Weather permitting, one of the best ways to discover Montréal is on a bicycle. This is an incredibly bike-friendly metropolis, and there are thousands of designated bike paths connecting diverse neighborhoods across the island, running along the river, and through parks and forests. If you like to bike but would rather not do it on city streets, ferries at the Old Port can take you to Île Ste-Hélène and the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, where riders can connect to hundreds of miles of trails in the Montérégie region.

Bixi. Available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, April through November, these bikes are a convenient way to explore the city. Public bicycle rental stations are located as far west as Notre-Dame-de-Grace, a western Montréal neighborhood, east to the Olympic Park, and as far south as Parc Jean-Drapeau and even Longueuil (a south shore neighborhood). There's a fee of C$5 for a 24-hour period and C$12 for 72 hours, which include 30 minutes' bike rental for each separate trip; extra charges are incurred for longer rides. The transaction is easily done with the swipe of a credit card (a security deposit is also required). Monthly and yearly subscriptions are also available for longer stays. The bikes are designed for quick (but unlimited) trips; to minimize extra charges, always keep your next Bixi station in mind. Montréal, Québec. 514/789–2494; 877/820–2453;

Féria de Vélo de Montréal. The biggest bike celebration in North America includes the Tour la Nuit, a 22-kilometer (14-mile) nighttime ride through the city. The weeklong festival culminates in as many as 50,000 cyclists taking over the streets for the Tour de l'Île, a 50-km (31-mile) ride along a route encircling Montréal. Montréal, Québec. 514/521–8356; 800/567–8356;

Fitz & Follwell Co.. This company's bike tour of Montréal highlights is popular, but go deeper and try "Hoods & Hidden Gems" to really learn what makes the city tick. They also offer bike rentals, walking tours, and snow tours in winter. 115 av. du Mont-Royal Ouest, The Plateau, Montréal, Québec, H2T 2S9. 514/840–0739;

Lachine Canal. The most popular cycling trail on the island begins at the Old Port and winds its way to the shores of Lac St-Louis in Lachine. Pack a picnic lunch; there are plenty of green spaces where you can stop and refuel along the way. Montréal, Québec.

Le Pôle des Rapides. This 100-km (62-mile) network of bicycle trails follows lakefronts, canals, and aqueducts. The trails are open April 15 to October 15. Montréal, Québec. 514/364–4490;

Vélo Montréal. For longer cycling excursions, renting a bike from this company is your best bet. Each rental includes a bicycle helmet, bottle cage, lock, and rear carrier rack. Packages start at C$10 for one hour or C$15 for two hours and go all the way to C$120 for a full week or C$165 for two weeks. They also lease tandem bikes, a fun alternative for couples. 3880 rue Rachel Est, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal, Québec, H1X 1Z1. 514/259–7272;


In Montréal you can climb aboard a boat at a Downtown wharf and be crashing through Class V white water minutes later.

Lachine Rapids Tours. Discover the rapids on a large jet boat—and bring a change of clothes. There are daily departures (every two hours) May through October from Clock Tower Pier in the Old Port. The price includes all gear, and the trip lasts an hour. Another option is a 20-minute ride in a 12-passenger boat that reaches speeds up to 80 kph (50 mph). Boats leave the Old Ports' Jacques Cartier Pier every half hour between 10 am and 6 pm from May to October. Trips are narrated in French and English. 47 de la Commune Ouest, Old Montréal, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 2C6. 514/284–9607; Jet boat C$67, 20-minute speed boat ride C$26.


Montréal golf enthusiasts have several excellent golf courses available to them, many less than a half-hour drive from Downtown. If you’re willing to trek a bit farther (about 45 minutes), you’ll find some of the best golfing in the province. For a complete listing of the many golf courses in the area, Tourisme Québec ( is the best place to start.

Club de Golf Métropolitain Anjou. One of the longest courses in the province, the Championship course features an undulating landscape with five lakes and some tricky bunkers, all calling for accurate shots. Beginners and improvers can hone their skills on the short Executive course, where more accomplished players will also enjoy a quick round. A clubhouse featuring a steakhouse and bistro, several banquet halls, a pro shop with an indoor practice range (winter only), and an outdoor driving range all serve to make this a top-notch facility. A dress code is in effect. The club is in Anjou, a 20-minute drive from downtown Montréal. 9555 boul. du Golf, Montréal, Québec, H1J 2Y2. 514/353–5353; Championship Course, C$32–C$51; Executive Course, C$11. Daily 6 am–9 pm.

The Falcon. Soon after this club opened in 2002, it rapidly became recognized as one of the best courses in Québec. Designed by Graham Cooke, it winds through a verdant, well-wooded landscape dotted with water hazards and sand traps, and offers an exciting challenge. Five sets of tees accommodate different skill levels. It's 25 minutes west of downtown in the picturesque and largely Anglophone village of Hudson (which is worth a visit in itself). Recent improvements include a C$2 million clubhouse. Early-bird specials profit those who don't mind a teeing off at 7 am. 59 rue Cambridge, Hudson, Québec, J0P 1H0. 450/458–1997; C$52--C$63 weekdays, C$63--C$75 weekends and holidays .

Golf Dorval. The two original courses here, designed by Graham Cooke, were combined into a single challenging par-72 golf course with a rolling parkland setting. There are four levels of difficulty, finishing with a long, narrow par-4 18th hole with a slope up to the green. Arrive after 2 pm and you don't need a reservation. A lighted driving range with 50 stations and two putting greens are also available. There's a dress code. The course is a 20-minute drive from downtown Montréal. Reserve a weekday morning three days in advance and get two tickets and one cart for C$88–C$96. 2000 av. Reverchon, Dorval, Québec, H9P 2S7. 514/631–4653; C$27–C$55.

Golf Ste-Rose. With lovely views of the Rivière des Mille-Îles, hardwood forests, and myriad ponds, this course may be the most beautiful in Québec. It's a short hop over the bridge to the island of Laval. The course features four sets of tees to accommodate different skill levels. Recently renovated to improve the pace of play, the 18-hole course was designed by John Watson, one of the great names of Canadian golf course architecture. 1400 boul. Mattawa, Ste-Rose, Laval, Québec, H7P 5W7. 450/628–6072; 450/628–3573; C$25.25–C$50.


Ice hockey is nothing short of an institution in Montréal, the city that arguably gave birth to the sport back in the late 19th century. Although variations of the game are said to have been played in other U.S. and Canadian cities as early as 1800, the first organized game of modern hockey was played in Montréal in 1875, and the first official team, the McGill University Hockey Club, was founded in Montréal in 1880. The city’s beloved Montréal Canadiens is the oldest club in the National Hockey League and, as Montrealers are keen to tell you, one of the most successful teams in North American sports history.

McGill University Redmen Hockey. Formed in 1877, this was the first organized hockey club in Canada. It is now one of the top university men's ice hockey programs in Canada, and the Redmen were a Canadian University cup finalist in 2011. Games against cross-town rivals the Concordia Stingers or the UQTR Patriotes are always emotional duels. Home games take place at Percival Molson Stadium. 475 av. des Pins Ouest, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, H2W 1S4. 514/398–7006;

Montréal Canadiens. The team meets National Hockey League rivals at the Centre Bell from October through April (and even later if they make the play-offs). The "Habs" (the nickname's taken from Habitants, or early settlers) have won 24 Stanley Cups, although they've been struggling in the standings for several years now and haven't won a cup since the 1992–93 season. Nevertheless, Les Canadiens are a great source of pride to the city's sports fans, and tickets for their local games continue to be a hot commodity. Buy tickets in advance to guarantee a seat. 1909 av. des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, H3B 5E8. 877/668–8269; 514/790–2525;


Come the winter months, you don’t have to look very far to find an ice-skating rink in Montréal. There are municipally run outdoor—and some indoor—rinks in virtually every corner of the city.

Accès Montréal. For information on the numerous ice-skating rinks (at least 195 outdoor and 21 indoor) in the city, it's best to call or check the city's website. Outdoor rinks are open from December until mid-March, and admission is free. The rinks on Île Ste-Hélène and at the Old-Port are especially large, but there is a C$6 admission charge to skate at the latter. Montréal, Québec. 514/872–1111;

Atrium le 1000 de la Gauchetière. Inside the tallest building in Montréal, this skating rink lies under a glass atrium, allowing sunlight to shine down on the rink year-round. There is often 2-for-1 admission and specials for tourists on Wednesdays. After working up an appetite, hit any one of the 14 restaurants in the surrounding food court. 1000 rue de la Gauchetière, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, H3B 4W5. 514/395–0555; C$7.50; skate rental C$7.


Most city parks have jogging paths, and you can also run the trail along the Lachine Canal.

Parc du Mont-Royal. The gravel Olmsted Road in Parc du Mont-Royal is a superb place for a tranquil jog surrounded by nature. For a panoramic view of downtown, head to the Kondiaronk lookout. Montréal, Québec. 514/843–8240; Daily 6 am–midnight.


Grand Prix. Every year in early June, the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit plays host to this Formula One race, which attracts more than 100,000 fans. Tickets start at C$46 for general admission (one day) and C$175 for grandstand tickets (three days). Be sure to book your room early for that entire week, as hotels operate at maximum capacity (and maximum cost). Parc Jean Drapeau, 222 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, The Islands, Montréal, Québec, H3C 6A1. 514/350–0000;

Skiing and Snowboarding

There are pros and cons to skiing in the Eastern Townships and the Laurentians. The slopes in the Townships are generally steeper and slightly more challenging, but it requires more time to get out to them. Also, the Townships’ centers tend to be quieter and more family-oriented, so if it’s après-ski action you’re looking for, you might prefer heading out to a Laurentian hill like Mont St-Sauveur where, for many, partying is as much the experience as is conquering the slopes.

As for cross-country skiing, you needn’t even leave the city to find choice locations to pursue the sport. There’s a network of winding trails stretching throughout Parc du Mont-Royal, and the Lachine Canal offers a 12-km (7-mile) stretch of relatively flat terrain, making for both a scenic and relatively simple cross-country excursion.

Tourisme Québec. The "Ski-Québec" brochure available from the tourism office has a wealth of information about skiing in and around the city, and the website has a complete lists of all the hills and trails in the province. Montréal, Québec. 514/873–2015; 877/266–5687;


Cap-St-Jacques Regional Park. The best cross-country skiing on the island is on the 32 km (20 miles) of trails in the 900-acre Cap-St-Jacques park in the city's west end, about a half-hour drive from downtown. 20099 boul. Gouin Ouest, Pierrefonds, Montréal, Québec, H9K 1C6. 514/280–6871;

Mont-Royal. Within the city itself, "the mountain" (as it's known) is essentially a toboggan run, but its modest slope makes it ideal for beginners and little ones learning to ski. It's also a good place to get in a quick cross-country workout. Parc du Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec. 514/843–8240;


Mont Bromont. Seven different hillsides and 145 trails here offer a variety of slopes to challenge every skill level, plus lots of night skiing to boot. Bromont lies in the Eastern Townships, 45 minutes southeast of Montréal. 150 rue Champlain, Bromont, Québec, J2L 1A2. 450/534–2200; 866/276–6668;

Mont St-Bruno. Although it has a modest vertical drop of 525 feet, this ski area has Québec's biggest ski school, 15 trails, 4 lifts (including a high-speed lift), and 2 T-bars, and also offers night skiing, Located on the South Shore, it's a quick hop over the bridge, 26 kilometers (16 miles) from downtown Montréal. 550 Rang des 25, St-Bruno, Québec, J3V 4P6. 450/653–3441;

Mont St-Sauveur. If you're looking for the complete ski package, including shopping and nightlife, this mountain village is a good choice. At the gateway to the Laurentians, the 38 trails here are only an hour north of the city, helping make them a local hangout for Montréal residents. Québec. 450/227–4671;

Mont Sutton. A quaint village, a beautiful mountain—lots of glades—and plentiful snow make this the best skiing in the Eastern Townships (and possibly the province). It gets busy, but multiple chairlifts can handle nearly 12,000 people per hour. Sutton, Québec. 450/538–2545; 866/538–2545;

Mont Tremblant. This huge resort is the best in the Laurentians for skiing, though it can be pricey. Sleep, ski, and eat in total comfort; there are plenty of high-end hotels on-site, some with luxury spas. The pedestrian village is like something out of Disney, with charming storefronts and colorful rooftops. Four slopes, 95 runs, and 14 lifts await two hours north of Montréal. 1000 chemin des Voyageurs, Mont-Tremblant, Québec, J8E 1T1. 866/356–2233;


Most of the city’s municipal outdoor pools are open from mid-June through August. Admission is free on weekdays. On weekends and holidays there’s a small fee of no more than C$4 at some pools, depending on the borough.

Parc-Plage l'Île Notre-Dame. The west side of Île Notre-Dame is home to the city's man-made beach with probably the cleanest water (tested and monitored) in Montréal, which makes the entrance fee worth it. The Islands, Montréal, Québec, H3C 1A9. 514/872–6120; C$9. Mid-June–mid-Aug., daily 10–7; mid-Aug.–early Sept., daily noon–7.