Bonjour, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re diving into the vibrant and diverse city of Montreal, Canada. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and lively arts scene, there’s no shortage of things to do Montreal. In fact, I’ve had such a fantastic time exploring this city that I couldn’t wait to share my top picks with you. So, whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or an adventure seeker, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do Montreal that will make your trip truly unforgettable. Let’s get started, shall we?
Exploring Old Montreal: A Walk Through History
Old Montreal is a charming neighborhood that is steeped in history and culture. It is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for things to do in Montreal. The cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and quaint shops and restaurants make it a perfect place to spend a day exploring.
Visit the Notre-Dame Basilica
One of the most iconic landmarks in Old Montreal is the Notre-Dame Basilica. This stunning church is a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and architecture. The intricate details of the interior are breathtaking, and the stained glass windows are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Wander through Place Jacques-Cartier
Place Jacques-Cartier is a lively square in the heart of Old Montreal. It is a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere of the neighborhood. There are plenty of street performers, artists, and vendors selling souvenirs and snacks. It’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the scenery.
Explore the Old Port
The Old Port of Montreal is a historic port that has been transformed into a vibrant entertainment district. There are plenty of things to do here, including taking a boat tour, visiting the Science Centre, or simply strolling along the waterfront. The views of the city skyline are stunning, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to stop at along the way.
Visit the Chateau Ramezay Museum
The Chateau Ramezay Museum is a historic building that was once the residence of the Governor of Montreal. It is now a museum that showcases the history of Montreal and Quebec. The exhibits include artifacts, paintings, and documents that tell the story of the city’s past. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Montreal and Quebec.
Old Montreal is a fascinating neighborhood that is full of history and culture. There are plenty of things to do here, from visiting the Notre-Dame Basilica to exploring the Old Port. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun day out, Old Montreal is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for things to do in Montreal.
Montreal’s Culinary Delights: Must-Try Restaurants and Cafés
Montreal is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that offers something for everyone. From classic French cuisine to trendy cafes and fusion restaurants, the city has it all. Here are some must-try restaurants and cafes to add to your list of things to do in Montreal:
1. Schwartz’s Deli
No visit to Montreal is complete without trying the city’s famous smoked meat sandwich. And there’s no better place to do it than Schwartz’s Deli. This iconic restaurant has been serving up its signature sandwich since 1928, and it’s still as popular as ever. Be prepared to wait in line, but trust us, it’s worth it.
2. Joe Beef
For a more upscale dining experience, head to Joe Beef. This restaurant is known for its inventive dishes that blend French and Canadian cuisine. The menu changes frequently, but you can always expect to find something delicious and unexpected.
3. Café Olimpico
If you’re looking for a cozy spot to grab a coffee and people-watch, Café Olimpico is the place to be. This classic Italian café has been a Montreal institution since 1970 and is a favorite among locals. Order a cappuccino and a croissant and soak up the atmosphere.
4. Au Pied de Cochon
For a truly indulgent meal, head to Au Pied de Cochon. This restaurant is famous for its foie gras dishes and hearty Quebecois cuisine. It’s not for the faint of heart (or stomach), but if you’re up for it, it’s an unforgettable dining experience.
5. St-Viateur Bagel
Montreal-style bagels are a must-try when visiting the city, and St-Viateur Bagel is the place to get them. These bagels are smaller and denser than their New York counterparts and are boiled in honey water before being baked in a wood-fired oven. They’re delicious on their own or with cream cheese and lox.
These are just a few of the many amazing restaurants and cafes that Montreal has to offer. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a good meal, be sure to add these spots to your list of things to do in Montreal.
Art and Culture: Museums and Galleries to Visit
Montreal is a city that is rich in art and culture. There are many museums and galleries that you can visit to experience the city’s vibrant art scene. Here are some of the top museums and galleries to add to your list of things to do in Montreal:
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in Canada and is home to over 41,000 works of art. The museum has an extensive collection of Canadian and international art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there is always something new to see.
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a museum dedicated to contemporary art. The museum has a collection of over 7,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of both local and international artists.
The Pointe-à-Callière Museum is a museum dedicated to the history and archaeology of Montreal. The museum is built on the site of the city’s birthplace and features exhibits that showcase the city’s history from its earliest days to the present. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there is always something new to discover.
The Phi Centre is a multidisciplinary arts and culture centre that showcases the work of both established and emerging artists. The centre features exhibitions, performances, and screenings of films and videos. The Phi Centre is a great place to experience the cutting edge of Montreal’s art scene.
The McCord Museum is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Montreal. The museum has a collection of over 1.5 million objects, including photographs, paintings, and costumes. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of both local and international artists.
Visiting these museums and galleries is a great way to experience the art and culture of Montreal. Make sure to add them to your list of things to do in Montreal and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant art scene.
Embracing the Outdoors: Parks and Recreational Activities
Montreal is a city that offers a plethora of outdoor activities for visitors and locals alike. Here are some of the best things to do in Montreal for those who love the great outdoors.
Mount Royal Park
Mount Royal Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for things to do in Montreal. This park is located in the heart of the city and offers stunning views of the city skyline. Visitors can hike, bike, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. In the winter, the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.
La Fontaine Park
La Fontaine Park is another popular park in Montreal that offers a variety of recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy a picnic, play a game of soccer or volleyball, or simply take a stroll through the park’s beautiful gardens. In the winter, the park is transformed into an ice skating rink.
Montreal is a bike-friendly city with over 500 kilometers of bike paths. Rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels. Some of the best bike paths include the Lachine Canal, the Old Port, and the Plateau Mont-Royal.
Kayaking is a great way to explore Montreal’s waterways. Rent a kayak and paddle down the Lachine Canal or the St. Lawrence River. You’ll get a unique perspective of the city from the water.
The Montreal Botanical Garden is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city. Visitors can explore the gardens, greenhouses, and exhibitions. The garden also hosts events throughout the year, including the popular Gardens of Light festival in the fall.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll through a park or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Montreal has something for everyone. These are just a few of the many things to do in Montreal for those who love the great outdoors.
Montreal’s Vibrant Nightlife: Bars, Clubs, and Entertainment
Montreal is known for its vibrant nightlife, and there’s no shortage of things to do in the city after dark. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back bar to grab a drink or a high-energy club to dance the night away, Montreal has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to check out:
1. Le Lab
Le Lab is a popular cocktail bar located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood. The bartenders here are known for their creativity and attention to detail, and the menu features a wide range of unique and delicious drinks. If you’re looking for a sophisticated spot to enjoy a drink, Le Lab is definitely worth checking out.
2. Big in Japan
Big in Japan is a hidden gem located in the heart of the city. This speakeasy-style bar has a cozy, intimate atmosphere and serves up some of the best cocktails in Montreal. The bar is known for its Japanese-inspired drinks, but there’s something for everyone on the menu.
Brouhaha is a popular bar located in the Gay Village. The bar has a laid-back atmosphere and is known for its extensive beer selection. If you’re looking for a casual spot to grab a drink with friends, Brouhaha is a great choice.
Stereo is one of Montreal’s most popular clubs, and for good reason. The club has a state-of-the-art sound system and hosts some of the best DJs in the world. If you’re looking for a high-energy dance party, Stereo is the place to be.
2. New City Gas
New City Gas is a massive club located in the Griffintown neighborhood. The club has multiple rooms and a huge outdoor terrace, making it the perfect spot for a night out with friends. The music here is always top-notch, and the club attracts some of the biggest names in the industry.
3. Club Unity
Club Unity is a popular gay club located in the heart of the Gay Village. The club has a fun, welcoming atmosphere and hosts a variety of events throughout the week. If you’re looking for a night out with a diverse crowd, Club Unity is a great choice.
1. Comedy Nest
The Comedy Nest is Montreal’s premier comedy club, and it’s the perfect spot for a night of laughs. The club hosts a variety of shows throughout the week, featuring both local and international comedians. If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining night out, the Comedy Nest is a must-visit.
2. Casino de Montreal
The Casino de Montreal is the largest casino in Canada, and it’s a great spot for a night of entertainment. The casino features a wide range of games, including blackjack, poker, and slot machines. There are also several restaurants and bars on site, making it the perfect spot for a night out.
3. Quartier des Spectacles
The Quartier des Spectacles is a vibrant cultural district located in the heart of the city. The area is home to several theaters, concert halls, and art galleries, making it the perfect spot for a night of entertainment. There are always events and performances happening in the area, so be sure to check out the schedule before you go.
Montreal’s vibrant nightlife scene is just one of the many things that makes the city so special. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back bar, a high-energy club, or some great entertainment, there’s always something to do in Montreal. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring!
Unique Montreal Experiences: Hidden Gems and Local Favorites
Montreal is a city full of surprises, and there are plenty of unique experiences to be had beyond the typical tourist attractions. Here are some hidden gems and local favorites that should be on your list of things to do in Montreal:
Explore the Underground City
One of the most unique things to do in Montreal is to explore the Underground City. This network of tunnels and indoor spaces spans over 20 miles and connects many of the city’s major attractions, shopping centers, and office buildings. It’s a great way to escape the cold in the winter or beat the heat in the summer.
Visit the Biosphere
The Biosphere is a unique museum located on Île Sainte-Hélène that focuses on environmental issues and sustainability. The museum is housed in a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller, and it offers interactive exhibits and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Take a Food Tour
Montreal is known for its food scene, and taking a food tour is a great way to experience some of the city’s best culinary offerings. From poutine to bagels to smoked meat, there are plenty of local favorites to try.
Explore the Street Art
Montreal is home to some incredible street art, and exploring the city’s murals and graffiti is a unique way to experience its culture and creativity. Some of the best places to see street art include the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood and the Saint-Laurent Boulevard.
Visit the Atwater Market
The Atwater Market is a local favorite for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. It’s a great place to grab a snack or picnic supplies and enjoy a sunny day in Montreal.
These are just a few of the many unique experiences that Montreal has to offer. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there are always new things to do in Montreal. So, add these hidden gems and local favorites to your list of “things to do Montreal” and start exploring!
In conclusion, my time in Montreal has been nothing short of spectacular. This vibrant city has so much to offer, and I’ve only just scratched the surface of the countless things to do Montreal has in store for its visitors. From the rich history and culture to the mouthwatering cuisine and lively nightlife, there’s truly something for everyone in this charming Canadian metropolis.
As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring many cities around the world, but Montreal holds a special place in my heart. The warmth of the people, the stunning architecture, and the unique blend of old and new make it a destination that I’ll undoubtedly return to time and time again. I hope that my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to embark on your own adventure and discover the many things to do Montreal has waiting for you.
So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art lover, or simply someone looking for a memorable getaway, Montreal is the perfect destination. With so many things to do Montreal, you’ll never run out of exciting experiences to fill your days and nights. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to create your own Suitcase Stories in this enchanting city. Bon voyage!