Most Romantic Things to Do in Montréal

Best Activities to Share with Your Significant Other in Montreal and Beyond

Montreal, that most romantic of cities offers the perfect vacation for lovers of all stripes. The activities listed here include romantic walks through beautiful urban parks and stylish gardens found within Montreal's Jardin Botanique. A visit to the site of famous weddings, including that of Celine Dion inside Montreal's prettiest churches and peaceful architectural spaces allows you to be alone with your special someone - or feel like you are. Share some quiet time alone in one of the many Montreal parks and green spaces or take in the private walking trails of Mont Royal. Stare into starry skies at the Planetarium under cover of darkness or take a romantic cruise aboard a quiet and environmentally sensitive vessel from the Old Port area of Montreal, near the cobble-stoned streets of Old Montreal - itself a good location for romantic bistros and restaurants. The recommendations listed here provide a variety of activities for all interests and in all seasons with a special focus on quality time shared with a loved one. All of these venues are perfect for first dates or marriage proposals and all romantic encounters in between. Book a romantic vacation for two to the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel or visit scenic the Mont Tremblant region an hour away. 


Searching for the perfect romantic getaway? Head to the 1000 Islands and book into the area's best hotel: The 1000 islands Harbor Hotel on the St. Lawrence River. Here you'll find a Valentine's dinner and a show package offered in collaboration with the Clayton Opera House that's just a five- minute walk from the Harbor Hotel.
This special Love & Laughter Package features two tickets to "The Spouse Whisperer", playing at The Clayton Opera House. Beforehand, enjoy a three-course dinner for two that includes a bottle of Champagne at the Seaway Grill in a romantic dining room complete with fireplace located on the main floor of The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel where couples will be treated to luxury overnight accommodations.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: A beautiful riverside setting, peaceful cozy accommodations, fireside dining and an opera house make for a true romantic excursion.

Sherel's expert tip: Try to book early to avoid disappointment.

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Spa Scandinave Mont Tremblant
Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant provides a traditional Scandinavian bath experience in a peaceful and natural environment. It's the perfect setting for a romantic getaway for two and a world away from the activity of the Tremblant Village. Ideally situated in the Laurentian forest along the shores of the Diable River - which functions as one of the baths - the spa provides both a relaxing and invigorating experience and allows the perfect opportunity to unwind from the stresses of daily life. Such a break allows couples to concentrate on each other in a beautiful setting. Silence is an important part of the spa experience and is absolutely necessary for the enjoyment of the Scandinavian baths. The silence allows one to find inner peace, true relaxation and allows for a valuable treatment, essential for well-being.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This beautiful setting for a romantic spa experience is perfect for couples looking to get away.

Sherel's expert tip: Try to go earlier in the day for more privacy.

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Basilique Notre-Dame
Photo courtesy of Paul Shio

Built in 1829, the neo-Gothic Basilique Notre-Dame is constructed in the scale and manner of Europe's great churches. It's said that the protestant architect James O'Donnell, who designed the basilica, was so taken with the project that he converted to Catholicism. Fine woodwork, rose ceiling windows, blue vaulted ceilings and a massive church bell make this a great place to visit. A small, on-site museum displays various religious artifacts, paintings and vestments.The paintings, sculptures, and stained-glass windows that adorn the structure illustrate biblical passages as well as 350 years of parish history. Catch the Notre-Dame Basilica in the evening, when a sound and light show, AURA presents the founding of the city and its basilica.The luminous experience begins with a path of lights, revealing the Basilica's rich interior. The creative use of light, orchestral music combined with the architecture combine to create a unique, three-act multimedia spectacle.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It's the site of "Aura", one of the multi-media shows detailing the history of the Basilica, Celine Dion's wedding and Pierre Elliott Trudeau's funeral.

Sherel's expert tip: Try to visit in the evening to see "Aura"- the multimedia display. .

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An hour's drive north of Montreal,the Ayers Restaurant at the Lac Carling Hotel has been completely renovated to insure the perfect romantic dining experience. Book early to secure a window table by the large fireplace for the ultimate romantic dining experience overlooking the hotel's signature lake. Choose from a wide assortment of freshly prepared entrees and some of the best soup including a perfectly-spiced roasted red pepper and tomato soup followed by the quintessential comfort food, Osso Buco. Other mains include perfectly prepared fish, and deer and roast lamb.The terrior menu focuses on local products and fresh herbs from the property. While fine wines are available from the regular wine list, splurge for a carefully curated item from the wine cellar's reserve. Units adjacent the Hotel Lac Carling can also be purchased for year-round enjoyment in a scenic location within easy commute of Montreal.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Tremblant region is truly beautiful and the Lac Carling hotel offers a scenic four-season romantic getaway.

Sherel's expert tip: Book early for the best table by the window near the fireplace

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Place Ville Marie Observatory
Photo courtesy of Tourisme Montreal

The Place Ville Marie Observatory offers everything from moonlight yoga sessions to wine tastings and specialty photography workshops all offering a 360 degree view of Montreal 185 meters above the city. The Observatory is a truly romantic destination especially on moonlit nights or other clear evenings where couples can watch the sunset from the beautiful, spacious four-sided terrace over Montreal. No visit to the Observatory is complete without a stop into Les Enfants Terrible for lunch or dinner where the reasonably-priced fare offers local twists on favorite comfort foods incorporating local products from interesting new chefs in a scenic setting just below the Observatory.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It's a truly impressive 360-degree view of the whole city.

Sherel's expert tip: Book early for specialty evening events

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Old Montreal

La Grande Roue de Montreal is the tallest observation wheel in Canada - the equivalent of a 20-story building from where visitors can enjoy great views of Montreal and beyond, four seasons of the year. On a clear day, it's possible to see 28 kilometers or 17 miles away. Set on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, La Grande Roue de Montreal's 42 gondolas are specially equipped with climate controlled, tempered glass windows for better views of old Montreal and beyond. This state-of-the-art Ferris wheel from the Netherlands with its glass floors is to Montreal what "The Eye" is to London,England.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It's an all-weather, all-season attraction where private gondolas can be rented for the 20-minute ride.

Sherel's expert tip: Book tickets online as they can be used anytime.

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The Quays of the Old Port are steeped in history. The first colonists arrived here on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, and it was thanks to the port that old Ville-Marie grew into the thriving international metropolis of modern-day Montreal. An intimate, silent and non-polluting boat offers an environmentally-friendly ride along the Old Port and Lachine Canal where the cycling trails provide hours of healthy entertainment. Along the water, discover the Old Port's marine life and historical heritage. It's a perfect spot to be on a hot summer day allowing visitors to see Montreal from a totally new perspective. The Quays of the Old Port offer thought-provoking installations both permanent and temporary. Divina Dali on the Grand Quay features a cleverly-designed Salvador Dali romp through Dante's Divine Comedy from Hell to Purgatory to Paradise through 101 works of art. Montreal's Old Port is the site of this immersive world premiere celebrating the work of two legendary artists.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Old Port area offers romantic riverside walks, boat tours and even a Nordic spa aboard a re-converted ship.

Sherel's expert tip: The ferries that operate from Old Port generally run from May to October. As parking is pricey, it's best to use public transportation.

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Enjoy picnicking, hiking or bike riding with your special someone in this nature park that's also a true historical gem. Located along the Riviere des Prairies, at the very heart of the history of Sault-au-Recollet, the park offers historical elements, such as the Site des Moulins ruins, the Maison du Pressoir and the Maison du Meunier. Don't forget to visit the overflow dam waterfall of the Riviere-des-Prairies. Above all, bring your binoculars to observe the shore birds, among others. Fishing buffs can enjoy their favourite sport in specially-designated areas. In winter, make the most of the toboggan hill and the marked hiking or cross-country ski trails.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This romantic nature park is also the site of important historical events in Montreal.

Sherel's expert tip: Bring binoculars to this popular spot for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.

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A 15-acre swath of the Montreal Botanical Garden with Japanese touches including cherry blossoms, koi ponds and zen gardens. A visit to the Japanese Garden is best done with an open mind and spirit. Visitors should go right to its heart; to meditate, to collect their thoughts, to feel and touch the beauty of the stone, water, plants and various architectural elements which make up the garden. It is a place where the slow-moving carp or "Koi" float in the shade of broad-leaved water lilies as if contemplating the sun's reflection or the rain on the multicoloured stones or even, as if they were listening to the gurgling waters spill over artfully arranged cascades. Early-risers may encounter great blue Heron as well as red-winged blackbirds.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Montreal's Japanese gardens offer a true zen experience and create a sense of peace for visitors.

Sherel's expert tip: Late weekday afternooons are best for those seeking more privacy.

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BAnQ Grande Bibliothéque

The Grande Bibliotheque is a contemporary-styled five-story building with over 4,000,000 works, including 1,140,000 books. There are 1300 reading armchairs, 850 study seats and carrels, and 350 computer stations and plenty of space to relax. There are also special exhibits and art shows to enjoy. A fantastic rainy-day or cold weather retreat, the national and universal collections are each housed in one of two Chambres de Bois ("wooden rooms"), a reference to Anne Hebert's novel Les Chambres de Bois. These multi-story areas are demarcated by walls of wooden slats, either allowing indirect natural light or blocking it according to the conservation needs of the collection. The slats are made of Quebec-grown yellow birch, the official tree of Quebec. A sculpture garden to the north of the building, divided into plots of which one will be developed with sculpture and landscape art each year.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It's one of the most romantic sculpture gardens in the city.

Sherel's expert tip: Go to the information desk to register as an out-of-town guest for access to the computers or multimedia stations.

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Meet Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell is a travel writer who specializes in golf, Montreal and Quebec, contemporary art, cycling and food and wine. Her articles appear on USA Today's 10Best,, Aol, Matador,...  More About Sherel