Are you planning a trip to Montreal and looking for things to do? Here is the perfect 3 days in Montreal Itinerary. Montréal is a city, unlike anything you will uncover while travelling throughout Canada. Set on an island, travellers will easily fall in love with the historic cobblestone roads, modern gallery-lined streets, crisp coastal views and celebrated Québécois food scene. Three days in Montreal is enough time to get a taste of the city. You can also check out the best things to do in Montreal in the winter.
If you’re headed to this charming city, we’ve detailed some helpful pointers and a sample Montreal three day itinerary to help you on your way.
3 Days in Montreal Itinerary
By Sarah Harris
How to Get Around Montreal
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Whether you took the family car, flew in, or took the train, you can get around this city without having to rent a vehicle, or overspending on ride-sharing programs. Be sure to check out some of our cost-saving and efficient modes of transportation.
1. Walk: You will probably hear this tip while researching your stay, but Montréal is a very walkable city. You can explore the surrounding neighbourhoods by foot, pending proper shoes and this itinerary.
2. Bixi Bikes: Besides walking, this will be the cheapest, and perhaps most immersive way to explore Montréal. A day pass will only set you back $5, and Bixi has stations scattered around the city. Be sure to scout the Bixi Bike routes in advance to make the most of this experience.
3. The Metro: There are 68 stations around the city, making this public transportation system easy and efficient. If you don’t want to explore the underground, there are plenty of buses you can board to get around town. Plan your routes ahead of time using their system map.
Local Tip: If you’re hoping to not feel like too much of a tourist, be sure to never refer to the Metro as the Subway.
How to Explore Montreal in Three Days
What to Expect: English is the first language in Canada, but French is widely spoken throughout Québec. Be sure to brush up on your basics if you don’t want to feel like a tourist.
Currency: While Montréal may feel like Europe, the currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
Where to Stay to Stay in Montreal
There are plenty of gorgeous hotels around Montréal, so, be sure to identify which neighbourhood you’d like to spend the most time in before booking.
$: There’s a seemingly endless supply of AirBnb’s around the city. You can choose to sleep in a quaint brick and beam loft, a trendy condo or an entire home will unlimited local amenities. Get your $40 Airbnb first time discount code here!
$$: Hotel Nelligan, 106 Saint-Paul St W, Montréal, QC H2Y 1Z3
This 19th-century building in Vieux-Montréal, or Old Montréal delivers on all levels of chic. With their own site restaurant that overlooks the Saint-Lawrence River, free parking and continental breakfast on standby, travellers will love resting their heads at this lovely hotel. A one night stay starts around $190. Check here for the best prices.
$$$: The Ritz-Carlton, Montréal, 1228 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal, QC H3G 1H6
This lavish property dating back to 1912 is located just 3 km from the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal and 4 km from the Vieux Port de Montréal. Foodies can relish at the fine-dining restaurant by chef Daniel Boulud or indulge in an afternoon tea service. One night here will easily set you back at least $450 CAD, but the amenities in return are worth the cost and then some. Check here for the best rates.
Where to Eat in Montreal
Montréal is chock full of amazing restaurants, dishing out some extraordinary meals. With many spots charting some of the best lists around the world, visiting this city with a healthy appetite is recommended. If you’d like to explore outside of our top three recommendations, Timeout released a comprehensive list of the 77 restaurants every gourmand needs to visit in the city, so be sure to cross a few off your list.
1. Joe Beef
If you’re a foodie or a fan of the late and great Anthony Bourdain, then you’re definitely aware of this restaurant energized by chefs Frederic Morin and David McMillan. A word to the wise, it will feel nearly impossible to secure a table at this spot, so call ahead or grab a table through their online reservation system.
Location: 2491 Notre-Dame St W, Montréal, QC H3J 1N6
2. Maison Publique
Derek Dammann’s rustic and famed restaurant is constantly topping best restaurant lists around the country – and for good reason. Dammann’s former boss and current business partner Jamie Oliver has helped encourage time-honoured cooking techniques mixed with a relaxed sense of self that has allowed for Maison Publique to become a standout gastropub.
Location:4720 Rue Marquette, Montréal QC H2J 3Y6, Canada
3. St-Viateur Bagel
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If you’re a fan of bagels, then you know that the Montréal-style breakfast food is slightly different than its New York counterpart. There are many spots in the city that are dishing out this doughy and delicious alternative, so be sure to make time to make your rounds. Personally, we’re fans of St-Viateur, a quintessential spot has been redefining the bagel since 1957.
Location: 263 Rue St-Viateur O Montréal, QC H2V 1Y1
4. Maison-Bolud Montreal
Maison-Bolud Montreal is located in the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. If you are staying over a weekend, make sure to enjoy the Sunday brunch at Maison-Bolud.
Where To Drink in Montreal
This Havana-inspired lounge in Old Montréal is serving up handcrafted cocktails including their “Matcha Velours” concoction. Think green tea and elderflower liqueur topped with a delightful edible flower.
Location: 409 Rue McGill, Montréal QC H2Y 2G3
2. Milky Way
If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy bar, then you’ve come to the right place. With 80’s inspired decor, some heavyweight restaurateurs behind it and a creative cocktail culture splashed about, this trending bar beneath Fugazzi Pizza is where to see and be seen.
Location: 1886 Rue Centre, Montréal QC H3K 1H9
3. Broken Coconut,
This rum bar tucked in the basement of a vintage furniture shop will be a great place to mingle amongst friends. Sample a variety of rums, or enjoy a crafted cocktail that tastes as magnificent as it looks.
Location: 4001 Notre-Dame St W, Montréal, QC H4C 0T9
Explore Montreal in Three Days
DAY ONE IN MONTREAL | OLD MONTREAL MEETS MOUNT ROYAL
Morning: We recommend exploring all that Old Montréal has to offer on your first day in the city. There are plenty of walking tours you can take, or you can simply go for a stroll solo. Pop into the many galleries, cafes and shops, or take a stroll along Saint-Lawrence River. Be sure to make time for Montréal City Hall and the Gothic Revival Notre Dame Basilica.
Afternoon: Your tired feet could use a treat, so be sure to schedule a visit with Bota Bota, a luxurious floating spa. Come for a massage, stay for the food. This afternoon retreat boasts an on-site restaurant dishing out healthy and delightful bites. After the spa head out to some of the most Instagram worthy places in Montreal.
Night: Once you’re relaxed and recharged, take a midnight stroll up Mount Royal, do as the locals do and find a local rink and go for a skate or catch a night screening at Dollar Cinema for $2.50.
DAY TWO IN MONTREAL | MILE END, MCGILL & MORE
Morning: Before you go off and explore this neighbourhood, be sure to grab a bite at St-Viateur. Once you’re fuelled and ready to go, take a walk along to the stately McGill campus, tour the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts or visit the McCord Museum, all accessible via transit.
Afternoon: By lunch, you’re going to find yourself craving a quintessential bite of Canadiana, so be sure to pick up a poutine or beaver tail before heading down the Saint-Laurent Boulevard.
Night: Drop after you shop at the Casa Del Popolo, a live theatre hall fit for a fun night out.
DAY THREE IN MONTREAL | OLYMPIC PARK & BEYOND
Morning: Take time on your last day to explore Olympic Park. While still in operation today, you can take a tour of this stadium that was built in 1976. Be sure to head on up to the observation tower for unparalleled views of the city. From there, wander around the Montréal Botanical Gardens and then hop off the bus for a busy afternoon.
Afternoon: Once you’ve arrived at the Place Émilie-Gamelin, you are encouraged to check out the outdoor show at a local park brimming with local creatives.
Night: After you live show, we recommend catching an NHL game at the Bell Centre, or grabbing a beer and watching the action at any bustling establishment.
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By: Sarah Harris