Bonjour, Montréal: Plan your 2019 trip

Montreal has been dazzling visitors for centuries. Nestled on an island in the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada’s culture capital is rich in heritage and renowned for its joie de vivre. Its diverse and welcoming culture, elegant French architecture and thriving music and arts scene make Montreal a must-visit city. 

With our new daily direct Dublin – Montreal service launching next summer, what better time to plan a trip to Canada’s most captivating city? Check out our guide to spending 48 hours in Montreal.

DAY ONE

OLD-WORLD CHARM: Start your trip with a stroll through the pretty cobblestoned streets and grand plazas of Old Montreal. This is the site of Montreal’s French colonial origins and a great place to get to know the history and the heart of the city.

Bonsecour Market, Old Montreal
Bonsecour Market, Old Montreal

TAKE A FOOD TOUR: Foodies will love the Old Montreal Food Tour – the three-hour experience is the perfect way to learn the history of the area, sample some of the city’s finest food and see the best sights, including Rue Saint Paul, the Old Port, the Bonsecours Market, and the beautiful Place Jacques Cartier.

AWE-INSPIRING ARCHITECTURE: The iconic Notre-Dame Basilica takes centre stage in Old Montreal. Designed by Wexford-born architect, James O’Donnell (the only person buried in the church’s crypt) in the 1820s, the elegant Basilica is the crown jewel of Montreal’s architecture.

Notre-Dame Basilica interior, Montreal
Notre-Dame Basilica interior, Montreal

The $6 entry fee will get you a 20-minute guided tour of the colourful interior, including the magnificent stained glass windows which showcase the history of Montreal.

If you’d like to experience something truly special, return in the evening for Aura, the Basilica’s daily light and orchestral show. This immersive sensory experience will leave you mesmerised long after you’ve left Montreal. $24 tickets are available to book online.

AFTERNOON IN THE PARK: Head to Parc du Mont-Royal, Montreal’s namesake park, for the best bird’s eye view of the city. The gentle climb to the Chalet du Mont-Royal at the top of the Mont-Royal Hill takes about 30 minutes, but the picture-perfect panoramas of the city below more than makes up for the exertion.

Montreal skyline
Montreal skyline

MUSICAL MECCA: Montreal’s live music scene is legendary – music pours out of every corner of the city. Jazz lovers should head downtown to check out musical institutions like the chandelier-lit House of Jazz, cabaret-style Le Balcon or Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill for live jazz and great food. Indie rock fans will love Casa del Popolo, one of Montreal’s best live music venues.

Montreal by night
Montreal by night

DAY TWO

BEST FOR BRUNCH: Visitors to Montreal are spoilt for choice when it comes to top quality brunch spots. The city is foodie heaven.

Super hip Régine Café is well worth a trip. Make a reservation and get ready to enjoy artisan bacon, savoury cretons, corn-flour waffles and the cafe’s delicious signature brioche bread.

Fabergé Restaurant in Mile End serves a fabulous selection quirky egg dishes, including breakfast poutine, crêpes and sandwiches.

 

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WORLD-CLASS ART: Art lovers should dedicate a couple of hours to the Museum of Fine Arts, one of Canada’s leading galleries. Other museum highlights in include the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal, and the Montreal Biodome in the Olympic Park.

 

Find about more about our new direct Dublin-Montreal service here.

Planning a 2019 trip to North America? Read our all-American road trip guide, check out 12 incredible things to do in Seattle or find out how to spend 48 hours in Washington D.C.