Souvenir Shopping Part 1, Montreal (Self Guided)

It would be a pity to leave Montreal without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Montreal, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 1
Guide Location: Canada » Montreal (See other walking tours in Montreal)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Author: Daniel
1
Bonsecours Market

1) Bonsecours Market

What to buy here: Artisan Jewelry.

Quebeckers have a long history of working with their hands, ever since the first settlements in the 17th century, whether they were carpenters, painters, cooks or jewelers. This heritage is still very strong today and results in beautiful local works of art, always made with love by expert artisans, and jewelry being the prevalent industry. With the ever growing popularity of certified Canadian diamonds, which are mined, cut and polished in the Northwest Territories of Canada, it’s only natural that this trend has inspired the artisan-jewelers of Montreal, offering a few hand-made and unique items. Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, there is certainly something perfect for a special someone – and nothing says “from Canada with love” like a certified diamond! The best place to get your hands on such coveted treasures is at the Bonsecours Market (350 Saint-Paul Street East, opening hours vary) in Old-Montreal, the local artisans’ Mecca. Obviously, these treasures come with a salty bill, but an exceptional piece of diamond jewelry is a priceless and timeless souvenir.
2
Les délices de l’érable

2) Les délices de l’érable

What to buy here: Maple Products.

A trip to Montreal would not be complete without some sort of maple souvenir. After all, the province of Quebec is by far the largest producer of maple syrup in the world, with about 75% of the global supply! Once you have grabbed a mandatory can of syrup (remember, the darker the syrup, the stronger the taste), make sure to take your taste buds a little further down the sweet path and explore the vast range of products available, such as maple butter, maple candy, maple tea, maple cones, maple liquor and even maple cookies! The prices vary according to the quality and origin, but expect to pay around $7 for a syrup can and $5 for other produces (excluding the liquor, which is around $25, available at authorized liquor stores like SAQ). While the peak maple season is in March-April, there is a small selection year-round in grocery stores and markets, but if you have to chance to visit the specialized boutique Les délices de l’érable in Old-Montreal, you are guaranteed a sweet time! The store is located at 84 Saint-Paul Street East.

Operation Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 7 pm; Friday - Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm; Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm;
3
Saint-Paul Street

3) Saint-Paul Street

What to buy here: Aboriginal handicraft.

First Nations and Indians are essential parts of the Canadian history, and their beautiful handicraft and art is very much coveted – the authentic pieces that is, not the generic stuff you can get in the tourist’s shops downtown. Their highly artistic culture dates back from several centuries, and has been passed on from generation to generation since then. There are many different items to choose from, but the most popular key pieces are the dream catchers, a web woven on a willow hoop, which varies in size and color and is often decorated with beads or feathers depending on the artist’s family beliefs. It was given to infants as a protective gift and hung over their bed to chase away the nightmares. While most of the dream catchers are sturdily made today, they were initially meant to dry out by the time the kid reached adulthood. The prices depend on the dream catcher’s size, of course, but expect to pay at least $15 for a small one in the specialized boutiques of Saint-Paul Street in Old-Montreal.
4
Varietes Notre-Dame

4) Varietes Notre-Dame

What to buy here: Canadian Coins.

Pretty much every country in the world has its own set of coins, each of which representing something significant in the country’s history and culture. Canada is no exception! Canadian coins are all different in sizes, metals and design, with the one notable exception of the heads side, which always represents the ruling British monarch. Have a look at the 1 cent maple leaf, the 5 cent beaver, the 10 cents boat, the 25 cents caribou, the $1 loon or the bi-metallic $2 polar bear, and choose your favorite lucky coin! Tourists take great pleasure in collecting them, and if you pay a visit to the local post office (locations and opening hours vary), you will be able to browse through the many special editions coins, like war anniversaries or Olympics, for example, as well as albums, coin sets and stock sheets, available in different styles and prices. Keep an eye out of the award-winning ones. It doesn't get more Canadian than a caribou or maple leaf coin!

Operation Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 am - 6 pm; Saturday: 12 pm - 5 pm;
5
Complexe Desjardins

5) Complexe Desjardins

On your trip to Montreal, pay a visit to the city’s downtown where you will find one of the best multifunctional buildings called Complexe Desjardins. Apart from many office buildings, this complex features a hotel and a shopping mall.

As this complex is close to some of the major tourist attractions in Montreal such as Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Quartier des Spectacles and Place des Arts, it is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Complexe Desjardins offers at least 200 public activities for free each year. Access to this complex is from Rene Levesque Boulevard, Jeanne Mance Street, Saint-Urbain Street and Saint Catherine Street.

Enter Complexe Desjardins and you will be impressed with its massive size. It is in fact known to be a city within a city with a coverage area of 4 million square feet. In Montreal Metropolitan area, this is the largest building with four majestic towers and houses many government and private offices.

Complexe Desjardins was constructed in 1976 and has many restaurants and shopping centers apart from the Hyatt Regency Montreal Hotel with its impressively large atrium. This complex has a total of 99 floors and three parking levels. Enjoy delicious food at one of the best food courts here.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
The Bay

6) The Bay

What to buy here: The Bay Point Blanket.

Not only is The Bay the most popular chain store throughout the country, it is also the oldest company in all of North America. While it may look like another generic department store, it has a strong Canadian identity and is not afraid to show it, with many typically Canadian products in store, including the famous memorabilia from the 2010 Winter Olympics. But one of the most coveted items is without a doubt the point blanket, a large wool quilt woven with four large colored striped on each end, representing The Bay’s color theme: red, blue, green and yellow. The blanket was traditionally south after by the First Nations in exchange for beaver pelts, and has now become a Canadian classic and a pricy collector’s item - although a regular quilt will cost around $260. What could be more representative of a Montreal visit than a warm quilt to snuggle yourself in on those chilly nights? Make sure to pay a visit to the Montreal branch of the chain, located at 585 Sainte-Catherine Street West (opened from 10AM to 7PM from Monday to Wednesday, from 10AM to 9PM on Thursday and Friday, and from 10AM to 6PM on the week-ends).

Walking Tours in Montreal, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Montreal

Create Your Own Walk in Montreal

Creating your own self-guided walk in Montreal is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping Part 3

Souvenir Shopping Part 3

Montreal is an exciting city that features all kinds of entertainment. And if you like shopping, here you can find some of the most beautiful and promising shops and markets. Take this walking tour for a unique shopping experience in Montreal.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Top Museums and Galleries Tour, Montreal

Top Museums and Galleries Tour, Montreal

Montreal is a wonderful city blessed with many examples of great French culture. Among them are Montreal's museums and galleries, which offer a diverse view of the local and international culture that flows through the city. Take this walking tour to explore the most exciting exhibitions of Montreal's museums.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Old Montreal Walking Tour

Old Montreal Walking Tour

Take a tour to discover the oldest district in Montreal. It features numerous unique houses dating back over 300 years, museums, art galleries and a great choice of fine restaurants and cafés. Here you'll also find two of the most popular churches in Montreal - the Basilique de Notre Dame and the Chapelle de Notre Dame de Bon-Secours. Enjoy exploring the highlights of Old Montreal.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Montreal is an old, yet at the same time, modern metropolis, flagship of Canada's Quebec. Sitting on an island in the Saint Lawrence River with Mt. Royal (to which the city owes its name) at its center, Montreal represents a blend of architectural moods, from French colonial to bohemian, and a wealth of cultural trends and notable attractions – historic buildings, parks, museums, galleries...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Famous Architecture Walking Tour in Montreal

Famous Architecture Walking Tour in Montreal

Montreal is an old, but a very modern city. The architectural sights provide ample opportunities for exploration. Modern buildings are situated right next to some of the oldest and most fascinating structures. Take this walking tour to discover the most famous architecture Montreal has to offer.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Montreal without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Montreal, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Montreal Souvenirs: 15 Trip Mementos to Bring Home

Montreal Souvenirs: 15 Trip Mementos to Bring Home

The outpost of Frenchness in North America (and the world's 2nd largest francophone city after Paris), Montreal is the meeting point of the New and Old World styles, the collision of the French, English and Aboriginal cultures. The historical and ethnic uniqueness of the city is seen throughout...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Montreal for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Montreal has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Montreal, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.