Montreal makes a great destination for North Americans looking for a taste of Europe for a long weekend. With a wealth of crepe cafes, sidestreets and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Montreal is a major attraction for those looking for some old world culture not far from home.
WIT Agent Wailana took the morning flight out of Portland via Dallas on American, arriving at 7.30pm in Montreal. The 747 bus takes you straight downtown, where most major hotels and the metro are located.
The best evenings are spent strolling around romantic Old Montreal, with its collection of historical buildings and 17th-19th century architecture. At night the city streets are mostly quiet, and the cobblestones are lit up with the soft glow from streetlights. You can even ride in a pink and white horse carriage!
The old quarter is lovely enough to splurge for dinner—look for the lively Modavie Jazz Bar—but for breakfast and lunch, I recommend heading up to the Plateau and Mile End for some tasty local treats. Snack to your heart’s delight on flaky Lebanese baklava and freshly-cut merguez sausages at the Jean-Talon Marche, the largest outdoor market in North America. Afterwards, beat the heat and sample the tasty microbrews at Dieu du Ciel. For some of the best international food, try one of the delicious menus on the historically immigrant Rue de Saint-Laurent. There’s a plethora of Hungarian meats, Spanish spices, Chinese desserts, and Jewish sandwiches to enjoy here.
Take your goodies up to Parc Mont Royal for a beautiful vista and a picnic. You can usually spy some soccer games, live drum music or circus acts here. Did you know that Montreal is one of the world’s top circus arts destinations? Book a bike tour to explore Montreal’s neighborhoods and history like a local. For a different perspective, head to the Underground City. This 20 mile-network of subterranean tunnels are a labyrinthe of shopping malls, subways, hotels and banks. You can also check out the Grevin Museum downtown for realistic wax images of Michael Jackson, Albert Einstein, Obama and more.
The next major attraction worth a stop is Olympic Park, which houses the Stadium, Insectarium, Jardin Botanique and the Biodome, once the home to the 1976 Olympic summer games and now an environmental museum. Check out the spectacular view in a funicular elevator up to the top of Olympic Tower. Bring your swimsuit to plunge in one of the seven swimming pools at the tower’s sports center.
If you’re lucky enough to be in town during one of the festivals, don’t miss the world-renowned Jazz Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival that celebrates comedy, and the International Festival of Beer that attracts breweries from all over the world.
We recommend spending at least 3 nights in Montreal, especially if you’re going to add a daytrip into Quebec City. The capital of Quebec has been lauded as Montreal’s smaller, quainter sister. If you have some extra time you could even go for a day trip to Niagara Falls, Ottawa or New York City. For a special delight during winter, try a unique tour to discover one of the region’s most world-renowned, unique products—ice wine.
If you’re in Montreal this summer, don’t miss the botanical garden for the exhibition of 50 remarkable garden sculptures. For a sneak peak, click here.
Several WIT Agents have traveled to Montreal and beyond. Popular itineraries among our clients include multi-day rail trips from Vancouver to Halifax via Montreal, and New England cruises through the St. Lawrence River. Call us to book your Canada trip today or to find out more about available packages: 503-224-0180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.