There’s something about Montréal that sets it apart from all other North American cities. It could be the Gallic charm or the jazz fests; maybe it’s the poutine or the joie de vivre. Whatever it may be, if you ever find yourself in Montréal, the new “city that never sleeps,” make sure you do the following things.
Take a stroll along Rue St. Paul
In a street lined with cobblestones older than American democracy itself, you’ll find some of the best shops, galleries, and restaurants in all of Vieux Montréal. St. Paul is the oldest street in this old city, and it’s got the European charm that Montreal is famous for. The street itself is less than a mile long, but you can easily spend a day here just perusing and hanging around.
See some plants at Jardin Botanique
You’ll find yourself lost in a collection of 22,000 plant species in one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. You can visit the Montréal Botanical Garden any time during the year, and you’ll find yourself amazed with the natural beauty surrounding you there.
See an exhibit at the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Montréal
Immerse yourself in the history of Canada’s art with the permanent exhibit at Montréal’s Museum of Fine Arts. Explore the temporary exhibits that feature some of the world’s most renowned artists such as Rodin, Chihuly, Gaultier, Warhol, and more. You’ll be sure to find something that you’ll fall in love with at this museum.
Climb up the hill at Parc du Mont-Royal
Towering over the city at 761 feet, there’s no better way to see all of Montréal at once other than on top of Mont-Royal. You can take the metro all the way up, or like most locals do, you can hike up the stairs for a completely different experience. The best part about it is it’s free. For two completely different experiences, you can watch the sunrise there or wait to see the sunset before you head down.
Find something delicious at Marché Jean-Talon
For a public market that’s been around since 1933, it’s impressive that the Jean-Talon Market is still the liveliest public market in the city. Located in the heart of Little Italy, this culturally diverse market features the best produce, florals, spices, cheese, artisanal breads, meats, and a whole lot of delicacies.
Marvel the sights at the Oratoire St. Joseph
Sitting at the highest point of Montréal is the St. Joseph Oratory honoring the crypt of Canada’s patron saint. The dome itself is impressive with its Italian Renaissance style. You’ll enjoy all the thousands of votive candles that light the way to the crypt and all the intricate murals that decorate the walls. There’s a reason why millions of visitors come to see this place each year, and it’s sure worth the 99 steps to climb up.
Have a bagel and a coffee break
If you think Montréal bagels are delicious, that’s because they’re boiled in honey-infused water before they’re baked. Take them hot and fresh along with you and hop on over to the closest coffee shop to enjoy a cappuccino as you enjoy people watching one of the most culturally diverse places in the world.
Learn about animal life at the Biodome
Just a little to the east of the city is the Space for Life in East Montreal. You can learn all about Canada’s ecosystems and enjoy a scientific day. Bring the whole family along for an adventure, or take some alone time to meet some cute penguins.
Watch a program through Place Des Arts
With festivals happening year-round, don’t leave Montréal without experiencing at least one show. Whether it’s a music or theater event, you’ll surely find a good time. We recommend the Montréal Jazz Fest for the best in jazz music.
Savor some poutine
Of course, you must have poutine on your list already, but we’ve got this on here in case you forget. There are numerous places in Montréal where you can get some authentic and delicious poutine. If you’ve never had it before, trust us when we say that you wouldn’t want fries any other way after eating a plate.