Montréal is one of the most unique cities in North America, as well as what I consider to be the most romantic. Between cobblestone streets and French on the tip of everyone’s tongue, it just stands out from the crowd.
While there are a million ways to experience the beauty and distinctive qualities of the city, there are a five ways to experience summer in Montréal, especially if you are short on time.
Saber a bottle of champagne
It’s not often that the opportunity to cut off the top of a champagne bottle with a sword arises, but the unexpected happens when you travel. After a friend recommended La Champagnerie, we headed there for drinks and snacks, not knowing about the chance to saber a bottle of champagne.
After letting their experts help us choose a bottle from their extensive list, they came back to our table to retrieve us for our sabering. I was nervous, but Sebastian immediately put me at ease. He then handed me the saber, lowered the curtain, and positioned my hands correctly on the bottle, angling it at 45 degrees. He then stepped away, assuring me that I wouldn’t shatter the bottle in my hands, as I was fearing. He was right. Once our bottle was sabered, I added my cork to the wall, making a wish, then headed back to my table to enjoy our pink champagne.
Take a bike ride around the city
With a beautiful day on our side, Saturday afternoon consisted of a private bike tour with Ça Roule Montréal, which was the perfect way to spend our day. Not only was Ruby, our guide, a wealth of information, but I loved the freedom we had in choosing how we wanted to spend our time. Previously, I had only taken a guided bike tour, which was a great introduction to a city, but already knowing a bit about Montréal, it was great to spend our time the way we wanted, with Ruby’s suggestions.
We rode through Griffintown and along the canal, eventually making our way to the Atwater Market, where we stopped in Première Moisson for some sandwiches, wine, and my first taste of foie gras. Then, we got back on our bikes, enjoying all the scenery while joking around with each other. It was the ideal way to see the city and venture to places I would have never thought of exploring.
Eat your way through town.
Food is often one of my priorities while traveling. Not only do I like to indulge in all of the local dishes, but I also like trying food that takes me out of my comfort zone; Montréal didn’t disappoint. From casual restaurants to upscale spots, I have never had a bad meal in the city. I tried multiple new dishes, from beaver tails to duck confit, and even managed to sneak poutine, a favorite of mine, in twice.
Honestly, you could easily gain weight with the delicious dining options available, but it would be completely worth it. A few of my favorite spots to dine included, La Champagnerie, Le Marché de la Villette, Le Bureau Bar Tapas, Première Moisson, and Nouveau Palais.
Have a few drinks at cinq à sept
Not only do many of Montréal’s restaurants and bars have outdoor patios for patrons to enjoy the nice weather, but there is also the tradition of Cinq à Sept. Cinq à Sept translates to five to seven, and it’s the city’s answer to happy hour. Indulge in a drink, or two, and a few snacks while watching city life go by.
Wander around the Botanical Gardens
Need to get away from city life? Look no further than the Botanical Gardens. Here, you can find a quiet place to picnic with your family, stroll throughout the gardens, or visit an exhibition. We visited during the International Mosaiculture event, which features fifty works from artists from over twenty-five countries, and will last until the 29th of September.
Not only do they have special exhibits, but when the weather is nice, they also offer cocktails, tapas, and live music. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend this event, but you can be sure I will the next time I find myself in Montréal.
These unique experiences made my time in Montréal memorable, but the people I shared the trip with were the icing on the cake. Not only did we laugh the entire time, but we truly bonded as friends for life. Even though one of those friends is no longer with us, she was the one who brought us all together to enjoy the best of the city, and she will never be forgotten.
I was a guest of Montreal’s Tourism Board, and my tour with Ça Roule Montréal and visit to the Botanical Gardens were complimentary. However, as always, all opinions are my own.