Off-Peak Destination: Montréal
Pssst…..wanna know a great off-season February destination where you can see tremendous sights such as the tallest leaning tower in the world, witness the splendor of a historic basilica, and play in the largest casino in Canada? We’re on our way to Montréal!
So why Montréal in February for off-peak travel? In a word…weather. Tourists prefer the warmer months of June to September to walk the sunny streets free of heavy coats and wooly mittens. Winter months are icy cold, sometimes rainy, with snow-covered grounds lasting pretty much until the end of March. Savvy and budget-conscious travelers can take advantage of lower winter hotel rates and less crowded streets to see all Montréal has to offer for a fraction of the cost. And there are plenty of indoor activities and attractions so you can lose the coat and stay warm!
Grab a map and take a self-guided walking (or driving) tour through this historic district. Explore the heritage of Montréal through 17th-century architecture, monuments, and preserved spaces of this once walled-in city. Filled with famous landmarks, numerous museums, and photo opportunities, there is much to do both outside and inside. Go ice skating at the Eastern End of the Old Port, shop along the Rue Saint-Amable, browse art galleries, or pop in for a bite at a quaint cafe as you stroll on one of the prettiest and oldest streets in the city, Rue Saint-Paul. Several shows and events around the city are scheduled year-round, so there is always something happening. A must-see in Old Montréal is highlighted next.
Notre Dame Basilica
This historic church is one of Montréal’s famous landmarks. Known for its striking Gothic Revival architecture, this building dates back to the 1800s and features colorful stained glass windows and rich, detailed wood carvings throughout. Today religious services, as well as weddings, concerts, and other events, are held at this Basilica year-round. Fully guided tours are available to allow you to experience the beauty and art for yourself, as well as warm-up from the cold February wind!
Montréal Science Center
Aside from being another indoor attraction to keep you warm, the innovative exhibits found in this museum will fascinate any age. Explore space, nature, or human nature in a single afternoon via their collection of permanent and traveling exhibitions. Watch a 3-D IMAX film and partake in interactive games and experiments. The center is located in the historic Old Montréal area, close to many other attractions.
Home of the 1976 Winter Olympic games, this man-made mammoth structure features The Montréal Tower. At an incredible 45-degree angle, this marvel boasts the title of the tallest leaning tower in the world. Awe-inspiring to see from afar, you can get up close and personal with fully guided tours or attend an event in the 56,000-seat stadium.
Comprised of three interconnected buildings, the main building consists of six floors and houses over 3200 slot machines 115 gaming tables, Keno, and much more gaming! The largest casino in Canada has been open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week since 1993. There is more to do than just gamble at this adult playground. From table service to quick counter service, four restaurants offer different cuisines to satisfy any hunger. How do you like your cocktails? Three bar options to suit your fancy: dancing and DJs, sports bar, or kick-back lounge style. There is even a variety of live entertainment and stage shows in their hall.
More than just sightseeing
Sports enthusiast? Catch a hockey game at Centre Bell, home of the Montréal Canadiens, or try your hand at an old-fashioned game of curling at the Stewart Museum. Fashionista? Shop the 1,700 shops, boutiques & stores via Sainte Catherine Street. Crave local flavors? Montréal’s culinary scene offers a blend of exquisite dishes featuring locally grown seasonal produce and gourmet products to tempt you. Stop by Jean-Talon Market, one of the largest public markets in North America, to bring a taste of Montreal home with you.
A little bit of old, a little bit of new, and a whole lot of fun, Montréal is a fascinating city, rich in history and full of life. Everyone can find their happy place during their visit. Search for hotels in Montréal and Canada on our sister site, Dunhill Travel Deals.