Montreal - 9 places to visit in La Belle province

Montreal - 9 places to visit in La Belle province

Canada, Montreal
Spring is a great time to visit Montreal for the first time or to rediscover a city you already know and love.

Spring is a great time to visit Montreal for the first time or to rediscover a city you already know and love. A cosmopolitan city that combines old-world grandeur with modern chic, it's full of attractions, both updated and brand new. Here are nine places to visit on your next trip to the city:

You'll feel like you've traveled to the Mediterranean when you visit this new restaurant/gallery/market housed in a historic 1860s building in Griffintown. Chef Athiraj Farsawat of Mercuri and consulting chef Massimo Piedimonte of Le Mousso have created Bazart's Greek menu, inspired by beach holidays (think freshly grilled eggplant and octopus). There's also an NFT (non-fungible token) digital art gallery—the first of its kind in Canada—and an on-site market selling jewelry, bags and decor, all with the signature laid-back Greek island vibe.

Make Montreal your home away from home at the city's newly opened Humaniti Hotel, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection. Meet modern interiors with soft lines, chic furniture and bright colors. The minibar features sculptures and wall art created by Quebec artists, as well as local organic snacks and drinks. The rooftop pool and bar Humaniti, one of the few in the city, is a big attraction, as is its h3 restaurant, run by chef Jean-Sébastien Giguère.

One of Montreal's newest art spaces is also the city's first home to Indigenous artists. Daphne, which opened in May 2021, is dedicated to helping emerging and established Indigenous artists through exhibitions, programs, workshops and residencies. From May 7 to June 18, the center is hosting an exhibition featuring the work of Suzanne Morrisette, a citizen of the Manitoba Métis Federation whose work "transforms vision into drawing, physical form into sound, sculpture into song, and bodily movement into audio and video."

Chef Minh Fat's Chinatown restaurant Orange Rouge closed during the pandemic, but he's back with a new concept: Mui Mui, which means "little sister" in Cantonese. Some old favorites are back, like Orange Rouge's famous BBQ pork ribs, but he's also updated the menu with exciting new items. Phat was born in Montreal to Vietnamese parents of Chinese descent, and diners can expect Mui Mui's menu to reflect that combination, such as duck confit dumplings with Vietnamese beef salad. For dessert, try a classic French dessert with a twist, like coconut milk crème caramel.

Art, music, design and technology lovers should visit the Phi Center in Montreal. A sampling of the Center's newest experiential art includes Water Road, a multimedia installation featuring a motion-activated river in the building's windows; Lashing Skies, an immersive audio journey of five imaginary stories of September 11, 2001; Revealing Narratives, an exhibition of photographic work by Vancouver artist Stan Douglas, and Eternal, a 20-minute immersive audio experience for one person in bed that explores the "predicaments of eternal life."

When the pandemic hit, upscale Japanese restaurant chain Ryu changed its mind, opening Sushi Dept as a ghost kitchen from Ryu. It's sort of a hip, cool cousin to the original diner, offering more affordable grab-and-go options while still using organic ingredients. Think hand rolls, bowls and combos that feed two people for under $40. Grab a Chill Box or Crispy Lover combo and head to nearby Mount Royal for dinner with a spectacular view.

Convenience foods have been in high demand over the past two years, making Mile End's Bernie Beignets a welcome addition to Montreal's food scene. Trendy neon-bright donuts may have been all the rage in recent years, but Bernie Ben's offerings are old school and classic, with options like glazed crullers, apple fritters and blueberry jam donuts. The perfect afternoon treat, everything is handmade in the traditional way. For Instagram lovers, there's a glassing station near the storefront that's the best spot for social shots.

AURA is an immersive art experience held in one of Old Montreal's most iconic landmarks, Notre-Dame Basilica. AURA first debuted in 2017, but the COVID-19 shutdown gave organizers the opportunity to update the show with new music and expanded scenes featuring the basilica's 1891-era Casavant organ. If you've never seen AURA before, it's a unique experience featuring lights, projections and music that make the basilica's Gothic Revival architecture seem to come to life before your eyes. And even if you've been before, the new update is a great reason to come back and be surprised again.

Located on the islands of Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame, just east of the city center, Parc Jean-Drapeau is perhaps the most beautiful place in Montreal to connect with nature. Stroll along the park's 6-mile walking path, admiring the fall colors and public art. Buy freshly prepared pancakes at Rolopan and dine in the picturesque Floralies Gardens. Come rain or shine, visit the Biosphere's iconic geodesic dome for exhibitions on social innovation and the environment.

Source: theglobeandmail

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