I visited Montreal this summer and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful city with a very European feel to it. If you enjoy beautiful architecture, museums and good coffee then Montreal is the place for you.
Montreal is primarily a french speaking county with English as their second language, which is what makes this city very charming and interesting. Certain places have 2 names – the French name and the English name. So keep that in mind while planning your itinerary. If you are visiting from the States, I would highly recommend doing the currency exchange in Canada itself. Also, the rates in the city are much better than that at the airport.
We used public transportation the entire time we were in Montreal. The 3 day train pass costs $17 per person and can be brought at any train station, the 3 day museum pass costs $45 and the 3 day museum pass with public transportation costs $60. We went with the third option as it’s totally worth it. Even if you decide to visit more than 2 or 3 museums, it’s worth the price. The best way to get around Montreal is to use trains. You can order the museum + transit pass online via any website (such as Expedia) and they can either mail it to you or send it to your hotel. We decided to pick up our pass from the Museum of Fine Arts once we reached Montreal. You can take the 747 bus to get from the Airport to downtown Montreal. It has a great frequency and costs about $10 one way. You can buy the tickets from the kiosk at the airport. Much more cost-effective than taking a taxi. Another interesting fact is that they announce the names of the stations in french in the trains. So pay attention to the map when trying to get from one point to another.
Alight, so once you are done arranging for your pass and you’ve reached your hotel, follow my guide below for details on which places you can visit in the city. I have divided this post into three sections for the days we were in Montreal.
1) St Catherine Street
Start your day off by getting some coffee and breakfast on St.Catherine street. It is full of sandwich and coffee shops and also currency exchange centers. Get all that done first and then start exploring around.
2) Museum of Fine Arts
One of the most popular ones in the area.
3) Mc Grill University
This is at walking distance from the Museum of Fine Arts. Beautiful university to walk around. Grab a cup of coffee from the Second Cup cafe in front of the university and go walk around and take some pictures.
4) Place Jacques Cartier
I love this place. It’s a small street and connected to Old Montreal at the end of the street. It’s full of restaurants and live bands, street performers, tattoo artists etc. You got to have dinner here. Highly recommend the Pizza and Sangria at Terrasses Chauffees.
1) Notre Dame Basilica
This is a beautiful church with great photo opportunities both inside and outside. They have a pretty fountain outside the church and a bunch of horse carriages (if you’re in the mood for that venetian ride around town). Also, they have tours for the church every hour both in French and English. I would recommend going with the tour if you are interested in learning more about it.
2) Pointe-a-Callibre Museum
Great archeological museum, you can read about the history of Montreal here. The entire museum is built on top of remains from the old city. There are some great cafe’s on the street outside this museum if you get hungry.
3) Museum of Contemporary Art
2) Old Montreal
This was my favorite place in all of Montreal. Its beautifully charming with pebbled streets, restaurants, art galleries, gelato shops and a lot of picturesque spots. You can easily spend a couple of hours here and then visit the port of Montreal or go back to your hotel and relax before you head to a bar or club at night. Montreal has a very happening nightlife, so you definitely want to plan that during your trip.
3) Latin Quarter
Grab dinner here. Good restaurants and nice street to walk around.
1) Olympic Park
Must visit. We couldn’t go inside during our visit as they were cleaning up for a show.
3) Montreal Biosphere
Habitat for animals. Nice to visit if you end up going to the area around the Olympic park.
4) Biodome de Montreal
Very different. Lot of things to do inside including a 4D movie.
5) Mount Royal
Gorgeous views of the city. We took a bus from La Plateau to go up here.
5) Le Plateau and Denis Street
Get back from Mount Royal and walk around in this very cool hipster neighborhood. Love all the graffiti on this street. End your day by getting dinner somewhere on Denis Street.
Hope you enjoyed my post. If you plan to visit Montreal and have any questions, do let me know in the comments section.