The best kind of romantic activities involve the senses: eating delicately prepared food, watching something colorful like fireworks, feeling the grass under your feet and smelling fresh seasonal scents, listening to a concert, sipping vintage wine. Depending on the time of year and the weather, what’s romantic could range from an outdoor activity in the park, listening to Christmas carols, or snuggling by a restaurant fireplace. Here are a few ideas to make your Montreal visit more romantic.
1. Ride a carriage in Old Montreal. In Place Jacques-Cartier, you can hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage and view the city the old-fashioned way. If it’s cold enough, you can snuggle under a woolen blanket. Soon those smoggy, impersonal automobiles will seem like a thing of the past – or, well, the future.
2. Dine by candlelight. Montreal has too many reputable restaurants to even begin narrowing the field, but if you’re strolling down a cobblestone street hand-in-hand, it won’t be long before you pass by someplace enticing enough to make you turn around and head inside. Ask your server to pair your wine with your meal for you, and make a conscious effort to save room for a dessert dish or two (the best part of any dinner date, of course, is chocolate).
3. Cruise the St. Lawrence at sunset. Dusk makes any location more romantic, but the St. Lawrence river has a charm on its own, so cruising over it just as the golden sun is dropping out of the sky and the city is lighting itself up is pretty much as classy as you can get. Some cruises offer fine food and dancing, too.
4. Ice-skate outdoors. Parc Lafontaine has ice-skate rentals available, and the crisp and jolly winter atmosphere is a perfect time to switch off the phone and forget about life outside the moment. The charming rink at Lafontaine has a more path-like feel, but you can also skate in Old Montreal at the more lively Bonsecours Basin or the tree-lined Beaver Lake on Mont Royal.
5. Buy presents for each other from a market or small shop. Window shopping is always fun to do, but you can make your trip to Montreal even more memorable by spoiling your loved one with something special to take home – something that you pick out together, like a piece of handmade jewelry, antique trinket, or a piece of artwork for your home. Old Montreal is full of artists and vendors with unique items, especially in the summertime.