Montreal is the perfect place for a weekend getaway in Canada. It can be enjoyed in both Summer & Winter and has a vast range of activities to do while you’re visiting.
This Quebec city is a great mix of old and new, so you can have so many different experiences over 2 days in Montreal.
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You will experience a blend of different cultures and eras during your time in Montreal with an array of different attractions on offer.
In Montreal, the food is incredible and so diverse, with lots of vegan and vegetarian options in restaurants around the city.
There is lots of great nightlife with no shortage of bars, restaurants, and cocktail bars.
Plus, it’s great for lovers of the outdoors too! There are so many great parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy and lots of hikes close by.
Most travelers find 2 days in Montreal to be enough time to enjoy all the main sights. So, if you’re wondering how many days in Montreal you’ll need – 2 days should be enough!
Therefore, we have put together this Montreal itinerary detailing everything to do, see, and eat on your upcoming Montreal city break.
Your first day in Montreal will help you get a good feel for Montreal as you will explore the old town and what was once the largest boulevard in the city.
It will be a day of walking, eating, drinking & taking in the views.
Let’s start your 2 days in Montreal by being immersed in the culture of the Old town, or Vieux Montreal as it’s known.
Here we will start with a walking tour to really get to know the area. This is how we will spend the entire first morning.
This is an extremely historic neighborhood in Montreal and you can get a glimpse into the past of the city by spending some time here.
Here you can stroll along the cobblestone streets and soak up the atmosphere while being guided through the city.
After a nice walk around the Old Town, it’s time to stop off for lunch in the neighborhood. Taverne Gaspar, located on rue de la Commune within a 19th Century warehouse, offers French-inspired pub-style food with options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diets.
After some lunch, it’s time to explore St. Paul’s street for the afternoon. This is the heart of Vieux Montreal and somewhere time will fly by while you soak up the atmosphere and all it has to offer.
St. Paul’s street is Montreal’s oldest street and was once the main boulevard in the city, now it’s renowned for having an incredible mix of boutiques and restaurants.
It is a very trendy area and has so much life and vibrance on offer which makes it a really interesting place to explore in Montreal.
It will feel like you have been transported to old Europe strolling along this iconic street. Spend the afternoon shopping or simply browsing the one-of-a-kind boutiques and the quirky art galleries on offer on this street.
A must-visit along St. Paul’s street is the Bonsecours Market. Here you will find stores selling local works of art.
This is an upscale market that is extremely popular with both tourists and locals. You can also find some restaurants here for an afternoon pick-me-up.
After dinner, it’s time to head to the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. Named after a famous French explorer.
The Jacques-Cartier Bridge is a stunning sight to behold at night as it lights up once the sun sets. It is really impressive to see as the lights change throughout the evening and night.
It’s an incredible setting to view the bridge and the city behind it to finish up your first day in Montreal. It’s also a lovely experience to walk across the bridge and see the lights up close and personal.
On your 2nd day in Montreal, you will experience some of the most iconic sites the city has to offer. You will get a nice mix of nature and city sightseeing throughout the day.
Let’s start day 2 with some nature and incredible views. It’s time to visit Mont-Royal, Montreal’s most popular outdoor attraction.
If you rent a car and drive, it takes around 9 minutes from downtown Montreal. Most tourists opt to walk up Mont-Royal as it is just a 45-minute hike along the many walking paths.
Along these paths, you will find walkers, runners, and lots of people out walking their dogs. The 45-minute walk is massively worth it when you reach the top and see the incredible views of the city.
Once you reach the summit, head for the Chalet du Mont-Royal, a pretty villa built in the ‘30s and offering some of the best views of the city.
After lunch, let’s visit Basilica Notre Dame. This is a top tourist destination in Montreal and the oldest place of worship in North America.
Right opposite Notre-Dame Basilica is Place d’Armes, one of three main squares in Montreal.
The Place d’Armes is where you’ll find Montreal’s vintage buildings — Saint-Sulpice Seminary, the New York Life Building, the Bank of Montreal, and the Art Deco Aldred Building.
Next head to City Hall close by. This building is a very impressive piece of architecture that was originally built in the 18th century. You can take some time to walk around the building.
For your final evening in Montreal, it’s time to return to the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal. Every evening at 6 pm and again at 8 pm, there is an incredible light show, Aura for visitors to enjoy.
You will need to buy tickets ahead of time on the Notre-Dame Basilica website. Kids under 5 can enjoy the show for free.
Is Montreal Worth Visiting?
Without a doubt, yes! There really is something for everyone in this French Canadian city. It can be expensive, and cold, but the good far outweighs the bad.
Best Time To Visit
Luckily, Montreal can be enjoyed all year round. If you visit in the Summer, you can enjoy the many parks and hikes in the vicinity and comfortably walk around the city.
And in the Winter, you are not too far from ski resorts and the city will have ice skating available.
How Many Days In Montreal Is Enough?
We think 2 days is a perfect amount of time to enjoy all Montreal has to offer.
If you want to venture further outside of the city and enjoy the skiing close by, definitely extend your trip by a few days.
Where To Stay In Montreal For 2 Days
Wondering where to stay in Montreal? You won’t be short of accommodation choices in Montreal, and you can enjoy staying in the city center no matter your budget.
Here are our top hotel recommendations for your 2 days in Montreal.
Best Budget Accommodation
If you are looking for a budget accommodation option for Montreal, the Manoir Sherbrooke is a great option.
This hotel is right in the middle of downtown Montreal, in a great location for exploring the city. Manoir Sherbrooke has a nice mix of old and new in his historic building and is really close to the metro. Place des Arts is also nearby.
Best Mid-range Accommodation
Hôtel Uville Montreal is conveniently located close to the Old Town of Montreal making it a popular option for mid-range accommodation.
It is close to St. Paul’s street, Notre Dame Basilica Montreal, Old Port of Montreal and Place Jacques Cartier, and many other spots you will want to visit during your time in Montreal.
The rooms are extremely comfortable in Hôtel Uville Montreal and all have air conditioning, WIFI, and coffee machines.
Best Luxury Accommodation
If money is no object, book yourself in for some luxury in the Ritz Carlton. This hotel offers spacious rooms and a stunning restaurant in the hotel.
There are a variety of art galleries within walking distance and also lots of boutiques for some shopping. It is just a 10 minutes drive to the old town in the city.
Final Thoughts On Montreal Itinerary
Whether you’re traveling through Canada on a summer backpacking trip or planning your next trip to Quebec, Montreal is well worth a visit.
With so much culture to explore and cuisine to taste, spending one or two days in Montreal is bound to be a fantastic experience because there are enough things to do in Montreal to keep you entertained.
However, be sure to follow an itinerary like ours to make the most of your short trip.
We hope we managed to help you figure out what to do in Montreal, Canada.
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