Montreal

Things to do in Montreal

Whether you’re planning a high-culture getaway or a weekend shopping spree, a gourmet sampling of the city’s most noteworthy restaurants or a tour of the city’s vibrant nightlife, you’ll be blown away by the range of things to do in Montreal. Stroll through the landscaped greenery of Mount Royal to take in gorgeous views of the city from on high, or take a funicular ride up to the Montreal Tower Observatory, housed at the 1976 Olympic Stadium, for a sweeping panorama of the city. For an unforgettable day of sightseeing, travel the cobblestoned streets of Old Montreal and dip into the shops and boutiques that line the Old Port on the St. Lawrence River, take in the architectural majesty of the Notre-Dame Basilica, and cap off your day with a visit to one of the area’s many fine dining establishments. To experience the city’s vibrant nightlife, head over to the Plateau district, a favorite of Montreal’s hip set.

Art lovers looking for things to do in Montreal shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, which houses a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, prints, drawings and photographs from European and North American masters; modern art aficionados should visit the Musée d’Art Contemporain for an unforgettable collection of contemporary masterpieces. Music lovers will want to visit in the summertime to take advantage of the city’s many music festivals, including the International Jazz Festival, while cinema buffs won’t want to miss out on the Fantasia and FIFA film festivals; the city is also home to 250 theater and dance companies that perform year-round.

At the city’s north end, Outremont is home to the city’s tony Francophones, and its main drag, Avenue Laurier Ouest, is one of Montreal’s main shopping and dining destinations.

Every year, during the first week of July, Montreal puts on this music celebration. Some acts have included Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon, and Mali's Amadou et Mariam, many of which play for free on outdoor states downtown.

The shop features a well-curated assortment of clothing and artifacts

Spread across 180 acres just a couple of miles east of downtown, the
nearly 80-year-old botanical garden is brilliantly landscaped and full
of surprises. Sure, there are the showstopping Rose Gardens, along with

After exploring Old Montreal, save time for a walk through Frederick Law Olmsted’s wooded and sprawling, 470-odd-acre Mont-Royal Park, which spans the northern edge of downtown and forms the western border of the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.

This ethnic enclave filled with Hasidic, Portuguese, Italian, and Greek communities has been immortalized in the novels of Mordecai Richler, who grew up here and returned often in his books.

Entering the stylish Whisky Lounge is a little like stepping (one imagines) into a Havana lounge, circa 1952. It’s not just the real Cuban cigars—you’re in Canada, after all—being sold and smoked in the clubby back-room salon.

The brewing tradition is alive and well in Quebec, nowhere more so than at this excellent, nothing-but-the-basics microbrewery just a few blocks east of Laurier’s tony boutiques—far enough away, that is, to maintain its authenticity.

To say that François Beauregard is a master of the simple, cotton-knit shirt is not to denigrate his design skills in any way. Inside his Saint-Laurent boutique, the shirts run from straightforward tanks to dressed-up tees that work equally well with suits or jeans.

Try to catch a performance by the Mittenstrings, an up-and-coming Montreal phenomenon.

p>Italian Canadians, Montreal’s largest ethnic group, originally settled in this far-north neighborhood after WWII. Italian is still spoken here, and you’ll find the Marché Jean-Talon, one of the best public food markets in the city.

Evidence that Montreal designers can compete on the world’s stage: the glorious interior of Pullman, which merges mid-century modernism (polished wooden tables, stone floors, and a palette of gray, black, and cream) with a hint of 21st-century baroque (a multitiered wine-glass and champagne-flute

What Lies Beneath: At first glance Montreal does not appear to be overcrowded, but maybe that’s because everyone is underground.

Dubuc made his name with his super-sleek men’s wear collections (in a palette that rarely strays far from black, gray, slate, or beige).