Planning a trip to Montreal? You want to settle in this beautiful tourist town? Moving from Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa to Montreal! First time in Montreal and you don’t know what to do in the largest and second most populous city in Quebec. Some recommendations may vary depending on personal experience, but most tourists and connoisseurs suggest the following fifteen activities as priorities when visiting the city. Here they are:
1. Climb Mount Royal
To begin a beautiful visit to the city, there is no better place to do so than the hike that gives the metropolis its name. At the top of Mount Royal, you can admire a magnificent view of the entire square from the Belvedere observatory. It’s a nice walk to get there or you can take the bus if you are not a fan of walking. Catching the sunrise from the mountain is an incredible thing.
2. Take a gastronomic tour.
One of the main characteristics of the city of Montreal is that food is a big problem around the place. Take a tour of the various restaurants and food outlets to try the varied, albeit fatty, dishes.
3. Eat poutine.
A smoked meat sandwich and a bagel. Being in the food zone, a typical Montreal dish you must try is Poutine. Although it doesn’t look very appetizing, but the combination of fries, cheese curds and sauce on top is an unforgettable treat and once you try it, you’ll never eat your fries the same again.
And, also, it is highly recommended when touring for food, you should try a smoked meat sandwich. There’s nothing better after poutine than a 4-inch thick smoked meat sandwich for a great snack.
And to round out this culinary tour, a good bagel soaked in honey-infused water before baking makes Montreal bagels, according to connoisseurs, much more delicious than their New York counterparts.
4. Walk on St-Paul street.
Located in the Old Montreal section, this tribute to the city of Montreal is a nice place to take a good walk on your first visit to this metropolis. Along this route, you will find several restaurants, bars, souvenir stores and art galleries for your enjoyment. And to top it all off, the prices are very balanced for this highly visited region.
5. Visit one of the city's markets
If you are a market lover, you must visit one of Montreal’s markets to pick up and try many local products. This activity should be scheduled in the summer when most agricultural products are in season. If markets are your thing, it’s a good idea to save money for local specialties such as preserves, ice wines and ciders, and the almost endless array of maple products.
6. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
With over 13,000 square meters of exhibition space, you must visit this world-renowned art center with a permanent exhibition of over 40,000 works. Check the museum calendar for special activities that can be done at the time of your visit. Nevertheless, if there is no particular activity to do, a visit to the museum is always necessary and you will not regret it.
7. Visit the Montreal Biodome.
You must plan a visit to this interesting place located in the east end of Montreal. The educational activities here are a great way to learn about Canada’s ecosystem and to help with the environmental issues facing the world today. Plus, being around adorable animals, like penguins, while touring the Biodome is well worth it.
8. Go to the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Built for the 1976 Olympics, the building was used for several sporting events, including the celebration of baseball games with the Montreal Expos, before the team moved to Washington DC to change its name to the Nationals. “The Big O” – named for its shape and also the money spent on its erection – has also served as a live music concert and entertainment venue and its tower serves as an observation platform for the city.
9. Take a bike ride around the city.
One of the best ways to get to know this city is by bicycle. There are several Bixi stations, a sharing system with more than 3000 bikes, and 300 stations, you can rent a bike for a few hours and you can return them to any station in the city. There are dedicated bike lanes throughout the city, so traffic won’t be a problem if you decide to use this route to get around Montreal.
10. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame.
If you admire religious buildings from around the world – such as the Taj Mahal in India – a visit to Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica should be of great interest in this case. The ornate gothic facades and the wonderful chapel at the back, joined by the truly impressive organ are topics that have been in people’s conversations over the years. If you do not attend Mass, you will be charged $5 for admission.
11. Take a tour of the Mile End stores.
A paid visit to the clothing stores of Montreal’s Mile End is a must when visiting the city for the first time. Money should be saved for this part of the tour and time would also be saved due to the large number of stores found in the area.
12. Stroll on the Plateau Mont-Royal
Take time to walk around the colorful neighborhood to see the beautiful architecture of the houses, as well as sit in one of the many cafes and watch the people go by.
13. Get the local craft beers.
One of the habits of the local population is to drink a beer at the end of the day; but not just any beer. Good quality craft beer is the kind of drink Montrealers prefer, so for your first visit to the city, it is highly recommended to visit one of the city’s craft breweries. If you need expert help, you can ask for it and even consult the Montreal Craft Beer Tour on the Internet.
14. Visit Habitat 67.
Designed by Moshie Safdie for the 1967 World’s Fair, this housing complex has become one of the city’s most interesting architectural monuments. In addition to its complex interconnected structure, the place also has the privilege of being one of the 10 ugliest buildings in North America.
15. Discover the festivals that take place in the city in summer or in winter.
Throughout the year, several festivals take place in the city, whether in the sunny summer or the cold winter. Some of the festivals and their occurrence are the following:
- Igloofest (mid-January to early February)
- Port Symphonies (late February to early March)
- International Film Festival (late March to early April)
- Crescent Festival (early May)
- Montreal International Jazz Festival (late June to early July)
- International Circus Arts Festival (From the star to mid-July)
- Just for laughs (Almost everything from July)
- Rogers Cup Tennis Tournament (early August)
- International Tango Festival (early August)
For other events and their schedules throughout the year, visit the website to learn more about them.
And don’t forget, when visiting Montreal, one activity you should never leave out is to take a coffee break to have energy to continue visiting this incredible metropolis.
For information call Alex 514-569-4443