Montreal Weekender: September 30th through October 2nd, 2011

Sometimes it’s fun to see your city through the eyes of a tourist. You live somewhere your entire life, and we oftentimes forget to check out the “sites” and “landmarks” that get visitors to la belle ville all jazzed up. So this weekend we’d like you to put your touring hats on and hit up the city as if you were seeing it for the first time…

Friday night take a evening stroll around the grounds of Place des Arts – Montreal’s all-important cultural hub (and concert hall). Its mission is to promote artistic and cultural life in Quebec, and to provide increased accessibility to various forms of performing arts. And after the recent revamping of the grounds, the site is beautiful and worth a stroll around. When you get hungry grab a bite at F Bar located on the west side of Place des Arts (actually attached to it). F Bar is brought to you by the guys from Group Ferreira and offers some of the most refined and creative Portuguese plates in the city.

Saturday, head to the east end to explore the attractions ranging from the Biodome and the Insectarium to the Botanical Gardens. At the Biodome, you will be able to walk through replicas of four ecosystems found in the Americas. Watch ant colonies live and work together at the Insectarium, and explore 190 acres of thematic gardens and greenhouses at the Botanical Garden.

For a late lunch hit up Montreal’s famous French bistro for steak frites or steak tartare, L’Express. Walk in and out of shops on St. Denis and then catch a late dinner at Montreal’s claim to fame when it comes to French fine dining: Toque!

On Sunday, spend your day on foot. Hike up Mount Royal and stop along the way at various look-out spots to see amazing views of the city. Stop into Schwartz’s for a famous smoked meat sandwich and then spend the rest of the afternoon in the Old Port at Montreal Science Centre, located right on the water. Pop into the Jean Talon Market before closing at 5pm to have an early market-fresh dinner (pick up some charcuterie and baguette and cheeses, too).

All in all, you will have experienced Montreal as a tourist, but in the best possible and most notable way.