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Places in Montréal That Feel Like Europe

Lindsay Santoro2022-08-29

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Many people dream of one day being able to travel to Europe and explore the cobblestone streets and admire the stunning architecture, but let’s face it, a trip to Europe is typically quite expensive and a long journey. Montréal, on the other hand, is the perfect place to visit that is much more affordable and easier to travel to. Experience all of the perks of a European vacation without any of the difficulties. Here are the top places in Montréal that will make you feel as though you are in a European location!


Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica


This Gothic Revival style church - and the first of its kind in Canada - is well known for its incredible architecture and interiors. The Notre Dame Basilica is one of the most visited locations in Montréal, and happens to be heavily inspired by European architecture and art, allowing you to feel as though you’re in Paris. The church’s style and symbolism is inspired by the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, particularly through the use of colour, gold-leaf motifs on the vault ceiling, and details on the columns. Additionally, the stained glass was made in Francis Chigot’s (1879-1960) workshop in Limoges, France, providing a direct connection to European artwork and style. The Basilica is a must see location in order to add to a European ambiance, so be sure to book a tour of the building..

McGill University

McGill University

(Photo via @mcgillu / Instagram)

McGill University is one of Canada’s most prestigious universities, and the campus’ architecture reflects its sophistication and poise. Many of the school’s buildings throughout the grounds appear as though they were taken from Europe and placed in Canada. Book a tour where you will pass by the unique, cathedral style buildings, or stop by there on your own to wander through the campus grounds.

Golden Square Mile

Golden Square Mile

(Photo via @duccnguyen / Instagram)

Located at the base of Mount Royal, the Golden Square Mile neighbourhood is known for its Victorian-era architecture. The neighbourhood was developed mainly between 1850 and 1930 and contains architecture that is a mixture of Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic, Romanesque, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Art Nouveau, and more styles. Walking through this area of Montréal will absolutely make you feel as though you are strolling through European streets

Bonsecours Market

Bonsecours Market

(Photo via @dailyhivemontreal / Instagram)

The Bonsecours Market is one of Canada's ten finest heritage buildings, and is now mainly the home of multiple government offices, but the exterior of the mid-19th century building appears like something that would be located in Europe. Built in 1847, the building was originally Montréal’s public market before shifting to its current use. This building also houses outdoor restaurants, cafés, and boutiques that make it an essential place to visit while in Montréal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal



What screams Europe more than old, narrow, cobblestone streets full of shops, cafés and historical landmarks? Dating back to the 17th century, Old Montréal is a neighbourhood that feels as though you’ve stepped back in time, and the architecture provides a European feel. While here you will get the chance to see the Notre Dame Basilica, as well as many other iconic locations. Walk along the St. Lawrence River and take in the European-esque buildings, shops, and restaurants around you, or, book the St. Lawrence River Cruise that allows you to relax on a luxurious boat with food and drinks, as a tour guide tells you all about the surrounding area.

Saint Joseph’s Oratory

Saint Joseph’s Oratory




Saint Joseph’s Oratory is Canada’s largest church, located on Mount Royal. The historical building was founded in 1904 by Saint André Bessette and appears like a church that one would see throughout Europe. Multiple architects and thousands of workers constructed the building, through a process that took six long decades. The church’s Renaissance Revival exterior and Art Deco interior create a unique visual experience upon visiting, and bring in millions of visitors per year. Book a guided tour to visit the church to observe the incredible building, and if you are lucky enough to participate in a night tour, the view of the sunset over the city is absolutely breathtaking.

Sidewalk Shops and Boutiques

Sidewalk Shops and Boutiques

(Photo via @byreyouf / Instagram)

One of the simple joys of visiting places in Europe is walking through the streets, surrounded by little shops and boutiques. There are too many shops as you walk along the sidewalks of Montréal to go through them all, but no matter where you go throughout the city, you will be sure to run into these stores that will have you feeling like you’re wandering through the streets of Paris. Visit La Petite Garçonne, for example - a sophisticated Parisian-style boutique. Window shop or spend some cash in order to live out your European-style shopping dreams.

Sidewalk Cafés and Restaurants

Sidewalk Cafés and Restaurants

(Photo via @barrocomontreal / Instagram)

Similar to the sidewalk shops, Montréal is home to a large selection of cafés and restaurants throughout the streets of the city, providing a European dining experience. Saint-Paul Street is particularly bustling with warm, inviting restaurants just steps from the sidewalks along the cobblestone road. Check out Barroco, a lively restaurant which is equipped with everything European-esque, such as its notable stone walls and European-inspired daily market course. The dining spots throughout the city provide the sensation that you are having a sophisticated meal within a dreamy European location.

Side Trips Along the Québec Countryside

Québec Countryside

(Photo via @c.pagliaro.architects / Instagram)

Aside from the bustling streets of the city, another way to feel as if you’re in Europe is to take a side trip to the Québec countryside around Montréal. Here you will feel as though you’ve left the busy city of Paris or Rome and stepped into a European countryside filled with inns, wineries, and more. This area is just a couple of hours up the St. Lawrence River, making it an ideal day trip. A countryside side trip is perfect for you to experience the tranquility of nature in a European-esque setting. You can also stop by Québec City as well, where you will see more cobblestone streets, small bistros, and even a castle-like hotel by the name of Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel

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