In the countryside, winter turns everything bright and sparkling. On a ski slope it turns life thrilling. But what about the cities? It can soak everything in slush and Montréal is no exception…but wait! It’s not a reason to stop living. Montréal’s festive reputation isn’t built on melting snow and some amazing events take place in winter. There is plenty to see and do in Montreal in February, and a fair bit in March too, so this month we are dedicating two months to Montreal. Here’s a few of those happenings:
Right after the Holidays, just when you think winter has lost its magical feel, this electronic music festival presents itself as a real blessing. We like it so much that we have a dedicated blog right here.
It takes place four weekends in a row, starting on January 17th, and HI-Montréal has amazing packages for you happy festival-goer.
Nuit Blanche and Montréal en Lumière
The bet of the organizers were to get people outside in winter, and they succeeded haut la main: Montrealers attend in masses. There are some 200 (almost all) free activities and events scattered in various neighbourhoods in the city. In an overnight you can go to a gig in the hip Plateau-Mont-Royal before having a weird haircut on St-Laurent. It makes you embarrassed so you rush to a screening or a play in the Latin Quarter. By then you need to get moving and head down to Old Montréal for some skating, sliding or dancing. You might catch some fireworks over the St. Lawrence. After that you hit the up-and-coming Griffintown district for an all-senses experience in a trendy art gallery. For the warriors who last until dawn there’s always a free breakfast offered downtown starting at 5:00 am.
Sounds cool enough for you? Nuit Blanche is on Saturday March 2nd, while the festival itself starts on February 21st.
Under the Snow Festival
Montréal has a sound of its own and its music scene is famous worldwide. You want to check out what’s boiling in the pot? Under the Snow Festival is showing you the best of the indie music scene is some of the hippest venues in town.
If you feel like treating your ears, it’s on March 14th to 18th.
There’s no better place to sleep in town than the HI-Montréal hostel. Drop by and have a chat with our friendly local staff for a bunch of tips and places to hit off the main tourist circuit. There are also loads of activities organized for you, such as the Mount Royal + Poutine Walk, the Foodies Walk, Pub Crawls or Sunset Walk on Sainte-Hélène Island. You’ll meet joyful travellers to hang out with as well as Gabriel, the activity coordinator, who always have some play on words ready in his pocket.
If you can’t bear the cold you’ll be delighted in the underground city, a maze of malls, museums and offices connecting most of the buildings downtown – did you know you could walk from the train station or the Contemporary Arts Museum to the hostel’s metro station without stepping outside once?
If you prefer the outdoor chill you can skate in Old Montréal, Mount Royal Park, Lafontaine Park or Maisonneuve Park (next to the Olympic Stadium). Or even more fun: tobogganing on Mount Royal!
Did we forget something?
Whoever thinks of Montréal thinks about food at some point. As February ends and March begins, it’s Maple Sugar Time. Check out the Maple Taffy stands popping up around the city. Nobody can resist boiled maple syrup poured onto snow and wrapped around a stick. If that doesn’t make you love winter, well…we give up!
Where should you stay? HI-Montreal of course!