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Things to do in Montreal

Montreal Weekend Trip from Michigan

Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming of a place brimming with cultural flair, echoing history, and seducing your taste buds at every corner? Well then Montreal may be your dream destination.


There’s a variety of things to do in Montreal for just about any travel style. It’s like walking through Europe’s postcard streets without ever crossing the Atlantic.


For Michiganders, Montreal isn’t such a distant city; it’s an accessible gem a stone’s throw away, beckoning with its unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.


Keep reading for our suggestions for things to do in Montreal.

Things to do in Montreal

Things To Do In Montreal

Day 1 Old Montreal Mornings

Old Montreal welcomes you with open arms. Walking these cobbled streets, it’s hard not to feel the buzz – a blend of old-world charm and modern-day hustle. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Yet, trust us, it’s real.


And it’s one of the most popular things to in Montreal.


You’d think some old buildings must have a story or two up their sleeves, right? The buildings in Montreal?


Oh, they’ve got volumes. Pass by. Peer at their facades. Maybe they’ll whisper a secret or two.


And if walls could talk, the Notre-Dame Basilica would sing – in gothic tones, of course. A mosaic of stories, each tile, each window, holding centuries of devotion.

Things to do in Montreal
Mount Royal

Mount Royal Afternoons

Another famous choice among things to do in Montreal is to escape to Mount Royal.


Don’t just see it from a distance; get up close and personal. It’s like Montreal’s natural skyscraper – only with no glass and steel.


One could wander or march right to the top. Either way, it’s a rendezvous with Mother Nature right in the heart of the city.


Once at the summit, what awaits isn’t just a view; it’s an experience. City grid on one side, sprawling greens on the other. If contrasts were art, this view would be a masterpiece.


A canvas painted in urban hues and nature’s brushstrokes. Drink it in. We did, and oh, the serenity!

Things to do in Montreal

Little Italy in the Evenings

Hungry, are we? Well, aren’t evenings meant for a bit of indulgence? And Little Italy, with its tantalizing aroma wafting through the air, calls out like a siren song.


You think you know pizza? Try the ones here. That crust, that cheese – it’s almost poetic.


Each bite here feels like home, or like a journey to a distant land – depending on what you’re looking for. And as for comparisons with Michigan’s dishes?


Some are like distant cousins, others like long-lost twins. The food here is about a story in every bite.


And what’s a meal without a grand finale?


Dive into desserts – from creamy gelatos to rich tiramisus, there’s no way you’ll pass on any of those.


Whether you’re a foodie or just appreciate a good meal, Little Italy is a must among things to do in Montreal.

Things to do in Montreal

Day 2 Spend the Morning at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

So, you think you’ve seen art? Wait till you wander the echoing halls of one of the most popular things to do in Montreal.


Pieces, from abstract to Renaissance, beckon, each resonating with a unique vibe. We thought we’d seen color, but the palettes here? They redefine vibrancy.


The quiet murmurs of other admirers provide the perfect background score. They say every brushstroke tells a tale; we found ourselves in chapters. Go for the art, stay for the stories.


And if whispers of guided tours reach your ears, give in. You’ll thank us later. The secrets these walls hold, they’re best unlocked by those in the know.

Things to do in Montreal
Jean Talon Market

Jean-Talon Market Afternoons

Bustle. Aroma. Color. That’s Jean-Talon for you. It’s a carnival, a feast for the senses, every single day. Wander through. Rub shoulders with locals.


There’s a warmth here, wrapped in the scent of fresh produce and baked goods.


Every stall is a new chapter. Fruits you’ve never seen, cheeses that melt in your mouth, and handcrafted trinkets that scream ‘take me home!’


There’s an energy, a pulse. And come lunch? Dive into the delicacies. From mouth-watering sandwiches to aromatic coffees, the gastronomic journey here? Stellar.

Things to do in Montreal
St. Catherine

Saint Catherine Street Evenings

Twinkling lights. Laughter. Music notes in the air. That’s Saint Catherine Street as dusk descends. This street is the city’s heartbeat. And another highly popular choice among things to do in Montreal.


Every corner holds a surprise. A café you haven’t spotted before, a busker serenading the moon, or maybe a bistro with the perfect vibe.


Flavors that dance on your tongue, paired with the perfect wine. We raised a toast, not just to the food, but to Montreal itself.


And if you’re not ready to call it a night? Seek out the live shows. We found ourselves amidst jazz notes, theatrical acts, and street performances, each a reflection of Montreal’s eclectic soul.


With all these things to do in Montreal, there’s only one more takeaway for a perfect weekend. Whether you’re visiting from Michigan, or other corners of the US and world, these Montreal travel tips will ensure a smooth adventure.

Things to do in Montreal

And Last But Not Least, Brownstone and the Biosphere

If you’re looking for things to do in Montreal that are picture friendly and will add highlights to your reel, definitely explore Brownstone and the Biosphere.


The Biosphere is a museum dedicated to the environment and shows visitors how the environment and society blend together while ‘Brownstone’ is an urban neighborhood known for its Brownstone architecture and a favorite spot for photography.

Things to do in Montreal
Mount Royal

Traveler’s Tips for Montreal


If you’re looking to pamper yourself, some of the best hotels Montreal has to offer are nestled right in its heart. With chic interiors, top-notch amenities, and views that’ll leave you spellbound, they’re an experience in themselves.


Venture On

Venture beyond downtown. Neighborhoods like Mile End and Plateau are where the real culture thrives. Trust us, it’s worth the walk.

Things to do in Montreal


Canadian winters can be chilly, especially in Montreal. Pack warm! Those layers aren’t just a fashion statement; they’re a survival kit.



If you’re driving, be wary of the many one-way streets. Confusing? A bit. Adventurous? Absolutely!
Montreal’s public transport is not only efficient but eco-friendly. A day pass grants unlimited rides, letting you seamlessly weave between city gems, saving both time and carbon footprints.

Things to do in Montreal

When in Montreal, Speak as the Montrealers Do

Bonjour! – Hello!
Merci – Thank you
Où est…? – Where is…?
Combien? – How much?
Excusez-moi – Excuse me
Je voudrais… – I would like…


A dash of local lingo goes a long way. Sprinkle these phrases in your conversations. A smile, a nod, and voila! You’re not just a traveler; you’re a traveler with flair. Cheers to making memories in Montreal!

Things to do in Montreal

Frequently Asked Questions About Montreal

What’s the best time of year to visit Montreal?

Well, timing’s everything. Summer’s embrace, from June’s gentle start to August’s balmy end, invites a cavalcade of festivals and warm, inviting breezes. But, dare we say, December has its own snow-kissed allure? Ice skates, festive moods, and twinkling lights transform Montreal into a winter wonderland.


Do people speak more English or French here?

Ah, the age-old question. Montreal, ensconced in Quebec’s embrace, leans towards the melodic “Bonjour.” While you’ll find many tongues dancing between English and French, it’s the latter that paints the town, its signs, and its songs.


Is the food different from the rest of Canada?

Oh, absolutely. The city plates up a tantalizing fusion – flavors kissed by French finesse yet uniquely Canadian. We’ve savored poutine that’s a messy masterpiece, bitten into smoked meat sandwiches, and indulged in Montreal-style bagels, a sweet departure from their New York kin.


Any local customs I should know about?

Just a few subtle ones. Stride into a café or boutique and let a warm “Bonjour” roll off your tongue. It’s like an unspoken handshake, an invitation to the city’s heart. And after that exquisite meal or impeccable service? A tip, around 15-20%, is a nod of appreciation, a silent “Merci.”


Can I get around easily without a car?

Dance away, folks. Montreal’s rhythm is set by its swift metros and buses, forming an intricate ballet of urban mobility. And for those moments when we craved the open air? BIXI bikes awaited, ready to waltz us through the city’s streets.

Things to do in Montreal
Basilica of Notre-Dame

In Closing

We’ve listed the best among things in Montreal, travel tips, and even answered some of the most common questions from visitors. The rest is up to you! So what are you waiting for?


Start planning your Montreal weekender today!

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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