The Getaway
Discover the Magic of Montreal: Itineraries for Every Type of Traveler

Welcome to Montreal, a city that will steal your heart with its special mix of history, culture, and modern charm. As the biggest city in Canada's Quebec province, Montreal has something for everyone, from art fans and food lovers to couples looking for a romantic trip and adventurers who want to explore the great outdoors.

Montreal is known for its amazing architecture, with the historic Old Montreal district showing off beautiful old-world buildings and the famous Notre-Dame Basilica. The city also has the lovely Mount Royal Park, which offers stunning views of the cityscape.

Food lovers will be in paradise in Montreal, as the city is famous for its incredible food scene. From tasty French dishes to classic Canadian meals and flavors from around the world, there are so many delicious options to choose from.

Montreal is also a city that knows how to have a good time, with exciting festivals and events happening all year long. The Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival are just two of the many fun events that bring visitors from all over the world.

In this guide, we've put together plans for different types of travelers, including culture and art lovers, foodies, couples, day trippers to Quebec City and Mont-Tremblant, those looking for European charm, and young urban explorers. Get ready to fall in love with Montreal and all it has to offer!

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01 Discover Montreal's iconic attractions in one day

If you only have one day, start it by exploring Old Montreal, the historic heart of the city. Take a leisurely walk along the cobblestone streets and marvel at the stunning architecture of buildings such as the Notre-Dame Basilica, a breathtaking example of the Gothic Revival style. Consider joining a guided walking tour to discover the area's fascinating history and visit iconic landmarks like Place Jacques-Cartier and City Hall.

When lunchtime arrives, make your way to Schwartz's Deli, a beloved Montreal institution renowned for its delectable smoked meat sandwiches. Be prepared for a bit of a wait in line, but rest assured, it's well worth it for a taste of this legendary dish.

In the afternoon, venture to Mount Royal Park, the city's most expansive green space. Embark on a hike to the summit of the mountain to take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city, or opt to rent a bicycle and explore the park's numerous trails. Be sure not to miss the Mount Royal Chalet, a charming building that provides a perfect backdrop for a memorable photo.

As the day winds down, treat yourself to dinner at a local favorite such as Au Pied de Cochon or L'Express. These renowned restaurants showcase the finest of Montreal's culinary scene, offering dishes that artfully blend French and Canadian influences. To ensure a table, it's wise to make a reservation in advance.

Place Jacques-Cartier Mystic Stock Photography / Shutterstock.com

02 Experience the best of Montreal in a weekend

Enter the weekend with a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It's one of the city's best cultural spots. The museum has works by Canadian and international artists, as well as a pretty sculpture garden.

In the afternoon, explore the Plateau neighborhood. It's known for colorful houses, unique shops, and a fun vibe. Try Montreal's famous bagels at St-Viateur Bagel. Or grab a coffee at a cafe on Avenue du Mont-Royal.

For dinner, go to the trendy Mile End area. There are lots of restaurants along Boulevard Saint-Laurent. You can find anything from classic Jewish delis to creative farm-to-table places.

On your second day, check out the Jean-Talon Market. It's one of the biggest outdoor markets in North America. Sample local fruits and veggies, cheeses, and baked treats. Watch locals do their weekly shopping.

In the afternoon, visit the Montreal Biodome. It's a cool museum that recreates four ecosystems from the Americas. See animals like penguins, monkeys, and lynx in their natural habitats.

End your weekend with a fun night out. Watch a show at the Place des Arts. Or go to the Quartier des Spectacles for live music and shows. For a chill evening, try one of the many bars or breweries in the city. Dieu du Ciel and Le Saint-Bock are a couple good options.

The Biodome R.M. Nunes / Shutterstock.com

03 Immerse yourself in Montreal's culture and cuisine

Start your day by exploring Montreal's Little Italy neighborhood. Browse the shops along St-Laurent Boulevard and sample authentic Italian cuisine. Then, head to the vibrant Gay Village, known for its lively nightlife and LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere.

Take a day trip to the scenic Laurentians region, just north of Montreal. In the winter, enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing at one of the many resorts. During the summer, hike the trails, go mountain biking, or swim in the lakes.

Back in the city, embark on a food tour to taste Montreal's iconic dishes, such as poutine, smoked meat, and bagels. Alternatively, take a cooking class to learn how to make these delicacies yourself.

Visit the McCord Museum to discover the history and culture of Montreal and Quebec. Explore exhibits featuring artifacts from the city's early days as a fur trading post and learn about the province's indigenous peoples.

Conclude your week with a visit to the Moment Factory, a multimedia studio renowned for its innovative projects. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to witness how they create immersive experiences like the Lumina Night Walk series.

Throughout your stay, keep an eye out for festivals and events happening in the city, such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival in the summer or the Nuit Blanche.

04 Immerse in Montreal's vibrant arts scene

The cultural scene here is incredibly rich, and we recommend you begin the journey at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the biggest museum in the city. You can explore its huge collection of Canadian and international art. You'll see works by famous artists like Rembrandt, Picasso, and Jean-Paul Riopelle. Make sure to check out the museum's amazing Napoleon collection. It has artifacts that belonged to the emperor himself.

After that, go to the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). There, you can discover modern contemporary art. The museum shows works by both well-known and new artists from Quebec, Canada, and all over the world. You can take a guided tour or do a workshop to learn more about the exhibitions.

In the afternoon, visit the famous Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montreal. This beautiful Gothic Revival church has detailed wooden carvings, colorful stained glass windows, and an incredible pipe organ made by Casavant Frères. You can attend a daily organ concert to really appreciate how the basilica sounds.

End your day at the Place des Arts, which is Montreal's main performing arts center. See if there's a performance by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Opéra de Montréal, or Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Or, explore the nearby Quartier des Spectacles. There, you'll find lots of cultural venues, outdoor performances, and interactive art installations.

During your stay, keep an eye out for exhibitions at smaller galleries too. Some good ones are the Phi Centre, the Galerie Division, and the Galerie Art Mûr. These places often show works by new local artists. They also offer a more personal viewing experience.

Art museum Inspired By Maps / Shutterstock.com

05 Savor the flavors of Montreal: A foodie's guide to the best eats in the city

Start your food journey in Montreal at Jean-Talon Market, one of North America's biggest outdoor markets. Sample local fruits and veggies, artisan cheeses, and fresh baked treats. Make sure to try Quebec's famous maple syrup in candy, butter, or tea form.

For lunch, go to Schwartz's Deli, a classic Montreal spot that's been making delicious smoked meat sandwiches since 1928. Their secret is a 10-day meat curing process and the perfect spice mix. Expect a line at this busy place that's always packed with locals and visitors.

In the afternoon, walk around the fun Plateau Mont-Royal area, which has lots of cool restaurants and cafes. Check out La Banquise, a 24/7 diner with over 30 kinds of poutine, a classic Quebec dish made with fries, gravy, and cheese curds. They have unique options like smoked meat or vegan poutine.

For dinner, splurge on a meal at Toqué!, often called one of the best restaurants in Canada. Chef Normand Laprise's creative menu features the best local ingredients in dishes like foie gras parfait, duck magret, and lobster risotto. Book a table way ahead of time.

Finish your day at Juliette et Chocolat, a popular dessert chain all about chocolate. Treat yourself to their rich hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, or one of their many chocolate pastries. They have a few locations around the city, perfect for satisfying a sweet craving after a day of yummy, savory food.

While you're in Montreal, explore the exciting food scene, from cozy bistros and global cuisine to gourmet food trucks and craft breweries. With its deep culinary roots and love of creativity, Montreal will make a big impact on your taste buds.

Schwartz's Deli Arthur Villator / Shutterstock.com

06 Ignite your romance in Montreal: A couple's dream getaway

Get into the mood of a romantic Montreal getaway by checking into a charming boutique hotel in Old Montreal. Hotel Nelligan has exposed brick walls and cozy fireplaces that set the perfect mood for a couple's retreat. Once you're settled, take a leisurely stroll hand-in-hand through the cobblestone streets. Admire the historic architecture and quaint shops.

As the day goes on, visit the stunning Montreal Botanical Garden. Wander through themed gardens like the serene Japanese Garden or the vibrant Chinese Garden. Find quiet moments to sit and enjoy each other's company amidst the beautiful surroundings. For a truly romantic experience, visit during the Gardens of Light event in the fall. The gardens are illuminated with enchanting displays.

In the evening, treat yourselves to an intimate dinner at a restaurant known for its romantic atmosphere. Ile Flottante is in a beautifully restored Old Montreal building. It offers classic French cuisine with a modern twist and an extensive wine list. Request a table by the window for a charming view of the streets below.

After dinner, take a sunset walk up Mont-Royal for breathtaking views of the city skyline. Find a quiet spot to sit and watch as the city lights sparkle to life, creating a magical and romantic ambiance. Visit during the week when there are fewer crowds for a more secluded experience.

End your evening at a cozy jazz club like Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill. Snuggle up together and enjoy live music performances by local and international artists. Sip on craft cocktails or share a bottle of wine as you immerse yourselves in the intimate atmosphere.

Throughout your stay, don't forget to capture your romantic moments at some of Montreal's most picturesque spots. The Pont Jacques-Cartier bridge provides a stunning backdrop for a couple's photo, especially when lit up at night. The cobblestone streets and historic buildings of Old Montreal also offer many opportunities for romantic snapshots.

Couples looking to explore beyond the city can take a day trip to a nearby winery or the charming town of Mont-Tremblant. The Vignoble de l'Orpailleur winery, just outside the city, offers tours, tastings, and a lovely picnic area. Enjoy a glass of wine and each other's company surrounded by scenic vineyards.

No matter how you spend your time in Montreal, the city's old-world charm, stunning architecture, and romantic atmospheres are sure to create lasting memories for you and your partner.

07 The perfect Montreal day trip itinerary for Quebec City visitors

Start your Montreal day trip by exploring the charming streets of Old Montreal. This historic district has stunning architecture, cobblestone paths, and quaint shops. Take a guided walking tour to learn about the area's fascinating history and visit famous landmarks like the Notre-Dame Basilica, a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture. Make sure to take a photo at Place Jacques-Cartier, a lively square in the heart of Old Montreal.

When you get hungry, go to one of Montreal's famous delis, like Schwartz's, for a taste of their legendary smoked meat sandwiches. Be ready to wait a bit, as this popular eatery is loved by locals and visitors. Or, grab a quick bite at one of the many cafes or food trucks around the city.

In the afternoon, go to Mount Royal Park, the city's largest green space. Hike or take a leisurely walk to the top for amazing views of Montreal's skyline. If you're feeling adventurous, rent a bike and explore the park's many trails. Visit the Mount Royal Chalet, a beautiful building that's perfect for a memorable photo.

As the day winds down, do some shopping along Rue Sainte-Catherine, one of Montreal's main shopping streets. Check out unique boutiques or browse the latest fashions at department stores like Simons or Ogilvy. To see Montreal's vibrant arts scene, visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which has an impressive collection of Canadian and international works.

Before heading back to Quebec City, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of Montreal's popular restaurants. For a classic French bistro experience, try L'Express. For a taste of Montreal's creative cuisine, visit Au Pied de Cochon. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time to get a table.

With this perfect day trip plan, Quebec City visitors can experience the best of Montreal's history, culture, food, and outdoor attractions in just one day. Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a camera to capture the memories, and enjoy the city's unique French-Canadian charm.

Scenic view of the city of Montreal in Quebec with colorful autumn foliage from the Chalet du Mont Royal (Mount Royal) Kondiaronk belvedere viewpoint. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

08 Explore Mont-Tremblant's natural wonders: A day trip guide

Mont Tremblant, beautiful national park and village in perfect harmony with nature.The unique and wonderful Mont-Tremblant resort village, Quebec, Canada. High quality photo.

Take a day trip from Montreal to the beautiful Mont-Tremblant area. It's a great place for people who love being outside. You can get there by bus or car in about 90 minutes.

Once you're there, go to Mont-Tremblant National Park. They have hiking trails for all skill levels, from easy to hard. The Lac-des-Femmes trail is a favorite. It has amazing views of the mountains and lakes.

In the winter, Mont-Tremblant is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort has over 100 runs for beginners to experts. You can rent gear there or bring your own.

For a more relaxed time, take a gondola ride to the top of Mont-Tremblant. You'll see incredible views of the Laurentian Mountains and the area around them. Remember to bring your camera!

When you need a break, stop at a cafe or restaurant in Mont-Tremblant for a quick meal. Try a classic poutine or a warm soup after being outside all day. Make sure to try some of the famous maple syrup in candy, butter, or even a maple latte.

On your way back to Montreal, think about stopping at a local food stand or market. You can taste some of the yummy food from the area and bring a little bit of your trip back with you.

After an exciting day exploring Mont-Tremblant, you'll feel refreshed and energized when you get back to Montreal. Relax at one of the city's popular spas or enjoy a delicious meal at a top restaurant while thinking about your amazing day trip.

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09 Immerse in Montreal's old-world European charm

Old Montreal is a historic district that feels like a charming French village. It has cobblestone streets and beautiful old buildings from the 1600s and 1700s. Take a walk on Rue Saint-Paul, the oldest street in the city. Make sure to visit Notre-Dame Basilica, a stunning church with Gothic architecture. Inside, you'll see amazing wooden carvings, colorful stained glass, and a huge pipe organ.

Next, go to Place Jacques-Cartier, a lively square that's similar to the busy plazas in Europe. Have lunch at one of the cute cafes or restaurants around the square. You can enjoy French-inspired food like crepes, quiche, or steak frites. After lunch, check out the unique shops and art galleries nearby. Look for a special souvenir to remember your trip.

In the afternoon, explore the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood. It's known for its colorful Victorian houses, trendy shops, and artistic vibe. Walk along Avenue du Mont-Royal and pop into local boutiques and artsy shops. Take a break for afternoon tea at a cozy cafe, or try Montreal's famous bagels at St-Viateur Bagel. They've been making perfect bagels since 1957.

For dinner, treat yourself to a fancy meal at a top-rated French restaurant like L'Express or Leméac. Enjoy classic dishes like escargots, beef tartare, or duck confit. Pair your meal with a glass of fine French wine. After dinner, take a walk through the magical streets of Old Montreal. Admire the city's timeless beauty under the soft light of the street lamps. You'll feel like you're in a charming European city without even leaving North America.

10 Uncover Montreal's trendy hotspots and hidden gems

Begin your Montreal adventure by exploring the colorful Plateau Mont-Royal area. Walk through the streets and look at the pretty Victorian houses, cool shops, and fun cafes. You'll see amazing murals and street art on the buildings, showing off Montreal's artistic side. Grab a yummy Montreal-style bagel from St-Viateur Bagel, a famous bagel shop that's been around since 1957.

In the afternoon, check out the Mile End district, a hip spot known for its indie music, vintage stores, and lots of different foods. Look for cool stuff at places like Drawn & Quarterly, a famous comic book store, or Phonopolis, a shop all about vinyl records. Have a tasty lunch at Wilensky's Light Lunch, an old-school diner that's been serving their famous Wilensky Special sandwich since 1932.

Next, head over to the exciting Gay Village, a fun and welcoming neighborhood with lots of nightlife. Walk along Rue Sainte-Catherine, the main street that's closed to cars in the summer. Enjoy the lively energy, bright decorations, and outdoor patios. Stop by Le Saloon, a cool place that's a bar, restaurant, and live music spot all in one for a drink and a taste of the local LGBTQ+ scene.

For an amazing evening, go to the Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal's busy arts and entertainment area. Watch a live show at one of the many theaters, music venues, or outdoor stages. In the summer, this place has lots of festivals, like the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs comedy festival, which brings in visitors from all over the world.

While you're in Montreal, make sure to use the city's bike-sharing system, BIXI, to explore the many bike paths and find hidden spots off the main roads. If you're looking for a budget-friendly place to stay, think about M Montreal Hostel or Auberge Alternative. Both have a friendly vibe and are great for meeting other travelers.

By following this plan, young urban explorers will have the chance to dive into Montreal's exciting culture, check out trendy neighborhoods, and make unforgettable memories in this amazing Canadian city.

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