I have been lucky enough to visit Montreal a couple of times now. The first time I didn’t get a chance to do or see a whole lot because I was sent there for a student conference and was busy all weekend with ‘conference things’. But the second time was AMAZING. It was this past September, in between when my summer job ended and school started, so I was able to explore the city for almost a full week. Even that didn’t seem like enough, spending a week in Montreal goes by too fast, I could’ve easily stayed there for a few more nights, if not a whole other week.
If I could speak French I would move to Montreal in a heart beat. But don’t worry, if you can’t speak French you will be able to visit no problem. Everyone also speaks English so when you speak English back to them they’ll switch for you.
Montreal is known for so many things, it’s beauty, it’s culture, it’s food. Whether you live here or are just visiting, I’ve put together a list (with the help of my friend Michele) for some of the best ways to spend your time in Montreal!
Best Restaurants and Food
Thank goodness humans eat three meals a day. Even with this many meals you won’t be able to fit in all the delicious restaurants Montreal has to offer.
- Allo Mon Coco: huge portions for a very reasonable price. I ate here twice when i stayed in Montreal for a week, seriously could not get enough of their Eggs Benedicts!
- St. Viateur Bagel: Took about an hour of public transport to get here from the AirBnb but it was SO worth it. I would recommend going here early on in your trip and buying half a dozen bagels to take home and eating for all your breakfasts. The All Dressed bagel was to die for. Funnily enough, there are two locations and they are half a block apart, so when we got a bagel we kept walking down the street and once we were finished we saw the next location and decided to get a second, so that’s saying something!
- Lola Rosa: Not very formal but super quaint.
- Le Warehouse: $5 meals and they’re sooo good. If you’ve ever been to Vancouver and ate at The Dime it’s basically the same thing.
- Sir Winstons: Nice patio for lunch time.
- La Banquise: Best Poutine in Montreal. Open 24/7, always a line up anytime of the day. Super good after a night at the bar.
- Dirty Dogs: Well known for their macaroni poutine, which I of course had to try and it was seriously amazing! See for yourself:
- Boustan: A very casual quick meal. If you like a lot of food at a good price, and love middle eastern food then this is the place for you. They serve the absolute best Shawarma I’ve ever had. Honestly before I came here I didn’t know what to think about Shawarma but after eating this I fell in love with it. So in my opinion, you need to give it a try no matter what.
- Jardin Nelson: A little pricier but sooo worth it! They don’t take reservations and there is usually a line so go around 5 for an early dinner and skip a large portion of the line.
- Les Trois Brasseurs: cheap pitchers, good food, lots of them around the city
- Crescent Street: Just an overall amazing spot to check out for lunch or dinner, there are so many spots here and all the food is reasonably priced as you’re in the University of Concordia area.
- St. Laurent Street: Again, just walk up the street there are so many good places to eat, it’s almost overwhelming.
- Diperie: Best ice cream in Montreal!! 10/10 HAVE to go!
What to do in Montreal should never be a question you ask yourself if you are ready for a night on the town. Seriously, there is something going on all the time! Montreal is definitely known for being a party city, you can typically find great pubs and clubs open on every night.
Monday: Monday’s are probably the least happening night, but you can always wonder around and find something, Montreal is honestly never dull!
Tuesday: Sir Winston’s Pub!
Wednesday: Appartment 200
Thursday: Foue Foun Electronique, App 200, Tokyo, Thursday’s Ba
Friday: App 200, le Rouge, Moose Bar, Musique
Saturday: Reservoir, Le P’tit gGrenouille (cheap beer)
Must See’s and Do’s
Montreal is such a beautiful city, and there are a lot of cheap things you can do if you’re travelling on a budget. If you are spending a week in Montreal, or even just a few days, make sure to check off a few of these items!
- Bota Bota – really cool thing to do for a few hours. Basically a Nordic Spa on a boat.
- Vieux Port (just wonder around)
- There’s a ferris wheel you can ride and get an amazing view of the city
- Dépanneurs: Corner store found on almost every street, cheapest beer around
- New city gas: if there’s any concerts there, buy a ticket and go, they’re usually pretty cool
- Bell Centre: either go check out a concert, or if you’re into hockey or the Canadiens you can get a tour of their facilities.
- The Gay Village has lots of cool restaurants and bars, cool place to hang out for an evening.
- Rent a Vespa for a few hours, cool way to get around the city and see everything!
- Electro Parade – We ended up just stumbling into this parade while we were exploring around St. Laurent street, and it was definitely my favourite thing we did! It was a ton of huge transport trucks turned into DJ party buses that were rolling cruising down the street with people partying on them and walking beside them. Everyone had drinks, so they must’ve gotten the street licensed for that day somehow. If you go when it’s on, and you like EDM you have to go!
- Sundays: Tam Tams! Base of Mont Royal, it’s a bunch of performances for free on the mountain you can dance to or lay back and watch, then hike up the Mont Royal for sunset.
- Oratoire (free$ and beautiful view)
- MAC (contemporary museum)
- Musee des beaux arts (Traditional Art)
- Notre Dâme Basilica (Pictured at the top)
Next time you’re wondering what to do in Montreal open up this post and I promise you won’t go hungry or bored. Spending a week in Montreal left me so full and and so happy. Absolutely one of the best places to visit.
If there is anything you’ve done there that would help add to this list comment it below!
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