Mis à jour : 9 sept. 2020
We all know the summer solstice ends sometime this month, yet this doesn't mean the city will get hit by a blizzard the following day and that we shall start singing Christmas carols as soon as a dead leaf appears on the sidewalk. In the spirit, let's enjoy the last warm summer rays by getting your PSL fix from Starbucks and enjoy the simple pleasures Montreal has to offer right in the heart of the city.
Start your day with a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire island from the 44th floor of Place Ville-Marie
With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, the observatory of the PVM tower is still closed, BUT this doesn't mean you can't admire Montreal in all its glory. Indeed, head on the 44th floor and get a table at Les Enfants Terribles. The French bistro is open daily and offers an extensive brunch selection on the weekend. Plus the view itself is quite breathtaking both during day and night.
1 Place Ville-Marie
Grab your coffee from Café Myriade and head over to the Musée des Beaux-Arts
Located in the basement of Club Monaco in Dominion Square, Café Myriade is undoubtedly one of the best spots to get your coffee fix in the heart of the city and is minutes away from the museum. Sadly, they only offer a take-out option but it doesn't mean your experience will be any less good than on a regular day pre-COVID-19. As for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, get ready to be immersed in the artistic ebullience of France at the turn of the 20th century with its exhibition Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants. With over 500 paintings and graphic works on display, you'd be ensured to have an afternoon well-spent.
*Small note, thanks to COVID-19 there have been a few changes at the museum. Firstly the museum will be closed every Monday until further notice and secondly, visitors must book their tickets online and select the date and time of their visit. Museum Members are also required to reserve their tickets online.
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Girl with Cat, 1892, oil on canvas. Private collection
1000 Saint-Catherine St West
Musée des Beaux-Arts
1380 Sherbrooke Street West
Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Shopping never killed anybody...
If you're thinking of having an extensive shopping session, you must know that the heart of Montreal is the perfect place to be. Yes, Sainte-Catherine street might be a tad hazardous with the constant construction sites, but this is Montreal's life at its finest. You shall discover the newly renovated Eaton Center with several new stores such as Decathlon and Uniqlo which will open at the end of the month of October! Also if you get hungry, head over the TimeOut Market. Let's just say that your regular shopping mall food hall has nothing compared to the TimeOut Market.
Another complex that has undergone major renovations is Holt Renfrew Ogilvy. Indeed the flagship store has expended its square footage to the existing entrance of Ogilvy combining the world's biggest designers' names under one roof. Make sure to stop by Café Holt during your visit. Their macarons and coffee are exquisite. Plus the café serves both lunch and brunch if that isn't enough to convince you to try it.
705 Saint-Catherine Street West
Holt Renfrew Ogilvy
1307 Saint-Catherine Street West
How about a picnic?
If the weather calls for sunshine, why not head to Dominion Park and order some tasty smoked meat sandwich to-go from the legendary Dunn's Famous diner? Indeed the diner is located right in front of the park which makes it convenient if you're looking for an excuse to basked under the sun with some of Montreal's finest delicacies.
1249 Metcalfe Street
Might be Covid-19, but there's still happy hour going on...
Deville Dinerbar is known for its incredible burgers and crazy cocktails. Looking for a milkshake or a drink as big as your head? Head on Stanley street located right in the middle of downtown to rediscovered the newly opened diner. After being closed for several months, the diner is now back to business with a renovated terrace right on Stanley street and ready to offer its clientele a redesigned version of their iconic fishbowls and creative cocktails. Cheers!
1425 Stanley Street
Have a meal at the longest communal table
Located at the corner of Saint-Laurent and Sainte-Catherine, you will find Le Central, the eclectic food hall that counts over a dozen over-the-counter restaurants. What sets the food hall apart from TimeOut Market would be its location. Instead of being located indoors, you can head inside and order your food, and right after, simply make your way outside to sit at the longest communal table. This piece of art is well-thought at this time of pandemic as it respects the social distancing guidelines and is perfect for an impromptu photo-op during your meal.
The communal table right by Le Central
30 Sainte-Catherine Street West
Spend the night at the AC HOTELS by MARRIOTT Montreal Downtown
If you're looking for an excuse to get out of the house just for the night or are visiting from out of town, the AC HOTELS by MARRIOTT located right in the middle of the action downtown is perfect for you. Indeed after being closed for a few months during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AC has now officially reopened its doors to the public in late August. With slick and modern rooms with a European flair, the AC is perfect for young couples as well as for families. Don't forget your bathing suit if you wish to go for a quick swim atop the 12th floor.
AC HOTELS by MARRIOTT Montreal Downtown
250 Renée-Lévesques Boulevard West
And for breakfast or your hangover cure
You had a great night and your head is having a party on its own. Here's the hangover cure: coffee and food! Located within earshot of the AC hotel, head on Bleury street and you will find a little gem called Café La Finca. From croissants, pastries, a local market to a much-needed cappuccino, La Finca has undoubtedly become one of my favorite cafés in downtown Montreal.
Café La Finca
Now for carbs, simply head a few streets west and you shall find the mecca of tacos at La Capital Tacos. There's nothing better than feeding your soul with tacos al pastor, but that's just my humble opinion.
La Capital Tacos
1096 St Laurent Blvd
And before heading home, don't forget to check Chinatown right down La Capital Tacos (I know, a Mexican restaurant in the middle of Chinatown, go figure!) and if you can stomach it, I would suggest you stopping by Qing Hua Dumpling. You will thank me later.
Qing Hua Dumpling
1019 St Laurant Blvd