A 3-day Montreal road trip for the Insider traveler
Friday: A Classic Taste of Montreal
Once you ride into town, it’s time to get out of the car! A walking tour of Vieux Montreal – the city’s original neighborhood – is a must, home to such significant landmarks as the Musee Pointe a Calliere, the ornate Notre Dame Bascilica, the waterfront park of Vieux Port, and bustling Place Jacques Cartier. For a bite in this area, Auberge le St. Gabriel is said to be North America’s oldest inn, as well as a favorite for classic French-Canadian fare. Keep the exploration going with a trip downtown, where the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the McCord Museum of Canadian history; and Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral are among the sightseeing options.
Saturday: Venturing Further Afield
Head to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, a neighborhood in eastern Montreal, to tour the massive Olympic Stadium that hosted the summer games of 1976. Nearby, the tranquil Botanical Garden houses some 22,000 plant species in 30 themed gardens and 10 greenhouses – a nature-lover’s paradise. Cap off the day with a visit to the peak of Mont Royal, west of the Plateau district. The park at the top is comprised of almost 500 acres of forest, while beautiful Beaver Lake and the lookout near the Chalet du Mont Royal are other highlights. On your way down the mountain, a stop at St. Joseph’s Oratory is sure to impress.
In the evening, enjoy an upscale meal at Toque! – serving only fresh ingredients from local farms – or city favorite Joe Beef, before hitting up the bars on rue Crescent or Boulevard St-Laurent.
Sunday: Hip Hangouts
A half-day exploration of Boulevard St. Laurent is a Montreal stop that many visitors miss – but not an Insider. Some of the city’s best shopping can be found in the form of bookshops and boutiques, while quaint cafes and charming restaurants also abound. Wander through the Plateau district, home to some of Montreal’s most multicultural neighborhoods, including a vibrant Portuguese community and a longstanding Italian district.
Don’t leave town without trying a sandwich from Schwartz’s Deli, revered for its smoked meats since 1928. For more shopping, rue Sainte-Catherine is always popular, or the funky Quartier Latin.