Not to miss!
What makes Old Montreal so unique? The gorgeous architecture and the landmarks that populate this small part of the city. Get a glimpse of Montreal’s history by visiting Notre-Dame Basilica, a masterpiece of Gothic Revival & the breathtaking place where Celine Dion got married. Make sure to stop by Marché Bonsecours, as this 1847 landmark has all the made-in-Canada crafts that you need. Fan of archeology? Don’t forget to include the Pointe-à-Callière museum in your itinerary. It has an underground circuit that leads through archaeological excavations, including Indigenous settlements. There’s also a cute terrace at the top where you can witness amazing views of the Port & St-Lawrence river (open in summertime). Finally, if you walk along St-Jacques, you will notice many beautiful buildings that are a pleasant sight for sore eyes. Make sure to check out the City Hall, built in 1872 after 4 years of construction (currently closed to the public but you can see it from outside) as well as Place Jacques-Cartier; this area used to be an outdoor market in the beginning of the century.
To stay outside
After the summer months, fall is here with its multiple activities to continue enjoying the outdoors while it’s still time. This year, the Gardens of Lights are back at Jardin Botanique, the perfect occasion to dive in a magical universe and to discover traditions & cultures. If you wish to learn more about environmental issues, travel to the other side of the Saint Lawrence river and discover the Biosphère, a true architectural staple of Montreal since the Expo 67. If you are traveling with kids, stop by La Ronde, the most popular amusement park in the city. During the month of October, the park transforms into a haunted playground to scare the whole family. Fall is also the best season to watch the coloured trees go from red, to yellow, to brown. To enjoy the view, make sure to add the Parc Mont-Royal, Parc Lafontaine or Parc Jean-Drapeau to your to-do list; they all offer breathtaking trails. If you came by car or wish to rent one to explore more distant lands, you have to go apple picking in one of the multiple farms offering this service. Among the most popular ones, we recommend Ferme Labonté de la Pomme or a Verger Labonté.
To shop & witness art
Montreal loves to promote entrepreneurship and the importance of buying local. St-Paul street is where you’ll find gorgeous made-in-Montreal pieces. Visit the Pépin Shop for unique pieces of furniture made by local designers and gorgeous decor. They also have an in-house coffee shop L’Amour du Pain where you can get your daily grind. For International designers & street style, stop by Ssense. Mlle Catherine is an ice cream shop with a boutique selling all kinds of cute local souvenirs. Art lovers, make sure to check out Phi Center; a multipurpose venue for arts & culture featuring concerts, film screenings & plays, plus exhibits. We also recommend the Galerie d’art Blanche for its exhibits of up-and-coming Montreal artists, and Galerie LeRoyer for its showings of local and international art.
To get around...
Let’s be honest, there are so many things to see and yet sometimes, not enough time to do it all. Well, it might sound touristy, but one of the best ways not to miss any of the oh-so-necessary spots is to take a tour. We recommend to take an open bus tour at the beginning of your trip, this way you can get a quick feel of the area & go back to the places that caught your eye. For active guests, make sure to try the bike tour with local company Fitz & Follwell. If you are not athletic, no problem! Hop on an electric scooter with a knowledgeable guide!
To eat & drink
Montreal’s culinary scene is pretty multicultural, and we’re here to give you our personal favourites. Besides our own French Brasserie 701, our cool isakaya Kyo Bar Japonais and rooftop Terrasse Place d’Armes, of course. Check out Jacopo for an authentic Italian menu with green velvet seats & an interior courtyard. Visit Le Bevo for amazing wood oven pizza & Garde Manger for fine dining. For coffee shops, our favourites are Ssense Café and Crew Collective. For drinks & nightlife, Philémon is the place to be.