Montréal is a city that embraces winter like no other. It’s definitely one of our favorite places in Canada. Whether you love the cold or prefer to stay warm, you will find plenty of ways to enjoy the city’s arts, culture, wellness and culinary scene during the snowy season. Curious on what to do in Montreal in Winter this year? In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best things to do in Montréal in winter this year, as well as some tips and personal insights to make your trip unforgettable.
1. What’s New in Montréal in Winter This Year?
If you are looking for something new and exciting to do in Montréal this winter, you are in luck. The city is celebrating the 25th anniversary of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the Montréal Festival of Light, from February 29 to March 10. This is one of the biggest winter festivals in the world, and it features thousands of lights and more than 100 free cultural activities, including two unique ice skating experiences. Plus, you can taste the delicious creations of 54 participating restaurants and chefs, starting from February 22.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Nuit Blanche, a night when the city stays awake until dawn, offering a variety of artistic and entertainment events. You can explore the city’s museums, galleries, theaters, bars and clubs, and enjoy live music, performances, exhibitions and interactive installations. The Nuit Blanche is on March 3, and it is free and open to everyone.
Watch this to get a glimpse:
Another highlight of the festival is the Illuminart, a circuit of illuminated artworks that showcase the creativity and innovation of local and international artists. You can admire the stunning light sculptures, projections and installations that transform the city’s public spaces into a dazzling spectacle. The Illuminart is on from February 29 to March 10, and it is also free and accessible to all.
If you love ice skating, you will not want to miss the two special rinks that the festival offers. The first one is the RBC Skating Rink, located at the Place des Festivals, in the heart of downtown Montréal. This rink is surrounded by colorful lights and music, and it is open every day from noon to 10 p.m. The second one is the Iceberg Skating Rink, located at the Quartier des spectacles, near the Place des Arts. This rink is inspired by the Arctic landscape, and it features giant icebergs that change colors and sounds according to the movements of the skaters. The Iceberg Skating Rink is open every day from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Pros of attending the festival:
- You can experience the festive and vibrant atmosphere of Montréal in winter.
- You can enjoy a variety of free and fun activities for all ages and interests.
- You can discover the city’s rich and diverse cultural and culinary scene.
Cons of attending the festival:
- You may have to deal with large crowds and long lines at some of the popular venues and events.
- You may have to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes to walk around the city in the cold and snow.
- You may have to plan ahead and book your tickets and reservations in advance, as some of the events and restaurants may sell out quickly.
My Personal experience:
I attended the festival last year, and I had a blast. I loved seeing the city illuminated by the beautiful lights and artworks, and I enjoyed skating at both rinks. I also tried some of the amazing dishes and drinks that the festival offered, and I was impressed by the quality and variety of the cuisine. My favorite event was the Nuit Blanche, as I got to explore the city’s nightlife and culture with my friends. It was a memorable night that I will never forget.
2. How to Relax and Rejuvenate in Montréal in Winter This Year?
If you are looking for some ways to relax and rejuvenate in Montréal this winter, you will be happy to know that the city is home to many luxurious wellness experiences. From indulgent massage treatments to thermal circuits to floating spas, you will find something to suit your needs and preferences.
One of the most popular wellness destinations in Montréal is the Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal, located in the historic Old Montréal. This spa offers a traditional Scandinavian bath experience, where you can alternate between hot, cold and rest phases, to soothe your body and mind. You can also enjoy a variety of massage therapies, such as Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone and prenatal. The spa is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and you can book your session online or by phone.
Another great option for wellness in Montréal is the Strøm Spa Nordique, located on the Île-des-Sœurs, near the stunning Lac des Battures. This spa offers a thermal circuit that includes outdoor hot tubs, cold pools, Finnish saunas, steam baths and relaxation areas. You can also choose from a range of massage and beauty treatments, such as aromatherapy, reflexology, facial and body care. The spa is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and you can reserve your spot online or by phone.
If you are looking for something more unique and modern, you may want to check out the Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau, a contemporary spa located in an old ferryboat in the Old Port of Montréal. This spa offers a stunning view of the city and the river, as well as a thermal circuit that includes indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation areas. You can also enjoy a variety of massage and aesthetic services, such as shiatsu, Thai, manicure and pedicure. The spa is open every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and you can book your visit online or by phone.
Pros of visiting the spas:
- You can relax and rejuvenate your body and mind in a serene and cozy environment.
- You can benefit from the therapeutic effects of the water, heat and massage on your health and well-being.
- You can treat yourself to some pampering and self-care, and escape from the stress and noise of the city.
Cons of visiting the spas:
- You may have to pay a relatively high price for some of the services and treatments, depending on your budget and expectations.
- You may have to follow some rules and etiquette at the spas, such as wearing a bathing suit, keeping quiet and respecting the privacy of others.
- You may have to share the facilities and space with other guests, which may affect your level of comfort and intimacy.
My Personal experience:
I visited the Bota Bota spa last winter, and I loved it. I was amazed by the view of the city and the river from the boat, and I felt like I was in a different world. I enjoyed the thermal circuit, especially the outdoor pool, where I could see the snow falling on the water. I also had a shiatsu massage, which was very relaxing and soothing. I felt refreshed and energized after my visit, and I would definitely go back again.
3. How to Explore Nature and Art in Montréal in Winter This Year?
If you are looking for some ways to explore nature and art in Montréal this winter, you will be delighted to know that the city has a lot to offer in this regard. From immersive exhibitions to botanical gardens to wildlife parks, you will find something to satisfy your curiosity and creativity.
One of the most exciting attractions in Montréal this winter is the Nature vive, an immersive experience that showcases the biodiversity and beauty of the planet, and encourages a response to the global climate crisis. This exhibit is a collaboration between OASIS Immersion, National Geographic, the United Nations, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Palais des congrès de Montréal and Age of Union.
You can explore the exhibit at the OASIS Immersion, a state-of-the-art venue that features 105 laser projectors, 119 surround sound speakers and a giant LED floor. You can see stunning images and videos of nature and wildlife, as well as learn about the challenges and solutions for a more sustainable future. The exhibit is on from January 15 to April 15, and you can buy your tickets online or at the door.
Another wonderful attraction in Montréal this winter is the Jardin botanique de Montréal, the Montréal Botanical Garden, located near the Olympic Stadium. This garden is one of the largest and most diverse in the world, and it features 10 greenhouses and 30 thematic gardens, where you can see over 22,000 plant species and cultivars. You can also visit the Insectarium, where you can see over 250,000 specimens of insects and arthropods, and the Biodôme, where you can see over 4,800 animals and 750 plant species from five ecosystems of the Americas. The garden is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can purchase your tickets online or at the entrance.
If you are looking for something more adventurous and wild, you may want to check out the Parc Safari, a wildlife park located in Hemmingford, about an hour drive from Montréal. This park is home to over 500 animals from 75 different species, including lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, elephants and rhinos. You can see the animals in their natural habitats, and even feed some of them from your car or by hand. You can also enjoy some fun activities, such as sledding, tubing, skating and snowshoeing. The park is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and you can book your tickets online or at the gate.
Finally watch this video to get another glimpse:
Montréal is a city that embraces winter like no other. It’s definitely one of our favorite places in Canada. Whether you love the cold or prefer to stay warm, you will find plenty of ways to enjoy the city’s arts, culture, wellness and culinary scene during the snowy season. In this blog post, we have shared with you some of the best things to do in Montréal in winter this year, as well as some tips and personal insights to make your trip unforgettable. We hope you have found this guide helpful and inspiring, and we invite you to visit Montréal and experience its magic for yourself. You will not regret it!
“The Jaded Traveler”. Ron Rossi was born and raised in New York. A globalist at heart, Ron is a marketing director by trade, and has lived and worked around the world including Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. Food is one of the best ways to learn about a country, a people and a culture. So, Ron is always looking for the best in mid-range to budget and street food. He is always on the hunt for a good meal anyone can afford. It is the food of the average citizen that excites him. And with having visited close to 100 countries on 6 continents so far, there have been some pretty good meals.