Paris may be known as the city of love, but if you’re looking for a less predictable romantic getaway, it’s time to take advantage of cheap flights to Montreal.
The city’s 66% French-speaking population mean you’ll still hear melodic Gallic voices filling the air in chic sounding squares and parks, but with the added bonus of experiencing a truly unique mixture of North-American and European culture.
Toronto may be Canada’s capital, but Montreal is its cultural heart, alive with art, music, theatre and dance, and boasts more restaurants per capita than any other city.
Here’s our guide to some of Montreal’s most romantic activities and attractions, perfect for a Valentine’s Day jaunt, honeymoon, or just for spending time with your amour…
Explore Park Lafontaine
Local favourite Park Lafontaine tops lists of romantic thing to do in Montreal whatever the weather. Perfect for strolling hand-in-hand and picnicking in the summer, when temperatures drop it’s a winter wonderland. Couples don ice skates to explore the park’s frozen ponds and pathways, all set against a beautiful city backdrop.
Dine out (lots)
Montreal’s vibrant food scene ensures you’ll never be short of somewhere to linger over some amazing food with your holiday companion.
Unsurprisingly, the influence of French cuisine here is huge, from patisseries to innovative haute cuisine, but Montreal’s also famous for its incredible Jewish Delis and many Moroccan restaurants.
Go all out with a candlelit dinner in one of Old Montreal’s 18th-century restaurants, people watch from one of the city’s lovely terrace cafes, grab take out from the Parisian style food markets or head out on the ultimate foodie date, by booking one of the city’s popular food tours.
Go on a sunset Cruise
Taking a cruise along Montreal’s St. Lawrence River is one for the tick list whatever the time of day, but its extra special at sunset. Book a short boat trip to watch the sun drop behind the city’s skyline from the water, or dance under the stars on an evening cruise.
In the summer you’ll have the added bonus of a spectacular fireworks display, as the annual L’International des Feux Loto-Québec Fireworks Competition lights up the sky overhead.
Take a carriage ride through Old Montreal
Board a calèche at the Place Jacques-Cartier in Old Montréal to a romantic carriage ride through the cobblestones. A pretty pastime in the summer, it’s even better in the winter, when you can explore the snow-covered city snuggly cuddled up under wool blankets.
Journey along the Lachine Canal
Perfect for picturesque date walks, cycles or for the more adventurous, kayak trips, is the Lachine Canal.
Pop to the Atwater market to grab a delicious picnic before exploring this attractive waterway, which runs 14.5 kilometres from the Old Port of Montreal to Lake Saint-Louis.
Experience Mount Royal by moonlight
It’s easy to see why Mount Royal is considered to be the jewel of Montreal’s city parks. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the man behind New York’s Central Park, this 200-hectare green space includes the city’s highest point, offering unrivalled views.
While it’s ideal for a romantic stroll (or trek) at any time of year, the guided moonlight snow shoe treks during the winter are especially enchanting.
Enjoy the festival atmosphere
A city alive with culture, visiting during one of Montreal’s major festivals can add an extra dimension to you stay. The biggest events to look out for are The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and the winter Lumière festival, as well as the World Film Festival, annual comedy fest and gay pride.