A trendy metropolitan city collides perfectly with historic European charm to give Montreal a truly unique feel. The city has an undying love of their local hockey team, maple infused favourites, and friendly “Bonjours”. These features help carve out an identity that is truly Canadian.
I have been to Montreal many times, having been lucky enough to grow up only a couple hours away. The emphasis on fashion, food and culture have always made it a top destination my girlfriends and I.
Here is my itinerary for the perfect girls weekend in Montreal.
Shopping is always a good idea on a girls trip, especially in one of the main fashion forward cities in Canada.
Stroll the chain stores of Rue St. Catherine to find your favourite brands. My favourite places are always the small boutique stores. Many of these can be found lining the streets of St. Laurent Blvd, but are also located in most spots around the city. I like to ask the locals for the shopping hotspots because they are always changing.End your day with an amazing dinner and drinks. The options really are endless here. Explore the side streets or ask a local for a recommendation.
One of my favourite finds from my last trip was Cafe Vasco De Gama, a Portuguese style place with a casual European feel.
Morning: Old Montreal
Start your day off with a delicious Jazz brunch at Le Jardin. The name means the garden. This is a fitting choice as the semi-outdoor patio surroundings are like those seen in fairytales.
Walk off your breakfast by exploring the cobblestone streets and grey brick store fronts of the old city in the morning. Locally-owned boutiques, small coffee shops, and street vendors will be showing off their hand-made art.
If you are sick of exploring, Notre Dame Basilica is worth a visit for its impressive architecture and religious artwork. And the Archeology Museum gives an interesting insight into the local history.
Afternoon: Art Gallery
Located downtown in several buildings, this gallery features an impressive collection of art ranging in a variety of periods and styles. There is a particular attention to Canadian artists in certain buildings. And the visiting exhibits are impressively displayed.
Sunday: Biodome and Botanical Gardens
Located in the same area along with an insectarium and planetarium, the Biodome and Botanical Garden make a perfect pairing. If you plan on doing both, it is cheaper to buy the full museum pass and you will get you access to each.
As the name implies, the Biodome features the re-creation of several habitats which are home to many furry and not so furry friends. Although popular with families, I have been several times with friends and everyone seems to love it.
The Botanical Gardens are impressively manicured and features a variety of flowers and plants from around the world. The gardens make for a beautiful walk on a sunny day. The Japanese garden is by far my favourite, with its coy pond and quiet shrine.
Have a couple of extra days? Try combining this trip with a visit to Quebec City.