Staycation in Old Montreal

February 9, 2016 / Posted by   Alexis - Fashion and Creativity  Oliver Marshall 

Don’t forget that you live in one of the most beautiful cities in North America! So don’t pay an arm and a leg for airplane tickets when you can rediscover Montreal!

There is no better time to go on vacation than… anytime! It’s true, like many other people, I would love to take off a couple weeks and go anywhere – but, unfortunately, I cannot. We all have jobs, schedules, and responsibilities, so we can’t just necessarily do whatever we want whenever we want. Also, we can’t just go on vacation on a whim, as vacations require weeks of planning and a proper budget.

Ever heard of a staycation?

For several years now, a new concept called a staycation has surfaced and gained in popularity. This neologism is a hybrid of the words stay and vacation. It is the idea of planning your own vacation here at home, without having to travel too far – so to hell with outlandishly priced plane tickets! I was so inspired by this concept that I have put together a list of places that I definitely recommend for all you staycationners.



©Geneviève Giguère

For me, holidays and brunch go hand in hand! Le Cartet is one of Old Montreal’s choice breakfast destinations. This bistro/restaurant is located on McGill street, and offers an excellent breakfast menu every day of the week (*until 11AM). Copious amounts of food, outstanding coffee, and marvellous natural light are waiting to greet you at Le Cartet. There’s also a “gourmet food” section, so stock up on delicious products and start the day on the right foot.




Soupesoup is highly popular lunch destination located near the Cité du Multimédia. Its large and comfortable dining area is enhanced with its industrial decor, and the restaurant changes its menu constantly, which gives you the opportunity to try something new every time you eat out. They offer house sandwiches and soups, paired with pastries and delicious coffees. All in all, Soupesoup is definitely a great choice to meet your lunch expectations in Old Montreal.



 ©Kelly Jacob

After only a few months after its grand opening, Tommy has truly made a name for itself as a must-visit spot in the neighbourhood. So come for the coffee and pastries, but stay for its magnificent decor – I know a lot of Montreal bloggers who do. It’s a great place to simply hang out during the day, or work on your laptop on its mezzanine. At night, check it out for an aperitif among friends. Tommy will always be there when you need it most, especially during your next staycation in Old Montreal.



©Georges Alexandar

The Auberge Saint-Gabriel is truly one of my favorite places in the neighbourhood. Built in 1688 by a French soldier, it has a truly authentic historic feel to it. Today, it is owned by Marc Bolay, Garou and Guy Laliberté, and it hosts a fair number of internationally-renowned events each year (among others, events for the Montreal Grand Prix). This institution is also famous in Quebec for its upscale gastronomy.




I believe Velvet to be the most in vogue nightclub in Montreal. It is located in the basement of the Auberge Saint-Gabriel, and opens its doors to the public from Thursday to Saturday starting at 11PM. Welcome to a wonderful world where anything is possible while grooving to some quality Deep House.




BOTA BOTA is a Nordic spa which has been built directly on the waterfront in Montreal’s Old Port. I highly recommend this place, because it’s a great place to relax while staying close to the action. You can go to soak in the sun, spend some quality time with friends, or to take advantage of their quality body care and/or massages. Also, since last summer, The Bota Bota Gardens offer you an even larger area to zen out, poolside! (Note that the Gardens are closed until February 26, but open exceptionally for Valentine’s Day from February 12 to 14)

So go to town with these suggestions! You’re on vacation, don’t forget.

Alexis - Fashion and Creativity

With a passion for art and creation, Alexis GR has always been drawn to arts, culture and communications. With a bachelor’s degree in Communications and an addiction to social media, Alexis has been working in the new media field for several years. This Montreal influencer has seen his texts, interviews, articles published on various well-known blogs and he’s gained a following on Instagram for his unique shots. In his view, it’s important to take the time to listen, observe, contemplate new trends, create and think. Mr. GR strongly believes that new ideas will shape what happens throughout the rest of the 21st century. Reaching out to him was a no brainer. We count on Alexis to shed some digital light on everything creative!

Oliver Marshall

Big hair, do care! As our translator, Oliver makes sure that our blog authors’ message resonates to Montreal’s English community and to tourists who contribute to the success and vibrancy of Old Montreal. Even at the age of 21, he has proven to be our language aficionado as he puts great care in being meticulous and reliable in his work. Born and raised in Mile End, he is a true Montrealer who is driven by a fierce sense of pride in his city. During his free time, he loves to cook and play bass in his band: Brain Flower. Contact |

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