Best Montreal Tours by Train

You don't have to jet off to Europe to experience French culture and cuisine. Montreal has deep French roots, giving it a cosmopolitan atmosphere that makes it unlike any other city in Canada.

View of Montreal skyline at sunset from across the St. Lawrence River 

Montreal is one of the most vibrant and fascinating cities in Canada. It has superb dining and food experiences, an inspiring art scene, a calendar packed with festivals and a collection of world-class museums. 

At Canadian Train Vacations, our travel experts use their insider knowledge to help you plan the vacation of a lifetime. We create completely customized itineraries with all the best Montreal tours and attractions, giving you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace.

Montreal and Quebec City Getaway by Rail 

This five-day getaway begins in Montreal and ends in Quebec City, allowing you to visit some of Canada's most sophisticated cities. During your stay in Montreal, you'll have the chance to go on a walking tour, dine at award-winning restaurants and visit world-class museums. Then it's time to travel to Quebec City, home to some of the most beautiful buildings in Canada. 

Miles covered on train: 144 miles 

Days on train: 0.5 days 

Nights on train: 0 nights  

Canadian Eastern Rail Classic 

For a longer Montreal train ride, try the Canadian Eastern Rail Classic itinerary, which begins in Montreal and ends in the Maritimes. You'll travel on two of VIA Rail's most popular trains, The Corridor and The Ocean, taking you through both exciting cities and tranquil landscapes. This Montreal train trip concludes in Halifax, where you'll get to explore the picturesque coastline. 

Miles covered on train: 836 

Days on train: 1 day 

Nights on train: 1 night 

Canadian History and Culture by Rail 

The longest itinerary on our list of recommended Montreal tours, the 10-day Canadian History and Culture by Rail trip begins in Toronto, where you'll immediately set off for the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. After relaxing in the Niagara region, it's time to head to Canada’s biggest city, Torono, to explore its historic neighbourhoods. This Montreal train vacation also includes time in Ottawa and Quebec City — and Montreal, of course.  

Miles covered on train: 451 

Days on train: 3 days 

Nights on train: 0 nights

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Train Experiences from Montreal 

VIA Rail Train 

VIA Rail offers year-round train service to some of Canada's most popular destinations, including Montreal, Toronto, Halifax and Quebec. During daylight hours, you'll get to see some of Canada's most beautiful sights from the windows of a comfortable seat. Depending on which route you choose, you may even be able to spend the night aboard in a sleeper cabin.

VIA Rail’s Ocean train curves through Quebec’s lush green countryside

The Ocean Train 

Operated by VIA Rail, The Ocean train is the oldest continuously operated passenger train in North America. It connects Montreal with Halifax, making it easier to plan Montreal tours with multiple stops.

The Ocean train travels along the coast, moving away from the city

Sleeper Train 

VIA Rail operates two routes that allow you to sleep on the train. The Ocean train, which connects Montreal with Halifax, is the one to take if you're interested in Montreal tours that include Canada's eastern coastline. The Montreal-to-Halifax route covers 1,346 kilometres. VIA Rail’s other sleeper train, The Canadian, does not connect through Montreal.

Interior of a Sleeper Cabin for 2 on VIA Rail Ocean train to Montreal

Top Attractions in Montreal 

Old Montreal 

Visiting Old Montreal is like stepping back in time and experiencing what life was like during the 17th century. World-class museums, high-end shops and tranquil open spaces are just a few of the places to enjoy as you explore everything Old Montreal has to offer. As soon as you take your first step on the historic neighbourhood's cobblestone streets, you'll feel like you're exploring Europe instead of a city in North America. 

A woman walks her bike on a cobblestone street in Old Montreal

Notre Dame 

Notre-Dame Basilica is nearly 200 years old, making it a popular historic site. Designed in the Gothic Revival architectural style, the imposing building is filled with colourful paintings and stained-glass windows. Before you step inside, take a moment to appreciate the graceful spires and niches filled with statutes of religious figures.

The Notre-Dame Basilica, an iconic landmark in Montreal, is surrounded by historic buildings

Cruise on Saint Lawrence 

Many Montreal tours include a cruise on the Saint Lawrence River, and for good reason. You'll get to relax and enjoy unobstructed views of the city's skyline, all while enjoying the tranquil waters around you. A river cruise is the perfect activity if you're on a romantic getaway. 

Couple stands on the deck of a boat and drinks wine as they cruise down the St. Lawrence River

Montreal Botanical Garden 

The Montreal Botanical Garden is a must-see attraction for any nature enthusiast. Garden staff have meticulously recreated several biomes, making it possible to see plants and animals from the Labrador Coast, the tropical rainforest and the sub-Antarctic islands all in one day. 

Couple walks through an indoor tropical garden at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

Montreal Planetarium 

Take a journey to the stars with a visit to the Montreal Planetarium, part of the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. You'll learn about astronomy through immersive videos and interesting exhibits, making the planetarium a great place to visit with younger family members. 

A man touches an interactive display screen at the Montreal Planetarium

Tour to the Laurentians 

The Laurentian Mountains are 540 million years old, making them some of the oldest mountains in the world. Whether you like to hike or prefer to do something a little less physical, the Laurentian area has a little something for everyone, including hiking trails, golf courses, shopping centres and spas. 

In the Laurentian Mountains, hills with orange and red maple trees are reflected in a lake

Why book your train journey in Canada with Canadian Train Vacations?

We take care of all the details

You want to relax and enjoy your trip, not get overwhelmed by the planning. Let us make all of the bookings for you, including rail tickets, hotels, excursions and activities, meals and transfers.

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Independent travel with expert support

Enjoy local expertise and guidance with a personalized itinerary. Your preferences and needs are our priority. We take care of you from the moment you land until the moment you leave.

Get help when you need it

You’ll receive the inside scoop before you even leave home. And you can relax during your vacation because we’re only a phone call away if you have any questions while you’re in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best month to visit Montreal is between March and May or September and November for milder weather and good rates. You’ll also avoid long lines and crowded tourist attractions. If you're planning a Montreal train tour, there's really no bad time to visit. The summer months offer plenty of great festivals and cultural events.

Train trips from Montreal stop in several popular destinations, including Toronto, Quebec City and Halifax. A travel expert from Canadian Train Vacations can discuss your options and recommend the best Montreal train routes based on your interests.

The Montreal to Quebec City train ride is very scenic. You'll get to see some of Canada's most beautiful countryside as you travel between the two cities. The train crosses the Saint Lawrence and passes through wilderness and quaint small towns. Depending on when you travel, you may get to see snow-covered fields, colourful maple leaves or fields of wildflowers.

You need at least two or three days to explore all the best spots in Montreal. The city makes a great start or end destination for your Canadian train vacation. For example, you may want to add a few days at either end of your trip to spend in Montreal.

Both cities have plenty to see and do, but Montreal is the better option if you're interested in French culture.

Commuter tickets are available through VIA Rail for around $150. Our train vacation packages with both Montreal and Quebec include train tickets, hotels, tours and activities, airport transfers and some meals, and start around $2,750 per person for five days.

It takes about 2.5 hours to get from Montreal to Quebec by train.

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