Canadian summers never last as long as we hope, so it’s natural to want to get in as much exploring and vacationing as possible. However, planning a trip is not always easy, so we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide to one of Canada’s most beautiful and accessible cities: Montréal! Montréal is a fantastic destination for either a short weekend stay, or a longer adventure. Whichever you choose, we’ve got you covered.
Transportation in Montréal
Traveling to Montréal is not only easy, it’s reasonably priced as well! Depending on your location, you can either drive, fly, or take the train. Montréal’s airport is very close to the city, as is the train station.
Getting around a city like Montréal is best done on foot, but the metro system is there when you need it. You can buy day, week, or monthly passes online in advance here.
If you’re feeling adventurous, BIXI bike rentals make it easy to get on and off as you wish, wherever you are. With stations all around the city, you don’t have to worry about returning your bike at any specific location or time. Simply pay as you go!
Where to Stay in Montréal
When it comes to accommodation, Montréal has it all. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or for a romantic getaway, there are options for everyone.
If you’re a hotel person, you can experience luxury with either Hotel Nelligan or Hotel Place D’armes in Old Montréal. They are both contemporary, elegant, and offer options for a variety of budgets. Old Montreal provides a cozy yet lively, almost European feel.
If you prefer AirBnB, there are several options throughout the city to meet your needs. Private rooms are great on a budget, but there are also a few great options that offer the entire place, even in the heart of downtown.
For a truly unique experience, check out Bons Matins. This little inn and bed and breakfast has a range of rooms decorated to feel like a home away from home.
Things to Do in Montréal
Now, what to do? Montréal is chock-full of activities to keep you busy during your stay, but it can be hard to know where to start.
The most basic way to discover the city is by walking, and you can get a free tour to explore the best of Old Montreal’s history and culture. Simply register in advance, either with a group or on your own! There are tons of boutiques and art galleries waiting for you.
The beautiful botanical gardens are a must-see, and happen to be situated right near the Biodome as well. Spend some time in nature by visiting Mount Royal Park and up the Mt Royal Summit. To experience more Montreal culture, be sure to catch the Tam-Tams in the park, near the George-Étienne Cartier Monument. This drum-circle demonstration happens weekly on Sunday mornings.
Not far from there is St Joseph’s Oratory, another remarkable spot. Or, if you’re looking for a memorable picnic experience, pick up some food and drinks (...you’re allowed to drink alcohol in parks as long as you have SOME food as well) from Jean-Talon or Atwater market and check out René Levesque Park!
The Best Food and Drink in Montréal
Montreal is home to a plethora of delicious culinary experiences. For some local cuisine, try the most recognized dish: POUTINE. You’ll surely pass many places claiming to offer the best poutine on the market, but the locals may not approve of them all! Some local-approved options include Poutineville, Bellpro’s, and Poutine Lafleur.
Likewise, you cannot visit this city without trying some authentic Montréal-style bagels. What’s so special about their bagels? Unlike your usual New York-style bagel, Montréal’s bagels are smaller, sweeper and denser. They’re baked in a wood-fired oven resulting in a delicacy you won’t want to miss. Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself at Saint-Viateur, Fairmount Bagels or Bagel St-Lo, to name a few.
The restaurant scene is extremely abundant and diverse! For a more upscale meal, head to Joe Beef or Europea for some real fine dining. Alternatively, Rôtisserie Romados offers some of the best chicken in the city, for a reasonable price too. Kazu offers some fantastic Japanese cuisine, or if you’re looking for something vegetarian check out Lola Rosa.
Breakfast lovers unite at Le Fabergé, a trendy spot located not far from Mount Royal Park. And of course, we can’t forget about coffee - you MUST hit up The Crew Collective! This extraordinary cafe used to be a bank, and its architecture is absolutely stunning. Even if coffee isn’t your thing, do yourself a favour and visit anyway.
Last but not least, you won’t want to miss the city’s local beer selection. Vices & Versa is a great spot with tons of beers on tap. Alternatively, check out Dieu du Ciel, a craft brewery in Montréal and St. Jérome!
There is so much to discover in this beautiful city, so we’ve only just scratched the surface! Visit for yourself to make your summer one to remember.