Montreal is a bastion of art, history, and culture, and nothing lets you explore it all quite like the local museums in the city. In fact, you'll find more than 40 internationally renowned museums in the city, so there's never any shortage of educational experiences available.

    Local museums focus on a wide variety of topics including fine art, archaeology, and history. You'll also find science centers and more niche museums, including one that focuses entirely on ancient artefacts for a truly retro atmosphere. Take a look at some of the best museums in Montreal.

    1

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

    See the country's oldest art museum

    • Families
    • History

    The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal) is a massive and historic art museum where you'll find works from all across history. It's one of the largest art museums in the country in terms of gallery space, and the display area is spread across 5 unique pavilions.

    Across the 5 pavilions, you can see works of art from famous painters and sculptures from the past few centuries alongside ancient works that are thousands of years old. Pavilions tend to split the collection up by time period, so you'll find one that focuses on modern art and another that focuses on ancient works. It's all located just north of Shaughnessy Village city centre.

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

    Open: Tuesday, Thursday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 514-285-2000

    Map

    photo by Thomas Ledl (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    2

    Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History

    Home to more than a million archaeological objects

    • History

    The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History (Pointe-à-Callière - Cité d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal) is a stunning archaeological museum where you'll find Montreal's history on display. While their permanent collection has plenty of artefacts to peruse, you'll also find temporary exhibitions that change with the seasons.

    When you visit this museum, you'll find archaeological remains from the city's past across its entire history, including the remains of Fort Ville-Marie, which was first established in the mid 17th century. The exhibitions here tend to focus on topics like heritage, multiculturalism, and artistic creativity. It's all located in Old Montreal by the port.

    Location: 350 Place Royale, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 3Y5, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 514-872-9150

    Map

    photo by Willem van Valkenburg (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Montreal Science Centre (Centre des sciences de Montréal)

    Visit an interactive science museum

    • Families
    • History

    The Montreal Science Centre (Centre des sciences de Montréal) offers fun for the whole family with interactive exhibits you and your kids can enjoy. The permanent exhibitions here are quite varied, showcasing different ways of harnessing energy, space exploration, and the history of human evolution.

    Families can particularly enjoy what this museum has to offer thanks to interactive exhibits like the Life-Sized Science activity that lets your kids use their entire body to explore the ingenuity of machines like levers and pulleys. You'll find this museum right along the river in the Old Port.

    Location: 2 de la Commune St W, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 4B2, Canada

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 514-496-4724

    Map

    photo by Frankie Roberto (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    McCord Museum

    Immerse yourself in Canadian history

    • History

    The McCord Museum is a fascinating museum dedicated to Canadian history where you'll find a collection of artefacts, drawings, art, and texts from Canada. Much of the collection details the life and history of the indigenous people of Canada with a few objects that hail from Canada and the northern United States as well.

    If you're interested in old artefacts from times past, you won't have to look far here. Nearly 19,000 historical objects are on display showcasing dresses, hats, fans, and shoes from centuries past, including the oldest known patchwork quilt in North America. You can see it all for yourself at the university just a short distance from the McGill subway station.

    Location: 690 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E9, Canada

    Open: Monday, Thursday–Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 514-861-6701

    Map
    5

    MAC

    See contemporary art

    • Couples
    • Families

    The MAC (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal) is a fun contemporary art museum that lets you explore art created more recently, including works from living artists still making new creations. It was the first museum in Canada dedicated to contemporary art, opening in 1964.

    Inside this museum, you'll find a collection of works from more than 1,500 artists, most of which are still living. In total, there are around 7,000 works of art on display. Most of the works come from Quebec or greater Canada, but you'll find some international pieces as well. Various mediums like paintings, sculptures, photos, and video works are on display. You can see it all for yourself right city centre.

    Location: 1 Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec H3B 3Y1, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 514-847-6226

    Map

    photo by Jim.henderson (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Redpath Museum

    Step into the ancient past

    • History

    Redpath Museum is a stunning museum dedicated to showing off the past in several ways, with geology, palaeontology, and ethnology all having a place. The paleontological collection features several stunning remnants of prehistoric creatures, including the skeleton of a gorgosaurus that lived in Canada about 76 million years ago.

    If you're more interested in human history, the ethnological and archaeological collection offers 17,000 items with insight into various cultures in ancient Egypt, Oceania, Africa, and even palaeolithic Europe. You'll find it all on the north side of the Golden Square Mile just east of city centre.

    Location: 859 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C4, Canada

    Phone: +1 514-398-4861

    Map

    photo by Idej Elixe (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Château Ramezay - Musée et site historique de Montréal

    A museum in a historic building

    • History

    Château Ramezay - Musée et site historique de Montréal is both a museum and a historic building where you can learn all about Montreal's history. Think of this museum as a snapshot of a certain time, with much of the interior arranged to appear as it would if it was the 18th or 19th century.

    The building itself dates back to 1705, but the museum is a more recent aspect of it all since it was originally a residence of Montreal's governor, Claude de Ramezay. In the museum today, you'll find around 30,000 different objects on display, including historic furniture, paintings, prints, and even ethnological items. It's all available on the north side of Old Montreal.

    Location: 280 Notre-Dame St. East, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1C5, Canada

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 514-861-3708

    Map

    photo by Joanne Lévesque (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Canadian Centre for Architecture

    Explore the world of architecture

    • Families
    • History

    The Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d’Architecture) is a fascinating museum and research centre where you can learn all about industrial design. There's a permanent collection of books and artefacts prospective designers may be interested in including some activities for children.

    One of the most important aspects of this museum is the sculpture garden where you'll find a variety of different installations depicting various aspects of architectural design and style. Additionally, this museum often hosts exhibitions where you can learn even more about niche subjects. It's located on the east side of Shaughnessy Village.

    Location: 1920 Baile St, Montreal, Quebec H3H 2S6, Canada

    Open: Wednesday, Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm, Thursday from 11 am 9 am (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 514-939-7026

    Map

    photo by Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Space For Life Museum

    Visit an entire museum complex

    • Families
    • History

    Space For Life Museum (Espace pour la vie) is a district where you'll find several different museums including a biodome, a planetarium, a botanical garden, and an insectarium. Each of the museums here has something special to offer, so you won't want to miss out on any.

    The botanical garden here shows off a variety of native and exotic plants while detailing phytotechnologies. At the biodome, you can learn about species, habitats, and the science of biodiversity conservation. When you visit the planetarium, you'll find a glimpse into the final frontier, while the insectarium features more butterflies than you can count. You'll find it all a few miles north of city centre.

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

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 514-868-3000

    Map

    photo by David Wilson (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    MEM

    Discover centuries of local history

    • History

    MEM (MEM - Centre des mémoires montréalaises) is a museum dedicated to preserving and showing off Montreal's history dating all the way back to the 17th century through first-hand accounts. Within this museum, you can explore a carefully curated collection of first-hand accounts from all sorts of communities that have had a presence in the city.

    Given that this museum strives to embody the atmosphere and soul of Montreal, it should be no surprise that it works to blend in with the average day of residents. Because of this, you'll find plenty of public spaces in the museum area along with a boutique-cafe and even a cabaret. It's all located city centre.

    Location: 1210 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2S5, Canada

    Phone: +1 514-872-3207

    Map

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