Montreal is the perfect mix of European old-world charm and North American modernity. 48 hours in Montreal may not be enough to get all this city has to offer. We selected the top things to do, see and eat to experience the best.
48 HOURS IN MONTREAL • TOP THINGS TO DO, SEE AND EAT
WALK UP MOUNT ROYAL
Mount Royal Park is definitely the best lookup point in the city. The 200-hectare park includes the mountain (230 m) that marks the highest point on the island of Montreal. The mountain is accessible from different entrances. All you have to do is walk up to the top. Locals use the park all year round, the trails are well marked and easy to read. We chose, of course, an off road but it is definitely not recommended. Once arrived at the Chalet du Mont-Royal the view is breathtaking. You may have other plans with 48 hours in Montreal but don’t skip this.
FARMER MARKETS ARE FOR FOODIE
If you are a foodie, like us, for sure you love farmers markets. We consider markets city a direct way to discover the local culinary culture. We love the vibrant colors and traditional ingredients. They give you a clear overview of the food habits of a city. Montreal has many public markets. Atwater and Jean-Talon are the ones you can’t miss.
STROLL AROUND THE OLD MONTREAL
The Old Tow is absolutely a must in your 48 hours in Montreal. Due to the cobbled streets, cute cafés and the heritage buildings you feel like been transported to Paris. Old Montreal offers a beautiful taste of Europe. Here you’ll find a number of shops, art galleries, rustic cafes, and restaurants. The whole area is so nice! Among the well-preserved buildings that date back to the 17th century, you can also check out the Notre-Dame Basilica. It is an impressive Gothic Revival Cathedral, inaugurated in 1829.
SO MUCH FOOD CHOICES ALL IN ONE STREET
Sadly you won’t have time to try them all. But within 48 hours in Montreal at least you can have an unforgettable brunch and a delicious dinner. You can’t leave Montreal without trying its fantastic cuisine. As you wake up to get the first metro and get to Lionel Groulx. Rue Notre-Dame Ouest is what we called the Food District. Here you can find amazing food places on every corner. We selected Foiegwa for having our Quebequian brunch. Make sure to arrive early, the place is quite small so sometimes you have to wait. A smart SMS based alert lets you discover the neighborhood meanwhile you are waiting for your table. Atwater market is just one block away.
Joe Beef (LINK) and Liverpool House are two of the most famous restaurants in the street. We were lucky enough to get a table at Liverpool House, book in advance and try their Lobster Spaghetti. Did you know Montreal is the food capital of North America?!
LITTLE ITALY IS A JUMP BACK INTO THE PAST
Of course, we couldn’t skip Little Italy – Le Petite Italie. This old fashion neighborhood is squeezed between Rue Saint-Denis and Boulevard St Laurent. The street is full of green parks, pizza, espresso, and architectural gems. Everything is held together by a strong community vibe. We entered in few Italians bars and we felt like jumping back in the past. Old posters, dusty shelves, and vintage furniture make the places unique. Nothing has changed since these Italians immigrant landed in Montreal after the Second World War. If you have 48 hours in Montreal and you are in rush pass by for an espresso.
A NICE WALK IN THE OLD PORT
Montreal’s Old Port is a great place to stroll. If you are tired and you need a nice place to relax, that is the place to go. Choose your favorite spot for a refreshing drink or enjoy your time at the park. This vibrant neighborhood offers many activities both summer and winter, day and night. Don’t miss the opportunity to check it out.
SMOKED MEAT, ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS DISHES IN MONTREAL
Smoked meat, together with bagel and poutine, are epic in Montreal. The reason why we didn’t mention Maple Syrup is that “Maple Syrup is God”. That is what our guide told us.
It may sound overrated but Schwartz’s Deli is an institution. If 48 hours in Montreal are not enough to sit down, grab your sandwich on the go. Over 90 years of tradition in a bite!
MONTREAL’S MOST MAGICAL PLACE: THE PLATEAU
Plateau Mont-Royal is home to many professionals, artists, performers. From indie theatre to unique restaurants. From lush green parks to the secret alley. Plateau is a magical place in Montreal. Located not far from downtown, this colorful neighborhood has plenty of frescos. We had the chance to visit it right after the Mural Festival. During this weekend people are encouraged to literally paint the whole city of Montreal. The Plateau is always bustling, even in the dead of winter. Montrealers love spending there their summer weekends. The perfect spot to shop, dine, and people-watch.
CREW COLLECTIVE AKA THE PLACE TO BE
Located on St-Jacques St, Crew Collective is more than a café. This co-working space is on the main floor of the former Royal Bank of Canada. Breathtaking. Crew Collective & Cafe offers an all-encompassing workspace designed for people who are looking for a place. They have private rooms, WiFi, large conference tables, comfortable chairs, etc. If you are not looking for a working station just go and ask for a coffee.
AFTERNOON AT MONTREAL’S BABY SISTER: SAINT HELEN’S ISLAND
Saint Helen is considered is Montreal’s baby sister island. It is easily accessible by the yellow metro line. The Island host some of the major tourist attractions. The Biosphere, La Ronde Amusement Park and the Fort and Stewart Museum among others. We loved the Biosphere. Montreal’s famous geodesic ball was designed as the US Pavilion during Expo 67. If your 48 hours in Montreal include a summer Sunday, don’t miss the Piknic Electronik. Electronic music fans can enjoy live DJs in nature.
POUTINE IS MONTREAL’S REPRESENTATIVE DISH
We already dedicated news to this delicious dish. Quebecers take Poutine seriously. Is like pizza for Napoletans or Paella for Valencians. You can find poutine literally in every corner of Montreal. The original has fresh fries and cheese curds topped with hot brown gravy. If you are looking for the best in town go to La Banquise. They offer up to 28 types of poutine.
Now all you have to do is put your comfy shoes on. Enjoy your 48 hours in Montreal.