Discover a new world of things to do in Montreal During Winter
The snow has fallen, the mittens are out, and you’re wondering what you’re gonna do without Montreal’s amazing terraces until May. It’s okay, we’ve got you! Here are 15 things to do in Montreal this winter that will warm your heart and spice up your life just the right amount.
Let’s start with exploring other guides you might be interested in. If you’re wondering what to do on a fun date during the cold Montreal winter, check out our article Top 12 Romantic Things to do in Montreal. If you’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit and need suggestions for what to do, check out Top 16 Holiday and Christmas Activities in Montreal. We can also offer some recommendations on where to eat in our snowy city, so have a look at 23 Delicious & New Places to Eat in Montreal 2020.
15. Check out the city’s best new bars and restaurants
Gathering around a table with friends and loved ones is always a tradition when it’s cold out. Warm up from the inside out at these exciting new places to eat in Montreal this winter.
Indecisive eaters say goodbye to date night arguments and settling on the nearest restaurant to get out of the cold, and say hello to Le Central where you have time (and warmth) to peruse all your options as you walk around its 25 restaurants. Any time, any day and no matter your mood, Le Central has something for you. From tartare at Mignonette, burgers at Le Gras Dur, to ice cream at Bagado, Le Central is just as flexible as you. Grab lunch or savour a 5 à 7 on your own terms.
30 Sainte-Catherine West
The industrial exposed cement walls, sleek wood floor, dimmed warm lights and communal eating tables of the newly opened Time Out market feel like a 600 person family dinner. The food hall’s mission statement is to provide the best of the best that Montreal has to offer, so you’ll never go wrong, whether you’re craving some pasta from Il Miglio or a plate from Le Club Chasse et Pêche — yes really! The Old Montreal fine dining staple has a stall in this food market.
705 Saint-Catherine West
This Nordic wine bar in Petite-Patrie is anything but cold. The space is colourful and eclectic, with a 50s diner flair, and a dark green ceiling for that cozy wine drunk feeling. Vinvinvin specializes in wines from central and northern Europe, categorized by their palate, like dry, punk, or tarantino (actual categories on their menu!). Share some artfully plated food while you’re here, like the fried oysters and calamari, or a financier with pair and sunflower to satisfy that sweet tooth. There’s no better way to bring colour to your cheeks this winter than by sipping on some incredible northern wines and enjoying the inviting atmosphere!
290 Beaubien East
Rosemont favourite Sandwicherie Sue has opened up a brand new second location on Duluth: Épicerie Sue! They’ll be serving many of their classic Bahn-Mi style sandwiches, and along with the usual Bahn-Mi flavours there are some unexpected and fun additions. Feeling some ginger chicken or lemongrass tofu? Wash it all down with some bubble tea or a Vietnamese coffee, or pick up some East Asian snacks (or the house sauce!), not that you’ll be hungry after your sandwich.
951 Duluth East
14. Take an Old Montreal Food Tour
It’s no secret that Old Montreal is a gem to be discovered. The Old Port, the European architecture, the cobblestone streets, etc etc… but what is kind of new is its foodie scene. With more and more people moving to the area, remarkable food vendors have been opening up and are well-worth discovering. The Old Montreal Food Tour takes you on a journey to many of them, highlighting Quebec culture and history as it does. What better way to enjoy the magic of winter than warm up and eat food, and then pop back out to discover the winter land for just a little bit, and then warm up with even more food!? The tour even features some warm soup broth during these cold months.
–> Check out the Old Montreal Food Tour
13. Hit up the best ramen restaurants in town
There’s nothing quite like pairing a warm bowl of soup with a cold winter’s day. Together, head to one of Montreal’s best ramen eateries for a romantic night of rich delicacies.
This new ramen eatery in the Mile End neighbourhood serves up their homemade noodles in a speedy fashion. In a warm setting that’s dotted with plants and orchids, patrons can sip on their Tonkostu broth which is the perfect balance of thick, fatty and creamy. Head to The Main for some of the best noodles in town!
5207 St Laurent Blvd
You’ll first be greeted by warm “welcome!” from the staff as you walk in. Yokato is a small ramen eatery known for its delicious broth called Tonkotsu, made by boiling pork bones for approximately 12 hours. Top off your soup with their very own homemade ice cream!
4185 Rue Drolet
This tiny 10 seat Japanese restaurant serves up some grand meals. Their specialty is takoyaki which are round balls usually made up of octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion. You can see patrons enjoying the restaurant’s daily specials at the window bar. Though they don’t have ramen on the menu, you can savour their udon noodle and soba soups which often grace the alternating menu.
77 Rachel St W
The Montreal Craft Beer Tour is the perfect afternoon activity! Montreal is no exception to the current craft beer boom and can be easily discovered during winter time.Whether it’s as a gift to a loved one, a way to show an out-of-towner Montreal’s best brewpubs, or even a way to spend some quality time with the beer lovers you love so dearly, it’s Latin Quarter brewpub itinerary will let you savour beer, observe the cheer, and learn more about Montreal. Have a look here: montrealcraftbeertours.com
11. Winter time for the whole fam jam!
Whether they’re your own, or family in from out of town, kids and toddlers are sure to make you re-live that mystical winter magic and warm up your heart. Sledding down the Mont-Royal, spending the day at the Biodôme, Botanical Gardens, sipping a hot chocolate… these are all classic wintertime activities for every generation. Take a look at our article for more things to do with kids in Montreal.
10. Rent a Cabin in Parc National Du Mont Tremblant
Mont-Tremblant is an ever-popular destination for winter-lovers who like to ski and participate in all kinds of outdoor activities. This winter activity, however, is perfect for both the outdoorsy and those who like to curl up at home with a good book–why not rent a cabin! There’s also the option of going dog sledding! That’s right, dash through the snow with some Siberian huskies and experience the winter season to its fullest. Head to Mont-Tremblant with a significant other or with a few pals and take in the pristine views in this snowy paradise. For more information, visit their website.
9. Warm up at the McCord Museum
The McCord Museum is at the heart of the city, exploring culture in all its forms. This holiday season, step onto Enchanted Worlds to explore the little intricacies of Ogilvy’s holiday window displays. Year round, the museum also aims to bring visitors closer to the roots of the land which they occupy. While at McCord you can also check out the museum’s permanent exhibition Wearing our Identity: The First Peoples Collection to discover the relationship between clothing and all aspects of Indigenous life, culture, communication and identity. For more information, visit their website here.
8. Light up your night at Luminotherapie
Think of Luminotherapie as the 21 Balancoires of the winter months. Set up in Place des Arts every year, Luminotherapie is an interactive art installation bringing light, and a bit of inspiration, into the darkest season of the year. The contest runs annually, providing visitors a whole new experience each winter. From November 28, 2019 to January 26, 2020, Place des Arts is going to POP!
7. Even more museums!
A cold winter’s day in Montreal can hardly be better spent than wandering around the warm halls of one of the city’s top art galleries. Stay warm as you get inspired at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which is home to some of the most spectacular exhibitions featuring innovative art from today’s creative minds, as well as works from masters of the past. Until March 29, 2020, you’ll get the chance to see Egyptian Mummies through a scientific lens like never before, and to uncover the secrets of their ancient lives. Learn more about the museum here.
1380 Sherbrooke Street W
6. Of course, Igloofest!
Over the years, Igloofest has become a world famous electronic music event. Montrealers will brave the absolute coldest weather, suit up in ski jackets, and hit this outdoor dance floor. Igloofest brings in some of the biggest names in the industry, so I guess we can’t blame these crazy kids. It’s almost like an extreme sport, and people take great pride in their ability to bust a move in -20 degree weather. You can join in on the fun from January 16th to February 8th, 2020, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Take a look at this years lineup here.
5. Montreal en Lumière Festival
Montreal en Lumière, responsible for the famous annual Nuit Blanche, is an all-time winter favourite. In its mission to help Montrealers “take back winter,” the festival offers music performances, gastronomic events, and art to boot. The city won’t sleep on February 29th when pockets of activities, events, and exhibits will take over the town for Nuit Blanche. The whole festival, however runs from Feburary 20 to March 1st, 2020. For more information, click here.
4. Check out the underground city network
Nothing beats winter like a little retail therapy, especially if you don’t even have to go outside to hit the shops. You might need guide for your underground explorations, and we’re here for you. The city’s network of tunnels is so big, you’ll even find a full skating rink in a mall downtown. Speaking of…
3. Go Skating!
One great thing about winter is the skating rink cuteness factor that’s suddenly available to Montrealers. A hilarious (or graceful) date, a family outing, or maybe a test of your friendships, a little skating is good for everyone. This website will be your best friend on your skating quest. It’s got all of Montreal’s skating rink’s details, such as location and opening hours.
Relaxing in the open air by the water sounds like it would only be possible in summer, but Bota Bota is there for you to get rid of those winter blues in a pinch. This spa on the water comes with all of the amenities from a stress-releiving water circuit to more specialized treatments, so you can get exactly the rejuvenation you need. Get pampered, get hot tubbed, get a massage, or some water therapy, all with a backdrop of beautiful views of Old Montreal from the water. Learn more about their hours and services here.
1. Warm up with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa
Coffee culture is big in Montreal, so there’s always a new cafe waiting to be discovered around every corner. If you’re in Little Italy, love eclectic decor, and crave the coziness of your friend’s living room (and some nachos) – try Le Cagibi. Meanwhile, Cafe Myriade has a couple locations both downtown and in the Plateau, bringing its reliably good coffee to you when you need it most. For even more ideas of sweet spots to warm up check out our ultimate guide to the best Montreal cafes.
Bonus: Check out Montreal’s wine bar scene
With a love of wine bars sweeping the city, locals’ palettes have become as refined as a sommelier’s… and here’s the intel: natural wines are the hot new thing. Check out these amazing bars and restaurants for plentiful wine options, including chemical-free indulgences, and delicious dinners to boot.
First of all, a new venture from the team behind Joe Beef, but without the attitude. The menu is modest and focuses on flavour instead of presentation, but the wine list, full of delicious natural wines, is really what has people’s hearts. The don’t take reservations so come early in the evening, and you’ll have the best chance of skipping the line.
This wine bar is located in the heart of the Plateau, Montreal’s most party-friendly area. They have an expansive list of international wines as well as, beer, cocktails, and delicious food. There’s something for everyone at this vibrant joint.
Alma is a fresh new Outremont wine bar that’s destined to be a go-to for any occasion. Serving expertly selected Catalonian wines, seafood, local vegetables and fresh pasta, Alma’s terrace will surely be a hot spot this summer.
Immaculately designed and stylish, Bar St-Denis is a brand new venture that’s made its home in Petite Patrie. By combining the culinary finesse of a fine dining restaurant and the vibrant ambiance of a neighbourhood bar, it’s sure to be a staple of the wine scene for years to come.
This vibrant and eclectic space is also located in the heart of the Plateau, right on its main artery – Saint Laurent Boulevard. Majestique is known for its seafood dishes, oysters, and a specialty hot dog that’s a foot long. Stop by any night of the week for a festive atmosphere and great wines.