Stuff To Do In Montreal This Weekend – Some of the posts on this site contain affiliate links, which means that if you order or purchase something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at an additional cost to you).
From exploring the boutiques and brunch spots of Mile End to the panorama atop Mount Royal, there are plenty of fun things to do in Montreal, Canada. Part European and part Canadian, Montreal is a city that loves good food, good art and the great outdoors at every opportunity, regardless of the season. In the spirit of its French settlements together with Montreal
Stuff To Do In Montreal This Weekend
Montreal—just an hour north of the New York state border—is so close to us that we return often (bonus of a stop at our beloved Saratoga Springs along the way). There is amazing architecture, vibrant markets and even a lot of cool ideas to try. Montreal is basically our perfect city and we loved every moment of our long weekend to see what it had to offer.
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Immediately to the west of the city, the view of the city is interrupted by a small mountain. Mount Royal – after which Montreal is named – is a year-round beacon for locals and tourists alike for hiking, biking and snowshoeing.
The original map of Mount Royal is a top view. As soon as we entered the vast Candiron Belvedere, the view of the skyline was breathtaking. If you look closely, you can see the entire length of the St. Lawrence River.
Notre Dame Basilica is one of the most impressive cathedrals we have ever seen and is without a doubt one of the best things to see in Montreal. From the outside, the Gothic Revival-style building looks more French or German than Canadian with its twin towers and ornate facade. However, what sets the basilica apart from other churches is its interior.
The interior of Notre Dame Basilica is a mixture of purple, deep blue, red and gold. The starry ceiling and altar have a unique glow, almost as if they are lit from within. The front and sides are filled with hundreds of wood carvings, works of art and stained glass (many of which depict the history of the city rather than biblical scenes). In the evenings, the cathedral will put on a spectacular and immersive light and sound show that makes the colors even more amazing.
Things To Do In Montreal
Lance is obsessed with poutine, so it goes without saying that we eat some of this Canadian specialty on every trip. Although the combination – fries, sauce and cottage cheese – may not look the prettiest, but it is quite tasty, especially after a night out.
Poutine is everywhere in Montreal, but we always go to the restaurant with the best name in town – La Banquise. Their famous poutines with all kinds of toppings are available 24 hours a day. The classic poutine didn’t excite us, but the savoyard with bacon, onion, swiss cheese and sour cream was amazing.
Just steps away from Atwater Market is one of the city’s best places to enjoy the great outdoors – the Lachine Canal. A 9-mile canal runs from the Old Harbor to Lake St. Louis and provides a great place to relax on cool days during the Montreal summer.
From mid-May to mid-October, you can rent a giant swan paddle or learn to kayak just minutes from town. There is also the option of canoeing or renting an electric boat to cruise the canal at high speed.
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We’ve never been into architecture, but from Rotterdam to Riga, we’re drawn to interesting buildings. Montreal is a great place to find different styles and buildings that make you go “hmm”.
Plateau Mont-Royal is the place to be for spiral staircases and brightly colored Victorian rooms. One of the best neighborhoods in the city has many Instagram-worthy houses and cafes.
Not far from the Mont-Royal plateau, the Gothic-style Notre-Dame Basilica will make you feel like you’re in France. Not to be missed is Montreal’s Biosphere, which looks like a transparent Epcot Center. If you go to the old port or hang out in Bota Bota, you will see Habitat 67, a unique housing that looks like a broken game of Tetris.
As the summer heats up, there are few things better than hitting the beach in Montreal. Verdun Beach on the banks of the St. Lawrence River is one of the ideal places to cool off in the city.
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The accessible beach has a sandy area and enough grass for living. The nearby harbor means the (cold) water is as calm as possible, but life jackets are available for those who want them. Getting to the beach is easy – it’s behind Verdun Auditorium, so there are plenty of public transport options.
When we first heard about bagels here, we were more than a little skeptical. After living in New York, it was hard to believe that you could actually find a baguette worth writing home about anywhere else. But Fairmount and St-Viateur are worth a stop for your carb fix.
The Montreal bagel is sweeter and denser than most people are used to. They are soaked in honey-infused water before being baked in a wood-fired oven and are still handcrafted while customers watch. Grab a pair to rock while strolling Mile End.
There is just something on the market. There are many bright colors, attractive smells and attractive displays. The energy and atmosphere of the local market always ensures a good time, and the markets here deliver like the palm of your hand. These are some of the best places to go in Montreal.
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The two largest and most tourist-friendly markets in Montreal are Atwater Market and Jean-Talon Market. Both have a variety of fresh produce, prepared foods and food stands offering everything from turkey specialties to lobster to pulled pork.
In Little Italy, Jean Talon, which has a multicultural feel, spans several blocks and offers a variety of food, flowers and handmade goods. Atwater, along the Lachine Canal, is packed with orchards, local and imported produce, and wonderful specialty shops. Either (or both!) of them are worth a stop depending on where your Montreal itinerary takes you.
Everyone knows what it’s like to come back from vacation feeling like you left because you tried to fit in every activity under the sun. That’s why – from the steamship to Sicily and many places in between – we always try to find a moment of relaxation in hot springs or spa, if possible. Buta Buta fulfills exactly this need – a unique experience and a pampering spa in one.
Bota Bota is a boat spa permanently anchored in the St. Lawrence River. You can watch their water circuit which includes steam bath, cold bath, sauna and more. They also offer a variety of spa treatments such as facials, massages and pedicures. There is also a restaurant. Our favorite part was just lounging in the heated pool and watching the sun set over the city. The break is without a doubt one of our favorite things to do in the city.
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The rooftop bar is my happy place and the Terrasse Nelligan at the Nelligan Hotel has some of the best views, food and drinks in town. It’s the perfect place for happy hour, sunset, brunch or anytime.
The rooftop offers a great view of Notre Dame Basilica, which you can enjoy while eating eggs benedict and lobster washed down with a daiquiri.
Gay Village is a colorful area, literally. This is one of the best places in Montreal for shopping, people watching, walking and partying. During the day you can sit in open cafes and at night you can meet drag queens at Mado Cabaret or dance to techno sounds until sunset on the stereo.
The Montreal Smoked Sandwich is a mountain of salty and spicy smoked beef brisket on rye bread with yellow mustard. No vegetables, no sophisticated spices. The proportions look bad and there is nothing fancy about it.
Things To Do In Montreal This Weekend
The idea of a sandwich with smoked meat didn’t excite us, but we still had the urge to try it. On our first visit to Montreal, instead of making a special trip to a deli specializing in this delicacy, we ordered from a local bar. At some point it caught up with us. On our next trip, we made a beeline for the classics at the Main Deli and devoured it all.
Colorful street art makes the city so happy. We find it at every opportunity. But in Montreal the search for murals did not work. We had to walk down the street.
Boulevard Saint Laurent, one of the busiest streets in the city, is a hotbed of street art. We saw many murals in just a few blocks. The parking lot between Boulevard and St. Dominic St. near Rue
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