If you’re looking for a relaxing place for a getaway, the province of Quebec, Canada – and specifically the city of Montréal – can be an excellent choice.
As you may have seen noted here before, Canada is among the happiest places in the world, and that naturally helps to establish a delightful atmosphere regardless of your specific destination.
This particular city, though, is full of beautiful vistas, unique architecture, and adventurous activities that can make for an ideal getaway.
To cover more specifics, here are five fun things to see and do once you touch down.
Mount Royal is a sort of natural, green plateau that towers over Montréal from a short distance, and which is a regular stop for tourists and a welcome retreat for locals.
It has an outdoor park that’s open all year, and a lookout from which you can see the whole city.
You can visit the scenic overlook by walking about two kilometres from the Peel metro station, or drive up if you’d rather enjoy it in leisure.
If you come down from Mount Royal and feel like continuing your day outdoors (or it’s just a particularly lovely day), you can then head uptown to the Montréal Botanical Gardens, which are also open throughout the year.
Admission starts at about $20 CDN, with discounts for families, seniors, and students.
Le Mount Stephen
Anytime you’re looking into big city travel, you may as well consider your accommodations as part of your itinerary. You’ll spend time there, enjoy the amenities, and remember your choice fondly if it works out.
And in Montréal, Le Mount Stephen’s diamond-patterned exterior lights, historic façade, and beautiful interiors make it the hippest place to stay in the city.
Once the private home of one Lord George Stephen and later a social club, it has since been renovated and restored in glorious fashion. Indeed, it may not have made our list of the world’s most unique hotels, but it’s nothing to scoff at, particularly if you’re looking for opulence.
If boutique hotels aren’t your cup of tea, meanwhile, you can try the Sofitel Montréal Le Carré Doré, right in the heart of downtown and close to all your sightseeing destinations.
You’ll love its minimalist design and modern luxury, and you can’t beat the location.
Casino de Montréal
This unique casino is located on Île de Notre Dame (Notre Dame Island), on the Saint Lawrence River. And from its exclusive location on the island to its modern architecture, the 24-hour casino and gaming centre is one of the most striking spots in Montréal – and one of the most enjoyable.
While the rise in popularity of online gaming opportunities in Canada has made it easier for locals and tourists alike to play from the comfort of a home or hotel, this casino is still worth the effort of getting dressed up and going out.
There’s live entertainment and dancing, there are luxury cars placed around the gaming floor for people to win in special events, and of course, there are some wonderful places to eat and drink.
Even if you just go for a cocktail or two and a few cheap hands of blackjack, you can’t help but feel like a high roller.
Notre Dame Basilica
Montréal is a city full of spectacular architecture, and truth be told you can experience a lot of it somewhat passively just by strolling through Old Town (which you’ll want to do anyway).
However, you should make time for a visit to the Notre Dame Basilica – an amazing example of Gothic architecture, and arguably one of North America’s most impressive religious structures.
You can join a short 20-minute tour or plan a longer excursion if you want the full experience. For that matter, you can even make a reservation to sit close to the organ and hear its magnificent sounds up close.
Museums and Collections
No tour of Montréal is complete without visiting at least some of its many museums. From the Museum of Fine Art (not far from the hotel choices above) to the Centre of Design and Museum of Contemporary Art, the options are wonderful, and most offer free admission.
You also shouldn’t miss the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum, where you’ll have the chance to explore the city underground, and see its beginnings in a truly unique fashion.
There’s never enough time to do everything you want to in a big, beautiful, and romantic city like Montréal. But these 5 ideas will certainly get you started!