French flair in Montréal

For a city that effortlessly combines European style with North American charm – and with more than a dash of centuries-old history and modern joie de vivre thrown in – visit Montréal...

Day 1: Old Port, Old Montréal, Poutine

Morning: Head down Saint-Laurent Boulevard, the city’s main north-south thoroughfare that divides the city into east and west, to the Old Port. 

On the way, stroll through Chinatown.  Located alongside Chinatown’s stately gates, the Marché Asiatique brings the tastes of Asia to a bustling outdoor market.

Arrive at Notre-Dame Basilica and drop in to see the impressive stained glass art. Step out and spend a moment watching street performers in Place Jacques-Cartier.

Nearby and new this summer, the Museum of Illusions invites guests to lose themselves in the more than 70 holograms, installations, exhibitions and illusions.

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Poutine is a Montréal staple
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Stroll the pretty streets of old town

Afternoon: Walk the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal, which has some buildings dating back to 1870. 

Lunch on poutine at Montréal Poutine on Rue Saint-Paul, where the crispy chips, cheese curd and gravy can be upgraded to include chicken and even hot dog sausage. 

Head down to the Grand Quay Terminal, with its boardwalk stalls and attractions that include the Montréal Science Centre, a zip line, pedal boats, river cruises and an observation wheel. There’s even a beach (no swimming). Walk to the end of the quay for views of the St. Lawrence River. 

Evening: If you are in Montréal before August 20 2023, catch Cirque Du Soleil’s latest production, the family-friendly Echo, performed under a big top in the Old Port. Cirque is expected back in Montréal in 2024 with a new show.  

Revisit the Notre-Dame Basilica for its night-time AURA, a four-act experience that transforms the Basilica through a show that is a marvel of video mapping, dynamic light and orchestral music.

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Observation wheel in the Old Port
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Catch a Cirque du Soleil show

Day 2: Contemporary Arts, Mount Royal, Olympic Park

Morning: Make it a cultural start by visiting the Museum of Contemporary Arts, part of the Place des Arts complex. Exhibitions include video installations, contemporary paintings, audio-visual experiences and performance art.

New and scheduled for a September 2023 opening, the Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises (MEM) promises to tell the story of the city’s people and its history from the 1600s to the present day through the testimonials of Montréalers.

Afternoon: Stroll north to the foot of Mount Royal, Montréal’s ‘urban mountain’. Allow two hours to reach the lookout at the top for views back down on the city. Guided tours of the park designed by Frederick Olmsted of Central Park New York City are available. Take a taxi to Montréal’s east side, to the stadium that hosted the 1976 Olympics. Ride to the top of the inclined tower (the world’s tallest). In the same area, visit Montréal Botanical Garden and the Insectarium to explore the world of bees, ants and spiders. 

Evening: End the night back in the city centre at the Honeyrose Hotel’s Fifth floor Muze Lounge and covered terrasse, to enjoy small dishes and funky cocktails. Or head to Projet Pilote, near Parc La Fontaine, a Microbrewery with in-house brews and a distillery.