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Hotel Omni Mont-Royal
1050 SHERBROOKE STREET WEST
Montreal, Quebec H3A-2R6

48 Hours in Montreal

While the colorful autumns and long snowy winters provide a wealth of activities in the cooler months, warm weather takes Montreal to new heights. The French-speaking city offers a bustling culinary scene, filled with pubs, delis, patisseries, cafes and upscale restaurants, as well as numerous art-centric festivals that enhance Montreal’s cultural landscape. An impressive array of architectural styles can be found throughout the region, making a trip to this Canadian city more like a European escape.

Located in the Golden Square Mile historic district, not far from the St. Lawrence River, Hotel Omni Mont-Royal is a great starting point for exploring the fabulous city of Montreal during the summertime.

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Day One

Morning

Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the hotel’s own French bistro-style restaurant, Le Petit Opus Café. Known as the Art of Breakfast Buffet, it’s an Omni staple that offers eggs, French toast, sausages, pancakes, smoked salmon, croissants, muffins, yogurts and fresh fruits.

After enjoying your morning meal, take a walk—either up high or down low. One option is to head northwest to Mont-Royal, a hill with a park that features two belvederes for taking in the sprawling view, a small lake and extensive hiking trails.

Should you choose to stay downtown, head underground to the Montreal Underground City, a series of interconnected tunnels below Montreal’s downtown area. Here, you’ll find shopping centers selling everything from men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories to toys, games and electronics. It also connects to many of the city’s hotels, performing arts venues, business complexes.

Afternoon

After your morning exploration, head over to Café Parvis for lunch. This hip hangout in the middle of the entertainment district doesn’t disappoint. The atmosphere is as cool as the inventive toppings for its pizzas, which include pork with hot peppers and pineapple, as well as salmon gravlax.

Another option is to visit the rotating food trucks located outside of the McCord Museum, where an adjacent street has been turned into a public picnic area called the Urban Forest. This vibrant, creative space is perfect for outdoor lunchtime dining.

Once you’re done, head inside the museum, which centers on the history and culture of Montreal through displays of artwork, aboriginal objects, clothing and costumes, photographs and written works. It also regularly hosts film screenings, lecture series, children’s day camps and more.

Another museum near the hotel is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the largest museum in the city, which features permanent collections of archaeological artifacts, early international art, contemporary art and more. It’s also a great place to participate in creative workshops.

Evening

After resting up at the hotel, head to Little Italy for dinner. Traditional Italian cuisine abounds at Hostaria, a restaurant using family recipes to cook up dishes like octopus carpaccio, egg tagliolini with lamb and artichoke stew. For dessert, enjoy espresso gelato or fresh fruit sherbet.

A few blocks away, another restaurant, called Impasto, presents newer takes on classic Italian dishes, serving up gourmet veal with artichokes, braised pork shoulder, gnocchi with ricotta and more. Their extensive wine menu also features luxury selections from across Italy.

Once you’ve finished eating, it’s time to stick to Little Italy for a show. The nearby Casa del Popolo is an intimate venue with a little over 50 seats offering spoken word nights, live music, art shows and more. Enjoy small plates or drinks during your visit as well.

End the night with a trip to Atrium Le 1000, an indoor ice skating rink inside a stunning glass atrium, a prominent figure of the Montreal skyline. The upbeat music and colorful lights offer a fun time before turning in for the night.

Montreal skyline at dusk

Day Two

Morning

The next morning, head towards the waterfront for a light breakfast at Maison Christian Faure. The pastry shop crafts beautiful chocolate croissants, apple puff pastries, éclairs, French palmiers, raspberry tarts and more.

For a copier breakfast, dine at Brasserie 701, which offers different breakfast and brunch menus depending on when you visit. Prominent dishes to choose from include the Norwegian omelet with smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, avocado tartine and the 701 Burger.

Walk along the waterfront to the Old Montreal area, a bustling part of town where you’ll find remarkable historical landmarks, like the Notre-Dame Basilica, Place Jacques-Cartier and Montréal Town Hall. Take in the old-world atmosphere, lively plazas, shopping stalls and cafes. For a fun adventure, hop aboard La Grande Roue de Montréal — the tallest Ferris wheel in Canada — and see the city and its surroundings from 60 meters in the air.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon in the breezy Jardin Nelson, a true haven where you can bask in the warm summer atmosphere. Relax either on the front terrace or the rear courtyard while enjoying a glass of sangria, bruschetta, ceviche, rosemary chicken, marinated shrimp, lobster sandwich and more.

Next, take part in a memorable urban cruise experience on Bateau-Mouche, a sightseeing cruise on the St. Lawrence River. Take in the beautiful vistas from the water while enjoying the wind in your hair as you learn more about Montreal’s history.

A trip to Montreal wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Atwater Market, a local farmers’ market where visitors can pick up goods to take back home, offer as gifts or eat up during the visit. From butchers and cheese shops to fresh produce and sushi, you’re sure to find something of interest here.

If you’re looking for a more laidback afternoon, spend it at the hotel, enjoying a light lunch of sliders, fine cheeses, calamari or soup at Omni’s Alice Bar then stop by the hotel’s on-site wellness center, EQLib Medispa, located in the lower lobby, for a relaxing body or facial treatment or to try out a massage.

Evening

A classic French meal is definitely a must so visit Pois Penché on your last evening. Only a couple of blocks from Hôtel Omni Mont-Royal, guests can select items from the dinner menu that includes seafood platter, scallop ceviche, French onion soup, lobster, steak tartare or escargots in a white wine sauce.

Montreal’s House of Jazz is the perfect spot for some live music. The art-nouveau style venue will impress you, from its glass chandeliers to the colorful carpets and large lettered signs. It’s the perfect blend of casual and upscale and has been a popular spot for jazz musicians for decades.

End your evening with a visit to the Place des Festivals, an outdoor plaza that is often the site of the city’s many festivals. Place des Festivals is home to interactive fountains and light towers that are sure to put on a show in the romantic setting.

If you have more time...

Head to beautiful Quebec City, about three hours away, and explore the ancient cobblestone streets of Old Quebec. A few minutes outside Old Quebec, you’ll find the majestic Montmorency Falls, a large waterfall 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls. Cross the suspension bridge over the mouth of the falls or take advantage of the many viewpoints.

A little farther away are the Laurentian Mountains, where you’ll find spectacular scenery and plenty of nature to explore.

Or take a trip to Toronto! Located about six hours away, this city has attractions your kids won’t want to miss. From exciting sports and cultural and scientific wonders, to treats and eats that everyone can enjoy, there are plenty of options for your trip.

The Hotel Omni Mont-Royal concierge team contributed to this article.