Explore the island of Montréal with your sweetheart

Summer The city
Promenade Wellington - Palco
Laure Juilliard

Laure Juilliard

Like a busy beehive, the city buzzes with thousands of attractions that you can enjoy with your sweetheart. Read on to find your next adventure.

Pedestrians - Saint-Paul street

Old Port and Old Montréal

Strolling the picturesque streets of Old Montréal and the beautiful shores of the St. Lawrence River is bonafide mood-booster. Set off with a coffee and croissant from Tommy in a super cute setting or sink your teeth into a scrumptious pastry at the gorgeous Crew Collective & Café, situated in what used to be the Royal Bank of Canada with its imposing historical architecture. Stop in for lunch, pastries, scones, soups and tasty sandwiches at Olive + Gourmando, a spot so well-known and loved it needs no introduction. Grab your food to-go and enjoy your meal on the Grand Quay and Port of Montréal for a breathtaking view of Old Montréal, Habitat 67 and grain Silo No. 5.

From there, head to Saint-Paul Street lined with designer boutiques, cool multi-brand and cutting-edge art galleries A must is the amazing Maison PepinÉdition | Objets choisis and SSENSE (on rue Saint-Sulpice) are incredicle concept stores that are perfect for browsing. Along your walk, also stop by Denis GagnonSarah Pacini and Philippe Dubuc: the crème de la crème of Québec designers. Then wander around Le Petit Dep, a sweet corner store that overflows with local foods and goodies and the Galerie d'art Images Boréales, which showcases traditional and contemporary Inuit artists.

Hôtel William Gray - Rooftop restaurant

Next, set your sights on new horizons and climb into a Grande Roue de Montréal gondola, which promises panoramic views (28 kilometres in clear skies!).

If you prefer to unwind, take a break at the Bota-Bota floating spa, anchored on the St. Lawrence River, where you can enjoy the wonderful gardens, high-end baths and saunas and lunch at La Traversée restaurant, with a breathtaking view of the water as a bonus. To continue to take it easy or get out on the water, also dive into this guide to water activities.

Back on land, go to the ever-germane Phi Centre to take in an avant-garde exhibit, or head to  the Pointe-à-Callière museum and learn about the archeology and history of Montréal. Come evening, be enchanted by the AURA multimedia show designed by the renowned Montréal studio Moment Factory, at the Notre-Dame Basilica, and for a more in-depth historical tour of the neighbourhood, check out our guide to French roots in Montréal. Cirque du Soleil is also presenting its brand-new KURIOS show under its famous marquee from April 23 to August 25, 2024, and we have designed a guide for you with 10 exciting activities to do in the area.

For gorgeous sunsets with that cocktail you’re craving, make your way up to these rooftop terraces and soak up water views or sleek skyscrapers in the distance. Clink glasses on the roofs of the Auberge du Vieux-PortHôtel NelliganPerchéWilliam GrayBonsecours or Place d’Armes. On ground level, kick back in the garden terrace of the Vieux-Port Steakhouse or the lush garden patios of the Marché des ÉclusiersLovBoris BistroJardin NelsonL’Auberge Saint-Gabriel, all excellent drink and dinner options. To kick back and relax with a lovely summertime drink, check out our guide to Montréal’s hidden patios.

When night falls, relax in the cool luxury of the Hôtel William GrayHôtel GaultHôtel Place d’Armes or Le Petit Hôtel. Spoil yourself with aperitifs, dinner and breakfast in your room, spa treatments and other pamperings—you deserve it!

Place des Arts - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

Downtown, Quartier des spectacles and the Village

Fill up on culture! Book your tickets now to see the exhibitions at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain and the McCord Stewart Museum. Live immersive experiences on current themes in the OASIS immersion space at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Finally, take advantage of the many festivals offered by summer, the Francos de Montréal, the Festival International de Jazz de MontréalFestival TransAmériques, MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, the Festival International Nuits d' Afrique,  Montréal PrideMUTEK, and so much more!

Above ground or below, shoppers will love downtown’s endless choices. In the underground pedestrian network, you can roam from the Centre Eaton to Place Montréal Trust to the Cours Mont-Royal to Place Ville Marie to Complexe Desjardins. Prefer outdoor scouting? Head to Sainte-Catherine Street, celebrated for its miles and miles of boutiques. Add a little luxury to your day with a visit to the recently renovated Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, a must on everyone’s shopping list.

Getting hungry or thirsty? Get a seat on any one of these plentiful terrasses: Ritz Carlton – Maison BouludRenoirBar GeorgePois PenchéJatobaNacaratMarcusHiatus restaurant and bar (at the top of Place Ville Marie) and AIR. Recently opened rooftop terrasses worth noting are Alizé, Carla and Bivouac.

BENELUX brasserie artisanale - Two friends drinking a beer on a terrace

Quartiers du Canal and Pôle des Rapides

Another day, another adventure! This time, you’re heading to Montréal’s dynamic southwest borough to soak up the fun just steps away from the St. Lawrence River. Window shop on Promenade Wellington, a charming street in the borough of Verdun. Take a walk along the riverside trail, which offers a magnificent view of the river. Then, grab a bite at one of Verdun’s hot spots and best-kept secrets (less and less, however!). You’ll love the seaside ambiance of Verdun Beach and the little restaurant bars that set that oh-so summery mood. Check out the Verdun Beach Guinguette where you can sip organic wines and seasonal dishes,  Palco and Bénélux microbrewery, just a few of the neighbourhood go-tos.

How about surfing on the St. Lawrence? Hook up with KSF, a team with a passion for water adventures that offers not only surfing lessons, but gentle or more challenging kayak or SUP (stand up paddleboard) outings.

Lachine Canal

Next, head to the Lachine Canal for a leisurely stroll, kayak ride or pleasure boat ride along the water. Book your trip with Aventures H2O and check out our ideas on water fun across the island.

Be sure to stop by the Atwater Market for a take-out lunch in a bustling, bohemian ambiance, then make your way to Notre-Dame Street West, which is crammed with crave-worthy eateries. Enjoy a meal on the terrasses of Vin PapillonLiverpool HouseJoe Beef (be sure to ask for the little table in the garden), La Bête à pain Griffintown designer bakery, Marché Le RichmondPatrice PâtissierNora GrayCandide or Perles et Paddock. Wrap up your day with a relaxing drink on the Terrasse St-Ambroise or Riverside St-Henri in industrial chic surroundings alongside the canal. What could be more Montréal than this?

Bicycle rental - Spade & Palacio | Mural festival - Waxhead (2018)

Plateau, Mile-End and Outremont

Charming houses, green back alleys and that extra special vibe: this is why these Montréal neighbourhoods are worth the detour. Linking all three is Mount Royal or the  “lungs” of the city, where you can go to soak up stunning city views and fill up on fresh air. Love urban art? Book a guided tour with Spade & Palacio and discover the Plateau’s bounty of urban visuals during the MURAL festival. You’ll be smitten with their colourful and history-rich tour along Saint-Laurent Boulevard. For brunch, lunch, supper or even coffee on the go, the list of options is long. Start with the sweet outdoor patios at AlmaBloomfieldRumiRouge Gorge, Santropol, Olimpico or Buvette chez Simone. For a bucolic picnic surrounded by locals, stroll through these various oases of greenery: Parc La Fontaine and Parc Sir-Wilfrid Laurier, both with a very lively atmosphere, and Parc Outremont, which is more subdued.

Parc Jarry

Little Italy, Rosemont, Mile Ex and Villeray

Without a doubt, the star of this neighbourhood is the magnificent Jean-Talon Market. Grab a coffee and wander dreamily among colourful stands that will make you want to scoop up everything in sight. Next, check out the recently revamped Plaza St-Hubert for its refreshing mix of on-trend and traditional boutiques that changes up the shopping experience. Be sure to stop by the Montreal Restaurant Plaza, a typically trend-setting Montréal brewery that offers delicious dinners for two. Those in the know know that Mile-Ex, Little Italy and Villeray offer a bounty of culinary delights on tucked-away terraces. You’ll love restaurants like Vin Mon Lapin, Impasto, Ratafia, An Choi Plaza, Umami Ramen & Izakaya, Darna bistroquet, Jaja, Anemone, Mesón and Tapeo. Next climb to the tony perch of Taverne Atlantic, Vices&Versa’s hidden outdoor patio or relax in the lush greenery and scenery of  Bar Cicchetti’s popular terrasse.  Also check out our on-point list of the best restaurants on rue Beaubien, in full culinary effervescence! Call it a night with a leisurely stroll around the lovely pond at Parc Jarry to digest your delicious meal.


Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Est de l’Île

For a soul-soothing and peaceful walk, the Botanical Garden offers a country-like romantic oasis of greenery. Discover a superb collection of 22,000 species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses and some 30 gorgeous theme gardens.

Once you’ve had your green fix, take a break in one of Hochelaga’s hotspot neighbourhood restaurants like Les Canailles, Hélicoptère, Copilote, the Heirloom pizzeria,  Bistro le Ste-Cath, Cabotins, Bagatelle Bistro, Le Rose-Marie, Le Valois or the brand-new aube bakery.

Jean-Doré Beach

Parc Jean-Drapeau

Straddling two islands in the St. Lawrence River, this verdant park becomes a beachy escape in sunny weather. Just a five-minute jaunt from downtown, the Jean-Doré Beach has a pretty sand beach where you can work on your tan, splash about or play volleyball. With its big, beautiful outdoor pools, the park’s aquatic complex is also discovery-worthy. The park also provides sports lovers, walkers and nature lovers 25 kilometres of multipurpose trails to explore. Wander to your heart’s content along paths dotted with some of the city’s most celebrated artworks, including Calder’s Man stabile. Download free podcast documentaries on the mobile app Portrait Sonore to learn more about 15 public artworks around Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame.

Happy discoveries à deux!

Laure Juilliard

Laure Juilliard

Originally from Paris, Laure Juilliard made Montréal her home over 15 years ago and has never looked back. Won over by her new city's unique energy, cultural vibrancy and gastronomic effervescence, she loves exploring all the coolest spots. A writer and blogger specialising in lifestyle, culture, travel and gastronomy, she has lent her pen to Tourisme Montréal for more than 10 years, in addition to magazines such as ELLE Québec and Clin d'œil, as well as a variety of well-known companies and agencies. Always on the lookout for innovative concepts and the best addresses wherever she is in the world, she is also always planning her next trip.

See articles by Laure