A sexy French-Canadian metropolis that brims with an unlikely juxtaposition of European charm and North American energy, Montreal is, without a doubt, Canada’s most diverse and lively metropolis. With an incredibly exciting food scene, photogenic facades, glittering shops, a French heart and a Canadian charm – what’s not to love about this buzzing scene?
The eminent je ne sais quoi vibe blended with boundary-pushing architecture, and an undeniable creative vibe make this city quite a unique one, and one of the most fun to visit. There’s a certain style and elegance to Montreal that will just draw you in.
Bonjour and welcome to Montreal! You’ll be arriving at the Montreal Trudeau Airport (YUL), one of the busiest in the country but also one of the most well-connected to the city center. You can get to the city center using different forms of transportation:
· Bus: You can take 747 bus, and the trip will take you around 60 minutes and cost $10 for unlimited travel for 24 hours. You need to have exact change at the time, because no bills or notes are accepted.
· Taxi: A taxi will take you around 20 minutes, and will cost around $26.
Once you’ve dropped off your bags at the hotel, it’ll be time to head to Old Montreal. A croissant and un café au lait will be much needed after your trip, so choose one of the intimate cafes along the street and settle down. We recommend a light bite at Olive & Gourmando.
Your exploration will start at Pointe-a-Calliere, the Museum of Archeology and History. You’ll first see it from far away – a strikingly modern building that houses treasures from all over old Montreal and from different historical standpoints. Take your time exploring the remnants of the underground city, walk through the stone-paved streets and learn about the story unfolding right in front of your eyes. There’s also an exhibition that you can visit to learn about worldwide archeology.
Luckily for you, the Old Port is absolutely filled with things to do, see and experience. Grab lunch at Restaurant du Vieux-Port, an excellent dining establishment with an outdoor patio.
To walk off your lunch, stroll down rue St-Paul, the oldest street in the city and enjoy skimming through the dozens of craft shops, quirky boutiques and artisan stores.
A masterpiece of neo-Gothic architecture that dates back to the year 1656 awaits. The beloved Notre-Dame Basilica is one of Montreal’s most popular attractions, soaring majestically into the sky with a beautiful exterior and an even more striking interior. Don’t miss out on the sound & light show And Then There Was Light. The show beautifully highlights the history of the church.
End your first day at Bonaparte and enjoy a delightful culinary experience. If you’ve still got some energy in you (which we sure hope you do!), head over to Modavie for live music and incredible drinks.
Downtown Montreal vibrates with an eclectic energy – the energy of restaurants, boutiques, shops, museums and galleries. Start your day by some bistro-ish food at Bagel Expressions Beaver Hall, and then it will be time to embark on a journey of exploration! Discovering the Underground Pedestrian Network, with its labyrinth of shops, restaurants, boutiques and pedestrian passageways almost feels like a dream.
Sample the renowned Montreal smoked meat sandwich at Rueben’s, and then stroll down Sherbrooke Street where you’ll be met with an array of museums and galleries. We recommend getting a Museum Pass that’ll give you free/discounted entry to most of the museums in Montreal. Visit the Musee des Beaux Arts, the oldest museum in all of Canada with over 10,000 archeological artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and a lot more. You’ll find collections from Africa, to Asia to the Americas and art that goes from realist to modern art.
If you feel like indulging in a splendid dining experience, Restaurant Devi serves remarkable Indian cuisine, with a little bit of a Canadian flare to it. Make your way to the Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill for sparking drinks, live music and a merry atmosphere to end your day with.
If you want to bring back home something unique, a stop at the Bonsecours Market is essential. The art galleries and designer boutiques are enough to keep you there for at least an hour! Watch the sun dip down at Terrasses Bonsecours while sipping on a drink and enjoying beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Have lunch at Aux Vivres, a healthy vegetarian restaurant and then visit the McCord Museum to learn more about Canada’s history and the native people. There are different collections that include accessories, clothing, textile, ceramics and furniture from hundreds of years ago.
Enjoy gorgeous views of the city mixed with classy cocktails at Terrasse Place d’Armes, and then head towards Wunderbar for some late-night dance moves!
center, have a drink at the magical Bosc del Fades – a bar that simulates an inhabited forest. Expect waterfalls, secrets, gnomes and Dali-inspired décor.
Quebec is a dynamic city and one with a very strong identity and culture. It perfectly mixes wilderness, with a sense of cosmopolitan playfulness and it’s a destination that caters to all types of travelers!
You can take the Orleans Express bus straight to Quebec and it will take you around 3 hours, and will cost approximately $70.
Have brunch at Le Clocher Penche, one of the top restaurants in Quebec and then head straight to the historical heart of the city of Quebec - the Haute-Ville and the Basse-Ville. Both of them brim with multiple boutiques, galleries, restaurants, street performances and much more. Old Quebec looks like something straight out of medieval Europe with medieval cobbled streets, and quaint little sidewalk cafes. Stop by Quartier Petit Champlain, the oldest commercial district in North America.
Head towards Plains of Abraham, a recreational park and a local favorite and have a picnic there. We recommend stocking up on some picnic food from the lively Marche du Vieux-Porte. After lunch, visit Musee de la Civilisation - one of the most famous and frequented museums in Canada and tells the history of the country's civilization.
By sunset, head towards the Observatoire de la Capitale to enjoy panoramic vistas of the city’s skyline. Have one last meal at Aux Anciens Canadiens, one of the oldest restaurants in Quebec that serves incredible Quebecois cuisine.
Dress up, get fancy and go to Joverse to experience some of the finest oysters in Montreal mixed with exceptional cocktails and drinks.
As mentioned before, the city of Montreal is one that proudly boasts its contrasts – the hip, sexy, lively part on one side and the green, lush, harmonious part on the other. Your fifth day will be spent amidst rolling hills, and sprawling landscapes perched into endless greenery. Have breakfast at La Creperie du March, for crepes, and coffee and then head towards Mount Royal.
It’s the perfect way to start your day; taking in the fresh air of this soaring mountain and its surroundings. Trek around the walking trails, take in the panorama of the Ile de Montreal when you’re on top and don’t miss out on Saint Joseph’s Oratory! It’ll definitely catch your eye with its Renaissance-style dome.
Walk down to Plateau Mont-Royal, one of the hippest neighborhoods in Montreal and have lunch at one of its many restaurants there. Take your time, savor your meal and then head to the imaginative Botanical Garden of Montreal. You’ll find all sorts of diverse flora and fauna, outdoor gardens, Chinese gardens, an Insectarium, and over 10 greenhouses. After all, it’s the world’s largest botanical garden!
If this day doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed and one with nature – we’re not sure what will! End your day at the bustling Quartier Latin, and treat yourself to some Spanish delights – from tapas to paellas to gambas at Le C.
If there’s one place that can embody the whole vibe of Montreal in one place, it will definitely be Parc Jean-Drapeu. This versatile park is made up of two islands – and has everything from an outdoor pool, museums, flower gardens, beaches, casinos, museums and art galleries. If you’re visiting in winter, then there dozens of opportunities to take part in winter activities like ice skating, tubing, snowshoeing and more! Have breakfast at one of the many restaurants there and then visit the Stewart Museum At The Fort.
We recommend having a picnic lunch so you can get a true local feel, and then rent a bicycle to explore the rest of Montreal. Bike down Lachine Canal and browse through the antique shops along your way down. Make a quick stop at The Atwater and Jean Talon Markets – two of the busiest public markets in all of Montreal overflowing with fresh food, fruits, flowers, herbs, cheeses and of course – exceptional coffee.
Spend your night at Loic where you can sample a list of unique wines paired with delicious seasonal food. If you feel like ending your trip with a bang, head to the beloved Stereo nightclub that has been popular ever since 1998 and dance to beats spun by international DJs and musicians!
Spend your last day at Mont Royal, the lung of the city, and relax after a hectic week of exploration. Have a nice picnic if the weather is nice, or do some cross-country skiing in winter.
The best place to end your trip at is the Old Port with its cobblestone streets, European charm and colonial architecture. Give it one last visit, take a few last extra pictures, and get ready to bid farewell to Montreal.
We recommend taking an evening flight out of Montreal so you can give yourself a few extra hours to explore the charm of the city!