If you’re a hockey fan, it doesn’t get any better than a weekend in Montreal.
The combination of the NHL’s most storied franchise plus one of the greatest cities on the continent is irresistible, even to a casual fan. Whether you’re into history, architecture, shopping, or looking to enjoy some nightlife – or all of the above – Montreal is the perfect location for your next hockey road trip.
The city: Historic buildings blend with modern towers (though none taller than Mount Royal, the mountain visible throughout the city) in this easily walkable downtown. Old Montreal, lined with cobblestone streets, galleries, and boutiques, is just a ten minute walk away from the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, and some might say, the heart of the city. St. Catherine’s Street is a shopping mecca with everything from designer shops to high street fashion while famous (infamous?) Crescent Street is home to a variety of clubs, pubs and eateries.
The team: The Montreal Canadiens are the NHL’s oldest franchise with a rich history. Winners of a league-leading 24 Stanley Cups, the Habs (the team’s most commonly used English language nickname), are known for their passionate fans and Le Tricolour — their instantly recognizable jersey. One of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Habs are a Cup contender and the atmosphere inside the Bell Centre is always on its game. Old school organ music pipes through the NHL’s largest arena, setting the stage for an inevitable “Ole, ole, ole” chant at some point in the game.
Where to stay: Downtown Montreal features options at all price levels, from solid three star choices to the five star luxury. The Sheraton Le Centre is a good choice for those looking for a location one block from the Bell Centre.
Don’t miss: The Canadiens Centennial Plaza — home to larger than life statues of Habs greats Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, and Guy Lafleur — has been relocated to the east side of the Bell Centre. Unfortunately the Canadiens Hall of Fame closed its doors in 2015 so the best way to pay homage to the past is at the (free) outdoor plaza.
Janice Labossiere is a proud Roadtrips alumn who combines her love of sports and travel at every opportunity. You can follow her adventures on Twitter (@jlabossiere) and Instagram (@jlabossiere).