Beyond the historic prowess of its French heritage, Montreal is constantly adding new layers to its evolving personality. Here you’ll find an ever-changing set of artistic, cultural and social events, an unending stream of restaurant openings and an unrivalled joie de vivre.
Where to Stay
If you like trendy things: The Alt Hotel
If you like arts and culture: Hotel Zero1
Where to stay Book a room at design-forward Hotel Zero1, located in the heart of the art and culture district, the Quartier des Spectacles. In the hotel’s lobby, look up at the velvet ropes dangling from the ceiling, a nod to area’s red-carpet cachet, before heading to the fifth-floor terrace for panoramic views of Montreal.
If you like spas and wellness: Ritz-Carlton
Pamper your mind and body in style at the Ritz-Carlton. Elegant rooms include rain showers, soaker tubs and luxurious Asprey bath amenities. Re-energize with a Detox & Revive treatment at the hotel’s Spa St. James, then order a bit of bubbly at the only by-the-glass Dom Pérignon Champagne bar in the country.
If you like history: Hotel Place d’Armes
Boutique Hotel Place d’Armes stretches across three 19th-century neoclassical buildings, with rooms featuring soaring ceilings and original exposed brick. There are three restaurants to choose from—including golden-era-Paris-inspired Brasserie 701—and a rooftop terrace with gorgeous views.
What to Do
If you like trendy things: Rent an electric boat from H20 Adventures
Cruise the 14-kilometre-long Lachine Canal from Griffintown to pass historic sites like the art deco Atwater Market and abandoned Canada Malting Silos factory. Stop for a pint at the McAuslan Brewery’s St. Ambroise terrace.
If you like arts and culture: See a performance at Place des Arts
Spend an evening at Place des Arts, the largest performing arts venue in Canada. Check what’s on offer at the Cinquième Salle, one of the venue’s more intimate spaces, featuring the kind of innovative and edgy theatre, dance, music and experimental performances Montreal is known and loved for.
If you like spas and wellness: Have a Nordic spa day at Bota Bota
For a truly unique spa experience, spend the day at Bota Bota. This floating oasis occupies an entire boat moored in the Old Port and has some of the best views of Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. Bota Bota is a classic Nordic spa, so guests can do the hot-cold circuit of saunas, baths and plunge pools.
If you like history: Do a self-guided Montréal en Histoires walking tour after dark
To learn more about the city’s storied past, download the free Montréal en Histoires app and take to the streets of the old city after dark. The app allows you to use your phone at locations like the Champ de Mars or Notre-Dame Basilica to see animations and hear about that attraction’s history.
Where to Eat
If you like trendy things: Foxy
The first aroma to entice you at Foxy restaurant is from the wood-fired oven where many signature dishes—such as the richly satisfying hanger steak—are cooked. This formerly under-the-radar local favourite, with its speakeasy vibe and wood, brick and brass fixtures, has grabbed national attention so book ahead.
If you like arts and culture: Modavie
Modavie wine bar is a lively, Old Montreal spot known for its delicious French bistro fare—try the Arugula Pistou Tagliatelle—and some of the best live jazz you’ll find in the city. It’s a Montreal institution that’s retained its old-timey charm. Loyal patrons croon along with their favourite singers every night of the week.
If you like spas and wellness: HVOR
For ultra-fresh, locally sourced dishes, head to Scandinavian-inspired HVOR (6). Here, emphasis on ingredient origins is paramount: the restaurant has its own vegetable garden and ever-changing tasting menus featuring dishes like scallops surrounded by raw cauliflower coleslaw topped with daikon and roe.
If you like history: Bar George
Once the lavish home of Sir George Stephen, then a private gentlemen’s club that hosted dignitaries like Princess Margaret and Pierre Trudeau, Bar George (8) has finally let in the public. Wood panelling and hand-painted wallpaper send you back in time, while an English-inspired menu shines.