Whether Montreal is familiar ground by now or it’s your first visit, taking a guided tour can be one of the best ways to get to know the city better and learn more about its history and the people who live here. Locally-run Montreal tour companies have been updating their tours to suit the desires of all kinds of visitors, especially when it comes to seeing the city on food or by bike…
Biking around Montreal, zipping from one very different neighbourhood to the next, is the perfect way to take in the city’s many sides and Fitz & Follwell is super hip to the bike riding scene, with tours to suit any sensibility, time constraint, family size or budget.
Take a whirlwind tour from the Plateau to the Lachine Canal on a brand new rental bike or explore the nooks and crannies of areas of Montreal less often visited by tourists. There’s even a “Downhill All the Way” tour, starting at the top of Parc Mont-Royal, for those with a need for speed (with a bit of local history on the side), and Summer Night tours for night owls and bar hoppers. And balance nature and city life with Fitz & Follwell’s Bike & Yoga tours.
If the best way to your heart is through your stomach, then falling in love with this city will be easy to do on a food-and-drink walking tour. Local Montreal Tours helps visitors navigate the Jean-Talon Market, one of the biggest outdoor markets in North America, introducing Quebecois speciality and seasonal foods and sampling some of the market’s best foodstuff, from crepes to sausages to ice cream. During the evening, go on the Montreal Brewpub Experience walking tour of three local craft breweries. And this summer, Local Montreal Tours will also be offering a new tour of Mile End and its fantastic food via Bixi, Montreal’s public bike system.
With Montreal Food Tours, spend a morning savouring the Flavors and Aromas of Old Montreal, stopping in at historic, food-related shops, or visit the restaurants, shops and cafes of Little Italy and the Jean Talon Market for fresh fruit and vegetables and much more ready-to-eat foodie fare. New to Montreal Food Tours this year is Bar Hopping in Old Montreal, which pairs food, drink, and history and fittingly takes place during happy hour (called “cinq-à-sept” in Montreal) every Friday evening.
For traditional, tried and true tours, look to Guidatour, a company that’s been in the business of showing people around Montreal by foot, bike (with Ça Roule) and bus for almost 30 years. Their tours begin in mid-May and extend until mid-October, with options to gather a group of your own or join a group of others, mixing and matching tours as short as an hour to all morning or afternoon, visiting historical sites of Old Montreal, Downtown and the Quartier International. And for something further off the beaten track in Old Montreal, take a Ghost Walk – or even go on a Ghost Hunt – with Montréal Ghosts throughout July and August and around Halloween, naturally.