Notre-Dame Basilica
Notre-Dame Basilica
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksChurches & Cathedrals
About
Montreal's oldest Catholic church, built in 1656, is known for its intricately designed interior, which includes stained glass chronicling the history of the city.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Plan your visit
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Ville-Marie
How to get there
  • Place-d'Armes • 3 min walk
  • Champ-de-Mars • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Frank C
    Sarasota, Florida415 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best of Montreal
    Best of Montreal. The Light show at 8 pm, for the Price, best deal in Montreal! Make reservations early, could sell out. Sit in Center left side, best view for show. Outstanding. Very Professional. Staff was informative and courteous. Had about 400 people at our show , it was a Tuesday night, sure weekends are busier. Had just enough time to explore after show, also before they kick you out. Suggest ,as others have to get there as early as they let you in, to explore and read up on all the History.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 19, 2023
  • LeaB
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aura show was great!
    We decided to go to the Aura show at the last minute, when our Cirque show was cancelled due to bad weather. You have to buy tickets online, and it was very frustrating doing this on a phone, so if you're planning to go, better to buy tickets on a computer ahead of time. The show was amazing, but we thought the price was a bit much for what it was.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 20, 2023
  • Dominika K
    Guelph, Canada143 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Many memories for our family here
    We got married in the main Basilica July, 2011. We finally had a chance to take our kids to show them. There is a entrance fee per individual or family packages. Beautiful sight to visit, do not miss out on the chapel behind the main Basilica behind the alter on the right hand side. The Basilica has bathrooms downstairs for anyone who needs them.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 20, 2023
  • futtock21
    London, United Kingdom16,480 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Blue Jewel
    Dominating Montreal’s Place d’Armes Notre Dame Basilica replaced an original 17th century church founded by the Seminarians who founded Montreal and governed it until 1840. The present structure in a Gothic revivalist style dates from 1824 to 1829 although the blue jewelled interior with a lighting effect which originally dazzled its congregation was not completed until 1879 and the Chapelle du Sacre Coeur in 1886. It is surrounded by stained glass windows telling the history of Montreal. It has been voted the sixth most beautiful building in the world this year. Chapels are reserved for prayer, the upper floors and vault were closed until further notice and without explanation on our recent visit. There is an enhanced admission fee for a laser light display in the evening.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Tracy F
    Boston, Massachusetts479 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow
    The exterior gives no indication of the grandeur within. It was a bit of a sensory overload, but just beautiful. I joked that, if a young family attended Mass here, they could keep the kids occupied with a game of "I Spy with My Little Eye" for ever! As usual, I lit a candle at a side altar. But, it was a bit off-putting to see the prices ($10 Canadian) at some of the more important altars. The church also had some high tech ways to pay too. I know that they need to provide upkeep and whatnot for the Basilica and I guess that the admission fee isn't quite enough, but the high cost of lighting some candles just felt a bit icky. I love to visit these old churches, and my friends seemed to humor me. But, even they were impressed and blown away.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 27, 2023
  • thetravelroamad
    Crestwood, Kentucky450 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Church
    It’s a beautiful church and loved being able to walk in and casually stroll through the church at my own pace. It was nice that it was free to tour. There is a small gift shop in the church and there is a small museum to the side that has some unique info. You definitely need to tour the church when visiting.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 28, 2023
  • Angie I
    Austin, Texas144 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful place and a must see!
    Basilica was beautiful! I have been before but I wanted to take my kids this time. Better to buy tickets online instead of waiting in line. Much faster. Spend some time. Sit. Appreciate the space. Light a candle. $2 for small. $10 for the large.
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 2, 2023
  • MrsDonnaW
    Blairgowrie, United Kingdom120 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful cathedral
    Beautiful cathedral to take in once you get in. Expensive considering there is nothing to give any history of the cathedral, or staff to answer any questions. It was also another $5 to light a candle in memory of a loved one. Worth visiting nonetheless and lots to look at.
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 8, 2023
  • Sally K
    18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most beautiful interior in the world!!! ( In my experience)
    I’ve been all over Europe and this may be the most beautiful interior in the world! Don’t miss AURA, which requires a separate ticket, but was the most amazing light and sound show I have ever seen! Only 20 minutes, but worth every penny. It’s helpful to tour the church in the daytime to see it all—there is a combo ticket for both!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 8, 2023
  • Lynn M
    West Chester, Pennsylvania307 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take your time here
    We’ve been to many cathedrals in our travels and this is very special. Take time to read the brass plaques starting from the right rear to capture the history of Montreal in the stained glass panels. Also, while admiring the front and the altar, be sure to turn around and notice the magnificent organ with over 7,000 pipes ranging in diameter from 32 feet to 1/4 inch. Admission fee was fair given the maintenance costs involved with a building of this magnificence.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles20,384 reviews
Excellent
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4,227
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813
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157
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Jack L
Orne, France193 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
If you are from Europe or have spent time there, you might not be overly impressed by this basilica. However, what it lacks on the exterior it makes up for on the interior. European cathedrals are largely built in stone—both outside and in—but the interior of Notre Dame is made out of wood—highly decorated wood at that! The stained glass isn’t that impressive as it is of its time (early 19th century), but it provides vignettes of Montreal’s early days. The organ is a ‘wow factor’, as it has 7,000 pipes—making it one of the largest in North America. The use of back-lighting and Virgin Mary blue also give the church its peculiar beauty. We visited Notre Dame as part of an old city walking tour, which included the price of entry; so we would recommend that if you aren’t familiar with Montreal. But in any case, it is certainly worth a visit.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AroundtheWorldin_180
United States13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
This is a beautiful basilica that rivals the European churches across the Atlantic. It is worth taking time to admire the details and handiwork. Early morning worked well for us and if you wander around Old Town and return in the afternoon there are a variety of performers in the plaza during summer. It is a MUST see!
Written May 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle T
6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
You must buy tickets ahead of time and my partner and I decided to buy the Aura light show tickets for 8pm. We didn't have to wait in line for too long, and once we got in, we found a seat near the middle. It was filling up slowly, and it was not until 8:15pm that the actual show started, which was unfortunate for those who came early like us and had to sit for half an hour for others to arrive. The light show itself was AMAZING! It was so well done and entertaining and the soundtrack along with it was really well done. The tickets were expensive ($36/pp) but after the show, which was about 30 minutes, we were able to explore the Basilica at our own pace and take pictures. The church is really well maintained and there is a lot to take in. Due to some construction, the outside of the church had scaffolding around it which took away from it's beauty. However, on a clear day and with one of the guitar buskers outside playing music, the Basilica is definitely worth checking out.
Written December 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

889helena12345
Birmingham, UK16 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
Beware! Despite taking our money for an online ticket the venue was not actually open - we booked for 9am as we had a train to catch. Tickets were sold for a 9am slot. After waiting outside in the freezing cold for the best part of an hour, we had to leave. There was no sign of any staff members to let us in/speak to, and the queue was approximately 50 people long by this point. Disappointing we were able to book tickets for when the venue was not actually open.
Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BlackSavannah
North Vancouver, Canada63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Family
We saw the 9PM AURA show tonite. When we arrived at 8:35, a line was already formed outside. COVID vaccine status was checked and we sat down within 5-10 mins. The light show started at 9:13PM. The lights and the sound effects was really stunning and impressive. After the light show, we were allowed to linger around to take pictures and to walk around the church. We stayed for another 10 mins, took a lot of great picture before we left. The tickets are quite expensive ($34 adult, $22 student) but I would recommend as I don’t think you can see such a unique light show somewhere else.
Remember to buy tickets online at the website.
Written November 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wendymurcia87
Canada497 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
The cathedral must be very beautiful day and night, you must pay 8CAD for the entrance, we had already paid for the Aura Event so that included it. The cathedral retains its structure and Gothic architecture very well, which makes it different from most cathedrals. What I really recommend more than just entering the church is to see the AURA Event. It's the best show I've seen in my life.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marla E
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
The beauty and the richness of decoration on every single surface has to be seen to be believed. Set aside more time than you expect so you can really walk around and examine every nook and cranny.

My feeling every time I come is overpowering awe and wonder. No surface is left untouched. No color goes unused. Everything is embellished with not only paint and gilt but washes of light and gleaming reflections. I alternated between weeping from the beauty and laughing with joy that something like this even exists. If you love art, design, and architecture, this will be a seriously life-changing visit.

Note that tickets can only be purchased online, vaccinations are REQUIRED, and be careful to get tickets for the basilica, not the Aura show.
Written December 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wildflower01945
Amherst, MA748 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We went specifically for Aura, the light show, and got there 15 minutes early as instructed. This gives you time to look at the cathedral and see the various small light shows they have staged in the alcoves.

The church is really beautiful! I was impressed even before the light show. The show we went to (9pm Saturday) filled the cathedral about 3/4. That is a lot of people. I suggest sitting near the back because then you can see the entire show which is projected from the front sections.

The show about 40 min.: images of seasons, shining lights on the architecture to form designs, laser show. Various music - church to current, which was loud at times. It was lots of fun and well done. Well worth the $69 for 2 seniors and 1 child plus service charge for online reservations. I was glad we had made reservations. The line was long for tickets and it was cold! I chose to have them send the pdf to my phone but the ticket pick up line was not long.

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Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WindSister04
43 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
So, I'm not really sure what the hype was all about.

The good: I got my ticket online before arriving, so I skipped the line outside. It was unique and quite inspiring to see the incredible architecture. The stained glass was pretty, also, oddly unique to the founding of Montreal (as opposed to more Biblical scenes).

The bad: $15 for entry, only could walk around the main sanctuary (not like you got to see any gardens or the chapel behind the main area). It was super crowded, noisy AF, and people were super disrespectful. Suggested offerings for candles was $2-$15, boxes everywhere asking for donations (like, what does my ticket money support then?).... It was really dark inside, surprisingly dark actually, so it was harder to see the details of the architecture. They said the self tour should be around an hour, but I had trouble filling more than 40 mins. Ultimately, I left with a headache and felt like I should have donated money to somewhere else instead.

Thoughtful idea: instead of paying to walk around, attend a service. There are listings on the church website for when Mass is held, it's open to the public, and you're more likely to get something unique and spiritual than a bunch of tourists acting stupid.
Written July 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan E
Melbourne, FL183 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
The Basilica is gorgeous on the inside. If you have been to other famous cathedrals such as Notre Dame de Paris, Chartres, Winchester, Salisbury, etc., you might be surprised by how small it is and due to its age it does not have the history behind it as the others do. I enjoyed just sitting in a pew and taking in the decoration and then walking around to read the plaques and see the work up close. I heard some people grumble about the price to get in ($15 Canadian), but I considered it a donation to preserve the artistry. They do offer organ concerts as part of the ticket price several days a week and I wish I had been there at the right time to hear it. For the record, I was there on a rainy Saturday June morning, arrived about 30 minutes before opening and was first in line to buy a ticket. The queue got long behind me about 10 minutes before they opened.
Written June 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

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