Things to Do in Montreal – One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Here’s how we walked all over Montreal in a day!

Montreal is only about a five hour drive from Toronto, so we’re grateful that we can be there in less than half a day by car. There are so many things to do in Montreal. It’s the kind of city that you can visit over and over again, seeing new and different attractions and places each time.

If you’re a first timer to Montreal, I highly suggest walking around everywhere like we did. This was one of our first trips together, and Justin and I fell in love with the city. With areas like Old Montreal that feel right out of Europe, it truly feels like an escape within our own country.

Here’s a wonderful way to spend 24 hours in Montreal. Walk all over the city and explore by foot.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

OUTDOOR ART IN THE GAY VILLAGE

Our first stop was Montreal’s Gay Village. Justin and I took the Metro to the station, Berri-UQAM and started our walk there.

The two of us walked down Rue St. Catharine to the Gay Village where the street was closed down to traffic for several city blocks. There were outdoor art installations there all summer long, and people could walk down the street freely to shops, restaurants, and outdoor patios.

One of the main art installations there was Les Boules Roses – pink balls strung across the entire length of the road. It was so cool to see all of the pink balls overhead extending for as far as we could see.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

We stumbled upon another art installation at the side of the road. There were several black and white walls lined up beside one another with the word, “IMPASSE” on one side. Visitors wrote their own messages all over it. There were circular holes varying in size through each section of the walls, so we could see straight through from one side to the other.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Even the Metro stop nearby was very colourful! We loved seeing bright bursts of colour all around and artwork in random places. Continue to walk from Rue St. Catharine to Rue St. Denis, and down towards Old Montreal.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

VIEUX MONTREAL

Next up on our list of things to do in Montreal is the iconic neighbourhood of Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal).

It looked like an old town straight out of Europe, right in the middle of a modern major city. There were old buildings and shops, cobblestone roads, people selling art on the streets, and rustic cafes. We walked primarily down Rue Saint Paul as well as the neighboring side streets.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Before long, I was craving a cup of coffee. We were surrounded by restaurants and cafes, so it was difficult to choose which one to visit. I did a quick search on my phone for the best coffee in Old Montreal, and was directed to Café Luna d’Oro on Rue Saint Francois-Xavier.

Justin and I both ordered a couple of delicious Café Americanos that were strong and flavorful. The coffee shop was quaint with only a few seats indoors, but most people were taking their coffee to go.  Although we didn’t order any food (lack of vegan options), all of the menu items were named after planets and galaxies found in outer space. So cool!

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

We continued our walk all around Old Montreal through Artist Alley. Local artists sold their sketches and paintings there, mostly based on Montreal landscapes and life in Canada. There was an adjacent small alley that led to a small outdoor art market with vendors selling mostly jewelry. It was mostly shaded by huge trees and old buildings, and provided some cool shade on a hot summer day.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

OLD PORT

From Old Montreal, we wandered to the nearby Old Port neighbourhood. Upon entering the area, Justin and I noticed an area with all kinds of barrels, pirate flags, and ropes that looked straight out of the 1800s. These looked like props from a movie set or something. Later, we discovered that a group performs reenactments in this historic setting of Old Montreal.

Since no one seemed to be around all of these props, we took it upon ourselves to take some cheesy photos among everything.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Justin and I continued to walk along the water. There was a little bridge that led to a small pond with ducks. We sat on a bench here and rested our legs, watching tourists and locals pilot miniature sailboats around the pond.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

CHINATOWN

From Old Port, we wandered up Boul de Ste-Laurent until we stumbled upon the gates of Chinatown. Witness these iconic red gates with lion statues posed in front of them. We really didn’t stop anywhere in Chinatown, but it was cool to see nevertheless.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

STREET FESTIVALS

Another interesting discovery: many streets in Montreal are closed off to vehicle traffic in the summer so pedestrians can wander about. Justin and I walked into an area like this where vendors set up shop and there were massive sidewalk sales.

I’m not sure how often these street fairs appear in Montreal, but there’s a good chance you might discover one while visiting.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

CONGRESS BUILDING

If you’re a fan of unique architecture and colourful places, add this one to your list of things to do in Montreal. The Congress Building is likely an image you’ve seen on Pinterest (that’s how I discovered it, actually!).

There’s a rainbow of glass panels covering this whole building that look cool on the outside, but even better indoors. The light filters through the glass for a rainbow of light radiating on the inside, too.

Be sure to wander inside the Congress Building to take a look!

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT

Some other places we’ve visited on this trip and other times in Montreal include: Habitat 67 (super cool apartments and one of the most unique architectural residences I’ve seen), the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium for a space show or two, or the Montreal Lantern Festival at the Botanical Garden (in the fall).

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

WHERE TO STAY

Justin and I enjoyed three luxurious evenings at the Hotel Montreal Bonaventure. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and we took full advantage of the rooftop swimming pool, especially during the evenings after long days of exploring the city.

It’s easy to walk all over the city from this hotel, and that’s exactly what we did!

Read more reviews from trusted travellers, and book your stay at the Hotel Montreal Bonaventure.

Things to Do in Montreal - One Day in Montreal

WHERE TO EAT

If you’re looking for delicious vegan eats, be sure to check out Aux Vivres and La Panthere Verte, as well as Sophie Sucree for dessert.

Looking for more photos of Montreal? Check out our entire travel photo album from this adventure to Montreal. From our photo album, you can purchase prints, housewares, phone cases and more – all made from our photography.

 

Things to Do in Montreal, Quebec | 24 Hours in Montreal | Montreal Travel Itinerary | Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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What do you love about Montreal?

19 Responses

  1. vegan miam
    | Reply

    Such a cute gem! Old Port by the water looks amazing! thanks for sharing your travel photos!

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      Thank you for reading and checking out all of the pics! It is a great place to walk around and take in all of the scenery! We both really loved Montreal and hope to be back sometime soon!

  2. Agness
    | Reply

    What a great day! I would do exactly the same when in Montreal – a walk through the city and a quick coffee in between. I’m glad the weather was so amazing!

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      The weather was awesome when we were there! The first day was a bit rainy so we did more indoor activities that day, but the rest was beautiful for walking everywhere!

  3. I love Montreal! Such a great walking city. My mom loves that Christmas store. I find it too funny that there is a whole store dedicated to Christmas decorations.

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      We just stumbled upon the Christmas store and couldn’t resist going inside :) It is great to walk around everywhere! The subway system is really good there, too!

  4. CarmensTravelTips
    | Reply

    Never been to Montreal but some of my best friends are from there. I look forward to visiting one day.

  5. Dave
    | Reply

    Montreal is such a fun city to wander around, isn’t it? The walk downhill to this part of town was really nice when my wife and I visited a few years ago. That’s great that you guys were able to track down some local handicrafts, we’ll have to check out that place the next time we’re back there.

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      I loved walking down into Old Montreal for the first time, it was quite magical going from a regular city into a charming, seemingly European looking town :)

  6. FrankAboutCroatia
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing, guys, you just reminded us how much we love Montreal. This is by far our favorite city in the world. If it wasn’t for the winter, we would move permanently to Montreal.

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      I’ve thought about moving to Montreal! It would be difficult to work there I think without speaking French. You can definitely get by as a tourist, but I think to work there you probably have to be bilingual. It is a great city though and I love it there!

  7. Ashley Hubbard
    | Reply

    I’ve never been to Montreal but I would love to! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

  8. […] traveled together to Montreal, Quebec where we visited historic Old Montreal and Old Port, relaxed at a Nordic Spa for the first time, ate delicious food, ate delicious bagels, and walked […]

  9. […] Vivres Vegan Restaurant La Panthere Verte Restaurant Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium Old Montreal and Old Port Walking All Over the City Cafe Verdure Vegan Restaurant Outdoor Art in Montreal Habitat 67 and […]

  10. […] and would still love to return for more. The last time I was there, Justin and I wandered around Old Montreal, Old Port, and ate some delicious food. There are still plenty of events (like the Chinese Lantern Festival […]

  11. […] Vivres Vegan Restaurant La Panthere Verte Restaurant Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium Old Montreal and Old Port Walking All Over the City Cafe Verdure Vegan Restaurant Outdoor Art in Montreal Habitat 67 and […]

  12. Stuart Forster
    | Reply

    Montreal is a fabulous city. Great to see so many lovely photos.

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