Montreal Travel Guide

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.

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

Though Montreal after dark used to mean La Calèche du Sexe and other such red-light joints downtown, the city’s nightlife is now centered around bars instead of poles.

Explore and sample imported French goods and fresh Canadian products at these four public markets;

Olympic Pedigree: Home to rowing events in the 1976 Games, and one of the largest artificial outdoor rowing facilities in North America.


Between Jacques-Cartier and Clock Tower quays in the Old Port, the Patinoire du Bassin Bonsecours is a scenic outdoor skating rink along the St. Lawrence River. Each evening, from December to mid-March, a DJ plays music in styles ranging from classical to 1980’s hits.

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.

Step inside this tiny chocolatier and the powerful aromas of caramel, spice, milk, and yes, chocolate are as comforting as stepping back into your mother’s kitchen—though we doubt she was turning out such haute treats.

Fans of vintage clothing shouldn’t miss this 15-year-old shop for its well-curated selection of designer hats, scarves, and party dresses from the 40’s to the 70’s.

Montreal has great bike trails throughout the city and along the water. The best of them is the one that follows the Lachine Canal for about nine miles, from the old city to the western suburbs.

Designed by Marius Dufresne and completed in 1914, the five-story Maisonneuve Market is located in its namesake district. Although historically a daily market, from the 1960s to 1995 there was a police office and cultural center in the Beaux-Arts building.

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.

Once just a pet project of insect collector Georges Brossard, the Insectarium officially opened in 1990 within the Montreal Botanical Garden. More than 150,000 arthropods—of which insects are a sub-group—are on display at the museum.