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Vieux-Montréal’s central plaza is Place Jacques-Cartier, a one-time fruit and vegetable market and the focus of much activity in the warm months. The plaza consists of two repaved streets bracketing a center promenade that slopes down from rue Notre-Dame to Old Port, with venerable stone buildings from the 1700s along both sides. Horse-drawn carriages gather at the plaza’s base, and outdoor cafes, street performers, and flower sellers recall a Montréal of a century ago. Locals insist they would never go to a place so overrun by tourists—which makes one wonder why so many of them do, in fact, congregate here. They take the sun and sip sangria on the terraces just as much as visitors do, enjoying the unfolding pageant.

If this is your first trip to Montréal, consider the Vieux-Montréal walking tour in chapter 9. It leads past most of the sites listed here and can help you get your bearings.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.