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traveling_gal Montreal - A travel report by Michelle
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Montreal,  Canada - flag Canada -  Quebec
2039 readers

traveling_gal's travel reports

Montreal - La ville pour tous !

  13 votes
Montréal is a city that offers a bit for everyone - museums, parks, architecture, cafés, outdoors activities, history, culture, shopping, great food... It simply can't be beat.


The Hôtel de Ville
The Hôtel de Ville
Montréal is probably one of the most interesting cities that I have visited. It is an eclectic mix of old and new, a city that offers much to see and do but yet does not feel hurried, and a richness of culture and diversity that is reflected in its' architecture and neighborhoods.

Favourite spots:
The Basilique de Notre Dame
The Basilique de Notre Dame
It is always a bit difficult to choose a destination to visit, let alone to decide what things to see once you get there! It is even more difficult to pinpoint the best spots to recommend to others. Of course, if money or time were not an object, it would be much easier. With all of that having been said, there are three spots that a visitor to Montreal should not miss ! The first is Vieux Montreal, or old montreal, which is an absolutely charming historic district that feels much like Europe with its' cobblestoned streets, sidewalk cafés, and architectural delights such as the Hôtel de Ville and the Marché BonSecours. Adjacent to Vieux Montreal is the Basilique de Notre Dame de Montréal, which is the largest church in North America with one of the most breathtaking interiors that I have ever seen. Finally, there is Mont Royal - a small mountain of about 230 meters (half park and half cemetery) that offers miles of trails, bike paths, and an unobstructed view of the city.

What's really great:
Vieux Montreal
Vieux Montreal
Let me simply say that it is difficult not to fall in love this city. It is uniquely different from any other city I have been to. It does not entirely feel European nor North American. It lies somewhere between the two - at the intersection of historicalness and modernity.

Sights:
Chinese Garden
Chinese Garden
No one should leave Montreal without paying a visit to the Jardin Botanique - tickets are generally 25.50$ and this includes entrance to three different locations. Mine was for the botanical garden, the insectarium and the Tower of Montreal. Although many people choose to go to the Biodome instead of the tower or insectarium. The price initially seems steep, until you realize that it takes more than a day to see all of these things. The gardens alone take several hours. Also, students (from any country with a valid ID) get a discounted rate of 19.25$. The gardens are beautiful - especially the authentic Chinese garden. The Tower of Montreal, which is attached to the Olympic Stadium and biodome, offers a 180 degree view of the city - and on a clear day one can see the mountains which lie far beyond the city.

Accommodations:
The Olympic Stadium, Biodome, and Tower of Montreal.
The Olympic Stadium, Biodome, and Tower of Montreal.
There are many different accommodation options in Montréal from quaint bed and breakfast inns, to high-rise luxury hotels, to hostels for budget travellers. I decided to stay at a bed and breakfast that I had discovered on the internet, called B&B Overseas. It was a lovely place run by a delightful chinese woman. I chose this particular accommodation for its' affordable prices (69$canadian per night for the high season), free parking, full breakfast each day, and close location to the (Vendôme) metro station. Although perhaps not as modern as some of the other B&B's in the area, it was clean, safe, and absolutely charming! I would recommend this accommodation just for for the hospitality of the owner alone. She extremely personable and makes every effort to ensure that everyone's stay is enjoyable - she also has tons of stories that she likes to share with her guests!

http://www.bboverseas.com/

Nightlife:
La maison du Jazz
La maison du Jazz
For those interested in Jazz, I would definitely recommend La Maison du Jazz (The House of Jazz), for its' décor and entertainment alike. There is a 5$ cover charge per person, which is added to the drink and/or dinner bill at the end of the evening, but it is well worth it. If you show up early enough, you will most likely hear the musicians perform at least two hour-long sets (maybe three on the weekends) before calling it a night. In addition to a full wine list, they also serve food and other beverages. The décor and the atmosphere is quite unique - it definitely brings one back in time to the 1940s.



La maison du jazz is located at 2060 rue Aylmer, and is very easy to get to using the Metro. For more information, visit: http://www.houseofjazz.ca/.

Restaurants:
Street cafe
Street cafe
The great thing about this city is that even if you initially have no idea where you would like to eat, it is extremely easy to come upon a dozen or so restaurants just by walking around different neighborhoods. I have two favorite restaurants that I would recommend for traditional Montréal cuisine: Briskets Montréal (www.briskets.ca), which serves briskets, as well as other meat sandwiches, and poutines – a signature Québecoise dish of fries covered in a type of gravy sauce and melted cheese. Very affordable – at only a little over 20$ (tip included) for two people. The other restaurant I would recommend is Montréal Poutine, a little whole-in- the wall place, which, if I remember correctly, is on Rue Saint Paul in Vieux Montreal. They advertise seating on both the terrace and in the (secret) garden, which is lovely. I absolutely recommend the chicken and brie sandwich (with caramelized apples) - the best chicken sandwich I have ever eaten!

Other recommendations:
View of the city from the Chalet Mont Royal lookout.
View of the city from the Chalet Mont Royal lookout.
I wanted to mention a bit more about Mont Royal. For those not willing to climb the stairs or trails to the top of the mountain, the 11 Bus travels along the only autoroute, and if you get off at the Cimetière Mont-Royal and take the path to the left, it will eventually lead to the Chalet Mont Royal and the main lookout onto the city - where the view, at any time of day, is phenomenal !



Of course no one should leave Montreal without visiting an ice cream shop (which seems to be one of the staples of the city), a bakery, a pastry/cheese shop and a coffee shop ! Also, the underground city is worth a visit.



Additionally, I would like to mention that for anyone traveling by the Metro, they offer both 3 day and week long passes, which end up being considerably cheaper than day passes or individual fares. For example, a 3 day pass is only 17$ per person for unlimited travel by metro and/or bus. I think this is definitely the easiest, and most affordable, way to get around the city.

Published on Sunday August 3th, 2008


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Thu, Sep 04 2008 - 09:59 AM rating by marianne

Good information and I love the photos, they give a very good impression of Montreal

Mon, Aug 25 2008 - 03:02 AM rating by terje

Thanks, you got me curious to learn more about Montreal

Mon, Aug 18 2008 - 02:39 PM rating by murrayskinner

I love Montreal as well. I go there on business regularly and live in Ottawa which is only 2 hours away by train or car.

Thu, Aug 14 2008 - 02:53 AM rating by krisek

Good information and nice snaps. Many thanks for sharing.

Mon, Aug 04 2008 - 03:54 PM rating by eirekay

The pictures are dazzling! Thanks for sharing!

Mon, Aug 04 2008 - 01:41 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Very pleasant read.

Mon, Aug 04 2008 - 03:34 AM rating by louis

Interesting report with good info provided. I like the photo from Mount Royal.

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