Montreal is home to both Anglophones and Francophones, the delightfully queer and the wonderfully straight, both old and new architecture, delicious cheap eats, intricate upscale meals, swanky clubs, laid-back bars, and so much more.
If you’ve ever visited Montreal, you know a couple things for certain: They love to party, they love to eat well, they are a beautiful people, and the culture is so varied that everyone who visits the city feels at home. Never been? Check out these 8 things to do and see and we guarantee you’ll want to immediately begin planning your weekend getaway in Montreal!
Take a walk up Mont Royal for one of the best views of the downtown core and of the city’s ports. Walk up the winding gravel path or cut straight to the chase and take the wooden stairs to the top, but the view from the Mont Royal lookout is worth the short trek. Bonus: If you find yourself in Montreal on a Sunday (in the spring, summer, or fall), spend a couple hours in the afternoon hanging out with thousands of locals who show up to play music, eat, and hang out on the Park Avenue side of the mountain for the weekly ‘Tam Tams’ event.
Grab brunch in the Old Port and take a walk on the old cobblestone streets of Saint Paul and De la Commune. For delicious brunch, we recommend the meat lover’s plate at le Cartet and for lunch, try something off the fresh menu at Olive & Gourmando (our favorites: The Cuban sandwich or the ‘Egg on your Face’ Panini!). After food, be sure to walk around the Old Port and take in all of its charm. Dessert? Grab a beaver tail on De la Commune, or course!
Visit the Olympic Stadium to see where magic happened in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. For maximum amounts of fun, go on the first Friday of the month (winter not included) for the Montreal food truck festival! Alternatively, visit it in the fall and checkout the beautiful Gardens of Light next door at the Botanical Gardens!
Take the shuttle bus from the Jean-Drapeau metro station and visit the Montreal Casino, known to be the largest casino in Canada! Whether you enjoy playing a few hands of blackjack or not, the Casino is located on an island facing Montreal and is definitely worth checking out (if not for a little gambling but at least for the view of Montreal that it affords)!
Take in a show at Quartier des Spectacles, the entertainment district of Montreal. Montreal is known to host some of the best festivals in Canada and two of the best are run out of this newly renovated district: The Montreal Jazz Fest and the Just For Laughs festival (taking place in June and July respectively). Not visiting in the summer? No worries. This neighborhood hosts the Montreal Opera, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Grand Ballets of Montreal so there is always something going on for visitors to check out!
Between the months of October and April (sometimes June if they’re on fire), head down to the Bell Centre and catch a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. You haven’t experienced the magic of a sports match if you’ve never been to the Bell Centre while the Canadiens are winning. They’re known to be one of the most intense hockey towns in the world and the excitement of the stadium on a winning night can bring tears to anyone’s eyes.
Take a stroll through LaFontaine Park! Bring a blanket, a picnic, some music, a book or some friends and you’re set. They have a charming man-made lake, a sports centre, and plenty of shade and green grass for you to enjoy an afternoon of relaxation. Alternatively, head up to the Villeray neighborhood and take out a southern BBQ-style picnic basket from one of Montreal’s top restaurants, Dinette Triple Crown. If you’re not on a diet, order the “Big Nasty” sandwich— we promise you won’t regret it. There’s a park across the street so you’ll still enjoy that picnic feel you were searching for.
Headed to Montreal in the winter? There are plenty of great ski/snowboard mountains to choose from. To the south is a bigger mountain, Bromont, and to the north you’ll find the smaller but still great Saint Sauveur, Mont Avila, and Mont Habitant. A little further north and you’ll reach Mont Tremblant, a local favourite due to its larger size and variety of ski paths.
There are so many great things to do in Montreal that we weren’t able to list plus dozens upon dozens of unmentioned, incredible restaurants. You can kayak down the Lachine Canal, visit the Jean Talon/Atwater markets, rent a BIXI bike and ride along the water, explore the Biodome, climb the steps of the impressive Saint Joseph’s Oratory, or check out one of their many museums (McCord Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, etc.). Your trip to Montreal is waiting!
FlightHub is the largest Canadian online travel agency and they commit themselves to offering a travel booking service that is simple, quick, and seamless. FlightHub devotes themselves to negotiating the best flight prices possible with over 210 airlines worldwide. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for travel inspiration and cheap flights!