How to Spend a Long Weekend in Montreal

Montreal is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway—here’s what to do.

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Montreal is a city touched by art, culture and history. This exhilarating metropolis has touches of French life intertwined with Canadian history and culture, and offers a European experience, but without the transatlantic travel for those coming from the U.S. With it just being a short one-and-a-half hour flight away from New York City, Montreal is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

Due to the expansive layout of the city, Montreal is best explored on foot, with assistance from the public transportation system, the Société de transport de Montréal. Almost everything is accessible by bus or train. Downtown Montreal and Old Montreal are two of the most popular destinations within the Canadian city, with an array of unique hotels, restaurants, shops and activities. Here's our guide on how to make the most of a weekend excursion to Montreal. 

Where to Stay

Le Mount Stephen

  • 1440 Drummond St, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1V9, Canada

Le Mount Stephen is a hotel steeped in Canadian history. Located in Downtown Montreal’s Golden Square Mile neighborhood in an elegant Neo-Renaissance building with a sleek modern tower, this 19th century boutique hotel is a historic landmark, with roots tracing back to Lord George Stephen and his exclusive Mount Stephen Club. At this luxury spot, guests can dine at Bar George, which is inspired by Lord Stephen's British and Canadian ancestry, and relax in their renowned spa, Mbiospa Prestige. Once you step outside the classic stone entrance way, you’re within walking distance of some of Montreal’s most popular destinations, including McGill University, the Montreal Fine Arts Museum and Dorchester Square.

Le Mount Stephen's Bar George. Le Mount Stephen

Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton

  • 1425 Rue de la Montagne, Montréal, QC H3G 1Z3, Canada

The Vogue Hotel sits right across the street from some of the city’s most famous designer stores. This classic downtown hotel is known for its unique style—a lobby with no corners, velvet accent pieces and lavish chandeliers. The Vogue, which debuted the glamorous results of a renovation in 2023, also boasts a fitness center, brand-new spa and some of the largest guest rooms in the area. For dining, this space spares no expense. Yama Bar & Restaurant, which features a Japanese-American fusion menu, is headed by Canadian celebrity chef antonio park.

Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton. Hilton.

Hotel Gault

  • 449 Ste Helene, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2Y 2K9

On the other side of the city, in the historic district of Old Montreal, Hotel Gault occupies a corner building that dates back to 1871, when it was constructed by businessman Andrew F. Gault. In contrast to its 19th century past, the inside of the hotel is decked out in modern designer furniture, with art from local photographer valerie jodoin keaton displayed in the lobby. This space is located steps from Notre Dame Cathedral, the Montreal Archeology Museum and the marina, where you can walk along the piers.

Hotel Gault. Hotel Gault.

What to do

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

  • 1380 Sherbrooke Street West Montreal, Quebec H3G 1J5

Visitors of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts can find an immersive collection of over 47,000 installations spread across multiple buildings. The museum’s collection is made up of a mix of Quebec and Canadian heritage, Indigenous art and international art pieces. If you find yourself hungry or tired during your exhibition visits, take a break at Beaux-Arts Bistro, the on-site restaurant. Don’t forget to explore the area, either—the museum is located within the famed Museum District, which features an array of boutiques and private galleries.

The Michal and Renata Hornstein. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Pavilion for Peace. Photo MMFA, Denis Farley

Bell Centre

  • 1909 Av. des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Montréal, QC H3B 5E8, Canada

Hockey, Canada’s national winter sport, is a key part of Montreal culture. The Montreal Canadiens have been their home team since the 1920s, and have been playing at the Bell Centre arena since 1996. This arena is one of the most famous in North America, and has a dedicated tour for those who want to learn more about the Original Six NHL hockey team and the venue. On the tour, guests visit the Alumni Lounge, press box, conference room, team locker room and store.

View of Centre Bell before the NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings. NHLI via Getty Images

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal)

  • 110 R. Notre Dame O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T1, Canada

Although the Parish of Notre Dame was founded in 1678, the basilica you can visit today was constructed in 1982, following renovations, expansions and a destructive fire. It is a designated national historic site and is one of the largest Catholic places of worship in North America. Although it is still used for important religious events, it is mostly known for being a tourist hotspot, and has been used for exhibitions, concerts and shows such as The AURA Experience, Luciano Pavarotti’s Christmas Concert and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra.

Sanctuaire, Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. Alain Régimbald

Where to Shop

Eaton Center of Montreal

  • 705 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3B 4G5, Canada

Located in the heart of Downtown Montreal, Eaton Center is an iconic part of the city’s shopping experience. With over 125 store fronts spread out amongst the five floors, you can spend all day wandering through its expansive halls.

Inside the Eaton Center. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Underground City (RÉSO)

Visited by over a quarter of a million people every day, Montreal’s Underground City, also known as RÉSO, is found below the busy streets of Downtown Montreal, and contains restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, a movie theater and even a library. Through the underground city, one can access many of Montreal’s malls, event centers and transportation hubs. It is also a great way to escape the cold and unpredictable Canadian weather.

Montreal’s Underground City, also known as RÉSO. stephanie quiroz/Unsplash

Bonsecours Market

  • 350 Rue Saint-Paul E, Montréal, QC H2Y 1H2, Canada

For more than a hundred years, Bonsecours Market has been a center for the people of Québec to sell local products. This neoclassical heritage building in Old Montreal is also the headquarters of the Québec Crafts Council, which houses 15 boutiques centered around the sale of Canadian and Native arts, jewelry and furniture. This is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the First Nations culture of Montreal.

Bonsecours Market. Andrew Gaz/Unsplash

Where to Eat

Maison Boulud

  • Ritz-Carlton Montreal, 1228 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, Québec, H3G 1H6, Canada

Located in the Ritz-Carlton, Daniel Boulud’s Maison Boulud is a vibrant part of the Montreal food scene. This restaurant, bar and lounge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a twist on traditional French food.

Maison Boulud. Alexandre Parent

Chez Delmo

  • 275 R. Notre Dame O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T8, Canada

Chez Delmo, a classic in Old Montreal, is an elegant space that serves French seafood. When it first opened in the 1930s, it was not the luxurious dining experience it is now—the original owners built it as a combination restaurant-game room-brothel. These days, their menu includes lobster Thermidor, Dover sole and Sturgeon caviar. Chef Sébastien Gagné stays true to traditional cooking methods and impeccable quality products, which has been instilled in the foundation of Chez Delmo since it reopened in its current form in 1964. Don’t forget, reservations are required.  

Chez Delmo. Chez Delmo

Bouillon Bilk

  • 1595 Boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S9, Canada

If you are in search of a chic, sophisticated French Canadian meal, Bouillon Bilk is the Montreal dining experience for you. With its thoughtfully selected wine menu and late night service, this minimalistic restaurant is refined and polished. Chef François Nadon utilizes a semi-open kitchen and simple ingredients to provide a culinary presentation like no other.

Bouillon Bilk. Bouillon Bilk


  • 9 Fairmount Ave E , Montréal QC H2T 1C7

For a more casual meal, check out Larrys, the brainchild of the minds behind Montreal staples Lawrence and Boucherie Lawrence. Since its opening in 2016, Larrys has functioned as a classic English breakfast spot until the evening, when they bring out their renowned wine list and dinner menu, with dishes such as albacore ceviche and beef tartare. They don't accept reservations, so check their virtual walk-up list before heading over.

Larrys. Larrys

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