Downtown à deux

© Martine Doyon - Place des Festivals© Jean-Guy Bergeron - Place des Arts© The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Christine Guest - The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Jean-Noël De
© Tourisme Montréal - Shopping

© Martine Doyon - Place des Festivals

October 19, 2012 — Alive with Montréal’s unique urban vibe plus a host of entertainment and dining possibilities, downtown is a prime date location.


What better way to kick off your Montréal experience than with a shopping spree along the city’s most fashionable downtown streets? You’ll find sophisticated boutiques, exclusive designers alongside art galleries on Sherbrooke Street, big brand name stores such as Lulu Lemon, the Gap and Aveda along Sainte-Catherine Street and upscale department stores such as Ogilvy’s, Holt Renfrewand the Bay, plus posh boutiques such as Armani and Prada in the Cours Mont-Royal nestled in between.

Still eager for yet another unique shopping experience? You needn’t wait for a rainy day or sub-zero temperatures to visit the Underground Pedestrian Network, with its 32 kilometres (20 miles) of boutiques, restaurants and attractions. So go ahead – shop till you drop!


Head over to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on Sherbrooke Street West. You can’t miss the Museum’s impressive stone façade; equally impressive is the fresh seasonal fare served in the elegant Café des beaux-arts, conveniently located within the museum. Its inventive menu features market-fresh produce and the culinary presentation is as beautiful as the surrounding artwork.


After a scrumptious lunch, you are conveniently situated for some quality together-time as you peruse the museum’s impressive collections, including its internationally-renowned permanent collection highlighted by prominent temporary exhibits that range from ancient cultures to Inuit and Amerindian art to decorative arts.


Down the hill on Côte du Beaver Hall, Andiamo! beckons. Featuring a seafood-based cuisine that is intentionally simple, this resto reveals the Mediterranean roots of its Chef, Jérôme Ferrer of Europea fame.

If you plan on taking in a performance at Place des Arts this evening, then the Bistro Le Contemporain located on the first floor of the Musée d’art contemporain is an excellent and convenient choice. Its simple menu is rich with discoveries, featuring regional dishes in a modern, charismatic setting. They also offer special menus on Friday Nocturne nights.


Take a stroll, arm-in-arm, along Sainte-Catherine Street at night. Be sure to check out the new Quartier des spectacles (entertainment district) and its nocturnal luminary tribute that brings the Musée d’art contemporain and the Théâtre Maisonneuve of thePlace des Arts to life.

Depending on the season, this area is festival central, home to a variety of outdoor shows and activities. Indoors, take your seat in the Salle Wilfrid‑Pelletier of Place des Arts for a world-class performance of the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal or Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.