When I last visited Montreal some ten plus years ago, I was mesmerized by the city, this time, not so much. I suppose in the past ten years I’ve seen more, grown more, and thus wasn’t as smitten this time around. The amount of construction taking place in Montreal this time of the year may attribute to the fact I wasn’t blown away by the city’s beauty aside from Old Montreal which has elements of Paris.
Montreal to me is a smaller, cleaner, and more liberal version of New York City where there is something for everyone, yes, let your imagination run wild. Being that I am a foodie, perhaps I was expecting just that, New York City, a plethora of restaurants to choose from with every cuisine imaginable, but to my dismay this wasn’t quite the case in Montreal. In Montreal, there aren’t a wide variety of restaurants, but rather tons of French restaurants to choose from, sorta like Paris, understandably so.
Speaking of French, there is a widespread French influence in Montreal and you’ll find that most folks speak both French and English. As I came face to face with a local, I was initially greeted with a Bonjour or Bonsoir, as opposed to Hello or Hi, but when I proceeded to speak in English, they responded back in an American accent, or shall I say a Canadian accent, same difference. It is refreshing to experience a place where both the French and American cultures come together as one, or as we refer to as French Canadian.
Montreal is a great pick for a quick weekend getaway for those living on the east coast, however if you’re used to New York City in terms of cuisines, restaurants, variety, and all the hustle and bustle, Montreal may not be your cup of tea. On the contrary, if New York City is too much to handle and overwhelming to you, Montreal may just be the perfect destination for you, one that offers a little bit of tranquility and a little bit of craziness.
3 to 4 nights max
Rue Saint Catherine – shopping district
Rue Saint Laurent – nightlife & red light district at the intersection of Saint Catherine
Rue Saint Denis – dining, bars, & nightlife, has Manhattan’s West Village feel to it
Rue Saint Crescent – dining & nightlife, vibrant and a slightly upscale area
Rue Notre Dame – famous street in Old Montreal and home to the Notre Dame Basilica
Place Jacques Cartier – a beautiful square in Old Montreal with lots of French cafes & restaurants
Here is my photo diary of my 3 night Montreal getaway…
My very first cup of cappuccino at The Mon Café. LOVE this nail polish color.
In Old Montreal walking on Rue Notre Dame where you’ll see horse and buggy.
And of course, the Notre Dame Basilica… this is a bad picture, my husband was rushing me.
First night out, a room pose at our lovely boutique hotel – Le St-Martin (details coming soon).
Surprisingly there was an International Jazz Festival in Montreal at the time we visited.
Lots of bars and restaurants on Rue Saint Denis which has Manhattan’s West Village feel to it. Such a pretty street.
Beautiful shot of a random girl riding her bike also on Rue Saint Denis.
Me enjoying my first glass of wine at some random bar, the weather made my hair frizzy. 🙁
Rue Saint Crescent, the prettiest and liveliest street in my opinion, my favorite.
See what I mean… love the array of colors.
I just had to take a picture on Rue Saint Crescent.
Great selection of baked goods at the famed Olive et Gourmando.
Walking near the Old Port in Old Montreal, has a very French look and feel.
The Saint Lawrence River looks so deep.
Place Jacques Cartier, a square in Old Montreal surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
A band playing Native American music.
My favorite corner at Jacques Cartier square.
A famous and beautiful restaurant, Jardin Nelson, but unfortunately I didn’t dine here since the menu was "too French" for me.
Posing outside our hotel… the flowery top reminds me of the flowers in Old Montreal.
My husband ditched me so I could go on a 2 hour shopping spree all by myself on Rue Saint Catherine. Love Mango!
Croissants for breakfast, yum!
Last cup of cappuccino at Suite 88 Chocolatier.
Due to flight cancellations and delays, we rented a car and drove home. It was a lonngggggggggggggggg 7 hour journey, but I got to see the US/Canada Border Control for the very first time. Sucha moment!
Woohoo! Another 6 hours to go!
Driving thru I-87 South... very scenic.
More coming on Montreal… meals and lodging! Stay tuned!
TELL ME: Have you been to Montreal? If so, do you love the city or was it just okay for you? What are some of your favorite sights or things to do?
Wow wow wow... No words to say.. U just brought the place in my eyes.... Just love ur snap near the flowes outside the hotel... Nice clicks
Thanks Akila.. that's so sweet of you to say, must be the new camera I was testing. I love that picture too, funny how the flowers worked out. 🙂
I haven't been to Montreal in years but I really, really want to go back! It's been so long and the city looks so modern now.
Summers there are fantastic! I can't wait to check out your recommendations (although I'm also not a fan of restaurants that are "too French.)"
Ameena, I think you would really like Montreal, but I didn't think the food was amazing, I've gotten spoiled. The city is a combo of old and new. The weather was beautiful, especially at night. I should have put "too French" in quotes, where is Maya when you need help? LoL! Thanks!!!
One of my good blog friends lives in Montreal so I've been meaning to go visit! Sounds like so much fun (even if it's not NYC)
It's always nice to make blog friends and visit them in different cities, sucha great way to meet people. I know, I know, it's not NYC, but it's a smaller version with a LOT of French food. 🙂
BEAUTIFUL pictures! I've heard great things about Montreal and really want to visit. Also, where is that lacy black top from?? Super cute!
Thanks Parita! It is a nice city to visit, definitely worth doing and combine it with Quebec City to really make a trip out of it. The lacy black top is from Zara... I bought it early last year. I love it too... I'm sure you can find similar stuff now... lace is in! 🙂
Great pictures. You're making me want to go to Montreal now. You're really pretty, you have such great skin.
Thanks Ashley, Montreal is definitely worth visiting, it's a nice city. Thanks for the compliment... my skin goes thru phases, changes every week - hormones!!! 🙂
I've been wanting to go to Montreal!! Beautiful pics, Nisha!
Thanks Lauren.. since you eat EVERYTHING, you would love it. So French. 🙂
what a beautiful city and you look gorgeous :)I have never been to one yet but its good to know what to expect if I ever go there. I always enjoy reading about your trips.
Thanks Dixya.. you're so sweet. Montreal is a combination of NYC and Paris, Quebec City is more Parisian from what I've heard. Thanks.. I'm so glad you enjoy reading, I love sharing. I have to do so much research for every place I visit, and by sharing I believe I cut down all that work for my readers. 🙂
LOVED these photos and it was definitely a trip down memory lane! Visiting Montreal in 2010 was definitely one of my most memorable trips, despite it being February and ridiculously freezing! I can only imagine what the place is like in the summer. Suite 88 Chocolatier sure knows how to whip up a cappuccino- loving all that foam!
Thanks Khushboo.. it's nice to see photos of a place you've already visited. So I look forward to seeing your London pics. I can't even imagine how cold it must have been in Feb... it's a very very cold place to live in, I don't think I can move north of NYC. Definitely a must-do summertime. Yeah, I'll review Suite 88 soon. 🙂
Anne ~ Uni Homemaker says
Beautiful photos Honey. I'll have to make a trip up to Montreal soon! Love that photo of the US/Canada Border Control. Have a great week!
Thanks Anne. It's a nice city. I love that picture of the US/Canada border too.
Guru Uru says
You look so happy my friend, loved sharing your trip with you 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Haha.. I am a happy person, at least I try to be. 🙂
Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
Wow, thanks for sharing your lovely photos! I've always wanted to visit Montreal and loved living vicariously through this post!
Thanks Georgia.. it's a nice place to visit.. definitely a must-do. Glad you were able to live thru these pics, at least the pictures are good, right!
Natalie G says
I love Montreal! Did you eat some poutine and montreal smoked meat?
Natalie - I did not, wish I knew earlier. Didn't even know it was a popular Canadian dish. It's not over, next time, Quebec City! 🙂
Nik Sharma says
This is one of the cities, that I have been meaning to visit for a while. The photographs look amazing.
Nik - its definitely worth visiting once. Thanks!
Wish I could visit Montreal soon. Gorgeous clicks and yes I love that nail polish color!
Haha.. I love the nailpolish color too.. so feminine.
Sebeena Loyd says
came here from Asha's blog. loved your pics.
Thanks Sebeena... glad you enjoyed them. 🙂
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Gorgeous you and gorgeous photos! We almost made a road-trip all the way from Florida to Montreal. Someday, we hope to cross that in our list of places to visit 🙂
Awww.. thanks Kiran! OMG.. Florida to Montreal... nooooooooo! I couldn't even handle a 7 hour drive... I would go crazy. Definitely worth a visit, but fly. 🙂
Amelia Grace says
I have never been to Montreal, but it looks beautiful. Its nice to see more pics of you there, it looks like you enjoyed a lot.
Also I really like your nail polish!!
It is a pretty place, a very very very mini Paris, at least Old Montreal. Thanks... I am starting to share pics of myself when I travel, I think it's easier for people to connect. Thanks... I'm a nail polish junkie.
Looked like such a great experience and trip from your pics and description. I definitely, would like to try Montreal after reading your blog JC
Thanks JC! I hope you do... at least once. 🙂
I've never been but it looks like it'd be a lot of fun!
Thanks Hanna.. it's a city to visit at least once, it's very French which is nice to have in North America.
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