It’s only appropriate that you’d begin your journey where the city itself began… in Old Montreal! If you need some tasty fuel to get started, pop into Olive et Gourmando for brunch or at the gorgeous Crew Collective & Café for delicious coffee and to-go treats. Stroll through the charming, cobbled streets of this historic neighbourhood, making sure to stop by Saint-Paul street, the Old Port, Place Jacques-Cartier, and the Notre-Dame Basilica.
If you’ve still got time in the afternoon, don’t miss the area’s fascinating museums! The Montreal Science Centre is ideal for families, while Pointe-à-Callière Museum will delight history nerds of all ages. You might also want to check out the Phi Centre for innovative, mixed media exhibits and live events!
Walk up to Chinatown for a delicious dinner at one of the city’s best Chinese restaurants (we love the hand-pulled noodles at Nouilles de Lan Zhou or Mai Xiang Yuan’s dumplings!). If you fancy treating yourself, you could always opt for dining at one of Montreal’s award-winning restaurants: downtown’s Toqué or, a bit further away, Little Burgundy’s Joe Beef.
If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll want to end your night at the Quartier des Spectacles, where festivals take over with free shows and performances. If not, you can always head indoors and see what’s going on at Place des Arts or at smaller venues like Mtelus or Club Soda.
Day 2: bon appétit!
Montreal prides itself on its diverse and distinct neighbourhoods! Today, we start in Little Italy to breakfast on all the gourmet treats the Jean-Talon Market has to offer. Wander down to the Mile End to stock up on St-Viateur or Fairmount bagels and try one of the city’s best brews at Café Olimpico.
Still hungry? Good, because it’s lunchtime and next on the menu is another of Montreal’s essentials: a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s! Walk it off by exploring the length of Saint-Laurent Boulevard, one of the city’s most vital and artistic streets—keep an eye out for the giant, colourful murals that adorn a lot of the buildings.
Let the afternoon take you to Mount Royal, a giant park occupying the centre of the city. A walk to the summit will quickly make you forget everything you’ve eaten, plus you’ll enjoy the best views of the city! All that fresh air will put one thing on your mind: dinner. You can’t leave Montreal without trying poutine! While you can’t go wrong with La Banquise, neighbourhood diners also know how to ace this local dish, from the Plateau’s Chez Claudette to Verdun’s Pierrette Patates and Saint-Henri’s Greenspot. If you want a more refined option, head to Au Pied de Cochon for their foie gras version.
Pro-tip: If you’re travelling with the kids, you might want to swap out a visit to Mount Royal for a jaunt to the Olympic Park, home to the Biodome, Montreal Botanical Garden and the Montreal Insectarium. Or, if rain or snow hamper a park stroll, head to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts!
Day 3: Road trip!
Montreal happens to sit near some of our country’s most spectacular scenery… like the landscapes of Mont-Tremblant National Park, which is located just over an hour away by car! Stop by Atwater Market to pack food for the day and hit the road.
From spring to fall, the national park’s countless trails are ideal for all levels of hikers, while its beautiful lakes incite a post-hike cool-down in the summer. Winter calls for hitting the slopes at the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort and après-ski in the resort’s cute and colourful village.
Back in the city, celebrate a fabulous three-day trip with some pub grub and a nightcap at one of Montreal’s many microbreweries or craft beer bars: Dieu du Ciel!, Benelux, l’Amère à Boire, Vices &Versa, and we could go on, but it’s time to fly home!
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