Home to the world-famous Cirque du Soleil, Montreal is North America’s top host city for international events, going as far as to host the Olympics in 1976, the first ever held in Canada.
Highlighting the arts, culture, and history, Montreal is full of opportunity. Founded in 1642 by French settlers, the city is predominantly shaped by English and French influences. Whether exploring the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal and its stunning architecture or strolling through the vibrant Montreal Botanical Garden, there are plenty of fun attractions to head out on a Montreal weekend trip! Below are the top attractions, restaurants, and activities for the ultimate three-day weekend trip to Montreal!
Read more about Quebec
- Best Winter Photography Locations in the Magdalen Islands
- Valcartier in Quebec City is the Six Flags of Tubing
- Guide To The Val Thorens French Alps in Winter
- Review of Chateau Madelinot on Quebec’s Magdalen Islands
- Our full Canada travel guide
Want more Montreal activities?
- Montreal offers such a wide range of attractions and Get Your Guide has great deals on some of the best. Here are just a few of our top picks: 3.5 Hour Guided Bus Tour, St. Lawrence River Sightseeing Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour, and Private Day Tour to Parc Omega & Montebello Lodge. Can’t wait for you to check them out!
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Montreal Weekend Trip 3 Day Itinerary
Below, we’ve combined a variety of things to do in Montreal to get a taste of the city’s rich historical, artistic, and cultural scene that are a little more off-the-beaten path from the standard Montreal itinerary.
From Parisian-style pastries at Duc de Lorraine to shopping in Montreal’s Underground City below the heart of Montreal, make sure to bring your camera and your appetite for this ultimate Montreal weekend itinerary full of fun and adventure!
Be sure to check out The Passeports MTL as some of these attractions are featured on this city pass!
Day 1 Of The Ultimate Montreal Weekend Trip
Breakfast At Eggspectation
We’re starting our Montreal weekend itinerary the best way. With a full spread of delicious food choices for breakfast!
At Eggspectation, there are plenty of options, including Belgian waffles, French crepes, omelets, flatbreads, and of course, the restaurant’s famous Eggs Benedict. The restaurant’s reputation and polarity have soared since its founding 25 years ago. The restaurant’s popularity grew so much that it opened 30 locations worldwide!
And you can get a taste of this beautiful breakfast spot yourself on your Montreal weekend trip to get a glimpse into its excellent reputation, dedication to guest satisfaction, and passionate reverence for all things “breakfasty.”
Tour The Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal
For day one of the ultimate three-day weekend trip to Montreal, the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal is the best attraction, to begin with, encompassing Montreal’s outstanding beauty, history, and architecture.
Montreal’s mother church and the first Gothic Revival-style church in Canada, the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal, is a National Historic Site of Canada. Full of religious, historical, and artistic importance, this treasure of Quebec is one of the most visited sites in Montreal and one of the things to do in Montreal. The link between Catholic roots and art, the Basilica style, was a turning point in religious architectural tradition. Adorned with intricate status, tranquil chapels, and masterful paintings, a trip to the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal is stunning and worthwhile.
And to get more of an in-person taste of Montreal with a knowledgeable guide to answer all your questions, consider this private walking tour of Old Montreal. Your guide will take you to the city’s heart to learn more about its history dating from the 17th century to today!
Montreal Underground City
Head to the famed Underground City for food and shopping in the afternoon!
Commonly called le RÉSO, the Underground City was built during the 1960s and, through a network of tunnels, corridors, and plazas, connects restaurants and retailers for a unique shopping experience. Right under the heart of Montreal, this underground network stretches about 20.5 miles away from the woes of the hot sun or freezing snow.
There are signs throughout the Underground City to act as a guide traveling around the expansive network. Complexe Desjardins is a famous mall that sits across from Place des Festivals. For souvenirs to give to family and friends or to remember the trip, there are more than a few shops in the Underground City with locally-made treats and goodies to buy to take home with you. Renaud-Bray features books by local authors, Squish sells gourmet artisanal local candies, and L’Art des artisans du Québec features striking finery, blown glass, and woodwork to check out.
On this private walking tour of Montreal’s famous Underground City, you’ll be accompanied by a local guide for a local insight into the history of this famed sanctuary, along with its public art and other well-hidden secrets.
Dinner At Monarque
End day one in Montreal at Monarque for the best luxurious night out to eat.
Setting a new standard for elegance, this restaurant, set in a three-room Montreal building that dates back to 1845, is considered restaurant royalty inspired by New York City’s Gramercy Tavern.
Each room features a different menu. The bar area offers a bar and banquette seating area and a specialty drink menu. The second room is in a more traditional space where a brasserie menu is served. This room’s focal point is the fishbowl window that overlooks the stainless-steel kitchen. Finally, the glamorous dining room has tables and banquettes, serving a four-section dinner menu with two appetizers, the main course, and dessert.
Eating at this luxurious restaurant in Montreal is guaranteed to leave you satisfied and wanting more!
Day 2 Of The Ultimate Montreal Weekend Trip
Breakfast At Canard Café
Start day two in Montreal at this low-key coffeehouse featuring drinks with latte art, brick walls, baked goods, and casual eats.
Canard Café is a warm and inviting place that makes it easy to savor comfort, good food, and great coffee. And even if you aren’t the biggest coffee drinker, the food, drinks, comfortable atmosphere, and friendly staff will make breakfast at Canard Café an excellent start to your day.
Stroll Through The Vibrant Montreal Botanical Garden
Comprising 75 hectares of thematic greenhouses and gardens, the Montreal Botanical Garden is an urban oasis you shouldn’t miss out on visiting!
One of the city’s jewels, the garden is recognized as one of the world’s greatest, acting as a living museum that gathers plants from four corners of the globe. The garden hosts various colorful, vibrant, magical events, activities, and exhibitions throughout the year. Homing over 10,000 plant species and 20,000 taxa, this refreshing attraction is full of the natural and rich beauty of some of nature’s outstanding and colorful inhabitants.
The Montreal Botanical Garden is near more than a few other top Montreal attractions. Only minutes from downtown Montreal, the garden is near the Biodome and Olympic Park, other notable attractions to visit if you have time.
Make sure to wear good walking shoes to bask in all the grandeur of the Montreal Botanical Garden, as it requires a bit of walking.
Lunch At Poutine Centrale
A casual, industrial-style venue, Poutine Centrale is a hot spot for poutines, burgers, and desserts. Nearby to the Montreal Botanical Garden and Olympic Park, stopping by for lunch here is easy and on the way.
The rustic, warm, and inviting atmosphere makes it a wonderfully cozy place to enjoy a comforting meal before heading to your next activity for day two in Montreal. The food is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite and taste buds, with varying flavors, toppings, and options available to pick your favorite poutine combo!
Stop By The Biodome
Part of the largest natural science museum complex in Canada, called Montreal Space for Life, the Biodome allows visitors to walk through replicas of all five of America’s ecosystems.
Located at Olympic Park, the Biodome is full of wonder, learning, and commitment to the environment to teach all generations the importance of our ecosystem. A must-see attraction of Montreal, the Biodome is also considered to be one of Canada’s top attractions to boot, according to Forbes.
The top of the Biodome now has a viewing platform that allows panoramic views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Laurentian Maple Forest, and the Tropical Rainforest. When visiting the Biodome, download the high-tech app to thoroughly step into an immersive experience of this top attraction. You should not miss out on your Montreal weekend trip!
Dinner At Bagatelle Bistro Apportez votre vin
End day two at Bagatelle Bistro Apportez votre vin for a satisfying dinner and relaxing wind-down of a full day of adventure. This serene restaurant serves local and seasonal French-Mediterranean plates with summer patio seating.
Wrap up your day as you try your hand at curling! This private curling class with one-on-one instruction will sure to get you immersed in this favorite Canadian sport!
Day 3 Of The Ultimate Montreal Weekend Trip
Breakfast At Brulerie Urbaine
Begin the morning with Arabica coffee from countries and regions worldwide at Brulerie Urbaine!
Dedicated to serving fresh and top-choice coffees, this local favorite has built a committed loyalty with locals and tourists alike. The roast house constantly offers a rotating menu of new and unique choices. The warm atmosphere makes it effortless to sit back and relax while sipping on tasty coffee and savoring fresh pastries before heading out for a day of adventure in Montreal.
Tour Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal
A Roman-Catholic minor basilica and national shrine, the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal holds more than one hundred years of history, development, culture, and architecture.
The largest shrine in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph, this landmark and jewel of Montreal offers a glimpse into Quebec and Canadian heritage. Receiving more than two million pilgrims and visitors from around the world each year, there is much to take in at this stunning Montreal attraction, like the Le Jardin du Chemin de la Croix or “the garden of the way of the cross.” This remarkable section of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal should not be glossed over or missed out on.
The way of the cross was marked out on the mountain, allowing any to come and meditate upon the Passion of Christ. A beautiful stepping stone that leads to the Oratory, the short garden walk ends in a waterfall fountain with benches speckled about to read or bask in the beauty and atmosphere of Le Jardin du Chemin de la Croix.
Stop by for one of the listening services, celebrations, pilgrimages, sacraments, and tours to reflect, explore, and learn more about Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal on your Montreal weekend trip.
While you’re here, walk around Mount Royal Park which has the best views of the city.
To switch up times, consider this small group night sightseeing tour! For a memorable experience in Montreal, this tour will guide you to see Mount Royale at night with Saint Joseph’s Oratory illuminated by colorful lights and Old Port by the sun for an unrivaled experience of Montreal’s spectacular glory.
Lunch At Sainte-Fringale
Located inside Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, the Sainte-Fringale cafeteria serves a wide range of delicious dishes to Oratory visitors, along with outstanding views of the City’s Northside.
From light pick-me-ups and desserts to paninis and daily specials, stopping by Sainte-Fringale in between or after touring Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is an efficient yet delicious lunch stop to save time for more adventure!
Visit The Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal
The Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal, or Montreal Holocaust Museum, dedicates its space to educating people of all ages on the Holocaust.
Presenting the history of the Holocaust told by survivors through unique artifacts, the museum was founded by Holocaust survivors and members of the Montreal Jewish community. The longest-standing memorial and the only Holocaust museum in Canada, the Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal raises awareness of human rights through education on the Holocaust to prevent future genocide by helping the public reach forward to the future.
Dinner At Duc de Lorraine
A longtime Parisian-style pastry shop and cafe, Duc de Lorraine offers ample patio seating to bask in the Montreal atmosphere.
Using only the finest natural ingredients, one bite of Duc de Lorraine’s macarons and pastries will transport you to France. Each bite is worth savoring. Pair with espresso and snag items on the menu for savory and scrumptious items to end your last day in Montreal!
How To Get Around Montreal
The best way to get around on your Montreal weekend trip is by foot or public transportation. Thankfully, Montreal is a walkable city. However, if you find your feet tired, your destinations are a bit too far apart, or if you’re interested in day trips from Montreal, consider taking the Montreal Metro or the bus for cost-efficient transportation.
Montreal offers Uber to get around too. Always choose Uber over a taxi to save more money!
Explore Montreal from above on a helicopter tour as you check out Olympic Stadium, Mount Royal, and more!
Where To Stay
The David Hotel
Presenting a contemporary living space exuding an air of infinite possibilities, The David Hotel combines the refined history of a legacy establishment with an interior upgrade to evoke and inspire. Step up to the on-site bar, arouse mystery at the Speakeasy, or sit back and relax in a soothing space inspired by the Japanese art of “Kanzo.”
For your Montreal weekend trip, The David Hotel is one of the top destinations for luxury and relaxation.
Eco-certified, Boxotel is an eco-friendly boutique hotel masterfully located in the perfect location in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. This hotel is with the times, offering local and environmentally-friendly products and committing daily practices to reduce energy consumption and waste.
The rooms at Boxotel are adapted to the traveler, not the other way around! As a guest at Boxotel, you can recreate your space to fit your desires for optimal comfort during your stay.
Hôtel Château de l’Argoat
On the border of the Latin Quarter and the Plateau Mont-Royal, Hôtel Château de l’Argoat is close to Montreal’s many vibrant shops and restaurants, including Saint-Denis. This hotel offers incomparable charm and a location near the stunning social features and architecture that draws in people from all over the world to stay in Montreal.
Montreal is full of invigoration attractions and vibrant restaurants waiting to be explored. This Montreal weekend trip itinerary combines the best in Montreal, from delicious food to impressive museums and colorful botanical gardens.
Prepare yourself for a world of excitement as you make cherished memories with family and friends in Montreal, “The City of Saints”!
Most Montrealers are fluent in English and are typically very accommodating when they sense an English accent. You should have no problem traveling through the city if you don’t know any French.
As you may assume, winters are pretty rough in Montreal. If you are not from the region, you may be up for a rude awakening. Unless you are traveling for winter sports in the area, we suggest looking at June and July where day time temps are in the mid-seventies and rain chances are usually lower.
Old Montreal is historical and touristy. Le Plateau-Mont-Royal is stylish and a place to test out your French. Mile End for great eats and culture. The Village for vibrant nightlife.
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.
Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
- Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
- RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
- SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
- Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
- InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.
If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.