Montreal: Holidays

A city of a hundred nations

Backpacking

Backpacking in Montreal

Backpacking in Montreal is an affordable way to explore the city with several good value for money hostels within easy walking distance of public transport, Old Montreal, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, major shopping venues, supermarkets, liquor stores and many popular tourist attractions. Most backpacking accommodation in Montreal is situated conveniently near Old Montreal and Mount Royal. Offering a variety of hostels ranging in price from about €15 - €30 per night most include breakfast, towels, linen, washing machines, 24 hour bilingual reception and self catering facilities. Arrangements can also be made for backpackers to explore beyond the city such as trips to Quebec City or Ottawa.

Beach in Montreal

A prime location for a beach retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, Montreal somehow lacks in beaches to be proud of. The city only has two beaches accessible by public transport: Cap St-Jacques, a natural sandy beach situated by the edge of Deux Montagnes Lake and Plage du Parc Jean Drapeau. The latter, a man made lake, is packed during the hot summer months. Enjoy swimming, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking.Open mid-June to the end of August. Further a field (55km) try Oka Park Beach, a nudist beach just northwest of Montreal.

 

Camping

Camping in Montreal

Camp sites in Montreal are located outside the city centre and are only open seasonally from mid-June to September. Camp sites make a good base to explore Montreal while avoiding the crowds. The KOA Montreal South Campground is a full service campground just 20 km from downtown Montreal. Available for tents, RV's, groups and caravans. Horizon camping is another campsite also situated close to Montreal and offers planned activities such as softball, bingo and lawnbowling for guests on top of all the expected amenities.

City Breaks

City Breaks in Montreal

Montreal offers the ideal destination if you’re looking for a city break in a vibrant, cultural Canadian city. A city break in Montreal is a great opportunity to visit one of Canada’s most celebrated cities with the iconic Mount Royal, fascinating Old Montreal, unique art galleries, boutique shopping and a lively French nightlife.

Starting in the downtown most of Montreal's sites can be taken in in one visit. Public transportation such as the Metro, and buses are best for getting around in winter and taxis are also surprisingly reasonably priced. In warmer weather most of the main tourist sites can be reached by foot but dress for the weather and take along a good map.
 

Corporate Weekend

Corporate Weekend in Montreal

A corporate weekend in Montreal is a great opportunity to visit Canada’s most fabulous city. With its chic restaurants, cobblestone streets and European flair, Montreal offers a diverse range of sights to see, things to do and places to stay, and caters for all budgets and tastes. The home of two official languages, Montreal provides the perfect setting for people and ideas to come together and for team building to thrive. Montreal is a great setting for corporate weekends.

 

Cruises

Cruises in Montreal

The Port of Montreal is a major hub as the arrival/departure point(Iberville Passenger Terminal) for cruises making voyages along the St. Lawrence River and the North American East Coast. The route between New York and Montreal is very popular, and includes stops in locations such as Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Bar Harbour, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Corner Brook, Charlottetown, St-Pierre et Miquelon, St. John's, Magdalen Islands, Saguenay, Quebec City and Montreal.

Along the journey you will experience the rugged, forested coastlines of the St. Lawrence River, rustic fishing villages, whales and the granite cliffs of the Saguenay Fjord. September and October are immensely popular for cruises to Montreal as this is the time of year when the leaves change colour along the St. Lawrence River. Cruises abroad also serve Montreal with destinations in Scandinavia. Cruises in Montreal operate May – October.
 

Culture and Arts

Culture and Arts in Montreal

Montreal's culture and arts scene is well known. The city boasts plenty of galleries and museums such as the Fine Arts Museum, Museum of Archaeology, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Montreal is also world known for its Jazz Festival and is the home base of the much loved Cirque de Soleil. Place des Arts (175 rue Saint Catherine St W) in Montreal is the large complex and soon to be new home for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

The arts complex is also home to the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens dance company, the Montreal Opera, and the Broadway musical touring company. Other entertainment hosted here includes chamber music, recitals, folk singers, variety shows, musicals, and classical and modern dance. The Just for Laughs Museum (2111 Saint Laurent Blvd), another Montreal arts staple, offers the International Comedy Hall of Fame and Immortals of Comedy and hundreds of film clips from your favorite comedians.

 

Cycling Activity Holiday

Cycling Activity Holiday in Montreal

Bicycling in Montreal can be an enjoyable experience. The city was voted the best cycling city in North America in 1999. As cycling is often quicker than travelling by car, you can take in the best views of the city by finding several designated cycling tracks; Montreal boasts over 300 km of bike routes and paths located on the island and more than double that in the surrounding region. The city offers bikes for rent from self-service Bixi kiosks, modelled on Paris' successful Velib system.

Bicycles are permitted on the Metro except during rush hour, or speical event days such as the Tour de l'Ile and Fireworks Festival. The Deux-Montagnes and Rigaud lines of the commuter trains permit bicycles. Bike repair shops can be found throughout the city such as Right to Move which provides assistance for do it yourself repairs at a lower cost. Bicycles in Montreal can be rented at the Maison des Cyclistes on Rachel Street East, the Old Port, and Parc Jean Drapeau. Maps of cycling paths in Montreal can be found at tourist bureaus.

One of the most popular Montreal bike rides is along the Lachine Canal, a paved-15 km recreation path between Old Montreal and Lachine. It forms part of the Pole des Rapides cycling route in southwest Montreal. Parc de Mont Royal is another favourite biking spot. Each year the Women's Cycling World Cup takes place on Montreal's streets that climb over the mountain.

 

Disabled Needs

Disabled Needs in Montreal

Montreal is a reasonably disabled-friendly city. Signs mark disabled access for public toilets and subway stations with elevators, as well as disable parking. Public transportation for disabled people is possible by taking lift buses and using certain subway stations. Pierre Elliot Trudeau International is designed for wheelchair accessibility and has an Airport Customer Assistance Program (ACAP) that provides point-to-point transportation and assistance for persons with disabilities as well as for others who require assistance. The top attractions such as the museums and Bell Centre all provide disabled facilities.

Family Holiday

Family Holiday in Montreal

Montreal is one of Canada's most fun loving cities to enjoy a family holiday. It is a bustling city with many of the top attractions catering to young people. In summer children can enjoy weekly firework shows, and pedal along Montreal's pedestrian routes, taking in street vendors, restaurants and street Botanical Gardens in Montreal is a nice family escape from the city; children will love the Insectarium.

For a good walk head to Mount Royal and enjoy the great views of the city below. Ice cream is sold at the summit. Check out Six Flafs, La Ronde, an amusement park that boasts exciting thrill rides, and an annual Halloween Fright Fest. In winter explore Montreal's Underground City, a series of interconnecting complexes in and around the downtown; it is the largest indoor city in the world. Even with younger children you can do most of Montreal’s sightseeing on foot. There is also a wide range of family friendly accommodation options available for reasonable prices. Montreal is definitely a good option for a family holiday.
 

Gay and Lesbian

Gay and Lesbian in Montreal

Montreal is a gay and lesbian friendly city, organizing parades and events promoting gay and lesbian pride throughout the year. There is a wide variety of places and things to do and the nightlife for gays is excellent.

Montreal's gay community is “Village Gay” one of the largest communities in the world. Most bars and clubs can be found here and close at 3 am. Saunas are open 24 hours, are popular and found throughout the city. Pride Week in Montreal takes place in late July. In Montreal visitors will find a city of openness and tolerance. Montreal is a safe city for gays and lesbians, and allows same-sex partners to legally marry and enjoy the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples.

Hen Destination

Hen Destination in Montreal

Montreal is one of the top destinations in Canada for a hen do or bachelorette party as they say in Canada. Not only does Montreal offer party-goers an exciting and fun filled, glamorous night out but it is also perfect for those looking for a weekend of relaxation and sophistication too. There are plenty of bars, live music, and nightclubs in Montreal but if bars aren’t to your taste Montreal offers some interesting hen party alternatives. Options include gallery hopping, spa days, a sex toy party in your hotel room, extravagant shopping, or maybe a lazy day at the beach sporting your A-lister look.

Honeymoon

Honeymoon in Montreal

Montreal has always been a top Canadian destination for honeymooners. Montreal provides the perfect backdrop for an intimate honeymoon in a historic French city. Couples can dine in any number of Montreal's world class restaurants while joying romantic views of the city at night. In the day take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal full of quaint boutiques and charming architecture.

Honeymooners in Montreal looking for old-world elegance and charm can stay at the Ritz-Carlton or the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, where legendary John Lennon wrote “Give Peace a Chance” while staging a bed-in with Yoko Ono. Montreal is full of romance and offers an exciting nightlife; listen to jazz with a good glass of wine or head to Montreal Casino with some newly-wed luck. Accommodation will normally offer exciting honeymoon packages to suit every budget.
 

Golf Activity Holiday

Golf Activity Holiday in Montreal

Montreal and its surrounding areas offer a wide array of golf courses for golf enthusiasts. Canada enjoys avid golfers with a keen interest in the sport. In 2003 Canadian Mike Weir won the prestigious Masters Tournament at Augusta, Georgia, one of the four major tournaments in men's golf.

Most Montreal golf courses, there are 12 in total offer a challenging landscape amidst exciting natural settings. Green fares vary but are reasonable with reduced rates for juniors and seniors. Most courses are open mid-April to mid-November. Top golf courses in Montreal can be found at Meadowbrook, Metrepolitan, Golf Dorval and the Village de Senneville. Surrounding Montreal island you'll find dozens of more golfing opportunities including Golf des Iles, on Ile de Boucherville, just to the south east of the city

Hiking Activity Holiday

Hiking Activity Holiday in Montreal

Montreal's unique location means it has some very good hiking and walking trails and one of the best ways to get around Montreal (from a sight-seeing point of view) except of course in winter. Bring a street/subway map to plan your itinerary or simply wander around the downtown area and Old Montreal (Take in a Ghost Tour). If you plan to hike some of the nature trails, Mount Royal is a must. The landmark on Montreal, the mountain park is great for hiking. Other areas worth hiking in Montreal are the Nature Parks of Cap-St-Jacques, Bois-de-Liesse and Pointe-aux-Prairie. Just outside the city you will also find some very good Provincial Parks such as Iles-de-Boucherville. Montreal is fastly becoming a city dedicated to its green and historic pathways. Be sure to wear good walking shoes, bring sunscreen and a hat, water bottles and insect repellent.

Party Holiday - Singles Life

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Montreal

Montreal, considered the Paris of North America is a fantastic city for planning a night out. From all-night club hopping to pub crawls, live music venues, lounges, comedy clubs and gay and lesbian clubs Montreal has something for everyone. Weekends are busiest but the nightlife is still vibrant and often cheaper during the weekdays. Montreal also enjoys an avid theatre and cinema crowd. For restaurants, bars, and cafés head to the downtown commercial district, from rue Stanley to rue Guy between rue Ste-Catherine and boulevard de Maisonneuve.

If you’re single and looking for crowded dance floors and thumping music you won’t need to look hard or go far. Best places to go are the concentrated areas of Plateau Mont-Royal “The Main” and Old Montreal. Clubs and bars don't close until 3 am and most don't charge cover. For something a little different head to Casino de Montreal for some late night gambling. Gays and lesbians can head to Montreal's Gay Village.
 

Shopping Holiday

Shopping Holiday in Montreal

Montreal is a hotspot for world-class shopping, evident by the many well dressed women (arguably the best dressed in Canada). Try heading first to Ste Catherine Street for some serious trends. For some truly unique pieces go to “the Main' Saint-Laurent where you will just about everything. Chinatown is an upbeat alternative for speciality items.

For classic designer brands go to Sherbrooke Street. The Underground City in Montreal also boasts some fine shopping, particularly in winter. The Underground City is home to many shops and eateries including the Eaton Centre and Place des Arts. Old Montreal is the perfect place to do some simultaneous exploring and shopping and check out the antiques. Montreal's downtown also has no shortage of shopping complexes including Place Montreal Trust, Place Ville Marie and Place Alexis Nihon.
 

Skiing - Snow Boarding

Skiing - Snow Boarding in Montreal

Although overshadowed by the Canadian Rockies and Whistler, Montreal offers a good city alternative for skiers and snowboarders. Ski passes in Montreal are significantly cheaper than other major Canadian cities. With two convenient locations: University of Montreal and Beaver Lake on Mont Royal these hills are ideal for beginners and children. All equipment can be rented on site and lessons can be provided.

The best time to go is in January and February and March Easter Break. Often if you buy a pass during these times, you can ski for free the next time.
For something different try snowshoeing. Outside Montreal you will find a vast amount of skiing and snowboarding options including St Sauveur in the Laurentians (the largest amount of night runs in the world) and in the north Mont Tremblant. Other good areas surrounding Montreal include Bromont, Orford and Owlshead.
 

Well-being and Spa

Well-being and Spa in Montreal

Whether you’re a bride-to-be or just needing some me time, when it comes to professional and modern spas Montreal is an ideal destination. Offering luxury spa holidays designed to reduce stress, relieve muscle pain, relax or enhance skin tones, you can indulge and pamper yourself guilt free. Soothe the mind and body under the care of professional therapists providing modern treatments, and tailor made programs to help you get exactly what you need, and to suit your budget.

Spa holidays are about unwinding with a soothing massage or choosing from a range of rejuvenating packages. Most Montreal hotel spas make great spa retreat holidays as the majority have everything to offer including steam rooms, indoor pools, saunas and relaxation areas and even a relaxing glass of wine. A spa retreat in Montreal might not be cheap but is well worth the money.
 

Stag Destination

Stag Destination in Montreal

With so many bars and clubs Montreal makes a great destination for stag parties or bachelor weekends. Finding traditional forms of male entertainment such as strippers is not difficult but if you’re looking for some alternatives try going to Montreal Casino for an exciting night out or take in a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion) match. Pub crawls in which you can rent a bus are popular, as is playing paintball, golfing, skiing. Guys on stag in Montreal can also catch the Montreal Canadiens (Montreal's NHL team) in action. Montreal is an affordable option for a stag party as it offers a wide range of accommodation choices suited for every budget and taste. Overall, Montreal makes a great stag-do choice.

Sailing Activity Holiday

Sailing Activity Holiday in Montreal

Sailing in Montreal is fun and accessible and has a great sailing community. You don’t need to own your own boat to experience the amazing waters surrounding Montreal. You can rent a boat for a couple of hours or even a week. Take a sailing lesson from any one of Montreal's many clubs (such as Baie d'Urfe Yacht club) in the summer months with courses designed to suit beginners up to advanced sailors. Sailors in Montreal can simply enjoy Lake St Louis, Lake Champlain, the St. Lawrence River or explore as far as the ocean. Most clubs have harbour space on offer and strorage available for small boats. Racing is also popular.