Montréal walks perfect for attendees with downtime
For an attendee with a busy conference schedule, the chance to walk around and explore their surroundings on some downtime is an added travel bonus. With a large number of major host venues located right in the bustling heart of Montréal, there’s a world of possibilities for guests to dive into right at the door. We’ve put together these three downtime walks, starting at the city’s main conference centre the Palais des congrès de Montréal, to keep visiting attendees on their feet and grab a taste of the city during their breaks and downtime.
1 HOUR – A WANDER AROUND OLD MONTRÉAL
Located at the border between Downtown Montréal’s modern towers and Old Montréal’s stately history, the Palais des congrès’ ideal location begs some neighbourhood wandering. An hour’s worth of free time is enough for a quick overview of some of the area’s most beloved sites, and the old world pace of the neighbourhood is perfect for a relaxing stroll.
An unforgettable walk down Saint-Paul Street is a Montréal must that’s also perfect for souvenir hunting, and it’s easy to loop in a look at the glowing interiors of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Those after an overview from up high won’t want to miss the vistas from the tower of the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel or take a spin on the Grande Roue de Montréal.
2 HOURS – THE PALAIS TO ATWATER MARKET
A 40-minute walk down Notre-Dame Street West (which also takes you through the western side of Old Montréal), the Atwater Market on the banks of the Lachine Canal is a favourite of locals and tourists alike. Fresh local food products, flower stands and sweet views over the canal make for a bucolic and refreshing conference break.
Best of all, this route takes visitors through the exciting and rapidly up-and-coming Quartiers du Canal, a union between the neighbourhoods of Griffintown, Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri. En route, walkers will cross through the first two, and there’s ample time to take in the sights of the Canal on the way back.
3 HOURS – UP THE MOUNTAIN AND BACK
The top walk of all in Montréal is a leisurely hike up “the Mountain” from which the city takes its name, Mount Royal. It’s a little over an hour’s walk from the Palais des congrés to the look-out point over the city at the Mount Royal Chalet, and the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, the city’s new walkway connecting the St. Lawrence River with the base of the mountain, is easily accessible from Sainte-Catherine Street.
There’s a switchback pathway or some stairs for those after a quicker route, and the views from the Chalet take in downtown and the St. Lawrence and on a clear day reach all the way to the rolling hills in the distance. With three hours’ downtime, there’s more than enough to not only reach the summit, but to also truly enjoy it.