Montreal

Montreal Travel Guide

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.

For a deeper look at Canadian art, don’t miss the Beaux-Arts museum in the heart of downtown’s Golden Square Mile.

The oldest public market in Montreal, the Lachine Market dates to the 1840’s. The farmers’ market became a permanent market in 1909, and the bulk of items on sale are still basics like local cheeses, fresh breads, and garden vegetables.

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.

For three weekends in late January and early February, Parc Jean-Drapeau becomes an outdoor celebration of winter with the Fête des Neiges, or snow festival. Family-friendly activities include snow tubing, ice hockey, zip lining, and outdoor skating along sections of the St. Lawrence River.

A sprawling central business district, downtown also encompasses the stately McGill University, gorgeous mansions along Rue Sherbrooke, and some of the city’s top museums (Musée des Beaux-Arts; Musée des Arts Décoratifs).

Site of the 1976 Summer Olympics, this complex of hulking concrete buildings—and former home of the Montreal Expos (now used for concerts and events)—is located a few miles east of downtown and also includes the city’s lovely botanic garden.

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).

In May 2009, the city launched North America’s largest public bike-share program, rolling out 3,000 bikes at 400 docksa round the city available 24 hours a day for rent at $5 a day.

Explore the four biospheres here; the Atlantic puffin exhibit is a favorite.

Admission: Adults: $16 adults; Seniors: $12; Kids 5–7: $8; Kids 2–4: $2.50.

In recent years, Montreal’s music scene has given rise to a parade of innovative bands, including the Arcade Fire and the Stars. If you want to take the pulse of the scene, head to this intimate no-frills café and performance venue.

Once you have the gourmet accoutrements from the Les Touilleurs kitchenware store, cab it up to Little Italy and this enormous food market, which is the city’s culinary epicenter. Here, you can stop by the William J.

This eclectic little boutique/art gallery showcases paintings by owner Lysanne Pepin, quirky jewelry, and a handful of well-priced bohemian women’s clothing lines, including its own Espace Couture label.

Historically home to the city’s working-class, English-speaking black community, the gentrifying, still-off-the-tourist-map neighborhood that gave rise to Montreal’s famed jazz scene is now attracting attention for its hip new restaurants.