Montreal Itinerary: Top Things To Do In 3 Days

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Looking for a perfect Montreal itinerary? 3 days in Montreal is a fair amount of time to see this one of the most interesting places to visit in Canada. Here’s how you can spend 3 days in Montreal and make the most out of your trip.

After Toronto, Montreal is the second largest city in the country and the most visited one as well. This city gets its name from the triple peaked hill, Mount Royal. It is located in the heart of the city. Montreal in summer is also a retreat for visitors. Considering the history that Montreal has preserved as well as the slow transition to the modern times, it makes for one definite destination for travel enthusiasts to visit. If you are one of them, below is a carefully curated Montreal itinerary for 3 days to explore the city to the fullest.

Montreal Itinerary : 3 Days In Montreal

Day 1: Explore The Old Montreal & Saint Henri

Notre-Dame Basilica

Notre-Dame Basilica - 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary
Notre-Dame Basilica – 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary

The Notre-Dame Basilica is the largest and most beautiful church in the entire Montreal. It is not just a place of worship but is also a heritage building. And you wouldn’t question any of that once you lay your eyes on the gorgeous architecture and spellbinding designs of the building. The inside of the church is simply serene and somber. It carries a history of more than 100 years of the city. And since then, it has survived a fire and reconstruction.

Though most of its original paintings and frescoes were destroyed in the fire. The church was reconstructed and restored by the Quebec artist Charles Daudelin. He made sure that the original shape of the chapel remains as it once was, adding more and more beauty to the chapel that it is right now. The golden altar and the colored windows surrounding the church is simply mind blowing. It makes the perfect spot for you to get started with your Montreal itinerary.

Saint Henri (Atwater Market, Lachine Canal)

Lachine Canal - 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary
Lachine Canal – 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary

Once you are in Saint Henri, there are a lot of places to visit surrounding the neighborhood. Head to the Atwater market and indulge in the freshness of farm produce especially the Quebec strawberries. You will also find eateries serving different cuisines. Aylwin Barbecue is our favorite place in Atwater market for delicious BBQ platters, coleslaw and brisket sandwiches.

Next, make your way to the Lachine Canal where you can take a leisurely stroll in its lush green park while admiring the beauty of the city from the shorelines. You can choose to kayak or go biking too. Lachine Canal will surely become one of the most memorable places to visit in Montreal for you.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal - 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary
Old Montreal – 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary

After a lovely exploration day in the historic neighborhood of Saint Henri, you need to put the cherry on the cake by exploring Old Montreal. This is the place where history thrived. It is located next to the Saint Lawrence river. Old administrative offices, structures, buildings and old town market, you will find everything here. It’s simply full of nostalgia and feels like stepping into a small French town.

You will find numerous boutiques, old shops, eateries and high-end restaurants in this part of the city. If you are looking for a good restaurant for lunch, you can stop at Venice Mtl Vieux-Montreal for delicious tacos, pizzas, burgers and poke bowls.

The entire vibe of Old Montreal is beyond beautiful. People love to sit here and click pictures to enhance the aesthetic of their Instagram account. You can also be a part of a small group walking tour through the Old Town for easy navigation. No matter what season you visit the town, this is the coolest place you would find here.

An Evening Walk Through The Old Port

Old Port - 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary
Old Port – 3 Days In Montreal Itinerary

While you are in Old Montreal, you need to head over to the Old Port during the sunset hour. A walk through the old port under the twilight sky as it slowly turns lilac and then dark could be the most rewarding experiences for you. The lighting of the city symmetrically reflected into the Saint Lawrence River is a sight to gaze at. You can also sail on a Saint Lawrence sightseeing cruise to see the major attractions of the city from the river.

La Grande Rue Ferris wheel, a beach, the Montreal Science Center, the Old Port piers and an IMAX Theatre are some of the attractions that you can spend time at the Old Port. The sea breeze completes the moment that can sum up your first day in your Montreal itinerary.

Day 2: Mont-Royal Park, Westmount Park, Mile End & Jean Talon Market

Hiking at Mont-Royal Park

Views From Mont-Royal
Views From Mont-Royal

There is nothing more adventurous in Montreal than the Mont-Royal Park. A vast field full of lush green grass, and trees as far as your eyes can see. Along with fresh air as well as a little water body between the park is a pure pleasure in the morning. But Mont-Royal Park is not included in the list because of any of those reasons. It is included because of its hiking trek trails and other adventurous activities that you can participate in.

People often compliment the Mont Royal Park as an amazing hike. Depending upon where you start. There is approximately a 30 – 45 minutes hike up the mountain. From 233m atop you can see the most scenic viewpoint over Montreal.

During winters, this is also a popular trail for birding, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. The park is open and enjoyable year round. No matter what your adventure taste is, you would love this spot.

Witness The Cartier Monument

George Etienne Cartier Monument
George Etienne Cartier Monument

The George Etienne Cartier Monument which is beyond beautiful. You can find it on your way back from the Royal Mont Park. The tower is topped with a winged Goddess of Liberty. A symbol of Canadian Confederation, this makes up for a significant structure in the city.

Westmount Park For A Little Picnic

If you are not the adventure kind but more of the picnic kind of person, then you can skip the Mont-Royal Park and always head on to the Westmount Park. One of the most notable things about the area where the park is located is it resides the wealthiest of Montreal in its surroundings. The roads are rather quiet in this area. You would simply sigh at the green, natural beauty inside of the park.

It takes the color of every single season that touches it. During Autumn, you would witness the golden touch in the park. Spring brings the best of the butterflies and flowers. The winter feels like the ice queen exploded here and the summers come with greens and the fresh breeze. Pack some food and you can plan a picnic under any tree of your choice and you would have yourself a peaceful afternoon.

Spend An Artistic Evening At Mile End Neighborhood

Mile End makes for one of the most Insta worthy locations of Montreal. The graffiti on the walls, the design of the place, the artistic air as well as the museums and galleries that you are going to find here transcends you into a different atmosphere. There are a variety of restaurants here. The hippy culture and the vibe here welcome you as one of their own. The music shows, cafes and baristas would make you one of their own. You can quench your shopping thirst at Saint-Laurent Boulevard. L’Gros Luxe and larrys are good restaurants for lunch or dinner in Mile End.

Since you are at the artistic end of the city, you will find many shops with handicrafts, home décor materials and cutleries with some unique designs. This part of the town can awaken the creative in you.

Shop And Stroll Through The Jean Talon Market

Jean Talon Market
Jean Talon Market

Located a short walk away from Mile End in the heart of Little Italy is the funky Jean Talon Market. It is a farmers market offering fresh local produce, maple syrup, pastries and souvenirs.

Day 3: Explore the Downtown Montreal

Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts also known as MMFA is the oldest museum in Canada and the second largest museum in North America. It is a home to paintings, graphics, furniture, textile, sculpture and other decorative and fine arts. The museum is huge in size. Every corner tells the tale of a different artist and a different art form. On one end, you will find the intricate details of one artist who describes modernism in his style.

On the other end, you will witness the gorgeous amalgamation of colors to make you wonder about the different meanings of modernism and expressionism. The carefully kept sculpture pieces give a mind-numbing definition of the world seen by the artist. The museum stands tall with the greatest number of pieces in itself. And it’s truly commendable.

Quartier des Spectacles

It’s an entertainment district at the eastern section of downtown Montreal. Since you have visited all parts of Montreal. You need to save this place for the last day. There are multiple performance halls in this part of the town. So, you need to check as per your taste as to what you prefer to attend today. International festivals, art galleries, art exhibits and cultural exhibits are some of the events that you can attend here. Drama, comedy shows, dance, music, cultural, hip-hop, rock, you can find everything here in this zealous portion of downtown.

Montreal Jazz Festival

If you are a jazz lover and visiting Montreal during summer around the Jazz festival then you have golden luck. Approx 3000 artists from all around the world visit Montreal to perform in the festival. It becomes a pilgrimage for music lovers. The festival gets conducted on such a large scale that you need to get a hand on those passes as soon as possible.

But the fact that it is conducted in downtown Montreal, gives a different energy to these parts of town. The schedule as well as the events are also listed on the website. The event is most likely to be conducted around the end of June and beginning of July.

Experience A Relaxing Nordic Thermal Spa

Just a few minutes from downtown you can rejuvenate yourselves and relax at the very calming Strøm Nordic Spa. It is set in a very beautiful and exceptionally blissful surroundings. It’s a perfect escape for those who are seeking a peaceful time amongst nature. You can find more details here.

General Information On Montreal

Where To Stay For 3 Days In Montreal

If you are looking for a great place to stay near the major attractions of Montreal, then undoubtedly you should opt for an accommodation in the Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal). It is also close to the vibrant old port and the cobblestone streets that make you feel like you are in Europe. There are also many boutiques, cafes, restaurants and stores in close proximity. Below are our top recommendations for an ideal place to stay in Montreal.

Budget-friendly (Upto $50): Auberge Alternative is perfect for backpackers and solo travelers who are looking for pocket friendly accommodation in Old Montreal. The dorm rooms are clean and comfortable. This hostel has been highly rated consistently by guests.

Click here to check the availability or book your stay at Auberge Alternative.

Mid Range (<$225) : Maison Saint-Vincent offers stylish, comfortable and modern rooms in the heart of Old Montreal. Attractions like Place Jacques Cartier, Montreal Science Centre, Notre Dame Basilica Montreal and Old Port of Montreal are just a short walking distance from the hotel.

Click here to check the availability or book your stay at Maison Saint-Vincent

Luxury ($225+) : Intercontinental Hotel is an ideal choice for those who are looking for a luxurious stay in Old Montreal. This modernly furnished hotel is connected to the Montreal Convention Center. The underground city can also be directly accessed from the hotel. Rooms are spacious, comfortable and filled with luxurious amenities. Moreover, the rooms have amazing views of the Old Port and the river. The restaurant in the hotel serves delicious breakfast for the guests. You will find a swimming pool, sauna, salon and a fitness center too at the Intercontinental.

Click here to check the availability or book your stay at the Intercontinental Hotel.

How To Get Around In Montreal

You need not worry about expenses regarding rental cars thanks to the very well connected public transit system in Montreal. The efficient metro system can take you just about anywhere in the city. Montreal is also a walkable city. You can explore all the neighborhoods such as Old Montreal, Mile End and Plateau by walking only.

If you enjoy biking, then it would be really interesting for you to know that Montreal is one of the most bike friendly cities in the entire North America. There are bike paths throughout the city. You can get a bike at any docking station, pay for it and drop it at the nearest docking station to your destination.

Alternatively, you can also hire a cab or book an Uber in Montreal if that is your preferred mode of transportation.

What’s The Currency Used In Montreal?

The currency used in Montreal is Canadian Dollar (CAD). You can use US dollars too in most places, but the conversion rates might be lower. So, it would be advantageous if you have Canadian Dollars to spend there. 1 CAD = 0.73 USD approx.

We hope you enjoy your 3 days in Montreal itinerary as much as we did. Let us know if you have any questions or share with us about your favorite place in Montreal in the comments section below.

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