Headed to Canada this summer, but only have 48 hours in Montreal? You may not be able to cover it all, but this sample 2 day itinerary will give you a taste of what this great city has to offer:
Start your day right by making a beeline for Fairmount Bagel, as this culinary institution produces some of the finest bagels you’ll ever have. Open 24/7, you could hit it up bright and early at 7 a.m. if you want to get a jump start on your sightseeing, or you could sleep in and amble over at 10 a.m. No matter when you choose to get going, their twenty plus varieties of this morning-favourite will be waiting for you fresh out of the oven.
While the morning is still young, make your way up Mount Royal to take advantage of the best views of downtown Montreal. The Kondiaronk Belvedere is a great lookout spot and there are also many nature trails to enjoy on the way to the summit.
After a long morning enjoying Mount Royal views, nature, and people watching opportunities, reward your ambitious decision to wake early by treating yourself to an indulgent lunch on Rue Peel or Rue St. Catherine West.
Both thoroughfares are popular spots for restaurants that serve up hearty, delicious fare at reasonable prices. Ferreira Cafe (Portuguese) and Restaurant Cavalli (Italian) are great spots on Peel, while those looking for a meal on St. Catherine West can’t go wrong by getting a table at Reuben’s Deli & Steaks (home to the smoked meat sandwich) or at Europea Restaurant (French cuisine, located just off St Catherine on Rue de La Montagne).
Spend some time strolling along Saint Catherine Street. If you love shopping, there are numerous retailers ranging from mainstream brands like GAP and Zara, to indie shops offering boutique fashions and accessories.
Head back to your hotel for a nap. With a long night ahead in one of Canada’s liveliest cities, you’ll need it!
Since you’ll be bar crawling in the Latin Quarter and on Saint Catherine Street this evening, start your night out at Cinko, which is noted for stylish quick serve food at very reasonable prices. Think poutine with sweet potato fries, but also a good selection of salads and meals like Portuguese chicken, all at prices that will satisfy you for no more than $15 per person in many cases.
Paint the town red. From brewpubs and hookah bars in the Latin Quarter, to the college nightlife scene in and around McGill, there’s a pub, bar or nightclub in this town that’s right for you.
Start your second morning in Montreal by dragging your party-weary body to Cosmos Snack Bar. A classic diner famous for reputedly having the best home fries in the city, the greasy brunch combos will lull you out of your stupor, getting you ready to check out the rest of what this amazing city has to offer.
From there you can head down to the waterfont, where a giant performance space sits for Cirque de Soleil during the summer. If you have not seen this spectacle of human artistic expression and athleticism, you owe it to yourself to change this while at the Old Port.
While this institution of fresh food and culinary goodness is best experienced first thing in the morning, checking out Atwater Market in the middle of afternoon will still give you a chance to explore this city’s love for the finer things in life. Top shelf produce, cheese, wine chocolates, pastries, flowers and so much more can be purchased here.
End your stay in Montreal with a budget-busting dinner at Joe Beef. Located a stone’s throw from Atwater Market, this well-loved establishment required reservations even before Anthony Bourdain featured it on his show Parts Unknown, and for good reason.
One of the city’s hottest chefs does Old Montreal dishes justice in a way that line cooks elsewhere in Montreal could only hope of emulating. This evening of decadence won’t come cheap, but few peak experiences in life are without their cost.
What other highlights would you include if you only had 2 days in Montreal?