This multicultural hotspot—home to some of the world’s best bagels and poutine—is also the second-largest city in Canada. While many travellers add this destination to their Canadian tour, leaving is harder than it looks… In fact, you may never want to go home! Our Montreal travel guide is filled with local flair. With that being said, finding things to occupy your time in this city will never be a challenge.
Full Foodie Experience
If anyone knows how to prepare an iconic Montreal breakfast, it’s Arthurs Nosh Bar. Whether devouring a plate of their famous cottage cheese pancakes or Challah french toast, it’s impossible to leave Arthurs without a full belly and grin.
Picking up fresh bagels from St-Viateur Bagel is another classic breakfast option in the city. For optimal satisfaction, grab a container of cream cheese and have a quaint picnic in one of the city’s parks. For lunch, we highly recommend visiting Time Out Market Montreal. The Time Out Market houses a variety of high-quality, small-scale restaurants, that make fine dining fun and financially accessible! It is also an incredible way to get a sense of the city’s cultural and culinary influences.
If you haven’t splurged on food yet… dinner is a great time to go big or go home! While there is an endless list of exquisite restaurants to choose from, Bistro Nolah, Joe Beef, Tuck Shop, Le Darling, Les Enfants Terribles (in Place Ville Marie), and Modavie are excellent options.
Museums, Churches and Impressive Architecture
Montreal is an art lover’s paradise. In the heart of Montreal, it is not uncommon to see captivating and colourful murals displayed across the length of buildings. In fact, the city is filled with art every summer during the annual MURAL fest. Saint-Laurent street, in particular, is a terrific location to spot impressive street art. The city also has a large selection of incredible art museums to visit, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (also referred to as the MAC) and the Arsenal Art Contemporain Montréal.
In addition to their love of art, Montrealers are equally passionate about preserving culture and history, and this is evident when visiting their museums. The Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History, and the Holocaust Museum, in particular, are ones that everyone should see. Spending time exploring Saint Joseph’s Oratory atop Mount Royal is also highly recommended. Lastly, taking a stroll through the Old Port and Old Montreal is non-negotiable. While you’re there, stop by the famous Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal.
Reconnect with Nature
While there are nature parks and reserves located throughout the city, many locals flock to Mount Royal on a regular basis. This is a place of refuge for many looking to get away from the city, and it is put to great use year-round! Whether skating on Beaver Lake, packing a picnic in the summer, or hiking up to the lookout, Mount Royal never disappoints.
If plants and flowers are more your things we highly recommend the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Those that want to spend time with animals, should also consider visiting the Eco-Museum or Biodome.
Last but not least, everyone exploring the city should add these stops to their bucket list!
For the young at heart, spending a day at LaRonde is a fantastic way to let loose and have fun! For a more sophisticated night on the town, grab a few drinks in Old Montreal and ride the Old Port Ferris wheel to get the best views of the city at night. Seeing a show at Place Des Arts is also an experience that you won’t want to miss! And finally, instead of picking up groceries at a supermarket, stop by the Atwater and Jean-Talon Markets for local produce and homemade goods.
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By: Briahna McTigue