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Smart Travels: Montreal 38 Museums plus Transportation Pass

Updated on January 1, 2014
Notre Dame Basilica. New Year's Eve 2012
Notre Dame Basilica. New Year's Eve 2012 | Source
Notre Dame Street
Notre Dame Street | Source
The charm of Montreal Streets. A very, very cold evening
The charm of Montreal Streets. A very, very cold evening | Source
Marie Reine du Monde Cathedral, a replica of St. Peter's in Rome (view from the hotel window)
Marie Reine du Monde Cathedral, a replica of St. Peter's in Rome (view from the hotel window) | Source
A sleeping squirrel at the Botanical Gardens
A sleeping squirrel at the Botanical Gardens | Source
My favorite bug at the Insectarium
My favorite bug at the Insectarium | Source

Montreal 38 museums pass plus transportation

Bonjour et joyeuse année, mes-amis!

After a long debate of where to spend New Year's Eve and first days of 2013, my husband and I decided that the snowy, cold and bright Montreal city is the best option of all. We spent a whole week visiting museums, trying different cuisines and just walking around in the crisp, fresh snow of a new year.

If you are still wondering if it is possible to vacation like a king and still save money, then I will assure you - it is! Montreal offers a great variety of cultural activities, and if you are in your thirties or so and clubbing days are long gone - trust me - Montreal will fulfill all of your artistic cravings for a year ahead!

How to save money and still visit every museum in town?

Buy the Montreal Museum Pass. It costs $60.00 and offers:

  • Free access to 38 museums during 3 days of your choice within 3 weeks (one visit per museum).

  • Free copy of Montreal Museums Magazine.

  • One movie ticket for the Cinémathèque

  • Free train ride at Cité Historia or Audioguide

  • Cruise to discover the Canal Lachine (cancelled in the winter)

  • Discounts with partners (ex : 2 for 1 on Olympic observatory, 25% off for Montreal guided tours, 20% off Spa Scandinave Les Bains, 10% off in certain gift shops etc)

How to save even more?

Buy the Montreal Museum Pass plus Transportation ($65.00). This is the one I got, and it included everything the $60.00 had to offer plus unlimited public transit during 3 days. In a big city like Montreal you do need to have the transportation covered, especially when you get all metro, buses, shuttle from and to the airport for 5 more dollars!

Where to buy the Montreal Museum Pass? (also called Montreal 38 Museums Pass)

The pass could be purchased online at This is the easiest way but not the cheapest: delivery takes up to 10 days and it costs $12.00.

So if you have a little time on your hands once you get to Montreal you could buy it at your hotel. Please note that not all hotels have it, some might have just the Museum Pass without the transportation, which I think is useless. You could also get it at the museum. In my case, I spent 2 hours going to different museums because the first 4 simply didn't have it even if they were listed online as points of sale.

I was advised at McCord Museum of Canadian History to check for tickets at the Centre Infotouristique de Montreal and so I did.The informational centers offer advice on local tourist attractions, the best places to visit, have all the maps and brochures that you need in order to make the most out of your vacation.

Try to visit the info center as soon as you get there. People are very friendly, they speak French and English, have an extended knowledge about all that the city has to offer and will take their time to direct you. Inside the center you'll find a button that delivers ticket numbers (like most DMV offices). Get your ticket and wait in line. Professional associates will make sure that all your questions are answered. My experience with the Montreal info center was great minus the one thing that kept on going wrong that day - I still couldn't get my museum pass, as on January first and second banks are closed in Canada. But they did call the Museum of Science which luckily had the pass and ended my search for the day.

Learn from my mistakes and call ahead. A comprehensive list of museums and their phone numbers could be found at or call the information centers:

  • Centre Infotouristique de Montreal close to the corner of Peel Street and St. Catherine Street - (514) 873-2015
  • Old Montreal Tourist Center on Notre Dame Street - (514) 873-2015

After finally getting our museum passes the true fun begun. We got to visit Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens, Museum of Science, McCord Museum, Chateau Dufresne Museum, Chateau Ramezay, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which is the best in my opinion and needs at least about 5 hours to explore), Museum of the St. Joseph's Oratory on Mount Royal, Montreal Museum of Archeology and History, and Musee D'Art Contemporain.

The high quality transportation system is easy to navigate and altogether the Museum Pass plus Transportation is my number one recommended item when traveling to Montreal. So pack your bags, put on the warmest coat you have, and start exploring one of the best cities in North America.


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    • IreneBissou profile image

      Irene 3 years ago from U.S.A.

      Tony, thank you for these awesome tips! I checked the official website - - and saw that prices did indeed increase. I love city passes and buy them often when visiting a new location. I already bought the Lisbon City Card for my next visit to Portugal in June!

    • profile image

      Tony 3 years ago

      Thanks for the tips!

      The prices now seem to be $75 and $80 (Canadian, including taxes). Also note that the transit included version is only for 3 consecutive days, while the non-transit version can be used on any 3 days within 3 weeks. So if one is visiting for a longer stay (say, a week), it might make more sense to buy the $75 museum pass, a separate transit pass, and choose which days you want to visit museums instead of packing them in consecutively.