Guide to the underground city

Leisure activities Gastronomy Indoor Downtown - Quartier des spectacles Shopping
  • Berlin Wall
  • The Montreal Eaton Centre
Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant

Explore Montréal’s famed Underground City, a pedestrian network right under the heart of the city that links metro stations to shopping plazas for over 33 kilometres (about 20.5 miles). It’s a lifesaver when you want to stroll, shop and eat away from the hot blazing sun or the freezing snow, but it’s also a go-to destination for the whole family anytime.

Explore the whole 20 miles for shopping, movies, activities and unforgettable good times.

Grande-Place du complexe Desjardins - Évènement "Le Complexe s'anime"

Your starting line

Complexe Desjardins is your easternmost starting point for the RESO network: the guide to Montréal’s Underground City. Find the RÉSO signs throughout the Underground City to figure out where you’re heading on the Underground Pedestrian Network. Smack bang in Quartier des Spectacles, Complexe Desjardins is a stunning mall right across from Place des Festivals (interior fountain included). It’s only the beginning: explore the whole 20 miles for lots more shopping, movies, activities and unforgettable good times.

Complexe Desjardins - La Grande-Place

Souvenir central

Looking for goodies to remember your trip by? The Underground City has got tons of made-in-Montréal shops for you. At Complexe Desjardins you’ll find a store dedicated entirely to local crafts: L’Art des artisans du Québec, full of woodwork, blown glass and amazing finery. There’s also fine Montréal-made jewellery on the spot at Joaillerie St-Jean or Bijouterie Ralph et Elle, and books by local authors at Renaud-Bray. Further west throughout the Underground City you’ll find brands like Rudsak leather goods, Squish gourmet artisanal (and local) candies. And of course the Montréal-based, internationally famous ALDO shoes.

Centre Eaton de Montréal

Head-to-toe style

Get a makeover in a day in the Underground City’s many, many clothes, shoes and accessories shops. You can even get your nails and hair done underground! And if you end up shopping so much at the Centre Eaton de Montréal’s clothes and accessories stores that your new threads won’t fit into your luggage, stop by Bentley to buy a bigger bag. Stop into Cours Mont-Royal for a winning selection of high fashion stops, including Karl Lagerfeld, Prada, Mackage and DKNY. To avoid your bags weighing you down as you trek the Underground City’s other malls (Place Montréal Trust and Place Ville Marie among them), lockers are available on the Eaton Centre’s Tunnel level, in the food court. You can securely store coats, bags and other personal effects for a nominal price.

Time Out Market

Food for days

When you want a break from all the shopping, there are amazing food options. The Centre Eaton de Montréal is home to Time Out Market, a food hall that brings together different counters by some of the city’s best and most famous restaurants (including Toqué!, Paul Toussaint, Le Red Tiger and Moleskine). Place Ville Marie also has a beautiful food hall, Le Cathcart, where you can people-watch in the amazing indoor-outdoor space while feasting on next-level burritos, poke bowls, Korean fried chicken or Montréal bagels and lox. Nearby at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel, conveniently connected to the city’s central train station, you’ll find the amazing Marché Artisans, where you can get food to go or enjoy a selection of meals from various stations. Or sit down for a gastronomic experience at the stylish Rosélys Restaurant. All the malls connected by the Underground Pedestrian Network boast their own food courts, as well.

Quartier des spectacles - Place des arts

Entertainment district

When you want a break from all the shopping, wining and dining, there’s entertainment galore. The Underground City links to the Place des Arts and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (temporarily located in Place Ville Marie). There’s also a whole art network in the Underground City itself, thanks to the Art Souterrain festival. Check out the public art network maps on the Art Public Montréal website too; many are reachable via the Underground City. 

Stay wired

Out of data? Complexe Desjardins provides all visitors with free Wi-Fi throughout the (mouth-watering) food court. The same is true at the Centre Eaton de Montréal on the Tunnel level and on the 4th floor in the Espace Services, and in many other spots throughout the Underground City. If your phone battery is low, stop by the Information Desk on the street level at the Centre Eaton de Montréal and you may be able to borrow a portable charger or plug yourself into the Espace Services charging station. Want your own charger, or any other electronic device? There are nearly a dozen electronic stores onsite to serve you.

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. (All were transformative.) Her free time is spent designing jewellery and laughing at her husband’s jokes.

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