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Romantic Montréal

Hand-Holding in Le Plateau Mont-Royal
Romantic Montréal
From a late-night stroll on the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal to candlelit dinners in French bistros, Montréal abounds with opportunities to play the romance card.
By Marie-Eve Vallieres, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Marie-Eve Vallieres
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    Hand-Holding in Le Plateau Mont-Royal
    Hand-Holding in Le Plateau Mont-Royal
    Le Plateau Mont-Royal is pretty much a living postcard of Montréal’s essence: picturesque, hidden side streets, wood-paneled cafés, and tiny restaurants where you cannot help but feel lucky when you manage to score a table. Stroll hand-in-hand through the neighborhood, picking up bits of French in this Francophone community—it only increases the romantic vibe. Wandering along Laval Avenue or through the Square Saint-Louis and Parc Lafontaine or enjoying a meal at the locals-approved restaurants of Avenue du Mont-Royal are excellent choices to spend a romantic afternoon or evening in Montréal.
    Photo by Marie-Eve Vallieres
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    Intimate Dinners in French Bistros
    Intimate Dinners in French Bistros
    In addition to its French Canadian community, Montréal is also home to a thriving French expat community so it doesn't come as a surprise that the city has many brasseries and bistros helmed by French chefs and sommeliers. Indeed, eating out in a Montréal bistro is the next best thing to actually crossing the pond, considering most menus include staples like perfectly seasoned tartares, tender duck confit, and fondant au chocolat. Le Plateau Mont-Royal is where you'll find many of the classic favorites, like the ever popular L’Express on Saint-Denis Street to the neighborhood gem Les Héritiers on Mont-Royal East. Neighboring Outremont increasingly has its own restaurant scene, where trendier options like Provisions can be found.
    Photo by Thomas Sbampato/age fotostock
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    Out on the Town in Montreal’s Top Cocktail Bars
    Out on the Town in Montreal’s Top Cocktail Bars
    Montréal is home to a vast selection of drinking options, be it a speakeasy like the Atwater Cocktail Club or the trendy Terrasse Bonsecours. One go-to place for locals is La Distillerie (which now has three locations) where cocktails are inventive and change seasonally; most are served in a mason jar. A few fancy cocktail bars have opened up in the last few years as well, where experienced mixologists create unique, refined concoctions that are certain to satisfy even the most sophisticated aficionado. From the Caribbean-inspired Agrikol to Barroco with its supper-club ambiance in Old Montréal, there's a bar for every mood however you want to toast to love!
    Photo by Marie-Eve Vallieres
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    Old-School Romance in Old Montréal
    Old-School Romance in Old Montréal
    Old Montréal could fool visitors into believing they've traveled halfway across the world. Cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings abound (thanks to Montréal’s heritage as a wealthy French fur-trading post), as well as picturesque chapels. Old Montréal is a scenic and romantic area for couples to wander around. Explore the Bonsecours Market, wander along the Place Jacques-Cartier, lovely in every season, and finish with a meal at Le Club Chasse et Pêche. As you pass landmarks dating back to the days of New France (Saint-Paul Street and Château Ramezay), cuddly strolls in the New World just don’t get quainter than this, especially if you add a horse-drawn carriage ride to the plan.
    Photo by Philippe Renault/age fotostock
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    Montreal, Museum City
    Montreal, Museum City
    Montréal was named one of the world's design capitals by UNESCO in 2006, an honor acknowledging just how important arts and culture are to the city. Couples with a fancy for cultural outings will enjoy the world-class exhibitions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the rule-defying works at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (Montreal Contemporary Art Museum), and the envelope-pushing pieces at the gallery DHC/ART. These institutions perfectly reflect the essence of the city and its history, and offer the thrill of discovering classic or daring pieces of art with your loved one, giving you plenty to talk about over a romantic dinner afterwards.
    Photo courtesy of Jean-François Hamelin/Tourism Québec
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    Bella Italia in Montreal
    Bella Italia in Montreal
    Montréal's French-inflected neighborhoods are certainly romantic, but its Little Italy doesn't do a bad job of putting you in the mood for love either. Be it because of the fantastic cappuccino, the lively expats speaking Italian, the Italian bookstores, or the alluring restaurants, Montréal’s Little Italy is as close to Italy as visitors can get in Canada. The bastion of the city’s Italian community since the 19th century offers all the staples one would expect to find: bocce parks, family-run trattorias, church frescoes, and tempting aromas. The Jean Talon Market is also an excellent place to explore.
    Photo by Marie-Eve Vallieres
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    Come Fly with Me
    Come Fly with Me
    Some couples will go to great lengths to demonstrate their love—or in this case, great heights. Montreal’s skyline is best seen cocktail in hand at the festive Terrasse Bonsecours. Old Montréal and the Mont-Royal spread out below. A bit further east stands the iconic Olympic Tower, which marks two big points on the romance charts: unobstructed views of the entire city and perfect sunset viewing platform, thanks to a western orientation. Early risers and active couples, on the other hand, might prefer to trek up Mount Royal just in time for sunrise, which seems to align perfectly with the mountains.
    Photo courtesy of Robin Edgar/Tourism Québec