For a good overview of the city, try a three-hour tour with an experienced guide, and learn about the history of Montréal, including how its various quartiers come together to create the special character that forms the world’s second-largest French-speaking metropolis.
There are 150 indoor and outdoor skating rinks on the Island of Montréal. The Patinoire du Bassin Bonsecours in Old Montréal is one of Montréalers’ favourites, who happily glide by as a DJ spins. Skates are available for rent, and the view of the city is stunning. Others prefer the Atrium Le 1000, an indoor rink that takes group reservations and offers skate rentals.
Next is a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It is one of the country’s oldest, with a rich permanent collection and temporary exhibits of international stature, in addition to one of the main collections of decorative art in North America. The museum’s Boutique & Bookstore and DesignSpace offer a wide range of original and high-quality gift ideas from the world over.
In a city where hockey is king, the Montréal Canadiens always take centre ice. Every game is a happening, and nothing is more exciting than catching a home game surrounded by thousands of fans shouting “Go Habs go!”
Designed by Frederick Olmsted (who also designed New York’s Central Park), Mount Royal Park is an outdoor recreational centre right in the middle of the city. It has ice skating, tobogganing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with equipment is available for rent. What could be more idyllic than a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh followed by a hot chocolate at the lookout Chalet or the Beaver Lake Pavilion?
Shopping in Montréal is a genuine treat. The Underground Pedestrian Network’s 33 kilometres of indoor passageways provide access to 1,700 shops and services. Chic boutiques selling Québec and international designer labels line its walkways, particularly in the Cours Mont-Royal and major department stores.
From the end of February to the beginning of March is the MONTRÉAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival, an urban winter event that takes place in three parts: the joy of fine dining, the celebration of light and the performing arts.
Outdoors are shows, fireworks and lots to do; indoors are concerts, dance performances, live theatre, as well as workshops, lectures and food tastings.
This feast for the senses also showcases some of Montréal’s best restaurateurs, with the crème de la crème of the world’s chefs coming in to prepare, together or separately, astounding cuisine.
Place des Arts is the largest cultural complex in Canada. Fans of the performing arts go there for the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Grands Ballets Canadiens, and to catch the very latest productions by contemporary dance and theatre companies.
It doesn’t take an elf to see that Montréal is the destination par excellence for celebrating the holiday season. Everywhere, the streets, avenues, stores and squares are sparkling. It’s fun to uncover the array of magical places alone or with a guide.
Downtown, thousands of colourful tree lights line McGill College Avenue all the way down to Place Ville Marie’s giant Christmas tree. Nearby is Ogilvy department store, whose window display of toy animals getting ready for the big day in their fairytale village has been enchanting passersby for the past 50 years.
The city’s public markets, such as Jean-Talon and Atwater, also become imbued with the magic of the holidays. Christmas cooks come for their seasonal ingredients, while others come to smell the heavenly and captivating fragrances of local produce mingling with the scent of fir trees.
For over 50 years, the Salon des métiers d’art has been the place to shop for original gifts. Approximately 450 Québec artists sell their creations, ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde.
Without a doubt, Old Montréal offers one of the most enchanting Christmas settings. Old Montréal's Extravaganza is an event full of fun things to do, such as free rides in a horse-drawn carriage, outdoor choirs and the Marché du terroir (local-produce market) at Marché Bonsecours.
Any of the city’s plentiful restaurants is an excellent choice for ending the day well-fed and on a festive note. Cordial atmosphere, a five-course meal or a cozy little restaurant, many restaurants offer a special menu of traditional seasonal fare.
New Year’s Eve is celebrated everywhere—in clubs, in Old Montréal’s boutique hotels, outdoors in Place Jacques-Cartier, and at the New Year’s Eve Ball as part of the Old Montréal's Extravaganza, with fireworks to usher in the new year.
On sunny afternoons, or in the evening to the sounds of music, large outdoor rinks are highly popular.
Skating fans can practice their favorite sport year-round at this indoor skating rink.
This important museum has an encyclopedic permanent collection that is among the most impressive in North America.
The National Hockey League’s Montréal Canadiens, 24-time winners of the Stanley Cup, play their home games at the Bell Centre, which is open to visitors.
Home to a variety of birds this splendid park is an ideal site for an enjoyable walk and offers superb view points.
Experience the thrill of sliding downhill on an inner tube, a toboggan or a saucer.
You don’t need to go far to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
This winter festival has three components: arts, light and cuisine.
The performing arts are showcased in the five halls of Canada’s premiere entertainment centre.
The multicultural flavours and sights of this large public market truly reflect Montréal’s personality.
Over 450 exhibitors display their eclectic creations of unusual and original objects.
Various activities take place at some 20 indoor and outdoor enchanting sites.
A good way to start the day is with a steaming espresso at the Caffè Italia to soak up the local culture in warm, multi-ethnic Little Italy. After a little shopping at the neighbourhood’s irresistible boutiques, Jean-Talon Market, the ...
A steaming espresso in a Little Italy café is one of the very best ways to start the day. It sets the mood for Jean-Talon Market, with its irresistible scents of fruit, vegetables and flowers and gregarious vendors sharing tips and t ...
Aménagé par Frederick Olmsted (à qui l’on doit aussi Central Park, à New York), le parc du Mont-Royal est un véritable centre de plein air au cœur de la métropole. On y pratique le patin ...
Dans le quartier Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, c’est la fascinante histoire ouvrière de Montréal qui transpire des usines reconverties, des bâtiments de style Beaux-Arts et des églises imposantes.
Le quartier comp ...
Destination Vieux-Montréal. Au café-restaurant l’Arrivage, du musée d’histoire et d’archéologie de Montréal, Pointe-à-Callière, on savoure à la fois un petit-dé ...
Le Vieux-Montréal recèle de savoureuses surprises, comme le café-bistro Olive et Gourmando, une excellente option pour commencer sa journée gourmande.
Les pâtisseries, les pains biologiques e ...
Back to the city’s very beginnings, in Old Montréal. At the café-restaurant l’Arrivage of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History, a full breakfast comes served with a stunning view of ...