From the cobblestone streets and the soaring architecture of the Notre-Dame Basilica, to the bistro tables crowding the sidewalks, you might think you’re in a European city, untouched by time. Here are the top things to do in Montreal next time you’re in town.
Montréal is truly the best of both worlds, where the charm and romance of the past meets the multicultural energy of the future. Foodies will delight in the cozy bistros and classic fare, such as Montréal bagels, smoked meats, and poutine, not to mention the five-star restaurants. To work it off, hike up Mount Royal to Montréal’s iconic illuminated cross and get rewarded with sweeping views of the city.
One of the biggest perks of visiting Montreal is their amazing public transit system. Avoid the traffic and experience the city like a local. The Montreal Metro is your golden ticket to easily access all of the unique neighborhoods Montreal has to offer. After hitting up the essentials such as the downtown core and Old Montreal, try hopping over to one of the dozens of unique neighborhoods depending on what you’re in the mood for. Interested in art? Take a walk through Mile End or Le Plateau. Are you a foodie? Try Griffintown or Côte-des-Neiges. Want to see one of the biggest and proudest gay neighborhoods in North America? Hit up The Village. No matter which corner of Montreal you end up in, there’s bound to be an endless supply of culture, history, and, of course, delicious eats.
Eats n’ Drinks
If you’re someone who likes to try local specialties, you’re bound to have a long list during your visit to Montreal. The place to be if you want to try signature French-Canadian dishes such as poutine and tourtière, but also foods unique to Montreal such as the Montreal style bagel, and Montreal smoked meat. If you’re in the mood to hit up a café, there are an endless slew of options. Not only will you get your caffeine fix and delicious baked goods, but you will also get to experience the French inspired Instagram-worthy aesthetics. And when the sun goes down, head over to The Plateau if you want a sophisticated wine bar or lounge. But if you really want to let loose, hit up one of the many bars or clubs on Rue Crescent.
Things to Do in Montreal with Kids
Montreal is the perfect place to be when it comes to keeping your kids happy and entertained. Besides the number of spots such as the Biodome or Planetarium to bring out their inner explorers, there are many parks to choose from, a lively pier, and the resident amusement park, La Ronde. A short subway ride from downtown lies Laval, offering family-friendly activities for all ages. Little scientists will be thrilled by Cosmodome, an immersive space experience, and your older adventurers will flip for indoor skydiving at SkyVenture or indoor surfing at Maeva Surf. Unwind with a hike or paddle at Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, or eat and shop at Centropolis, an outdoor retail and event complex.
Festivals, Festivals, Festivals!
No visit to Montréal would be complete without taking in a festival. Millions enjoy the Festival International de Jazz every year. The festival fever continues in winter with Nuit Blanche, a quintessential all-night fête of the arts, hosted in venues across the city. Younger revelers will enjoy the annual Fête des Neiges winter carnival, perfect for families looking for skating, sliding, and snowy fun. If you’re in luck, you’ll be in town for the infamous Just For Laughs comedy festival. For the foodies out there, Montreal is host to a Food Truck Festival active June to October. And if hyped up music festivals are more your cup of tea, Montreal has endless options for you. Whether you’re soaking up the sun at Osheaga, or dancing in -30 degree weather at Igloofest, Montreal has you covered year-round.