The oldest neighborhood in Montreal (and quite aptly named), Old Montreal is the site of the first French settlement in the 17th century. Today, it boasts a depth of history found just a 5 minute bus ride from downtown; cobblestoned thoroughfares, elegant mansions, warehouses converted into trendy cafes, Victorian streetlamps, and numerous public squares that all retain a sense of commune with the past. Famous landmarks include the Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal City Hall, and a handful of significant museums like the Pointe-à-Callière, which exhibits the archaeological remains of the region. This neighborhood is an excellent choice for a day of walking and exploring, from the Place d'Armes to the old port on the St. Lawrence River, especially during the near-weekly festivals that occur during the summer, when the streets are alive with lights and people.
Note:The best street for cuisine may have to be McGill, located at the southern edge of the district. Stylish cafes like Le Cartet Resto Boutique and Holder sidle up alongside chain restaurants and the fried deliciousness had at Brit & Chips.