Things to do in Montreal in November
The crisp air of fall is getting colder and colder, the sky is grey, the fall colours have slowly fallen and maybe we even had our first or second snowfall. Montreal’s November weather might not be the main reason why you are visiting our great city. However; there are plenty of activities and things to do in Montreal in November. Maybe you are stopping by for a big meeting or a conference or simply for a weekend getaway, this guide will tell you all the things to do in Montreal in November, from how to get around to what to wear.
MTL à Table
This is by far my favourite event in Montreal in November. MTL à Table (MTL is short for Montreal, in case you didn’t know) is the foodie week by excellence. For 11 consecutive days, 150 restaurants across the city offer table d’hôte (multi-course) dinner menus at great prices! This unique event gives you the opportunity to go to fancy and award-winning restaurants for a fraction of the price. While there are very different types of restaurants that participate in the event, I would suggest opting for high-end restaurants since you might not splurge on your meals as often. The event offers menus at $23, $33 or $43. Did I say that many restaurants have a delicious brunch menu for $17? And who doesn’t love brunch?
For Montrealers, this is the time of year where everyone flocks the restaurants and indulges on all its great gastronomy. Since it is a prime event for tourists and locals alike, I would suggest calling restaurants to reserve a table in advance! Here is the list of all the restaurants that offer MTL à Table.
This year’s theme is once again to highlight local products and local cuisine. There are 2 sub-events in this year’s edition, MMFA and Cacao Barry challenge. The MMFA à Table invites selected chef to create a dish inspired by an artwork of the Québec and Canadian collection. These dishes are a work of art for your eyes and your belly alike. The Cacao Barry challenge is an event for all the chocoholics of the world. There are 15 restaurants that display their love for chocolate in the yummiest and most creative ways.
This year we decided to go to the restaurant M. Mme. It is one of the best wine bars in the city. For MTL à Table, the restaurant offers a table d’hôte of 3 services for $33. For the three services you had three choices; I ordered the leek salad as an appetizer and the arctic char with stewed Jerusalem artichoke for the main course followed by a chocolate mousse with a light touch of raspberry as desert. Worth noting that the wine bar offers a wine pairing for each item on the menu.
As you know, Montreal is a prime festival destination as we have more than 140 festivals year long. While summer festivals are the biggest, fall festivals make us enjoy indoor ones. The main events for the month are 2 film festivals, Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and CINEMANIA. The first one, as its name indicated, showcases documentaries from all over the world, it is the smaller version of the Hot Docs festival in Toronto. On the other side, CINEMANIA highlights cinema from French-speaking countries (don’t worry they have English subtitles). If you are a cinema lover, then this is the time for you to visit Montreal.
Museums & street art
While it’s raining or it might be a little cold, visiting the city museums is always a great option to get warm. The two main museums are the Fine Arts Museum (MMFA) and the Contemporary Museum (MAC). Usually, the MAC has a “Nocturnes” (nocturnal) in November. This is a unique concept in which the museum opens its doors past midnight and invites performers, artists and more to enjoy art with a bite to eat or a drink.
It will not take you long to see that Montreal is full of street art. For the complete itinerary of where to find the best graffiti and murals, go to my other article.
Of course, a visit to Montreal will be incomplete without visiting the Old Port, especially for first-timers. Walk along Saint-Paul Street for that old European charm with cobblestones and colonial architecture.
From dusk until 11 pm enjoy the projections of Cité Mémoire. Download the app, choose a circuit, and walk through the old port hunting for the multimedia projections loosely telling the history of Montreal in a playful way.
The Notre-Dame Basilica is a beautiful church that has a light and sound show, Aurora. There is an entrance fee for the basilica but if you pay for the show, the price of the entrance is waived. The show, done by Moment Factory (they are the ones that do the visuals for the concerts for Muse, Madonna, among others), is modern and non-religious, a must-go.
Ice hockey is one of Montreal’s passions. The city vigorously roots for the Montréal Canadiens as the NHL season unfolds. Go cheer for the Habs at the Bell Center and enjoy the joyful crowd. Through this experience, you will understand why Canadians love ice hockey so much.
The tickets range from different prices but you can find great last minute deals with StubHub.
Transportation in and outside the city can be very difficult since the city is undergoing through a major makeover so I would suggest to leave your car and embrace discovering the city by foot, bike or public transport. Also, signs for parking can be extremely confusing, so you can skip a headache for just to know where to park. The last tip will be to be aware that the subway system is not 24h and it closes its doors from 11 pm or 1 am depending on the day and the line colour.
What to wear?
November in Montreal is not the warmest month; it is all downhill from here! If you are not used to cold weather, I would suggest dressing warmly as temperatures can sometimes go below 0°C. I will suggest dressing in layers, having a good jacket, gloves, scarves, tuques and mittens!
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Disclaimer: We dined at MTL à Table as guests of Montreal Tourism. A big thank you! All opinions are my own.
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