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.

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.

Just to the east of downtown, Montreal’s gay village has terraced restaurants and clubs along Rue Saint-Denis (which runs through the Latin Quarter), and buzzing gay bars to the east on Rue Sainte-Catherine.

Eclectic Mile End space that's one part antiques shop and one part gallery.

This traditionally working-class western suburb has several surviving historic sights, including the lovely Maison Saint-Gabriel.

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.

The kooky sister establishment to bar Plan B, Bily Kun hangs mounted ostrich heads along its 20-foot-high walls by way of decoration.

An antiques and curios shop opened in 1975, Arthur Quentin has since expanded to offer housewares, accessories, clothing, cookware, and other decorative items.

Close to the bike paths along the Lachine Canal, Le Marche Atwater pieces together a farmers’ market atmosphere from a mix of pastry shops, chocolatiers, and flower stalls.

The supermarket is the winner of the People's Choice Award for design.

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.

Stop in at this 2009-opened boutique to pick up cult clothing brands Supra and Elm, plus works by up-and-coming Montreal artists.