If you live in the northeast of the US, a road trip up to Montreal is a must! If you live elsewhere, a trip to Montreal is still a must! Montreal is located in Canada’s eastern Quebec province and is a city famously known for its French influence. Located just two hours across the US border, an easy trip up to Montreal will leave you feeling like you spent the weekend in Europe! Below are my recommendations for a weekend in Montreal, including what to see, eat, and do in this historic Candaian city!
Weekend in Montreal: Day One
Explore Rue Jacques-Cartier
Once you arrive in Montreal and settle in, I recommend beginning your adventure in Old Montreal. When my boyfriend, Nathaniel, and I first arrived in Montreal it was lunchtime so we ate at Creperie Chez Suzette (SO GOOD) and explored this area. This area has many narrow side streets leading off of it full of French cafes and shops. The cobblestoned streets in this area are so charming, and will truly make you feel like you’re in Europe!
Visit Chateau Ramezay
Also located in Old Montreal is the Chateau Ramezay historical site. This building is now a museum with a lovely garden. It’s located right across from Montreal City Hall and near many of Old Montreal’s historic squares.
Eat Dinner at Taverne Gaspar
This restaurant is centrally located in Old Montreal and was once a 19th- century warehouse. I remember the drinks here being SO good, so check it out!
Fun Fact: The drinking age in the province of Quebec is 18.
Weekend in Montreal: Day Two
Hike in Parc Mont-Royal
Mount Royal Park, also known as the “Mountain” is a sizable park with several trails and a lookout over the entire city. Nathaniel and I began our morning by climbing up hundreds of stairs to a beautiful lookout point that had 180° views of Montreal. There is a visitor’s center and lively park at the top.
Coffee Break at Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons is Canada’s largest fast-food chain and is a popular spot for donuts and coffee for locals. If you’re in need of a pick me up while walking around Montreal, I recommend stopping here for a cheap, but yummy treat!
Eat Lunch at Jardin Nelson
Several people recommended this lunch spot to me in Old Montreal, and I could not recommend it to you all enough! This restaurant has a heated garden patio and a live jazz band. Additionally, the French food here was delicious. It’s a busy spot!
Walk Down Rue Sainte-Catherine
This street is downtown Montreal’s main commercial street, full of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. It is pedestrian only and a fun place to hangout. Festivals are commonly held here, especially during the summer months.
Happy Hour at Maison Cloakroom
This is my top recommendation if you’re over the age of 18 and spending a weekend in Montreal. A local Uber driver informed Nathaniel and I of this bar and we are SO happy we went.
The Cloakroom is a speakeasy bar located in downtown Montreal. The bar is masked as a tailor shop. Once you enter the building, you must push through a floor length mirror to enter the bar. Once you pass through the mirror, walk down the dimly lit hallway to the elegant room at the end. The room has only 5 tables, all lit by candlelight, and a few stools at the bar. We sat at the bar and were greeted by the French bartender.
She explained how the Cloakroom has no menus and practices mixology. Basically, she asks what spirit you prefer and if you want something fruity, refreshing, or dark. We told her our preferences and within seconds she was crafting us each a unique cocktail. The drinks were a bit pricey since this place is so high-end, but it was honestly one of the coolest experiences I’ve had.
Enjoy the Nightlife on Crescent Street
Crescent Street is where all the clubs and bars are located in downtown Montreal. We went to three different places here and really liked a club called Thursdays!
Weekend in Montreal: Day Three
Go to Schwartz Deli
Schwartz Deli in Montreal is one of Canada’s oldest and most famous delis. We went here for a late breakfast/early lunch and got sandwiches to go. Their sandwiches have more meat on them than I even knew could fit on a sandwich.
Visit Place d’Armes Square & Notre Dame Basilica
Next, I recommend visiting Place d’Armes Square, Montreal’s most famous square, located in the heart of Old Montreal. Check out the Notre Dame Basilica! This cathedral was really beautiful architecture and is an iconic sight in Montreal.
Fun Fact: Canadian superstar Celine Dion was married here!
Walk Around Vieux-Port de Montreal
Before getting back on the road, Nathaniel and I walked around the Old Port Waterfront. This area is especially historic; there was actually a colonial reenactment taking place as we were walking by. Additionally, the Montreal Science Center is located in this area.
The Old Port is a great place to grab a bite to eat, bike, rollerblade, watch some local entertainers, and walk around!
That’s all of my recommendations for a weekend in Montreal! Although I recommend driving up to Montreal (it’s only 4.5 hours from Boston), Old Montreal is very walkable. Montreal is a nice getaway from the US, especially if you are under the age of 21, because of its accessibility and French-influence. Lastly, I definitely think three days is enough time to explore the city!
Grab some friends and enjoy your road trip up to Montreal, Canada!
PS. This trip was very affordable for Nathaniel and I at the age of 19. We stayed in an Airbnb and split the cost of gas. We’ve also traveled to Mexico on a budget, so check out that post if you’re looking for ideas for you and your significant other!
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