Fall 2021: Discover Montréal solo this fall!

Mark Hamilton

Likes romantic walks on Mount Royal, long-distance cycling, beard oil products and antique travel guides. Has a bad habit of falling in love with men in vintage photographs who are certainly long dead. If he could be anything, he’d live his life as a professional flâneur. Until then, he spends his time writing, making music, and wandering.

Montréal transforms into a canopy of vibrant reds, oranges and yellows as the local vegetation changes into its autumn wardrobe. And the city itself keeps just as vibrant in lush park spaces, unbeatable shopping streets and bustling markets full of locals enjoying the fall harvest. Some of the year’s biggest musical and arts festivals are also taking place this autumn, and fall 2021 sees the return of some international favourites. Let’s check out just a few of the limitless options offered by Montréal this autumn!

By foot, bike and bus

Whether you’ve arrived by air or by land, there’s so many great ways to explore Montréal that lets you leave the car parked (or in the garage back at home). There’s few finer ways to witness the colours of autumn than with a reinvigorating autumn walk through some of the city’s favourite parks and local forested areas. Cyclists will love the city’s bucket list bike rides that take riders through some of Montréal’s most memorable neighbourhoods and along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. And the city’s public transport system also offers some unforgettably picturesque routes if you’d rather sit back and let someone else do the driving.

Get ready for picturesque in Old Montréal

We’d suggest signing up for one of Montréal’s multiple walking tour options to get the lay of the land, and then head out on some self-guided exploration. And a great place to start is where it all began – historic Old Montréal. Home to more than just the city’s most iconic historic sites, you’ll also find some of the most cutting-edge galleries and restaurants throughout Old Montréal’s cobblestone streets.

FUEL UP:

CULTURAL MUST-SEES:

And when it comes to Old Montréal, even if you’re travelling solo you’re never alone – projected on façades, storefronts and alleyways, Montréal en Histoires – Cité Mémoire brings the neighbourhood’s ghosts back to life every evening at dusk. Download the app to trigger the projections and connect with history 1-on-1.

It’s always primetime in Downtown Montréal and the Village

Long a cultural hot-spot, Downtown Montréal (and it’s Golden Square Mile and Quartier des Spectacles neighbourhoods) are home to some of Canada’s best museums and shopping. And amid the skyscrapers and buzzing commuters, there’s postcard-pretty green spots like Dorchester Square and Place du Canada perfect for a picnic break.

MUST-SEE MUSEUMS:

LET’S SHOP!:

DOWNTOWN CHOW DOWN:

Foster some #FOMO in the Plateau, Mile End and Outremont

While they exist side-by-side geographically, Outremont, the Plateau and Mile End are each uniquely distinct in their own unique flavour. Home to some of Montréal’s cafés, shops and restaurants préféré (or favourites), these are the ideal neighbourhoods to fully immerse yourself in local living, and the brightly coloured building sides of the area (thanks in large part to the annual MURAL Festival) are Instagram-ready.

EAT UP:

GET YOUR WALK ON:

Keep it real in Little Italy and Villeray

Put simply, Little Italy and Villeray is where Montréalers come to eat. Influenced by the city’s Italian community, there’s a mouthwatering variety of restaurants and food shops that will leave you wishing for an extra inch of room in your belt.

MUST-EATS:

STOCK UP YOUR KITCHEN:

  • There’s always something unique at arloca, specializing in Québec design
  • The mind boggles at the selection of utensils at Quincaillerie Dante

A river runs through Les Quartiers du Canal

The neighbourhoods of Griffintown, Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri are intersected by the historic Lachine Canal, and also home to Montréal’s Antique District. The area is also home to many of Montréal’s groundbreaking new startups and tech firms, and local cafés are full of telecommuters and students. 

MUNCHIES: 

  • Atwater Market is one of Montréal’s busiest markets, with an iconic clock tower and hanging lights 

Get up-and-coming in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

Montréal’s working class and urban wilderness collide in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, where huge leafy expanses co-exist side by side with row housing and homey shopping streets. Solo explorers looking for a truly local experience will find it here, and friendly locals abound.

NATURE IN THE CITY:

WHEN HUNGER STRIKES:

Explore off-island

Situated in the waters of the St-Lawrence River, the Parc Jean-Drapeau's twin islands were created from the earth removed in the construction of Montréal’s Métro system. Built for Expo67 (including Habitat 67), these parklands are now home to the Formula 1 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, the La Ronde amusement park, the Casino de Montréal, myriad hiking trails and a bevy of local animals. A peaceful getaway from the city – not to mention a great spot for some last snaps of Montréal’s skyline – it’s a great end to a solo city excursion.

Mark Hamilton

Likes romantic walks on Mount Royal, long-distance cycling, beard oil products and antique travel guides. Has a bad habit of falling in love with men in vintage photographs who are certainly long dead. If he could be anything, he’d live his life as a professional flâneur. Until then, he spends his time writing, making music, and wandering.

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