Visiting Montreal’s Biodome and Tower Observatory
This weekend we went to the Olympic Stadium and visited two of the most popular tourist sites in Montreal: the Biodome and the Tower Observatory.
The Biodome is a must-see for anyone visiting Montreal, even more so if you have young kids or teenagers. In it, you step into five different ecosystems of the Americas: The tropical forests of Venezuela and Brazil, The Laurentiane forest (a replica of the forests of Quebec and Ontario), the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence (covers the region from Tadoussac to the Atlantic), and the Polar regions of the Labrador coast and Sub-Antarctic islands. In these ecosystems you find animals native to the regions they represent, many roaming around freely (like the monkeys and birds) – so the Biodome is both a zoo and aquarium.
Our favorite ecosystem is the tropical forest, just because it is so different from any region you have here in Quebec. You’ll first be struck by the humidity when you walk in and it won’t take you long before you start sweating – the relative humidity is set at 70% which actually represents the the dryest time of year in the Amazon. It’s lush, green, and has some beautiful birds and colourful monkeys roaming freely through the trees.
All the ecosystems are special. The Gulf of Saint Lawrence ecosystem features a HUGE aquarium full of marine animals from the area. In the Laurentiane forest you’ll see beavers and porcupine, in the Polar regions you’ll have a closeup experience with penguins. It’s all fantastic.
We bought the “Space for Life” package (“Espace pour Vie” in French) ticket that combines 1) the Biodome and Observation tower, 2) the Botanical gardens/insectarium (which I’ve covered in the post linked here) and 3) the Montreal Biosphère museum (which I’ve covered in this post on Montreal museums). It costs $83 per person and is valid for 12 months (and you can visit as many times as you want).
Alternatively, you can just buy a ticket for the Biodome which costs $22.75.
Note: You should allocate between 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the Biodome.
The Observation tower is the tower of the Olympic Stadium. The tower is recognized by the Guiness book of records as the “tallest manmade leaning tower in the world”. Your ticket covers the funicular going to the top of the tower (the funicular takes 2 minutes). Great views.
Update: the observation tower is currently closed for renovations. It should re-open in 2025.
In all, we spent almost 3 enjoyable hours visiting the above. I recommend it to anyone.
Getting there. It’s very easy to get to the Olympic Stadium from downtown – a 10 minute ride on the metro to the Viau station. If you’re seeing the Botanical gardens it’s closer to get off the at Pie-IX station (note: it’s pronounced as “pee-neuf”).
The Biodome is very popular with school groups, don’t be surprised if there are lots of kids if you come on a weekday.
Related: The Best Views in Montreal
Related: What to See and Do in Montreal
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