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Grand Prix
Photograph: Eva Blue | Tourisme Montréal

Essential Guide to Grand Prix Weekend in Montreal

Whether you're visiting, or have been counting down to the hometown revelry, this guide is guaranteed to keep the fun on track.

Edited by
Laura Osborne
Written by
Isa Tousignant

UPDATE, summer 2023: From the city's buzziest new steakhouse to the hottest clubs in town, get up to speed with the best things to do in Montreal during race weekend.

Racers, start your engines. Montreal is once again welcoming the worldwide Formula One fanbase for the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, from June 15 to 18, 2023, which means one thing: the city is revved up. The races on Circuit Jacques-Villeneuve are only half the fun—the real memories will be made off course, at the restaurants, clubs, attractions and hidden outdoor play spaces around town that are pulling out all the stops. Follow this essential list of Montreal’s hottest Grand Prix spots for a record-breaking good time.

When is the Montreal Grand Prix?

The 2023 Canadian Grand Prix is June 15 to 18, 2023, and takes place over 70 laps of the 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Parc Jean-Drapeau.

What time does the Montreal Grand Prix start?

The Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Prix du Canada 2023 race starts at 2 pm on Sunday, June 18, but there are two days of races to watch before that. See the full weekend track schedule (practice and qualifying sessions, support races, etc.) here.

What other cool things are going on in Montreal this weekend?

From iconic attractions and landmarks to art happenings, cultural events, and unmissable restaurants and bars, check out our essential bucket list of the best things to do in Montreal.

Complete guide to the best things to do in Montreal
Best downtown Montreal restaurants
Best 50 restaurants in Montreal
33 best brunch spots in town

Don't miss this epic downtown Grand Prix party

Top Montreal Grand Prix events

What is it? The brand new YAMA in the Vogue Hotel is easily one of the buzziest restaurants in the city right now, partly for the setting, partly for Chef Antonio Park’s food. 

Why go? Park was born in Argentina to Korean parents, and spent time in Brazil and Paraguay before eventually moving to Montreal. YAMA is the latest of his many restaurants, and a chance to get a fresh take on his multicultural approach to seafood, both raw and cooked. The glittering, twinkling scene in the newly redesigned dining room is also an attraction in itself.

Don’t miss: A stop at the bar: it’s a handsome place to stand and try one of the classic cocktails—a martini seems fitting—while crowd-watching.

What is it? A helicopter tour of the city, to see the city from the vantage point you deserve.

Why go? Get a real sense of the layout of this city—including landmarks like the Olympic Stadium, the St. Joseph Oratory and Jacques-Cartier Bridge—at the start of your adventure and you’ll always know where you’re going. Helicraft offers a city sights tour or a St. Lawrence River tour, both of which will afford you good times and stunning views.

Don’t miss: This unique vantage point on Parc Jean-Drapeau, home to the Jacques-Villeneuve racing circuit.


What is it? In a city known for its nightlife, Soubois is a go-to among both Montrealers and visitors, and this hopping bar, grill and club just got a refresh that’s turning heads.

Why go? The Golden Square Mile haunt has always been atmospheric, but they’ve upped the vibe with an expansion of the dining room and the creation of a central bar, both brought to life by brand new light and sound systems. The menu has expanded its seafood offerings, too, for a next-level land-and-sea experience.

Don’t miss: The immersive mural and series of artworks by pop surrealist artist-about-town Jeremy Shantz.

What is it? A private shopping experience with Montreal’s premiere luxury fashion curators, SSENSE.

Why go? Originally a brick-and-mortar fashion house in Old Montreal, SSENSE segued online and are now one of the most recognized sources of cutting edge fashion in the world. Lucky for us, visitors to Montreal still get to book real-life private shopping experiences. Functioning by appointment only, after selecting items on the website you can book  a time to try the items on in person at the brand’s HQ in the city’s garment district, Chabanel.

Don’t miss: The artistry of this experience—the displays at the stylish HQ showcase their wares with the reverence of art installations.


What is it? A larger-than-life, jumping, bumping Japanese-Peruvian themed supper club (we’re talking 6,000 square feet of party space).

Why go? The 15-foot-tall Geisha presiding over the Japanese garden décor is reason enough for a night at Yoko Luna, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the food or music. Picture ceviches, kobe steaks and sushi with a twist in an environment that amps up the joy (literally). 

Don’t miss: The sake parlour. There’s an impressive cocktail list to whet your whistle, but for sake lovers, just park yourself on this part of the menu and go loco for Yoko.


What is it? New City Gas, a 4,000 square foot Griffintown club in a heritage industrial building that puts the hearty in party.

Why go? Sure, Crescent Street, terrasses and Grand Prix go hand-in-hand, but New City Gas has been serving up world-class EDM for a decade now, bringing in everyone from Tiesto to David Guetta and Steve Angelo. Its two floors can hold up to 2,000 people (and often do). 

Don’t miss: Steve Angello, Idd Aziz and Guy Laliberté (yes, THAT Guy Laliberté) at the decks during Grand Prix weekend.


What is it? Mural Festival is a weeklong free festival that culminates on Grand Prix weekend with live mural art, raucous music, shopping, street food and dancing in the street.

Why go? Montreal has a knack for producing unusual and extraordinary urban experiences, and Mural Festival is just that. This cool art event in the Plateau, just a couple of blocks away from downtown, is an incredibly cool urban gathering where you’ll see live art being painted on dozens of gigantic walls all along St. Lawrence Boulevard, and the whole street is closed to traffic—and open to fun.

Don’t miss: The street eats: from sausages to smoked meat to elote to prettily carved mangos on a stick, you’ll find the snacks when the need attacks.

What is it? A 90-foot high zipline that stretches over the picturesque Old Port.

Why go? Montreal’s Old Port has a variety of options to get high, not least of which is the Grande Roue de Montréal—an enclosed Ferris wheel with cabins that will fit up to 8 people at a time. A more adventurous option, though, comes courtesy of MTLZipline, which will have you gliding across the beautiful Bonsecours lagoon on a 1,200-foot steel cable. 

Don’t miss: A victory drink at Pub Brewskey, a pleasant terrasse at nearby Marché Bonsecours that serves a serious selection of local beers.


What is it? A chance to see a whole other side of the St. Lawrence.

Why go? KSF is an organization that offers a whole selection of water sports activities, from SUP yoga to kayaking to river surfing. With the fast-flowing St. Lawrence River wrapped around it, Montreal is the ideal place to learn river surfing—it boasts white-water rapids with permanent waves located mere minutes from downtown. Get a package that includes instruction.

Don’t miss: The permanent waves (or standing waves, in surfer talk) Guy’s Wave and Big Joe (for the hardcore only).

What is it? A hearty brunch aboard a tour boat that’ll navigate the St. Lawrence River and give you another vantage point on the city.

Why go? The perfect cure for a late night out, the Croisières AML brunch cruise is also a great chance to see Old Montreal if you haven’t yet. The tour aboard the AML Cavalier Maxim starts mere feet from where the city was founded, at the Convoyeurs Pier. As you refuel with eggs, crêpes, croissants and bacon, you’ll navigate past the Olympic stadium and towards the Victoria Bridge, with views iconic structures and sights of the city centre throughout. 

Don’t miss: The profiteroles for dessert. Because every meal deserves a sweet finish, even brunch.

Find our list of the best brunch spots in the city here.


What is it? Workshops that’ll teach you how to cook, prep drinks or taste wine like a pro. 

Why go? Learning is a way to build take-home memories worth more than any travel souvenir, and Atelier & Saveurs is the place to do it. With three locations in Montreal (including Time Out Market Montréal) and a wide array of learnable skills ranging from sushi rolling to French cheese appreciation to tapas and cocktail pairing, it’s a tasty investment in your future foodie skills. Plus, you know, a fun time.

Don’t miss: The Great Tasting, a recurring night that offers 7 gastronomic courses and a corresponding wine alongside a lesson on what you’re enjoying.

What is it? The most socially acceptable way of burning off major steam by throwing axes at targets as accurately as you can.

Why go? Because axe wielding is hardcore Canadian—not to mention an utter blast. Get your buddies together and head to Rage Axe Throwing, where you’ll be invited to embrace your inner lumberjack and chuck sharp objects at wood targets. During the 60-minute experience you can try different types of axes, hatchets, knives and lances, and learn important techniques between all the laughs. 

Don’t miss: A stop into the nearby Bar Renard, especially if all that violent exertion made you crave a little calm and class.


What is it? The utmost in relaxation a hop, skip and a jump away from Circuit Jacques-Villeneuve.

Why go? Strøm Spa on Nun’s Island is among the city’s most beautiful spas, with one killer water circuit. Treat yourself to the Discovery – Absolute package and get a 60-minute massage, access to the water treatments, and a meal and glass of wine at their inhouse restaurant. That’s enough for an intense half-day detox session post-race. 

Don’t miss: The chance to take a moment of silence on a lounge chair in the outdoor chillout zone with a panoramic view of Lac des Battures.


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