Notre-Dame Basilica
Notre-Dame Basilica
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Churches & Cathedrals
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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.
Suggested 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
See what other travelers are saying
  • Jack L
    Orne, France191 contributions
    Beautiful, New World Basilica
    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.
    Visited March 2020
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 5, 2020
  • AroundtheWorldin_180
    United States15 contributions
    Beautiful Cathedral in the Heart of Old Montreal
    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!
    Visited August 2019
    Written May 25, 2020
  • Michelle T
    3 contributions
    One of Montreal's top attraction!
    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.
    Visited November 2021
    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.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
20,281 reviews
Excellent
14,976
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4,213
Average
804
Poor
156
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132

889helena12345
Birmingham, UK15 contributions
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, Canada44 contributions
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
Canada508 contributions
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
3 contributions
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, MA738 contributions
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
39 contributions
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
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.

Suzanne
71 contributions
Jun 2022 • Solo
You can't pay at the door you have to pay online only. The staff offer you a WiFi code stood outside and help you navigate the website but I did find it ridiculous I had no choice but to create an account just to look around a place I am unlikely to return to since I was on holiday. There was no guest checkout option. It should not be this difficult to pay and go in, and the emails advertising local Montreal events have already started.

However once inside it is absolutely stunning and worth it.
Written June 26, 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.

Gill G
Thornhill, Canada108 contributions
Dec 2022
I visited this during a freezing cold Christmas visit in December. Montreal was full of snow and slush, but this beautiful building captivated me from the very first sight and I was not disappointed!
It costs $15 (Canadian) to get in. As there was a steady stream of people going in, I thought it might be busy, but not only was it HUGE, but tourists are respectful, quiet and there was room for everyone.
What an incredible place the Basilica is! There are beautiful glass panels, frescos, paintings and statues absolutely everywhere and the scenery on the ceiling and back fresco is out of this world. There are huge benches for you to sit down, take it all in and even use the prayer room (for the price of a $2 candle). You can take pictures and videos if you wish, which is great, because you won't want to miss ANY of what is inside!
There are also washrooms at the back and the Basilica itself is warm and has a very special atmosphere. Definitely the best place to visit in Montreal in the winter and I would highly recommend anyone go there - it's the best $15 I've spent in a long time.
Written January 9, 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.

db2411
Moscow, Russia12 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
It's one of the most, if not the most popular sight in Montreal, and you really can miss it if you are travelling through Montreal. During normal open hours you can buy a ticket and go inside. The ticket worth it, but I'm here to talk about what happens outside open hours. In the evening look up the schedule on the website of basilica under "aura" tab. This show is breathtaking, I have never seen anything like this before. It is better than any light show that i have ever visited (I'm sure that this will apply to you after you watch this show). It like 3D cinema but 100 cooler. I strongly reccomend to visit it.
Written February 20, 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.

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Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

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