From the architecture to the food Montreal is truly great! I absolutely loved my time there, and wish I could have stayed longer. Truth be told I’d been to Montreal when I was younger, but to be honest my memory was a little hazy.
I traveled to Quebec City, and Montreal in the same week, so often times I would confuse the two, as I’d not remember which place I did what. It was funny though because it didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d been to some of these places before, and it instantly brought back so many memories. I will add though traveling to Montreal as a grown up, and not on a supervised school trip IS WAY MORE FUN!
From where to eat, and shop, and what to do here are some of my highlights from my recent trip to Montreal. May or may not include over sharing.
WHERE TO EAT
It doesn’t matter where I travel I always make sure to try the pizza, and not just like the every day run of mill pizza I want the good stuff. Like the wood or coal fired oven pizza you know the kind that has leoparding along the edges? Well blog reader let me tell you Bevo
delivered on all fronts, not only can you eat outside in the picturesque Old Montreal (and not freeze to death like you would in Halifax), but the pizza is like amaze balls good! I absolutely loved it, and my only regret was that I couldn’t eat the whole pizza.
BURGER BAR CRESCENT
While we were touring around Montreal on Monday we got caught in some major thunder and lightning, and then some torrential rain fall. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. So here we are cold, hungry and about to get completely soaked so we ducked into Burger Bar Crescent
, and it was SO good. I ordered the Mr Personality and added American cheese (duh), and it was heavenly! With a fresh and delicious tomato among a bed of greens this burger was delish! And the fries? UGH so good honestly people they were super yum! Like chip truck yum. Also you can order what I can only assume is a poutine burger (as I eves dropped on our neighbors) it looks like there’s an extremely cleverly stacked poutine between a bun (and I think an egg); you’re going to have to scope it out for me lol because I kind of got busted for staring (story of my life btw).
I’m also pretty sure there was a famous comedian sitting next to us, but I didn’t really realize until he left, so I didn’t get the best look at him.
You can’t go to Montreal without trying the smoked meat. Unless of course you’re a vegan then of course by all means sit this one out. But for all you meat eaters you should probably check out Reubens
, and if you go shopping it’s conveniently RIGHT THERE after you get your cardio in (of course).
BISTRO LE BOULEVARD
Usually hotel breakfasts are pretty sketchy at best, but the breakfast at the Bistro Le Boulevard
at the Sheraton Centre was actually pretty great. It was certainly more food than I could consume, and the coffee, and OJ were ever flowing. For an extra 20$ you can upgrade your room to include breakfast for two, and a king size bed. I mean you’d pay about that for breakfast if you went out somewhere anyway, so it’s kind of like the massive bed is FREE. Major win, and I’d totally recommend. The American Breakfast package includes a variety of choices from pancakes to traditional eggs, bacon, toast, and home fries to pastries and fruit. Definitely worth it when you’re spending the day clocking 17 kilometers touring around this beautiful city.
WHERE TO SHOP
RUE – ST- CATHERINE
If you want to do some shopping Rue St Catherine is for sure your prime location. With the Eaton Centre
, the largest Underground City (a series of half a dozen malls connected by tunnels, the metro, and food courts. Each mall has an interesting piece of art, fountain, or central meeting area, and probably the coolest thing EVER) there’s certainly no shortage of shops to explore, and drop some cash flow.
WHAT TO DO
BIODOME, BOTANICAL GARDENS, PLANETARIUM
Probably one of my favorite memories from visiting Montreal when I was younger was the biodome! The indoor rainforest, and the planetarium is probably the COOLEST things ever, and it’s so tricky to explain it to you because you just need to go and see it for yourself.
There are so many cool animals, and I absolutely love that the animals in the rainforest can move freely and interact with each other. From birds flying around to a beaver munching on his lunch this is a totally cool spot. Also they have penguins so I mean how do you beat that? They are so funny I actually stood and watched them for an extremely long time. I think I really could have spent the day with those little guys! One of them was sleeping standing up, and they were all standing in a line (for what reason I have no idea). There were so many things going on in there between all the different penguins that you could tell that they had their own little community.
The planetarium was also pretty neat, and kind of felt like an amusement ride. The graphics on the dome are seriously cool, and it really feels like you’re traveling through space (think imax, but on a sphere all around you). It’s extremely educational, but also a really neat experience. I also like the Pluto presentation, and seeing the images that were just captured a couple weeks ago. I love that I’d been to the Biodome when I was little, but clearly going back you get to learn something new every day because they stay so up to date.
I had a blast touring around all the different sections of the Escape Pour la Vie. If you lived in Montreal or you were staying there longer you could absolutely do the sections separately and make a great afternoon out of it, and it would be really fun. Also the subway is super easy to navigate and takes you directly to the Biodome.
But because I’m ever the power tourist I did it all in one day, and the day I arrived, AND in 40 degree weather (IN PANTS). Yeah I know you’re probably thinking she’s crazy what was she thinking?, and I’m here to tell you I 100% wasn’t! It was hotter than a mother… *insert bad word* because that was the level we were at lol Only swear words could accurately describe how hot it was, and how profusely I was sweating. It quite literally looked like I took a shower with my clothes on after touring the gardens (that might be an over share oops sorry), but it was totally worth it (even if I lost my metro pass) because they are stunning, and definitely a must see while you’re in Montreal.
The food at the Biodome was pretty great too! I have no idea why my veggie sandwich bread was red, but was DEEEEELISH! And also the coffee was probably the best I had in a while. I think I might have went back for a second…. might have…. maybe.
JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL
Okay seriously you need to plan your visit to Montreal around this festival it’s SO SO amazing, and there are SO many great talents all piled into a bunch of shows that you’re going to want to go again and again! I had the pleasure of catching the Norm MacDonald show, and man was it laugh out loud funny; I was seriously dying the entire time my face hurt when I left.
EXPLORE VIEUX MONTREAL
If you want to get a great feel for Montreal you’re going to want to explore Old Montreal. The architecture alone is worth the trek through the cobble stone streets (although do watch your step and your ankles). Feel free to enjoy some poutine or some ice cream there’s plenty of spots nearby for you to have both.
In the summer it’s really fun because there’s a plethora of street vendors, and performers so there’s no shortage of entertainment or shopping. Also feel free to grab a drink al fresco at one of the many outdoor patios, and if you go early you can enjoy discounted drinks during “happy hour”.
DOWNLOAD THE “SO MONTREAL” APP
Usually I’m not one for these kinds of things I can hardly use Yelp for cripes sake, but when these guys reached out to me on my social media I had to check it out. I’m happy to report that I actually LOVE it. It’s super easy and you can choose whether you’re traveling alone (major win), and what types of activities you want to do. Seriously cool idea, and very well executed, as it connected to maps so you can find your way.
HORST EXHIBIT AT THE MCCORD MUSEUM
I actually didn’t make it to the Horst Exhibit at McCord, but if you’re going to be in Montreal and you’re into fashion, and photography I would strongly urge that you do. I really wish I’d made it, but my schedule was just too darn packed, so it one of the things that dropped off the list.
CLIMB MOUNT ROYAL
There is no better view of the city, but please heed this warning: if it’s 40 degrees outside, and the humidly is at like 98% this might not be your best life choice. I promise you the view from the top is worth the reward, but you might wanna dress appropriately, follow the map (rather than winging it), and you might want to bring some water. These were all lessons I painfully learned 🙂
Nahhhhhh just kidding it wasn’t that bad, but I have come to find out that my body has two temperatures, and neither of them are comfortable. I am either hot or cold, there appears to be no in between which makes trecks like this one a teensy bit problematic. Much like my experience with the botanical gardens it was one of those I looked like I took a shower with my clothes on kind of moments luckily this time I was wearing shorts and not a long sleeve shirt and PANTS! The selfie taken above with the black sunnies, and the stripped tank dress was after climbing all. those. stairs. I think my health app told me I walked 17 km that day 🙂 which is a pretty decent sprint, and it felt pretty great to get to the top, and look out on the city. It’s such a beautiful view you just have to do it 🙂 Here’s a serious question for you: why didn’t I have a hair elastic with me though
Again I didn’t get a chance to do this, but I will 100% the next time I’m in Montreal. I’d gone jet boating in the past, and it’s honestly SO much fun. Just be prepared to get soaked, and to have a lot of laughs because both are 100% guaranteed. For more info go here > jetboating montreal
So these are my highlights, and tips for Montreal blog reader! If you have
any questions please do not hesitate to comment below, or touch base on
one of my social media accounts (@shortpresents) I’m happy to give you a
hand should you be planning a trip! Stay tuned for next week when I chat about Toronto while also doing some giveaways for my birthday!
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What to know what I’m up to next? Be sure to follow along with me on my social media accounts @shortpresents!
x Short Presents