Montreal’s reputation as the go-to city destination in North-America for a Bachelor or Bachelorette party weekend is extremely well-deserved. With a food scene now rivalling the big guns (“New Food Capital in North-America” by Town & Country, “Food Heaven” by GQ), a nightlife scene with something for EVERYONE, and festivals galore, you will be overwhelmed with awesome things to do with your group. With a favourable exchange rate for Americans, the vibe of Europe in North-America, and direct flights from many cities, Montreal should be at the top of your destination list.
We at Fitz & Follwell have 10 years of experience hosting Bachelor & Bachelorette groups, and we know what can make your weekend an absolute hit with your friends. We wrote these 10 Do’s and Don’ts with the weekend planner in mind – that’s you Best Man and Maid of Honour!
Go to a ‘BYOW’ (Bring Your Own Wine) Restaurant for dinner
Montreal has a plethora of BYOW or “Apportez Votre Vin” restaurants (especially in the Plateau neighbourhood) where there is never (we repeat never) a corkage fee for opening your wine. Save some cash for the rest of your weekend and bring the bottle of your choice to dinner. At some more casual BYOW’s you can also bring beer! Make sure to check ahead. Buy your wine at the SAQ (see below why).
Here are a few of our favourites:
Pizzeria Napoletana – an inexpensive classic in Little Italy
O’Thym – refined yet casual French/Quebecois kitchen – Reservations mandatory
Lannes & Pacifique – French bistro fare with an upbeat atmosphere
Eat fast food you can find at home
Montreal is full of excellent restaurants with great food, affordable prices, and casual style. With incredible diversity of cuisine and the second-most restaurants per capita after New York, Montrealers love to dine out making them a great place to connect with locals.
Here are a few more restaurant recommendations:
1. Pied de Cochon – the ultimate Quebécois feast – pork cuts and foie gras are their speciality, but everything is over the top with huge portions. They even have a gluttonous poutine; french fries cooked in duck fat, cheese curd, thick gravy, and a bonus piece of foie gras on top. Very professional yet casual place.
2. Maison Publique – set on a quaint corner in the Plateau, this casual place is quality Italian-forward food in a British pub-like setting.
Try some quality Craft Beer & Cider
Yes Canada is the land of Molson and Labatt, but Montreal now features many excellent brewpubs that are pros at accommodating large groups like yours. Our favourite brewpubs:
Benelux – Well-located downtown, great selection and spacious. Try to reserve the “vault” for your group, a private room set in an old bank vault
Harricana – If you want a nice lunch or dinner to pair with your beer, head to this stylish place near the Jean-Talon Market
HELM – This Mile-End brewery is full of super-friendly and accommodating staff. Ask nicely and they may even setup their ping pong table in the back for you!
Get so drunk on the first night
Are those shots of Jack at closing time really worth it? It’s no fun missing daytime activites because you are too hungover to get out of bed. Wouldn’t it be nice to get an early start to breakfast and beat all those massive lines of all the other hungover people? You may only have one full day in the city – make the most of it!
Take a Fitz & Follwell Bike Tour
Explore the city while getting a little exercise on an easy-going bike ride. You’ll visit 5 different neighbourhoods without taking out your phone or a map. If you book a private tour, the guide will be all yours for 3-hours, and can show you their favourite spots to eat or drink. Infusing a little culture, outdoor time, and active outing into your weekend is always a hit with the group. You won’t feel like tourists, unless you are wearing matching t-shirts (see below).
We’ve been hosting Bachelor & Bachelorette groups for 10 years and we often receive feedback that our bike tour was by far their favourite activity of the weekend.
Check out our tours here.
Sit around your hotel room or shop at the mall
You drove, rode the train, or flew to Montreal for a completely different cultural experience to what you would find at home. Get outside and explore! The TV stations and the stores in the malls are mostly the same that you have at home. Get outside and get active! If you do want to shop, head to the Mile-End neighbourhood full of independent local shops. You could also grab some fresh bagels and a coffee on St. Viateur St while you are there.
Wear (almost) nothing and relax at the Nordic Spa in Old Montreal
Even those in the group with heavy hangovers have no excuse to miss this activity. Bota Bota is a 4-story barge anchored in the Old Montreal offering an authentic Nordic spa experience. Move between hot (big jacuzzis, dry saunas, steam rooms), cold (pools, showers), and relaxation/chill-out areas. Two tips – You can’t talk on the Barge, but there’s a huge adjacent outdoor area where you can chat all you want. Second tip – reserve your pass with Fitz & Follwell and benefit from a special price of only $40 (regularly $70) and stay as long as you want!
Wear matching t-shirts everywhere you go
We’ve seen our fair share of colourful matching Bachelor and Bachelorette t-shirts, and so has the population of Montreal. We love the enthusiasm you have for your soon-to-be-married friend, but consider where to wear them first. If there’s a huge lineup for brunch or at the nightclub and you’re all decked out in your “Wolfpack” best, the staff may not be so accommodating when it comes your turn to be seated. Maybe some whacky hats or classy costumes would be a fun alternative?
Go for a Walk to the Mont-Royal lookout
The #1 best thing about Montreal is Mont-Royal, a.k.a “the mountain” to locals. This huge park has miles of walking trails, forests, picnic areas and incredible views. An easy 30 minute walk from downtown and you’ll arrive at the Chalet (Kondiaronk lookout) for you must-take photos of the weekend. Going home to your family & friends without a picture from Mont-Royal is like leaving Paris without a shot of the Eiffel Tower.
– Interested in a guided walk off the beaten path? Fitz & Follwell is happy to arrange this for you. Just contact us to set that up.
Uber everywhere you go
Try walking on quiet streets when you can to really feel the European vibes of Montreal. You may even meet some cute boys or girls on the way – not possible when sitting in the back of a car. On a busy summer night you will often be paying to sit still in traffic anyways. You can also use the Bixi bike share for only $2.75 per trip, cheaper than the bus. There are bikes and stations everywhere in Montreal. It’s even free the last Sunday of each month!
Save your money and go outside.
Go to a Strip Club
The holy grail of the Montreal bachelor (and bachelorette) weekend experience. What many of you came for, strip clubs are still busy venues in Montreal. Many will do a performance for the lucky bachelor or bachelorette bringing them up on stage, but maybe you want to check with your groom or bride to be first? Not everyone is so comfortable, and remember you are here to honour them and their soon to be commitment – not your wishes.
Bachelorettes – if you want to see some men, head to the Village, or check out Club 281. Women only allowed.
Bachelors – you will find your way, just ask around.
Spend all your money or time at Strip Clubs
Lineups, overpriced drinks, and some of the most convincing sales women (or men) that you will come across. After the casino, strip clubs are the best way to burn your cash quick. Save your money and go back to the real world and maybe you’ll meet some other Bachelors, Bachelorettes, or locals to hang out with.
Get morning (or late night) Bagels & Cream Cheese at St. Viateur Bagel
Eating hot-from-the-wood-fired-oven Montreal bagels is a must-do. With a crispy outside, and chewy slightly sweet inside, these bagels don’t need to be toasted; eat them plain or with some cream cheese. Tip – make sure you ask for the hottest bagels, which will be sesame or poppy seed. Tip #2 – The location on St. Viateur street is open 24 hours a day and always has fresh bagels, so head in the morning to help your hangover or after hitting the bars.
– The Fitz & Follwell North Bike tour can include a stop at St. Viateur upon request!
Lineup for Poutine at La Banquise
French fries, cheese curd, and gravy is a must-try dish while here in Montreal. La Banquise is the best known place with constant massive lineups to prove it. They are no longer any off-peak hours. Instead go to either Ma Poulle Mouillé across the street for their poutine with charcoal roasted chicken, or head to Chez Claudette on Laurier street. No huge line and it’s arguably better!
See a Comedy Show at the Art Loft
Running every Friday night, the Art Loft comedy show features a mix of veteran and first-time comedians. You’ll feel like you’ve arrived at someone’s loft-style apartment with a whole bunch of couches setup around a stage, complete with DJ. Bring your own beer or drinks!
Buy wine at a convenience or grocery store
The wine you will find at these stores (known as dépanneurs in Quebec) is overpriced and low quality. Only the government-run SAQ can legally sell bottled wine from other countries, and they have an excellent selection. They don’t provide bags, so either bring your own or pick up one of these made in Montreal wine racks if you will be biking around.
Beer on the other hand should be purchased from these dépanneurs as they often have the best selection of craft beers!
Picnic & Beers in the Park
One of the most typical (and most enjoyable) Montreal things you can do is have a picnic in one of the many beautiful parks. Montrealers LOVE hanging out in their parks once the weather is nice, so this is a great place to meet locals. It is legal to drink alcohol in a public park if you have a meal alongside. A bag of chips won’t cut it, but a sandwich will – we like to call it the “one beer one sandwich rule” Here’s a few recommendations of delicious sandwiches & lunches easy to take to a park, and one restaurant that will put together a whole picnic basket for you!
1. Schwartz’s Deli – This almost 100 year old deli’s smoked-meat sandwich is Montreal’s most famous and a must-try. Only downside is the huge lines. Order ahead for take-out and head to nearby Parc Jeanne-Mance. We can add this stop to one of our bike tours upon request!
2. Ma Poule Mouillé – Charcoal roasted Portuguese chicken heaven. A 1/2 chicken meal with fries & salad is only $10 tax included. Take it to go across the street to massive Parc LaFontaine. Wave at all the people across the street stuck in line for poutine at La Banquise!
3. Dinette Triple Crown – ok, the Southern USA menu is not symbolic of Montreal, but the extravagant picnic baskets they prepare are. Tablecloth, plates, cutlery, water & glasses, hot sauces, and delicious comfort food are all prepare for you on the spot. You can grab beers from the dépanneur across the street!
Be loud and obnoxious
Whether you are picnicing in the park or walking a downtown street, try to keep your conversations at a level that your friends can hear but not everyone around you. Take it easy on the swearing too. If you do want to swear, at least learn how to do it in French. If you are obnoxiously loud and all have matching t-shirts, well you’ve only got one strike left.
Also, please be respectful and understanding of the language. Quebec is a predominantly French speaking society. Most people in Montreal are bilingual, but give your server some slack if the English isn’t rolling off her tongue so smoothly. You could even learn a few French words. “Bonjour, je m’appel YOUR NAME. Je viens de YOUR CITY et je suis ici à Montréal (Mont-Ray-Al) pour l’enterrement de vie de garçon (Bachelor) or jeune fille (Bachelorette) de mon ami(e) GROOM or BRIDES NAME. Yes Bachelor or Bachelorette Party translates to “enterrement de vie de garçon” or “enterrement de vie de jeune fille”. It’s a mouthful.
Stay on Sunday and go home Monday
Sundays are Fun days in Montreal! There are two weekly events worth staying for and missing your workday on Monday. Tam Tams is a weekly gathering at Mont-Royal park that has been ongoing for more than 30 years. The feature event is the hundreds of people congregating around “the angel” monument to play music and dance, with the leaders on African ‘tam-tam’ drums. You are more than welcome to join in. Often thousands more people will hangout in the surrounding park, doing everything you can imagine – frisbee, slackline, circus & acrobatics, LARPing, picnicing, drinking, and smoking. Nothing is considered weird here because almost everything already is.
Piknic Electronik is the summer time outdoor electronic dance party. It takes place out on the islands at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Each Sunday is like a mini festival with thousands of people spending the day outdoors partying, surrounded by trees and next to the St. Lawrence River. A sight to be seen. Tip – Bixi out there across the bridge (really nice 30 minute ride from Downtown) and taxi or Metro back downtown if you don’t want to ride back.
Forget to bring your partner or your family back to Montreal
You will have had such a great time and have so many stories to share, that your significant others are going to want to come see what Montreal is all about. Get in touch with Fitz & Follwell to arrange a tour, we’d love to have you and friends and family back a second time!
Would you like to book a tour with Fitz & Follwell? Head to our Book Now Page, or call us today at 514-521-8356 ext 311.
Sometimes when people ask me what I do for a living I respond "I ride bikes." Yeah, we all need to do some office work sometimes, but I'm most comfortable when I am outside on my bike, researching a new route, biking to meetings, taking photos, or showing some visitors around. My next project is to adopt a dog, get a cargo bike, and take that dog with me everywhere I'm going.