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Notre-Dame Basilica

The incandescent blue and gold interior of Montreal’s spiritual heart dazzles visitors and pilgrims. It was once the largest house of worship in North America.

This neo-Gothic masterwork is one of the most popular locations in Montreal. Thousands enter Notre-Dame Basilica’s doors each day during the summer months. It is a Canadian national icon, hosting such high-profile events as Pope John Paul II’s 1984 visit and Celine Dion’s 1994 wedding.

The Roman Catholic church’s dual towers rise high above the low roofs of Old Montreal. In its time, the church was the largest house of worship of any religion in North America. While the basilica’s exterior is still competitive with those of the world’s great churches, it simply pales when compared to what lies inside.

Step inside Notre-Dame Basilica and prepare to be amazed; the structure features one of the most colorful and complex church interiors on the continent. Bask in the golden orange glow of the incredibly ornate altar. Raise your eyes to study the expansive vaulted ceiling, where gold stars recede into an ethereal blue.

Trace Montreal’s early history in the stained glass windows around the church. While most stained glass windows depict biblical scenes, those of Notre-Dame Basilica show scenes from the religious history of the Ville-Marie colony that became Montreal. Enter the light-filled Chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur and admire the contemporary linden-wood ceiling that replaced the fire-damaged original in 1982.

A 20-minute guided tour in English is included in the price of admission and is offered twice every hour. Pay an extra fee to take a 60-minute guided tour during the summer months. This includes the sacristy, the galleries and the baptistery. A huge pipe organ sits at the back of the church. Built in 1891 by the Canadian firm of Casavant et Frères, the organ is beautifully preserved. For a small fee in addition to the price of admission, watch from the balcony as the organist plays the antique instrument.

Notre-Dame Basilica rises from the middle of Old Montreal and is visible from several blocks away. It is close to both metro and bus stops. Parking can be difficult, but there is a pay parking garage nearby.


Guide to Exploring Notre Dame Basilica


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Hotel Bonaventure Montreal £140
Hotel Bonaventure Montreal

Hotel Bonaventure Montreal

900 rue De La Gauchetiere West, Montreal, QC
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Ville-Marie, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Underground City, Bell Centre and Christ Church Cathedral. Notre Dame Basilica and Saint Joseph's Oratory are also within 6 mi (10 km). Montreal Central Station is only a 2-minute walk and Bonaventure Station is 2 minutes.

    Hotel Monville £163
    Hotel Monville

    Hotel Monville

    1041, rue de Bleury, Montreal, QC
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Ville-Marie, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Underground City, Notre Dame Basilica and Place des Arts. Christ Church Cathedral and Bell Centre are also within 15 minutes. Place d'Armes Station and Square Victoria Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      Travelodge Hotel by Wyndham Montreal Centre £99
      Travelodge Hotel by Wyndham Montreal Centre

      Travelodge Hotel by Wyndham Montreal Centre

      50 René-Lévesque St. West, Montreal, QC
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Ville-Marie, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The Underground City, Sainte-Catherine Street and Complexe Desjardins. Notre Dame Basilica and Palais des congres de Montreal are also within 10 minutes. Place d'Armes Station is only a 4-minute walk and Saint Laurent Station is 6 minutes.

        Hôtels Gouverneur Montréal £92
        Hôtels Gouverneur Montréal

        Hôtels Gouverneur Montréal

        1415, rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, QC
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Gay Village, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sainte-Catherine Street and University of Quebec-Montreal. The Underground City and Bonsecours Market are also within 15 minutes. Berri-UQAM Station is only a 3-minute walk and Beaudry Station is 6 minutes.

          Hotel Le Dauphin Montreal Downtown £125
          Hotel Le Dauphin Montreal Downtown

          Hotel Le Dauphin Montreal Downtown

          1025, rue De Bleury, Montreal, QC
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Ville-Marie, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Palais des congres de Montreal and The Underground City. Sainte-Catherine Street and Notre Dame Basilica are also within 10 minutes. Square Victoria Station is only a 5-minute walk and Place d'Armes Station is 5 minutes.

            Hotel Place d'Armes £149
            Hotel Place d'Armes

            Hotel Place d'Armes

            55, Saint-Jacques West, Montreal, QC
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Old Montreal, this spa hotel is steps away from Place d'Armes, Notre Dame Basilica and The Underground City. Palais des congres de Montreal and Old Port are also within 5 minutes. Place d'Armes Station is only a 3-minute walk and Square Victoria Station is 9 minutes.

              Best Western Plus Montreal Downtown-Hotel Europa £117
              Best Western Plus Montreal Downtown-Hotel Europa

              Best Western Plus Montreal Downtown-Hotel Europa

              1240 Drummond Street, Montreal, QC
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Ville-Marie, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sainte-Catherine Street and The Underground City. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Christ Church Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Peel Station is 6 minutes by foot and Lucien L'Allier Station is 7 minutes.

                DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal £153
                DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal

                DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal

                1255 Jeanne-Mance, P.O. Box 130, Montreal, QC
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Montreal hotel is located in the entertainment district, steps away from Sainte-Catherine Street, Museum of Contemporary Art and Complexe Desjardins. Place des Arts and Palais des congres de Montreal are also within 10 minutes. Place des Arts Station is only a 3-minute walk and Saint Laurent Station is 7 minutes.