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Montreal Travel Guide: What to Do & Eat in Montreal

Nicole is a travel enthusiast and enjoys bonding with her family on vacations across the globe.


Did you know that Montreal is a city bustling with culture? With over 500 festivals a year, this incredible city has something for everyone. Looking for a fun and safe way to get around while you're here? Our travel guide will help you plan your visit so you can make the most of it!

Why Montreal is the Best City in Canada

Montreal is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America, with a vibrant cultural scene and endless activities to keep visitors entertained. From shopping at charming boutiques to savoring exquisite French food, Montreal has something for everyone.

If you're looking for an adventure, there's plenty to do in Montreal - from skiing at Mont Tremblant to visiting the wilds of Jacques-Cartier Park. In the warmer months, take a stroll along the banks of the St Lawrence River or enjoy a day at the beach. And no trip to Montreal is complete without a taste of Quebec's delicious poutine!

Getting Around Montreal

If you want to get around Montreal, the best way to do so is by using public transit. The Montréal Metro is a great option for tourists and locals alike. It's easy to use, cheap and runs all around the city. If you're looking for something a little more adventurous, then consider taking a bus or bike ride.

Buses are cheaper than taxis and go to more places, while bikes can be rented from many different locations and are a great way to see the city without spending a lot of money. If you're looking for something else to do while in Montreal, there are plenty of options available. Check out the various museums and galleries, take in a show at one of the city's theatres, or visit one of the many parks that dot the landscape.

Where to Stay

If you're looking for a place to stay in Montreal, there are plenty of options to choose from. From luxurious hotels to quirky B&Bs, Montreal has something for everyone. Here are some of our favorite places to stay in the city:

Le Chateau Frontenac - This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Old Montreal and offers stunning views of the river.

Hotel LeBlanc - This small but charming hotel is perfect if you're looking for a personal touch. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and they'll go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

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Hôtel du Parc - If you're looking for a more affordable option, Hotel du Parc is perfect. The rooms are basic but clean, and the location can't be beaten. Plus, it's close to plenty of popular attractions in Montreal.

Must See Attractions

Montreal is a great city to explore for its architecture, food, and nightlife. Here are some must-see attractions in Montreal:

  • The Notre-Dame Basilica: This majestic building is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Montreal. It's a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
  • The McGill University Botanical Gardens: This lush garden is home to over 10,000 plants and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • The Olympic Stadium: This iconic stadium is home to the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and was recently renovated for the 2015 Pan American Games. It's a great place to watch a game or take in some beautiful architecture.
  • The Mount Royal Observatory: This historic observatory is located on Mount Royal and offers stunning views of the cityscape. It's a great place to take in some natural beauty while enjoying some historical significance.
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: This world-renowned museum is home to an impressive collection of art dating back centuries. Admission is free for all visitors on Wednesday nights!

What not to Miss

Montreal is a city with plenty to offer visitors, but there are a few things to avoid if you want to enjoy the city as much as possible. Here are some of Montreal's top tourist traps:

  • The Old Port: This area is full of sights and sounds touristy, but it's worth skipping if you can. Instead, head to Vieux-Montreal for its charming architecture, interesting boutiques, and delicious restaurants.
  • Chinatown: If you're looking for an authentic Montreal experience, forget Chinatown – it's been overrun by tourists and offers few attractions beyond souvenir shops. Instead, explore the neighborhoods around Old Montreal or downtown for more authentic shopping and dining experiences.
  • The Bell Centre: If you're a fan of hockey or concerts, the Bell Centre will definitely be worth a visit – but be prepared to spend some time in line! You could also try taking in a game at one of Montreal's other arenas – like the Forum or Molson Stadium – which are both within walking distance of the city center.

Places To Eat

Montreal has an amazing food scene, with a variety of restaurants to choose from, whether you're looking for a casual meal or a more elaborate experience. Whether you're in the mood for traditional Quebecois cuisine, Mediterranean-inspired dishes, or something more creative and contemporary, Montreal has something for everyone. Here are some of our favorites:

  • La Banquise: This classic ice cream parlor is a must-visit for anyone visiting Montreal. With over 40 different flavors to choose from, as well as unique toppings like Nutella and whipped cream, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
  • L'Atelier du Gourmet: This upscale restaurant offers a truly unique dining experience. You can either sit at the table and order directly from the chef, or you can order à la carte and enjoy various small plates that will complement your wine selection.
  • Joe Beef: This neighborhood butcher shop is known for its innovative and flavorful dishes made with local and sustainable ingredients. Try the duck confit sandwich or the maple bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese — both are definitely worth trying!

Bars and Clubs

Montreal is a city with a lot of nightlife options, and there's something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a laid-back bar with good drinks and live music, or a club with DJs and flashing lights, Montreal has something for you. Some of the most recommended clubs and bars include:

  • The Black Hoof: This popular bar is located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard and offers an eclectic mix of music ranging from classic rock to indie-pop. The ambiance is relaxed, and the staff is friendly, making it the perfect place to relax after a long day exploring the city.
  • The Pussycat Lounge: This nightclub is located on Crescent Street in downtown Montreal and offers a wide range of music, from hip-hop to R&B. It's also well known for its wild nightlife, with everything from pole dancing to drag queens on show.
  • Club Soda: Located in the Mile End neighborhood, Club Soda is known for its eclectic mix of music, from indie rock to funk. It's also popular for its outdoor patio, which offers stunning views of the skyline of Montreal.

Shopping Hot Spots

Montreal is a city that loves to shop, and there are plenty of hot spots where you can find the best deals. Here are three of the best:

  1. Concordia’s Quartier Latin: This area is home to some of the most popular stores in Montreal, including H&M, Zara, and Sephora. It’s also a great place to eat, with lots of options for both food and drinks.
  2. Plateau Mont-Royal: Just a few blocks away from Concordia’s Quartier Latin, you’ll find Plateau Mont-Royal, one of Montreal’s most popular shopping districts. There are dozens of shops here, including some high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada.
  3. Jean-Talon Market: If you want to find unique items that aren’t available anywhere else in Montreal, head to Jean-Talon Market. This market is full of small boutiques and traders selling everything from jewelry to clothes to home decor. It can be a bit difficult to find, but it’s definitely worth it for the unique shopping experience.

Montreal is a diverse and exciting city with a lot to offer visitors. Whether you're looking to explore the beautiful architecture or enjoy some of the city's famous food, Montreal has something for everyone. In this Montreal travel guide, we'll outline what you should do when visiting this amazing city. So whether you're planning your first trip to Montreal or you're an experienced traveler, be sure to check out my recommendations!

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