the perfect laid-back weekend in montréal

Leah Fishman

Famous for its electric vibe and rockin nightlife, there are hundreds of things to do in Montréal after dark: crazy events, music festivals, swanky bars, and sexy cabaret shows. But where do you go if you just want to sunbathe in a park, see some art, soak in a hot pool, and eat your weight in vegan comfort food? From snug brunch spots to serene floating spas, I vetted a ton of places to find the chillest escapes. Comfy up and get ready to enjoy a perfect laid-back weekend Montréal.

Montreal Botanical Garden, La Fabrique de Bagel Montréal, LOV, MAC Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau, Tommy, Cloakroom Bar, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, The Dumpling Hut

  • Montreal Botanical Garden, Canada

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    • leah

      Pay $21 for the day ($36 if you want to visit the Montréal Insectarium next door — recommend!) and set off winding through the garden’s themed greenhouses. Visit September-October for the famous outdoor Gardens of Light Fest.

  • La Fabrique de Bagel Montréal in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      St. Viateur, Fairmount, La Fabrique — it's all good to me. But if your home base is in Old Port/Ville Marie, La Fabrique de Bagel is easy, local and personal fave.

  • LOV in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      If you like gin, The Botanist is a perfect mix of cucumber, lime, coriander, ginger, and portage gin ($12). Organic beer and organic wine is also available by the glass or bottle. For dinner, the Truffles & “Caviar,” ($16) made from tapioca pearls, is a standout, followed closely by the Mushroom Risotto ($18).

  • MAC Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. Three hours is plenty of time for a casual first visit.

  • Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      You could totally spend a fully day at Bota Bota’s four-deck Water Circuit— the spa’s multi-level hot and cold pool experience— but the 3-hour Layover water circuit is perfect for those on a budget and crunched for time. BYO swimsuit and flip flops.

  • Tommy in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      Try the Avotoast ($9) as a starter, followed by a bowl of When Life Gives You Lemons… ($8), an overnight chia pudding with lemon, coconut, maple syrup and pistachios.

  • Cloakroom Bar in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      Montréal's best speakeasy. Bespoke cocktails made to taste highlighting their range of fine spirits, liqueurs, house made tinctures, fresh produce, hand-shaved ice, and deelish champagnes.

  • Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      A trippy immersive light and sound experience that guides you through the church’s architecture and history. A lil expensive at $28CAD a pop, but totally worth it.

  • The Dumpling Hut in Montreal, Canada

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    • leah

      Hey, Dumplin. Order the Vegan Cabbage Mushroom plate ($10.99)— or the Zucchini Tofu ($10.99) if you eat egg — and you’ll be dished up a fresh hot bowl of 15 handmade dumplings within minutes.