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Things to do in Montréal: April 29 to May 5

Montréal puts some spring in everyone’s step this week with Cirque du Soleil’s newest show in the Old Port, food trucks out and about, spring fashions for sale, and nighttime entertainment from ballet and contemporary dance to film and theatre, classical music, indie rock and metal. Walk and roam See the springtime sights at a slower pace by taking a walk: take the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal past museums, restaurants and shops; head downtown to try your hand at making music on art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts; or take the metro east to the Space for Life to walk around the blooming Botanical Garden or the Biodôme, currently celebrating Bird Fest. Indoors, there’s plenty of ground to cover at the Montréal Science Centre and Pointe-à-Callière archaeology museum. See Minor League Soccer team the Montréal Impact on the pitch with the Colorado Rapids at Saputo Stadium on April 30. And find more places to go in our free things to do in Montréal guide, whether this is your first time here or your tenth. Spring shopping Find fashion, beauty and health products, food items, travel ideas and more at over 300 exhibitors… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 15 to 21

Take your pick of outdoor and indoor activities this week in Montréal because warm weather has returned – pair it with some truly world-class wining and dining, digital art, bountiful nature, incredible circus shows, literary luminaries or live classical, rock and electronic music. Whatever the weather Spring can be unpredictable in Montréal, but that also means the city’s full of surprises – discover all kinds of free things to do in Montréal this season, whether this is your first time here or you’re searching for the latest and greatest things to do. Downtown, try your hand at making music just by swinging: located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts downtown, 21 Swings is an interactive and community-minded musical instrument, art installation and colourful swing set all in one, ongoing to May 29. When night falls, look up on building facades in the Quartier des Spectacles area to see 9x [MTL] Video Projections, colourful photomontages of iconic people, places and events in Montréal. Nature thrives at Space for Life, where the Butterflies Go Free event has local butterflies venturing outdoors and tropical butterflies and caterpillars inside at the Botanical Garden’s and Insectarium’s Main Exhibition Greenhouse, until April 24. And… / Read More →

Best-selling author Yann Martel on finding home and Montréal

Celebrated Canadian author Yann Martel spent over a decade living in Montréal, part of that crafting a novel that would become not only an international bestseller but a Man Booker Prize-winner and contemporary classic: Life of Pi. Since then, both the city and the author have continued to evolve and captivate our imaginations – Martel with his new novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, and Montréal with its fusion of centuries-old history, high-tech innovation and diverse arts and cultural milieu. With Montréal’s annual international literary festival, Blue Metropolis, just around the corner (April 11 to 17, 2016), Tourisme Montréal blogger Robyn Fadden recently sat down with Yann Martel to talk about The High Mountains of Portugal and the importance of different places in our lives, as well as his favourite things about Montréal. You were born in Spain, have lived stretches of your childhood and adult life in Montréal, you’ve traveled far and wide, and your novels span the globe – why focus on concepts of home in The High Mountains of Portugal? I was looking at home in relation to the broad theme of the novel – like Life of Pi, I was interested in looking at faith. Not… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 1 to 7

April arrives in Montréal as sugar shack season begins to wind down – get your fill of maple syrup and more food before it’s over – and award-winning restaurants revamp menus while the spring cultural calendar heats up with multimedia art, dance, theatre, orchestra concerts and all kinds of live music. April flowers Step into Montréal’s Botanical Garden to see the very beginnings of spring in bud and sample maple taffy on snow during sugaring off time (only until April 3!), while indoors butterflies go free and caterpillars cocoon, and the Botanical Garden restaurant’s special Sugar Shack menu keeps everyone well fed to April 24. If you’re extending your Spring Break in Montréal, consult our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style and Montréal nightlife guide for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has some ideas for entertaining and even subtly educational things to do with kids. Throughout the season, find free things to do in Montréal – for families, for friends, for fun (speaking of fun, these great gifs illustrate the 10 Signs that spring has totally arrived in Montréal.) Do you love spas, fancy… / Read More →

Experience Montréal in the lap of luxury

Looking for pampering? You’re in the right place. Montréal gets a ton of high-fallutin’ international guests every year, whether it’s Jazz Fest musicians, pop superstars, Formula One racers or star hockey players. Hell, even visiting comedians need paraffin mani-pedis! The result? Our service industry is poised to satisfy your every need and make your trip to La Belle Ville the most memorable it can be. Here’s your cheat sheet to the best things in life. SLEEP WELL High-end stays abound in Montréal, for all the reasons mentioned above. From Madonna to Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga, we’ve hosted all the divas! Exacting guests flock to the gorgeously redesigned Ritz-Carlton Montréal, where you can leave your classically appointed suite and be at La Maison Ogilvy in five minutes flat.
 Hôtel Le St. James is probably the city’s most luxurious stay, nestled in a historic Old Montréal building appointed with priceless antiques. Loews Hôtel Vogue, Hôtel Le Crystal and InterContinental Montréal are perfect downtown pied-à-terres, with incredibly comfortable rooms and great bars and restaurants. To be within seconds of the Old Port, you’ll want to stay at either the sleekly contemporary Hotel Gault, Hotel Nelligan (the rooftop terrasse bar is a must),… / Read More →

Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide

When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often being called the capital of the digital arts in North America. New digital arts projects, video game production, the visual effects industry and virtual reality innovations all thrive here and are among the many reasons why Montréal Digital Spring has garnered international attention. The annual citywide event promises to free your mind and your body with interactive exhibitions and audio-visual performances, architectural installations and contemporary creations that cross artistic and scientific currents. Rules are meant to be broken during Digital Spring, so follow our Survival Guide to see the city of the future, now. THE EVENT  The 3rd edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Whether you’re a forerunner in cutting-edge technology or your kids just figured out your smart phone for you, Montréal Digital Spring can take you however deep into the high-tech arts rabbit hole you desire. Also known as Printemps numérique, Digital Spring partners with local arts and culture organizations – meaning the whole city gets in on the act, from… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal March 11 to 17

As much as Montréal loves its winter festivals and snow sports, the city welcomes spring with open arms – we’re feeling a hint of it this week as restaurants roll out new dishes, film festivals and art events open our eyes on the world, our sports teams fight to the finish, and dance, theatre and live music keep us inspired. Spring sights and sports With winter festivals over and the city starting to thaw out, thoughts of spring are in the air – see our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas or find all kinds of things to do with kids of all ages in our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide. Downtown’s underground city welcomes art lovers to do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art in expansive exhibition Art Souterrain. Celebrate the luck of the Irish on on March 17 at the city’s best Irish pubs, see the Olympic Stadium tower lit up in green, and stick around for Montréal’s legendary St-Patrick’s Day Parade on March 20. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Wild on March 11 and the Panthers on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 4 to 10

Where better to be in winter than in Montréal? Immerse yourself in the entertainment and culinary arts of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival, the city’s all-ages Spring Break activities, hockey games and Barbegazi sports, dance, theatre, film, art and live music. Brighten up MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE keeps downtown bright and bustling until March 5 with music and theatrical performances, extraordinary meals (including pay-their-age prices for kids), and a free outdoor site at downtown’s Place des Festivals featuring multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, a zip line, fabulous food and more – get the inside scoop with our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE. Art lovers can do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art throughout the underground city during winter exhibition Art Souterrain. Consult our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas. On the glittering ice at the Bell Centre, watch the Canadiens play the Stars on March 8 and the Sabres on March 10. And make your visit even smoother with these Montreal-specific apps. Delightful menus Along with the many fine dining options at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, sit down to a gourmet meal during restaurant festival Relâche Gourmande, highlighting special table d’hôte menus… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 26 to March 3

This week everyone’s talking about Nuit Blanche, Montréal’s city-wide all-nighter event with free music, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and more, part of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival. Add to that Spring Break activities for all ages, butterfly spotting, the games festival, dance, theatre, film, art and live music. All night long Spend the night of February 27 out of the town with thousands of jubilant Montrealers – and do it just right with our Nuit Blanche Survival Guide, letting you in on what it’s all about and what not to miss, from circus acrobatics and African dance to YouTube battles, NFB documentaries, the Karnival dance party and must-see contemporary art event Art Souterrain throughout the underground city. Nuit Blanche highlights Montréal’s biggest family-friendly festival of the season, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, featuring music and theatrical performances, culinary feasts and workshops, and a free outdoor site at downtown’s Place des Festivals with music, multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more – get the inside scoop with our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE. And if you’re technically inclined, make your visit smoother with these Montreal-specific apps. Urban outdoors Whether you’re outdoors or having an indoor day, find something… / Read More →