Montreal Attractions to Visit This Year : 18 not to miss!
Montreal has no shortage of summer activities. On any given day, social media apps remind us of festivals, events, bazaars, and now even temporary restaurants. More than that, it’s practically impossible to walk down the street without witnessing a summer phenomenon such as an outdoor piano, a market, or a free concert. But that doesn’t mean that planning isn’t important: the best of the best is still easy to miss. Here’s a list of 17 things you’ve just got to pencil into your summer schedule this year.
18. Bring your date to one of Montreal’s new restaurants
“I know this great new place” is a sure way to impress that special someone in your life. Or you know, anyone. Whether you’re the foodie or know one, partake in the city’s culinary buzz. We even made a list of our favourites for you:
17. Watch films the Montreal way: at a festival
Source: la S.A.T.
The always eclectic Fantasia Film Fest is happening from July 16 to August 4th, drawing in film fanatics and average movie lovers alike. The Montreal World Film Festival then ends the season with foreign films galore, from August 21 to September 1. In classic festival fashion, this one hosts “Cinema Under the Stars” which you can catch for free. La S.A.T. has also been known to put on “Cinema Urbain” at Peace Park, so keep an eye out for that.
Photo: Pop Montreal
Every weekend from June 9th to August 19th, this market allows the high concentration of artists in the Mile-End area and its surroundings to showcase and sell their products: artisanal foods, clothing, local produce… along with barbeques, film projections, and musical acts… This is your chance to experience what the Mile-End and its neighbours have been creating all winter.
Photo: Pianos Publics de Montreal
There’s something almost mystical about walking down the street and coming across a Piano Public. Listening to a perfect stranger perform their tunes in open air makes passers by stop in their tracks and gather around. These miniature gatherings for the sake of music isn’t only heartwarming: it’s inspiring, and a refreshing reminder that we’ve all got to slow down and enjoy who and what’s around us from time to time.
14. Take part in the comedy scene!
Between the Just for Laughs festival, Zoofest, and Fringe Fest, there is no shortage of comedy in this city. All three festivals offer a selection of shows for budgets ranging from free to quite pricey, ensuring that everyone can get a good dose of laughter. Fringe is your go-to for everything local and quirky, and Zoofest is going to be a treat for those of us who appreciate emerging, eclectic talents, and Just For Laughs will be bringing in household names like Weird Al Yankovic and Dave Chapelle.
2013 was the end of the Street Food Free Era and the beginning of the Gourmet Food Truck Age for Montreal. Because these food trucks can’t roam exactly free, “First Fridays” at the Olympic stadium brings them all together to create something of a gourmet food buffet/party, where you and your friends can each pick a different (but equally succulent) meal. The event has even added 300 new sitting spots this year, with La Buvette Alsace Beaujolais. 300 spots with.. shade.
Source: Orange Julep
This landmark of an orange near Namur metro has a history of girls on roller blades serving burgers and juleps to your car window. This history leaves an imprint: outdoor picnic tables, outdoor speakers, and Classic Car Wednesdays, come sling back that strange orange drink as you have a unique Montreal experience.
This is Montreal’s oldest Catholic church. It was built in 1824-1829 and is known for its impressive architectural design but most importantly for its stunning interior of stained glass windows that chronicle Montreal’s history. There is a small fee of 5.00$ to enter the church- but it is definitely worth it.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of Canada’s most well-known museums, having the highest attendance rate among all other museums in the country. It hosts a combination of international and Canadian exhibits. Its permanent collection is free and presents over 10 different periods and genres.
Source: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Quartier des spectacles is a neighbourhood that is a popular cultural and entertainment destination. It hosts a variety of shows and concerts that stick to a vision of “Life, Art and Entertainment”. They have over 100 shows a month in the summertime, 8 facades with architectural video projections, and a total of 8 exciting public spaces.
This Mile-End Food tour is rated within the top 5 activities to do in Montreal according to Trip-Advisor. It allows you to taste local creations and discover the rich history and authentic culture of the city of Montreal. Tours are given several days a week, and cost 49$ per person.
7. Go shopping on St. Catherine street
If you want to go shopping, St. Catherine is the place to be. It is the central business district of Montreal, and home to the largest stores in the city such as the Bay, Simons, Birks and Ogilvy. It also has an array of shops and several shopping centers, including Les Cours Mont-Royal, Place Montréal Trust, Eaton Centre, Complexe Les Ailes and Promenades Cathédrale.
(Picture Credit: http://correresmidestino.com)
Source: Tourisme Montreal
Montreal’s Botanical Garden is a huge garden that is over 75 hectares (190 acres) featuring over 20,000 different plant species, conjugated within themed gardens and greenhouses. You will also find many cultural activities on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Montreal Symphony Orchestra very impressive to listen to. The stage can accommodate 120 musicians and 200 voices. The theater has been renovated into a wood auditorium and the concert hall is designed primarily for unamplified music performance, so the acoustics are spectacular. Here you can really see the true love of music that happens in Montreal.
4. Wind down at Spa Scandinave
Winner of the Grand Prix Tourisme Montreal 2015, and the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, Spa Scandinave is a dream come true for Montrealers and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Old Montreal, stroll down the cobblestone streets and come here for the best of thermal therapy, massages, water therapy, and a host of other relaxing services. Its contemporary decor, world class service, and unique experience will keep you coming back for more.
Intelligence is sexy! Go get smart in Old Montreal by visiting the Museum’s temporary Agatha Christie exhibit, on until April 17th 2016. Through a chronological exposition of artifacts and fun mystery, the exhibit showcases the famous author’s intriguing life and accomplishments. If Christie isn’t your thing, you can become a Montreal history expert through the Museum’s permanent exhibits! Yours truly, Montreal for example, uses media to tell the story of this beautiful city. Take a look at their website for details and pricing.
2. Climb to the top of Mount-Royal
The Mont-Royal is one of Montreal’s largest green spaces and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who inaugurated New York’s famous Central Park. This is the perfect place to hike, exercise, have a picnic or just hang out. In the summertime Mount-Royal hosts a popular activity called the “Tam-Tams”: a Sunday gathering where tam-tam players play and others are encouraged to watch, dance and meet people from the community! You can also make Lac aux Castors your destination! You can make its steep stairs as a cardio workout, drive or jog to the top. Whichever one you choose, one thing is for sure: you’ll be in a forest right in the middle of the city, a gem that never gets old!
1. Walk down the St. Laurent boulevard
Photo: Arlow Laliberte Seyer, https://www.facebook.com/herosdekaraoke
Picture: Daniel Esteban
St. Laurent boulevard is a major street in Montreal, running North through South, in and out of pivotal centers of the city. Also known as “The Main”, it is home to various neighbourhoods such as: “Little Italy”, the “Mile-End”, and the “Red Light District”. It is also recognized for its cultural attractions: as its streets are lined with urban art, murals, galleries, and other cultural organizations. The boulevard is also a popular destination for his public piano events and his public karaoke happenings. Also, The Main hosts the mural festival which can’t be missed, and is always decorated during the winter time.