RESO Underground City + Downtown Montreal Tour

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This can also be a Private Tour. Get in touch.

  • 2 Hours
  • Max Guests: 12
  • 10:30am / 2:00 pm
  • Year-round, variable schedule
  • Language: English
Viator Experience Award Winner 2023

Our Old Montreal walking tour was named as one of the Top 20 Experiences in Canada!

RESO Underground City Tour of Montreal

Get around like a local, delving into the culture, architecture, and history of Montreal from beneath the city on this informative walking tour! Thanks to Montreal’s chilly winters, inhabitants have long found creative ways of getting around the cold—and that includes the RÉSO, the world’s most extensive underground pedestrian network, that stretches over 20 miles (32 kilometres). Join our underground city tour and experience the best way to navigate the RÉSO – with a passionate local, guiding you through the extensive system of subterranean walkways and tunnels, and sharing the fascinating history and hidden gems along the way! This tour is part inside and part outside. We walk through some interesting areas in the heart of Downtown Montreal! During your unique experience, your engaging guide will share intriguing stories about Montreal’s history, people and culture.

Price Includes

Price Excludes

  • Your certified guide’s expertise as a local Montrealer
  • A personal list of recommendations for things to see, do, and eat in Montreal
  • Gratuities (recommended – merci!) — Although optional, a tip/gratuity for your guide is customary and very appreciated.

Tour Highlights

  • Navigate the sprawling RÉSO with ease and see the heart of downtown Montreal, thanks to your certified Montreal guide, who is familiar with the in-and-outs of our intricate underground network and city centre.
  • Learn about the RÉSO’s history, dating back to the 1960s, while you explore the maze of tunnels and passageways. The tour pops outside for portions for you to visually and spatially get your bearings and to see outdoor points of interest
  • Discover the RÉSO’s hidden historical treasures, from a piece of the Berlin Wall to an authentic Parisian metro entrance, plus all the art, atriums, and fountains along the way
  • Enjoy the personalized experience that comes with a small-group tour with no more than 10 guests

What We'll See On This Walking Tour

Our Montreal underground tour begins in the lobby of Hotel Fairmount The Queen Elizabeth, where you’ll meet your MTL Detours guide. They’ll give you an overview of how the RÉSO – the world’s largest pedestrian underground network – came to be, and then it’s time to hit the tunnels!

You’ll follow your friendly guide as they lead you through the maze of underground passageways that span many parts of the city and buildings of importance. You’ll make a stop to visit Place Ville-Marie, an impressive office and commercial complex and Montreal’s first skyscraper. As you walk, you’ll discover the abundance of shops and services that can be found in the underground city – everything from restaurants and liquor stores to public services like metro stations, banks, and post offices. We’ll peek outside to admire the impressive “The Ring” art installation.

Next up, a visit to Gare Centrale, Montreal’s central train station, which was built in the 1940s. Learn about the transportation hub’s history and the important role it had in the development of the city. Adjacent to Gare Centrale, we might head to the nearby 1000 de La Gauchetière, Montreal’s second-tallest building, to admire its popular indoor skating rink, self-proclaimed the “liveliest skating rink” in the city.

Your local Montreal guide will lead the way past Place Bonaventure to tell you a bit about the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and see its headquarters, before heading to Square Victoria. Visit a piece of history and snap a photo with an authentic Paris metro sign! Brought over when Montreal’s metro first opened in the 1960s, the sign is a tribute to the Canadian city’s French heritage. Then it’s time to hit some more cool tunnels!

If you didn’t get enough of Montreal history, architecture, and art in the first half of our walk, don’t worry, the later leg of our tour has plenty more of all three! We’ll visit the World Trade Centre Montreal and see a piece of the Berlin Wall that was gifted to the city in the 1990s. You’ll stop by Montreal landmarks, including the Convention Center and Complexe Desjardins, get a taste of Montreal’s multicultural side with a brief glimpse of Chinatown, and visit Canada’s largest performing arts centre, Place des Arts.

Finally, we’ll head to Montreal’s entertainment district – Quartier des Spectacles – and see where the world-renowned Montreal Jazz Festival and other major events take place each year. This is where your tour will finish, but not before your MTL Detours guide gives some personalized recommendations for things to do in Montreal, places to see, and the best food to try to make the most of your visit!

Meeting Point

Hotel Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Your MTL Detours guide will meet you in the lobby of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel (near the concierge desk).

Please note, we ask that all guests arrive at least 10 minutes before the tour start time. As our tours begin on time, latecomers may not be able to join the tour.

Our meeting location is centrally located in the heart of downtown Montreal, less than a 10-minute walk from either Peel metro station (subway) on the Green metro line or the Bonaventure metro station (subway) on the Orange metro line.

This tour ends in the Quartier des Spectacles (Entertainment District), near the Place-des-Arts metro station (subway) on the Green metro line.

What our customers say

FAQ

Participation requirements

This tour has an age minimum of 12 years old. Please check out our private tour option to include guests under 12.

Not wheelchair accessible and not suitable for guests with mobility restrictions, impairments or serious health issues. Please inquire about the possibility of booking a private tour.

Most of the 2-hour tour is walking or standing and places to sit are limited.

We cover approx. 2.5 mi/4km and guests can expect several staircases (mostly going down) and escalators.

What to Bring

  • A camera or cell phone for taking photos
  • Water to stay hydrated
  • As this is an intense walking tour, comfy footwear is essential!

About your guide

All MTL Detours guides are trained, certified, and licensed with the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec and the Association professionnelle des guides touristiques, as required by the City of Montreal.

Check out our About Us for more info on each of our amazing guides!

What language is my tour in?

Our walking tours are offered in English by default. If you’re looking for a tour in French, please contact us or check our private tours option to make arrangements. Merci beaucoup!

What is your minimum age?

The minimum age to attend is 12 years old. Please contact us or check our private tours option to schedule a tour with younger kids.

Does weather affect the tour?

This tour runs in all weather – rain, shine, or snow! However, we occasionally have to cancel a tour in the event of extreme or violent weather (severe thunderstorms, freezing rain, high winds, or major snowstorm, for example). Should this occur, you will be offered another date or a full refund. Please monitor your messages/email if inclement weather is expected.

How should I dress?

Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions! 

Cancellation policy

Our tours are 100% refundable up to 24 hours before the tour start time. Please be mindful that the later you wait to cancel, the harder it is for us to fill your spots. If you cancel less than 24 hours ahead of time or do not show up for the date and time that you booked, unfortunately, any sums paid will be 100% non-refundable. No-shows, bookings for incorrect dates/times and late arrivals are not eligible for refunds. We can try to fit you onto another tour, pending availability, but cannot guarantee this option. If you can’t make it, please contact us in advance to notify of your absence. For PRIVATE tours, the cancellation policy is 72 hours.

Price
FromCA$39

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