130 to US$200)
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott – This comfortable is conveniently located near Place Jacques Cartier and offers an on-site spa, an indoor pool, and a free breakfast buffet.
- Hyatt Centric Montreal – Hotel guests will enjoy perks such as access to a fitness center and a rooftop swimming pool, and choosing among several breakfast options.
Budget (up to US$130)
- Alt Hostel – All of the shared rooms at this hostel are air-conditioned and provide free Wi-Fi, and you also gain access to a shared bathroom, as well as a shared kitchen and lounge.
- The Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal – Located in an 1875 restored warehouse, the hostel offers beds in shared dormitories, has a well-equipped kitchen, and has super-friendly staff.
2. Downtown Montreal – best place for sightseeing
Downtown Montreal is a large area that’s located on the southernmost part of Mount Royal and encompasses many smaller neighborhoods, including Mile End, Grifintown, and Golden Square Mile – all of which are featured as separate recommendations in this article.
However, the Downtown area features a lot more cool neighborhoods, such as the Quartier des Spectacles, Chinatown, Ville-Marie, and Little Burgundy, which is why I decided to include Downtown as a separate recommendation.
Downtown is also the business center of the city, so you’ll see many metal and glass skyscrapers among wide tree-lined boulevards, so there is no doubt you’ll get lovely views everywhere you look (even if you’re just here for work)!
Besides young professionals, you’ll see many tourists exploring the various attractions, museums, and art galleries, including the famous Sainte-Catherine Street, filled with retail stores and shopping centers.
The one thing that makes the Downtown of Montreal stand out is the so-called Underground City, a pedestrian network below the city surface that connects shopping centers, food spots, and metro stations, making it super easy to walk around the city.
I’m sure you’ll especially appreciate the Underground City if you’re traveling to Montreal in winter because you’ll be away from the cold while still being able to explore the city! I surely did back in October when it was raining and cold.
This is surely not only the best place to stay if you’re going on a business trip but also if you’re interested in Montreal’s many museums. And if you’re a sports fan, attending a sports event at Centre Bell is a must!
In case you were wondering where to stay for the Montreal Grand Prix, I can tell you that Downtown Montreal is the best choice, but hotels tend to get pricey, so you should make reservations well in advance.
Luxury (US$200 and up)
- Four Seasons Hotel Montreal – A 5-star hotel in the center of Montreal, offering family rooms, 24-hour front desk, room service, and an indoor swimming pool.
- Hotel Birks Montreal – Birks is one of the top hotels in the Downtown area, with a lovely terrace overlooking the city and an on-site French restaurant. The rooms include a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom.
Mid-range (from US$100 to US$200)
- Le Dauphin Montreal – Le Dauphin has a classical-style décor and spacious rooms with flat-screen TVs. Plus, there’s a computer with free Wi-Fi in every room and a free continental breakfast.
- Manoir Sherbrooke – All the rooms at this hotel are non-smoking and uniquely decorated, and an amazing breakfast is included in the price.
Budget (up to US$100)
- Quality Inn Centre-Ville – This budget hotel is near the Old Port of Montreal and offers gym access, free to-go breakfast, and laundry services.
- Auberge Saintlo Montreal Hostel – The accommodation has both private and dormitory rooms, all with en suite bathrooms and air conditioning.
3. Golden Square Mile – where to stay in Montreal for luxury
As I previously mentioned, Golden Square Mile is part of Downtown Montreal, but the neighborhood has such a unique vibe to it that I had to include it as a separate recommendation.
The first thing you should know about Golden Square Mile is that it lies at the foot of Mt Royal, specifically on the South side of the mountain and North of Griffintown.
Better yet, the neighborhood is within walking distance of the top Downtown attractions, so if you were wondering where to stay in Montreal without a car, look no further than Golden Square Mile!
In the 19th, early 20th century this area was home to Canada’s anglophone upper class, particularly Scottish businessmen
My first recommendation for things to do in the area is a visit to Mount Royal Park. Here, your first stop should be at the Kondiaronk Belvedere (map), a large terrace on the mountain that provides unbeatable views of the Montreal skyline.
Once you take in the view (and take many, many photos), you can continue on to the Mount Royal Cross (map) or head to the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood to visit the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal (map), a very impressive Catholic cathedral.
Once you’re done exploring Mount Royal Park, you can focus on the area’s cool museums. And although there are plenty you could visit, if you had to pick one, I’d recommend the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ( you can buy tickets here).
I would also advise you to take the time to walk around the neighborhood and admire the amazing Victorian architecture, and if you’re in the mood for shopping, you cannot miss the Montreal Eaton Centre (map), a huge shopping mall that houses a variety of stores.
Lastly, I want to point out the fact that Golden Square Mile has a great offering of luxury hotels, which is why I recommend this area for travelers who want to splurge on their Montreal trip.
Luxury (US$220 and up)
- Le Mount Stephen – Situated in a 19th-century historic building, this 5-star hotel has an on-site restaurant and bar, a fitness center, private parking, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
- The Ritz Carlton Montreal – This is one of the most impressive luxury hotels – boasting marble bathrooms with heated floors and a saltwater swimming pool.
Mid-range (from US$120 to US$220)
- Ambrose House & Cafe – A 19th-century Victorian-style hotel that offers seamless self-check-in, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and easy access to the city’s underground network.
- Best Western Plus – At this 3-star hotel, you can take advantage of a gym, a hair salon, a bar, and 2 restaurants that have a happy hour.
NOTE: There are no well-rated budget accommodations in Golden Square Mile. So, if you’re visiting Montreal on a tight budget, look into my recommendations for Downtown Montreal.
4. Le Plateau-Mont-Royal – best area for nature & families
Wondering where to stay in Montreal with your family and kids? Here is your answer!
Le Plateau Mont-Royal is right at the base of Mt Royal and has become one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city, where you can also find accommodations with a rooftop terrace!
Additionally, it is one of the safest neighborhoods in Montreal aaaand, it has the highest walk score in the city, which is why I recommend it as the best area to stay in Montreal with family.
You can hike up to the top of Mt Royal to get amazing views of the city or stay in the lower area and find a nice tam-tam show every Sunday.
Bordering the Le Plateau-Mont-Royal area is La Fontaine Park (map), a sprawling park with a fishing pond and many walking and cycling trails, as well as the ideal spot for a family picnic.
This area is family friendly but also trendy! Check out the colorful houses and funky murals that make it look like a live gallery. You might end up at Restaurant L’Express, a chic, great place where you’ll feel you have crossed into Paris thanks to their décor and service! If you want to feel some artistic vibe, this area is also great for you! Do not forget to stroll Prince Arthur Street, which is a pedestrian-only street with endless bars and restaurants!
From Plateau Mont-Royal, you can easily get to Montreal Olympic Park (map), where you can visit some major attractions, such as the Olympic Stadium, home of the 1976 Summer Olympics.
P.S. If you want to stay near Olympic Park, I can recommend booking a room at Gite du Survenant Montreal, a lovely guesthouse perfect for a relaxing stay.
Luxury (US$200 and up)
- Hôtel de l’ITHQ – This is one of the most unique hotels in Montreal, with an on-site culinary institute that offers authentic gourmet dining, as well as modern, spacious rooms.
- Hotel Kutuma – Welcome to an African-inspired hotel perfect for families. Standard rooms include kitchenettes and balconies, and their on-site restaurant serving Ethiopian food is a must-try!
Mid-range (from US$130 to US$200)
- L’Appartement Hôtel – The hotel has a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the Montreal skyline and offers laundry facilities and babysitting services to family travelers.
- Auberge de La Fontaine – Situated at the heart of Plateau Mont-Royal, this guesthouse offers cozy rooms with air conditioning and park views.
NOTE: Plateau Mont-Royal doesn’t have any good budget hotels, so I advise you to check out the affordable accommodation options in Mile End or any of the other neighborhoods in the city center.
5. Mile End – where to stay in Montreal for foodies
This Montreal area is probably the best spot for foodies! It has many 100-year-old bagel shops, Italian-style cafes, and hip bars. There are also many vintage clothing shops, fashionable boutiques, independent bookstores, and cool street art – perfect for any type of traveler!
Although Mile End is technically part of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, it is an almost completely different district, as it’s a cooler, trendier version with très-chic establishments.
One of the top places you have to explore in Mile End is ‘Restaurant Mile,’ a street lined with a variety of boutique restaurants. Here, you can try cuisines from all over the world; I’d recommend Estiatorio Milos for great Greek food and Pamika Thai for a taste of Asia.
But no food journey through Montreal would be complete without trying the renowned Montréal bagels, and there’s no better place for this than Mile End. Here, you’ll find several bakeries that specialize in bagels – I recommend St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel.
When you need a little break, stop for my favorite coffee in town at Café Olimpico, an authentic Italian cafe that’s been family-run since the 1970s, or try one of the craft brews at Siboire Saint-Laurent.
Nearby, you’ll also find the neighborhood of Little Italy and the up-and-coming area of Mile-Ex, a low-key spot that’s renowned for its curly streets and authentic eateries.
While in Little Italy, you absolutely have to stop by the Jean-Talon Market (map) where you can shop for fresh produce but also try some baked goods (maybe some more of those delicious bagels).
NOTE: Interestingly, there are no luxury hotels in the area. If you are looking for a luxury stay nearby, I recommend staying in the larger Plateau Mont-Royal area (above), which has some great choices. For the other price ranges, I can recommend the following options:
Mid-range (from US$120 to US$250)
- Les Lofts du Plateau – These spacious apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, a seating area with a sofa and flat-screen TV, and offer ironing facilities and free Wi-Fi access.
- Parc Avenue Residence – A non-smoking aparthotel where each unit has a functional kitchen, a dining area, and a Smart TV with cable channels and Netflix.
Budget (up to US$120)
NOTE: both of these budget options are rated a bit lower than what I usually recommend. However, they’re a good choice if you have a budget limit and want to stay in the trendy neighborhood of Mile End.
- Pensione Popolo – The rooms at this guesthouse are uniquely decorated and have free Wi-Fi access, and guests also get access to a shared kitchen and a seating area.
- Parc Avenue Hostel – Some of the amenities at this hostel include a self-serve breakfast, free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, and laundry facilities.
6. The Village – where to stay in Montreal for nightlife
The Village (also known as Gay Village) is a small neighborhood home to Montreal’s LGBTQ community, and as typical as it may sound, this area is PACKED with bars and clubs!
So, if you are wondering where to stay in Montreal for nightlife, the Gay Village is your best bet! It’s one of the most vibrant areas in the city and it’s home to about 80 bars and restaurants open year-round.
All the party spots have patios where you can dance the entire night, during the summer months, which also makes the Village one of the best places to stay in Montreal for couples.
If New York is the city that never sleeps, Montreal is for sure the New York of Canada!
If you want to stay in Montreal for the Osheaga Festival, the Gay Village is the ultimate spot to base yourself in – it’s situated just across the river from St. Helen’s Island, where the festival takes place each summer. It is also only 10 min by car/15 min by transport from the Downtown!
Another suggestion I have for you is a visit to the Quartier des Spectacles, situated South of the Village. This neighborhood also encompasses the Latin Quarter, a lively, student-friendly area.
These are the perfect spots to experience the well-known French flair and admire the cool street art. And, of course, you have to check out the event schedule of the Place des Arts performing center.
When looking for where to stay in Montreal on a budget, the Gay Village is your best bet. It boasts an abundance of hostels full of young people who want to have a great time on a budget.
NOTE: Since the Village caters predominantly to backpackers and nightlife, there are no luxury hotels in the area. For everyone else, here are the best hotels I recommend for a more affordable price range:
Mid-range (from US$130 to US$200)
- La Loggia Art B&B – At this B&B, there’s a garden and a terrace where you can enjoy your daily breakfast and get access to shared facilities, including a dining room, library, and laundry facility.
- Bed and Breakfast du Village BBV – This accomodation is within walking distance of metro stations and has cozy rooms. An amazing homemade breakfast is served daily.
Budget (up to US$130)
- M Montreal Hostel – The rooms at this hostel have hardwood floors and the original stone walls of the historic building. There is also a shared kitchen, a dining area, a full bar, and a coffee shop.
- Samesun Montreal Central – conveniently located near the Old Port, this hostel has a garden and a terrace available to all guests and offers perks like luggage storage and laundry facilities.
7. Griffintown – where to stay in Montreal to relax
My final recommendation for a stay in Montreal is Griffintown, a part of Downtown Montreal and the Southwest (Le Sud-Ouest) arrondissement of the city.
This serene area is 3 km (1.8 miles) from Vieux Montréal and on the bank of the St. Lawrence River – perfect for a relaxing stay! You can take leisurely strolls along the banks or go on a boat tour of the river.
Griffintown is not as tourist-oriented as the other areas I talked about in this article; it’s primarily a residential area full of condo developments and converted warehouses, so you won’t find as many attractions in this part of the city.
Nevertheless, it is a pretty lively area with a lot of local bars and restaurants around!
I suggest a visit to the Arsenal Contemporary, an art center that showcases a variety of contemporary art exhibits. And if you’re up for some nighttime fun, check to see whether there’s anything on at New City Gas, an event venue in a converted industrial space.
Another reason why I chose to include Griffintown is that it’s a great base for exploring other areas of the city, especially Le Sud-Ouest. You can head to Little Burgundy, stroll along the Lachine Canal, look at street art, or explore Côte-Saint-Paul for a calmer vibe.
Of course, you also have to visit Saint-Henri and the Atwater Market (map), where you can get cool food items like gourmet olive oils and spices. Finally, if you’re still looking for things to do, you can plan a day trip to the nearby city of Longueuil, just across the river from Montreal.
NOTE: There are not many accommodation options in Griffintown, and there aren’t any good budget options in this area. For budget travelers, I’d recommend looking into accommodations in the wider Downtown area.
Luxury (US$220 and up)
- WERFY Luxury Apart-Hotel – This upscale aparthotel boasts an on-site bar and a 24-hour reception desk. Each apartment is air-conditioned and equipped with bed linen and towels.
- Griffintown Hôtel – Each of the luxury apartments has a balcony, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private bathroom. Plus the property also offers private on-site parking.
Mid-range (up to US$220)
- Hôtel Alt Montréal – An eco-friendly hotel that features a snack bar, fitness center, and modern rooms decorated with original artworks.
- L’Hotel Particulier – This urban B&B is situated in a historic building and provides access to a lush garden, a terrace with barbecue facilities, and a contemporary art gallery.
BONUS: Best apartments in Montreal
At this point, you’re familiar with the most popular hotels in all the best neighborhoods in Montreal. But in case you’re looking for a different kind of stay, you’ll be happy to hear that Montreal boasts a variety of nice apartments.
Below, you’ll find my recommendations for the top apartments in Montreal, listed in price order from high to low.
- Bright Riverfront 3-Bedroom Condo ($$$) – This spacious apartment is conveniently situated near the airport, can accommodate up to 5 people, and has a large terrace that offers stunning river views.
- Le Milton Place ($$) – Situated in Downtown Montreal, this 2-bedroom apartment can fit up to 6 people, has all the facilities needed for a longer stay, and provides private access to a lovely backyard.
- Cozy Condo 2BDR MTL Downtown ($$) – A 2-bedroom apartment in Downtown Montreal with a living room, dining area, and a full kitchen that also offers bike rentals.
- Cozy site in the heart of MTL ($) – This lovely Airbnb in Montreal is located right by the Vieux Port and close to several metro stations; it features 1 bedroom, a living area, and a full kitchen.
- 1 Bedroom near the Olympic Stadium ($) – A spacious apartment near Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, with 1 bedroom and a living area with a pull-out sofa, it can accommodate 4 guests.
BONUS 2: Best hotels near Montreal airport
If your flight departs at the crack of dawn, you might want to stay closer to Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and forget about any chance of missing the flight.
Here are my suggestions for Montreal airport hotels:
- Luxury ($$$): Marriott Montreal Airport In-Terminal – This great hotel is connected to the airport and awaits you with an indoor pool, restaurant, gym, spa, and business facilities.
- Mid-range ($$): Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott – A modern hotel close to the airport with an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a game room, and a full-service bar.
- Budget ($): Microtel Inn & Suites – An affordable hotel featuring an indoor pool, a hot tub, and a gym. There’s also a 24/7 front desk and a complimentary breakfast.
FAQs about where to stay in Montreal
🗺️ Where is MTL located in Canada?
Montreal (MTL) is located in the Quebec province in southeastern Canada, 258 km (160 mi) southwest of the capital, Quebec City.
🚶 Is Montreal a walkable city?
Though the city as a whole is fairly large, Montreal’s neighborhoods – particularly Vieux-Montréal – are easy to navigate on foot. Also, bikes are a huge (& fun) deal here plus the city’s public transportation (subway & bus) is an affordable way to get around Montreal.
🗝️ Where to stay in Montreal for the first time?
👩👩👦 Which neighborhood is best for families?
🥂 What are the best places to stay for nightlife?
🎄 Where is a great place to stay in Montreal for Christmas?
For a magical Christmas experience in Montreal, consider staying in the historic Old Montreal neighborhood, where charming streets come alive with holiday decorations and activities.
❌ Is Old Montreal safe, and are there any areas to avoid in Montreal?
Yes, Old Montreal is generally very safe for tourists, but it’s wise to avoid certain neighborhoods like Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Notre Dame Quest, especially late at night.
📅 How many days do I need in Montreal?
To experience the culture of Montreal and see the top attractions in the city, like the Notre Dame Basilica and the cobblestone streets of the historic district of Old Montreal, I recommend staying here for at least 3 days.
🤔 Downtown or Old Montreal, which area should I choose?
Downtown Montreal offers a wider variety of shopping and dining options, while Old Montreal has more historical monuments and quaint hotels decorated with antique furniture.
There you go.! This was my detailed list of recommendations for where to stay in Montreal, broken down by neighborhoods! All my hotel recommendations have amazing reviews and epic facilities that will match your pocket preferences!
For those of you who just can’t decide, here are my 2 favorite options:
- Hotel Gault – An upscale boutique hotel within walking distance of top sights and offering gourmet breakfast
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott – A comfortable spa hotel with an indoor pool and great restaurant
As always, I recommend you book a hotel in Montreal for your holiday in advance – the occupancy rate in 2022 was 68,8%, and that means that in the high season, all the nice places are sold out for sure!
If you are still not finished with your itinerary, I recommend reading my post about the most awesome things you should visit in Montreal or check out my 2-weeks road trip around Canada for more cool ideas to follow on your trip!
If you have any questions, feel free to type them below in the comments section. I am happy to help!
I hope you will have an amazing trip to the Canadian lands!
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