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
First night out, a room pose at our lovely boutique hotel – Le St-Martin (details coming soon).
Great selection of baked goods at the famed Olive et Gourmando.
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.
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?