Even if you only have 24 hours to spend in Montreal, you’ll still be able to see the best of the city. Follow the itinerary below and you’ll cover the entire island, from Dorval in the west, to Laval in the north, all while experiencing Montreal like a local.
Morning Museum Hopping
Start your day with a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The gallery’s permanent collection includes works by impressionist masters like Degas and Renoir, but since you’ll be tight on time, head straight to the latest exhibition. The always-interesting temporary displays explore art through the lenses of fashion, history, and pop culture – upcoming themes include the couture designs of Thierry Mugler and the mummies of ancient Egypt.
Next, head to the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC). Located in the lively Quartier des Spectacles, this modern art gallery is a frequent backdrop to the neighborhood’s many festivals and displays. Inside, the works on show – including video installations and other experimental projects – are equally interactive.
Lunch With a View
Perched beside the MAC, Brasserie T is ideally located for a midday pause. The restaurant’s glass walls and sidewalk patio make it one of the city’s best people-watching venues, but classic French fare is its real draw. Arrive before 2 pm to order one of the excellent tartares – and if you’re feeling festive, pair it with a glass of the restaurant’s own-label sparkling wine.
By early afternoon, Montreal’s busier streets and shopping areas will be drawing crowds. Head west to Pointe Claire, where you’ll find a charming collection of shops, pubs, and cafes scattered along Lakeshore Drive.
Vintage boutique La Friperie du Village is a treasure trove for fashion collectors. There’s no prominent signage, but you’ll know you’re in the right place when you spot the shop’s impressive display of Louis Vuitton goods. Audiophiles will appreciate the well-curated vinyl collection at Phonopolis West, a satellite of the celebrated independent Mile End record store by the same name.
You’ll be able to drop off your finds at your hotel if you’ve booked a room at the Hampton Inn and Suites Montreal Dorval.
The Big Finish
You could say that Montreal has two great loves: food and hockey. Spend your evening discovering these passions alongside the locals.
Start with an early bite at Marconi, a casual bistro in the super-trendy Mile-Ex neighborhood. The restaurant opens at 5 pm, which leaves plenty of time to taste your way through its celebrated small plates and creative cocktails. (Like most of Montreal’s current hotspots, Marconi also curates a great natural wine list.)
After dinner, pick up the Orange line at Jean-Talon metro station and head to Montmorency, its northernmost destination. From here, you’re just a two-minute walk from Place Bell, home of the Laval Rocket. AHL tickets are more readily available – and much more affordable – than their NHL counterparts, and the atmosphere surrounding this Canadiens-affiliated team is equally electric. Don’t forget to stop by the bar at Hilton Montreal/Laval to celebrate a win.
Pro tip: After a whirlwind trip itinerary, take the stress out of your early-morning flight by staying your last night at an airport hotel, like the DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal Airport.