Montreal was never even on my radar as a vacation hot spot until about 3 months ago when I was spending a few hours doing my favorite activity: searching for cheap flights on kayak.com. Quick google search and I saw that Montreal is a beautiful AND budget friendly place to visit. SOLD.
Getting there was not too painful, we did have one layover, but I think the whole entire flying time was only 4 hours. We almost missed our flight from DFW because we were tired and it was early and we were just being stupid. Once you get to Montreal, get cash out immediately. I was surprised how almost everywhere we went only took cash or Canadian debit cards. The good news: the US dollar is very strong against the Canadian dollar so everything is extremely affordable.
We stayed in an AirBnb which I highly recommend. There are a lot of hotels in Old Montreal, but if you are a young person wanting to stay in some place hopping, stay in The Mile End or LA Plateau-Mont-Royal like we did. These two areas are filled with restaurants, pubs, and just so much to do. Rent someone’s apartment and live like the locals. I wonder if locals stuff their face with pastries at the same rate I did?
Our first full day was spent frolicking in Old Montreal. The streets here are really beautiful and you get your straight up old stuff along with many museums, churches and or course, tourists. One thing I loved about Montreal as a whole was the amount of parks and green space. There is a beautiful park along the port in Old Montreal and we just sat and enjoyed the weather. And pastries. We enjoyed many pastries. I think my total croissant count reached 15. We took a free walking tour of Old Montreal to get some history in. For dinner we had rotisserie chicken at Romados. There are many rotisserie chicken places, but we listened to our hearts and Anthony Bourdain and went to Romados.
First thing in the morning we went to Jean-Talon market. We ate our way through the marketing sampling cheeses, fruit, pastries, and crepes. You could really spend hours here walking through all the stalls and marveling at all the fresh veggies and fruit. To work off all our sampling we tackled the mountain, Mont Royal. I was expecting an easy breezy hike, thus my outfit consisted of some cute little flats and a fun sweater. Oh boy was I wrong, so wrong. After walking up stairs for 15 minutes I was very mad at Montreal for building such a large mountain. The view at the top was worth it at least. Nothing in Montreal can be built higher than the mountain so you get the best views up here. The walk down was much easier, although my shins were screaming the next day.
As a treat for our hard work hiking, we went to a Cat Cafe. I LOVE CATS. Is there anything better than drinking coffee while cute kittens play around you? NO! That is not even a real question. For dinner we had a classic, Schwartz’s Deli. Smoked meat is gooooooood.
We took it easy this day on our feet, but not our bellies. We did a small bakery tour starting at St-Viateur bagels, pastries at Hof Kelsten (best croissants right here), and finished off with a Wilensky’s specail at Wilenksy’s.
Quick nap after all the eating and then drinking! We took a pub tour in the Latin Quarter district and spent the afternoon sampling beers and learning some local history. As if we hadn’t consumed enough food and drink, after the pub tour we headed to THE place to get poutine, Poutine La Banquise. I had hot dogs in my poutine and it was wonderful and disgusting all at the same time.
After an 8 hour food coma, it was time to leave the wonderful Montreal! Montreal ended up being one of my favorite places to visit and now i’m super excited to explore some other parts of Quebec and Canada as a whole!