Montreal Romantic Getaways
Romantic Ideas For A Montreal Getaway
Montreal is truly an experience, combining old world charm, French joie de vivre, and a modern urban style. It's the second largest city in Canada, and brush up on your French, as it is the primary language spoken here. There are an unlimited number of romantic activities and destinations to see within Montreal, such as Old Montreal / Old Port, Mount Royal, Pole des Rapides, and The West Island. It is hard to see everything in just one trip to Montreal and it's surrounding areas, but we'll outline some of the best romantic hotspots below.
Travelling To Montreal
Montreal is situated in the southwestern corner in the province of Quebec, approximately 270 kilometres (168 miles) southwest of Quebec City, the provincial capital. Montreal is bordered by the St. Lawrence River
on its south side, and by the Riviere des Prairies
on the north. Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport - (YUL)
, also known as Montreal Trudeau Airport
, is about 21km (13mi) west of downtown. There are numerous daily flights from cities across Canada via Westjet
and Air Canada
, along with flights from US cities on such carriers as American Airlines
and United Airlines
. The Quebecois Bus Company
runs Aerobus shuttles
from the airport to downtown. At Station Aerobus
, a smaller shuttle will pick you up and drop you anywhere in central downtown, free of charge. Driving or taking a taxi to downtown Montreal from the airport will take roughly 20 or 30 minutes.
You can also reach Montreal by train, either by Via Rail from many Canadaian cities, or by Amtrak in the United States, usually departing from Boston, New York or Washington D.C. It is a fantastic way to see the Northeast Coast of the United States.
Once in Montreal, it has a very extensive and extremely well run subway / bus network. The western parts of the city are reachable by suburban trains from the Bonaventure and Vendeme stations. If you decide to rent a car to get around, traffic in Montreal flows reasonably well, but don't try to drive into Old Montreal, where the streets are narrow and often congested. Tourist offices and bicycle rental facilities can provide excellent maps of cycle paths and bus routes in order to get into Old Montreal easily.
The climate in Montreal varies greatly, both by season and by day to day, and is considered a part of the culture of the city by Montrealers. The best time to visit the city is from April to September, with average daytime temperatures reaching between 80F - 90F. Be warned, during the summer, Montreal can experience high humidity and soaring temperatures, reaching 100F and above. Some snow in spring and autumn is normal, similarly, late heat waves as well as Indian summers
are a common part of the climate.
If you are planning to visit during the winter months, January is the coldest month, with temperatures never reaching above freezing, and you should prepare to expect around a few feet of snow on the ground. Make sure to bring warm clothes, as the wind chill can make temperatures feel colder than they really are!
Old Montreal - Old Port
Just southeast of downtown is Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal)
, an historic and romantic area filled with things to see and do, and it is best explored on foot. Architecture and cobbled streets in Old Montreal have been maintained or restored to keep the look of the city in its earliest days as a settlement, and you can feel the old world atmosphere. During the day much shopping gets done in the shops along Saint-Paul
and Notre-Dame Streets
, and at night jazz clubs, bars, pubs, and friendly singing bars take over with French folk songs and other music.
More than one thousand years of history is recorded in the museums and buildings of Old Montreal. As you stroll along the cobblestone streets, why not stop at City Hall to admire its historic architecture, visit the archaeological crypt under Pointe-a-Calliere, Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, dance with the street performers on Place Jacques-Cartier, and visit the Marche Bonsecours for its magnificent tin-plated dome, and for its terrasses and designer boutiques.
From Old Montreal, all roads south lead to the Old Port and an up close and breathtaking view of the Saint Lawrence River. Along the harbour, take a romantic stroll through the park that flanks the river. Here you can find romantic activities to do such as booking a dinner cruise on the river for two, promenades for ice skating under the stars, or warm and friendly bars where you can relax over a drink or a latte with a clear view of the bustling action. Old Montreal is best to visit during the evening hours, with it's historic buildings basking in light to show all their beauty. Horse drawn carriages are available for a romantic ride for two through Old Montreal's charming gas lantern lit streets.
This is the mountain that overlooks all of Montreal, and is where the city gets its name from. The view from the top of the mountain is nothing short of spectacular, with views soaring over top of the downtown skyscrapers, to the St. Lawrence River below. Stop on one of the magnificent belvederes, but the one at the Chalet at the top is especially nice. Take a romantic stroll through one of its vast parks, there are plenty of benches under the trees, along with ponds nearby. Near the top of the mountain you will find a 30 metre high illuminated cross, which was installed in 1924. At night, this cross can be seen from the city, and the bulbs change from blue, red, and purple in color.
Mount Royal hosts a unique activity in summer time known as the Sunday Tam-Tams, whereby a number of Montrealers and visitors play hand drums ("tam-tams" in French) such as djembes, on the east slope of the mountain, around the monument to Sir George-Etienne Cartier. The Sunday gatherings attract people of various backgrounds, and often dozens of tam-tam players perform their art at the same time, encouraging others to dance. It's a perfect spot to spend the afternoon away from the city.
Pole de Rapides
With the Lachine Canal
as it's centerpiece, this protected recreation area is just a few minutes from downtown, you won't believe that you are still in the city. Take time out to spend an hour, or even the day here, you can find all you need for a romantic picnic lunch or dinner at the nearby Atwater Market
. If you're up for a little adventure, take a bike tour along the paths that wind along the St. Lawrence River from the Old Port, or ride the white water of the St. Lawrence on a raft or a jet boat. There are also a historical boat tour leaving Atwater Market between May and September. You will enjoy a spectacular view of the southwest, as well as the downtown Montreal skyline, and experience passing through a canal lock, all while on board a 63 foot long boat. Prices for this tour at $16 CDN for adults.
Drive west along the lakeshore from Dorval and admire the country style homes built all along the waterfront. Stop at a cafe-terrasse or browse in the many arts and crafts boutiques as you make your way to the western most tip of the island. Here you will find Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, with its marina and magnificent promenade, complete with terrasses, restaurants, and shops. While you are here, take a stroll through the Morgan Arboretum, over 20 kilometres of ecological trails and wooded paths where you're likely to see rare species of birds and woodland creatures. Or hop on your bike and explore the 70 kilometres of greenery, architecture, and history of the West Island Heritage Bicycle Trail.
Keep an eye out for Cap-Saint-Jacques, a beautiful 267-hectare park, where during the summer you can slip on your swimsuit and take a refreshing swim. The park is home to many species of plants, birds, and animals, and its facilities include a beach, hiking / cross-country skiing trails, and an ecological farm.
Travelling further along the island, you will encounter the community of Ile-Bizard. This small residential island boasts a 201 hectare park with access to the lac des Deux-Montagnes, and a huge marshland, accessible by a 500 metre footbridge.
Just Outside Of Montreal
Get away from the city and visit the regions cottage country, either to the north or south. Immediately to the south of Montreal lies the Monteregie region with its expansive valleys and neatly laid out farmlands. Visit a French fort, follow the Cider Route along the Richelieu River, or indulge your sweet tooth at a sugaring off party.
Less than an hour away, you'll enter the Eastern Townships, with its charming Victorian villages, lush orchards, fragrant vineyards, and friendly bed-and-breakfasts. Spend the day at the Granby Zoo or indulge yourself at a wine-tasting tour.
To the north of the city, The Laurentians is a chain of enormous mountains that look down upon magnificent golf courses, lakes, rivers, and acres of forests. The panorama alone is worth the drive, especially in the fall when the leaves turn every shade of bright color. The area around Mont Tremblant is famous for its resort and its beautiful Alpine village at the base of the mountain. It's also where you'll find the best skiing this side of the Rockies.
Romantic Montreal Hotels
Auberge du Vieux-Port
- In Old Montreal
you will find this romantic small luxury inn that has 34 rooms and lofts. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Restaurant Les Remparts
, spend the night in one of the luxury suites with a whirpool bath
, or have breakfast in bed served to you once the morning arrives. It is worth looking into their Romantic Rendezvous
package, which includes a luxury room with a king-sized bed, whirlpool bath, sparkling ice cider, Swedish massage, and breakfast in bed.
Hotel Le St-James - A landmark address in Montreal, the hotel includes uniquely designed rooms with their own personality and a fully equiped spa facility. Located within a walking distance of Montreal's downtown area, home of the finest restaurants and shops, renowned nightlife and museums.
Romantic Montreal Restaurants
- African restaurant on Saint-Denis Street
, bringing a bit of sunshine in your plate. You will find well spiced and marinated meat served with a crepe that should be use as a utensil. A great experience for couples to enjoy.
Wisushi - At this little sushi bar containing a few tables mostly made for two and a bar in a cozy decor, you will be served with a personal touch. The makis, sashimis, and nigiris, are all prepared with care and will please the amateurs as well as the sushi connoisseurs. Located on boulevard Saint-Jean coin Devon in Ouest De L'Ile
Bronte - In the heart of downtown Montreal, this Italian restaurant with exquisite decor will deliver to you an impeccable service. A great chef connoisseur for the connoisseurs prepares the plates. Located across from the Chateau Versailles on Sherbrooke Street.
Have a great Montreal romantic vacation or getaway in Quebec, Canada.
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