The Getaway
9 Must-See Spots in the Montreal Underground

Beneath the bustling streets of Montreal lies a hidden world waiting to be discovered. The Montreal Underground is a vast network of tunnels, shops, and attractions that spans over 32 km (20 miles), connecting many of the city's major landmarks. This subterranean city is a fascinating glimpse into the heart of Montreal, offering a unique blend of convenience, culture, and history.

Exploring the Montreal Underground is an experience like no other. You'll find everything from high-end fashion boutiques and gourmet food shops to tranquil public spaces and stunning works of art. Whether you're a local looking for a new lunch spot or a tourist seeking a memorable adventure, the Underground has something for everyone.

In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through 10 must-see spots in the Montreal Underground. From the iconic Place Ville Marie to the charming Promenades Cathédrale, each location offers its own unique character and surprises. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to uncover the secrets of this incredible underground world.

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01 Place Ville Marie

Place Ville Marie is a must-visit destination in the Montreal Underground. This sprawling complex boasts an impressive array of high-end shops, ranging from luxury fashion brands to specialty boutiques. After a day of shopping, refuel at one of the many gourmet restaurants or cafes scattered throughout the plaza.

The central plaza is a hub of activity, often hosting exciting events and exhibitions. Be sure to check the schedule during your visit. For a breathtaking view of the city, head up to the 46th-floor observation deck. As the first skyscraper in Montreal, Place Ville Marie offers a unique perspective on the city's history and growth.

With direct connections to the McGill and Bonaventure metro stations, Place Ville Marie is easily accessible from anywhere in the city. Whether you're looking to shop, dine, or simply soak up the atmosphere, this iconic spot is not to be missed.

02 Complexe Desjardins

Complexe Desjardins is another major hub in the Montreal Underground, offering a diverse array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With over 110 stores and services, including popular fashion brands and specialty shops, you could easily spend an entire day exploring this vast complex.

When hunger strikes, head to the food court or one of the many sit-down restaurants for a satisfying meal. The complex also features a hotel and convention center, making it a convenient destination for both tourists and business travelers.

Don't miss the beautiful public square, complete with a stunning fountain. This space often hosts free cultural events and performances, so be sure to check the schedule during your visit. Fun fact: Complexe Desjardins is named after Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of North America's first credit union. With direct access to the Place-des-Arts metro station, this underground gem is just a short ride away.

03 Cours Mont-Royal

Cours Mont-Royal is a premier shopping destination for those seeking luxury and sophistication. This upscale shopping center features an exquisite mix of high-end fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, and gourmet food shops, catering to the most discerning tastes.

What sets Cours Mont-Royal apart is its stunning architecture and rich history. The shopping center is housed in a beautifully preserved historic building that was once the Mount Royal Hotel, originally built in 1922. As you explore the center, take a moment to admire the Art Deco details and ornate finishes that harken back to a bygone era of elegance and glamour.

With direct access to the Peel metro station, Cours Mont-Royal is easily accessible from anywhere in the city. Whether you're in the market for a new designer handbag or simply want to indulge in some window shopping, this underground gem is a must-see destination.

04 Eaton Centre Montreal

Eaton Centre Montreal is a shopper's paradise, boasting over 175 stores and services spread across several floors. This bustling mall features major department stores like The Bay and Simons, as well as a wide range of fashion boutiques, tech shops, and specialty stores. When you need a break from shopping, head to the food court, where you'll find a variety of quick-service restaurants and snack options.

One of the mall's most unique features is its indoor skating rink, open year-round. Rent a pair of skates or bring your own, and glide around the ice for a fun and refreshing break from the shopping frenzy. The rink also offers skating lessons for all ages and skill levels.

Recently renovated in 2020, Eaton Centre Montreal now sports a sleek, modern look while retaining its classic charm. With direct access to the McGill metro station, this shopping destination is easy to reach from anywhere in the city.

05 World Trade Centre Montreal

The World Trade Centre Montreal is a stunning complex that seamlessly blends business and leisure. This underground hub features a variety of shops, restaurants, and services catering to both business travelers and locals. Whether you're looking for a quick bite between meetings or a place to unwind after a long day, you'll find plenty of options here.

One of the most impressive features of the World Trade Centre Montreal is its beautiful atrium. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, the atrium boasts a soaring glass roof and a tranquil reflecting pool. Take a moment to admire the stunning architecture and peaceful atmosphere – it's the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

With direct access to the Square-Victoria-OACI metro station, the World Trade Centre Montreal is easily accessible from anywhere in the city. Whether you're a business traveler or a local looking to explore the underground city, this complex is definitely worth a visit.

06 Gare Centrale

Gare Centrale, Montreal's main railway station, is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture and a bustling hub of the underground city. Built in 1943, the station's grand concourse features impressive brass and bronze details, including the ticket counters and clock. Travelers and commuters can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and services within the station, making it a convenient stop for those on the go. Gare Centrale is served by VIA Rail, Amtrak, and commuter trains and is directly connected to the Bonaventure metro station, providing easy access to the rest of the underground city.

07 Place des Arts

Place des Arts is a vibrant cultural hub in the heart of the Montreal Underground. This sprawling complex features several world-class concert halls, theaters, and exhibition spaces, showcasing the best in music, dance, and visual arts. As the home of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and the Opéra de Montréal, Place des Arts attracts top talent from around the globe.

The surrounding plaza is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. During the summer months, the plaza comes alive with free outdoor concerts and events, creating a festive atmosphere in the heart of the city. With direct access to the Place-des-Arts metro station and the underground city, this cultural gem is easily accessible from anywhere in Montreal. Whether you're a lover of the arts or simply looking for a unique experience, Place des Arts is a must-see destination in the Montreal Underground.

08 Palais des Congrès de Montréal

The Palais des Congrès de Montréal is a stunning convention center located in the heart of the underground city. The building's distinctive multicolored glass facade and spacious atrium make it an architectural marvel. Designed by architects Tétrault, Dubuc, Saia and Provencher, the convention center was completed in 1983 and has since hosted a wide variety of events, from trade shows to cultural festivals.

As you explore the Palais des Congrès, keep an eye out for the whimsical public art installations scattered throughout the building. One of the most notable is the "Lipstick Forest" in the atrium, a playful and colorful display that adds to the center's unique charm. With direct connections to the Place-d'Armes metro station and the underground city, the Palais des Congrès de Montréal is easily accessible and a must-see destination for visitors and locals alike.

09 Promenades Cathédrale

Beneath the historic Christ Church Cathedral is the Promenades Cathédrale, a charming shopping mall that offers a unique blend of modern convenience and old-world charm. This small but inviting mall features a curated selection of shops, cafes, and services, making it a popular destination for downtown workers and visitors alike.

As you explore Promenades Cathédrale, take a moment to appreciate the cathedral's stunning Gothic Revival architecture, which dates back to 1859. The cathedral's beautiful stained glass windows cast a warm, colorful glow throughout the mall, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere.

With direct connections to the McGill metro station and the underground city, Promenades Cathédrale is easily accessible and a must-see spot for those looking to experience the history and charm of Montreal's underground world.

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