Montreal: The Complete Travel Guide
Montreal Vacation Ideas | Things to do in Montreal
Last Updated September 5th, 2020
Introducing the City of Montreal
Montreal has a reputation as one of the liveliest cities of Canada and also its second largest. Once there used to be a great divide between (literally, the boulevard St-Laurent) separating the French and Anglo sections of the population, but that’s a thing of the past.
Today Montreal is bilingual and multi-ethnic with populations of Scottish, Haitian, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Jewish, Arabic immigrants among others.
It has a vibrant art and indie rock music scene, swank French-Canadian eateries and a Parisian air of decadence that runs through the city.
It is the main point of entry to the province of Quebec, and offers plenty of urban and natural delights, besides opening up the beautiful surrounding forests, lakes and villages to tourists.
General information and over-view
The province of Québec is primarily a French society thanks to its language and its culture. In 1974, the National Assembly (Québec’s parliament) proclaimed French to be the official language of Québec .
The population is 83% francophone, while 11% of Québecers speak English in the home and 6% another language, i.e. Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Vietnamese or Portuguese.
More than 40% of Québec’s population is bilingual, i.e. speaks French and English. In Montréal, where this percentage is 64%, a full 16% of the population also knows a third language.
Located at the north-eastern tip of the North American continent, Québec covers an immense territory. Its 1,667,926-km 2 (643,990-sq. mi.) surface is equivalent to three times the size of France, five times the size of Japan, twice the size of Texas and seven times the size of the United Kingdom, making it Canada’s largest province .
Québec’s majestic St. Lawrence River is bordered by the Canadian Shield to the north and the Appalachian mountains to the south. Its vast forests shelter more than a million lakes and rivers.Further north, the deciduous forest makes way for the coniferous forest of the taiga, followed by the shrubs and lichens of the tundra.
Québec City, the province’s capital, is perched atop Cap Diamant, from where it overlooks the St. Lawrence. The cradle of French civilization in North America and the only fortified city north of Mexico, Québec City has been on UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List since 1985.
The province’s metropolis, Montréal, is the second-biggest French-speaking city in the world and boasts the largest inland port on the planet. Its architecture combines North American modernity with European charm. Extremely cosmopolitan , it has its own Little Italy, Latin Quarter, Chinatown and Gay Village.
About the City
Montreal Vacation Rental Solutions pic.twitter.com/0M4lbUFuAp
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) May 16, 2019
Population : city of Montreal 1.78 million (2017)
( The Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) has a population of 4.06 million )
What currency does Canada use? How do I get the most for my money?
Canada uses the Canadian dollar. At the time of publishing, the Canadian dollar is worth about less than the US dollar. Currency converters are easy to find online. One can be found at the Bank of Canada website.
You’ll get the most for your money if you use a debit card or credit card for purchases. Use an ATM in Canada if you need cash. Avoid exchanging money at the border or your hometown bank. The exchange rate will be worse, there may be fees, and your money won’t go as far.
There’s sometimes a one percent foreign conversion charge for ATM withdrawals or credit card purchases, but it’s still better than other options. Check with your bank or credit company before traveling so there’s no surprises.
Sales Tax: Canada levies a 5 percent Goods and Service Tax. Quebec’s provincial sales tax is 9.975 percent on goods and services.
The Montreal area hotel room occupancy tax is 3.5 percent per night
Whom to Call
What is the weather like in Montreal?
Montreal has a similar climate to New York City. It has four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and can be humid. Officially the average summer high is about 79 degrees, but I’ve been there a few times when the temperature was above 90. Winter is very cold, windy, and snowy. Spring and Fall are the most pleasant.
Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital ( Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont ) (514) 252-3400
Montreal General Hospital ( Hopital General De Montreal ) (514) 934-1934
St Mary’s Hospital Center ( Centre Hopitalier De St Mary ) (514) 345-3511
Others: ( 514 ) 890- 8000
Notre-Dame Hospital ( Hopital Notre-Dame Hospital )
St Luke’s Hospital ( Hopital Saint-Luc )
Tourisme Quebec, Centre Infotouiste Montreal: 1255 rue Peel, Suite 100, Montreal Quebec, Canada H3B 4V4.
Phone (514) 844-5400, or (877) 266-5687 ( in Canada )
Other centers ( Walk in centers )
1001 Rue de Square-Dorchester, ( between rues Peel and Melcalfe, and
174 rue Notre-Dame Est , Place Jacques-Cartier (Old Montreal )
Plan Your Trip: Getting in and Around
- By plane: Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport is about an hour from the city center. Most major US and Canadian airlines serve the airport. There are several daily trans-Atlantic flights to major European cities. The STM (Société de transport de Montréal) Airport Express Bus will shuttle you down to the city from the airport 24/7.
Taxi: How much is a taxi from Montreal airport to downtown?
The average cost is about Canadian $45.00
How much is an Uber from Montreal airport to downtown?
The average cost is about Canadian $25.00
- By car: If you’re driving in, you’ll find the city is about 6 hours from Toronto, 2 hours from Ottawa, 3 hours from Quebec City, about 7 hours from New York City and 5 hours from Boston.
- By train: VIA Rail Canada operates trains from all major northern cities including Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, and New Brunswick to Montreal Central Station, near the University. Amtrak operates its ‘Adirondack’ train service to New York daily with several connections along the way.
- By bus: A great system of bus services exists between Montreal and New York, Quebec, Ontario, Maine and Vermont. Service providers include Megabus, Voyageur, Adirondack Trailways, Greyhound Canada and Coach Canada to name a few.
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport ( formely Montreal Dorval International Airport ) is the main Canadian airport east of the North American Great Lakes,serving the provinces of Quebec, Atlantic Canada as well as eastern Ontario and northern New England.
Its international travel code is YUL.
Which is the best airport to fly into Montreal?
Do I have to go through customs for a connecting flight in Montreal?
How early do I need to be at the Montreal airport?
Where can you fly direct from Montreal?
Does Southwest fly out of Montreal?
Is it easy to get around Montreal?
You won’t need a car in the city. It has good public transportation with an extensive Metro (subway) system, buses, and taxis. Of course walking is always a great way to explore too. If you don’t even want to drive into the city, you can stay across the river in Longueuil and take the metro into Montreal. There are several reasonably priced hotels there with a metro station right in the middle of them.
City buses and shuttles
Is there a shuttle from Montreal airport to downtown?
The STM (Société de transport de Montréal) operates as express bus ( 747) between the airport and downtown Montreal. This bus route uses dedicated low floor buses and operate 24 hours per day, 7 days a week
Is there a shuttle from Montreal airport to downtown?
The trip between Montreal Trudeau International Airport and Gare d’autocars de Montreal above Berri-UQAM metro station takes approximately 35 minutes in off-peak hours. Stops are also planned at Lionel-Groulx metro station and along Rene-Levesque Boulevard downtown Montreal.
The 747 is free to use for holders of CAM and Tram monthly passes **(Exo is operating public transit services by train and bus, as well as specialized transit in the Montreal Metropolitan Community. The exo network consists of six train lines, 62 stations, some 237 bus lines, 52 taxibus routes, and 71 parking lots offering 27,500 parking spaces and 3,500 bicycle spaces) **, and for those with 1 day or 3 day tourist passes. Individual tickets valid for 24 hours across the entire STM network are also available, priced at $10 (exact change is required).
Tickets are sold at the airport through kiosks on the international arrival level.
The STM public transit service operates a regular bus route.
204 Cardinal (night service 356) that serves Montreal-Trudeau International Airport from the Dorval bus/train terminal. Furthermore, regular bus route 209 (night service 378) connects the Roxboro-Pierrefonds commuter train station to Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.
Adult one-way. $3.25 (exact change)
Montreal-Trudeau / Trois-Rivieres / Sainte-Foy / Quebec City
Orleans Express offers a return coach shuttle service between Montreal-Trudeau International Airport and the cities of Trois-Rivieres, SainteFoy and Quebec City. Tickets can be purchase at the ICE Currency Exchange counter located on the international arrivals level. There are several departures daily.
Getting around Town
It’s incredibly easy getting around Montreal on its green and cheap public transport. You don’t need a car around the city – the chairman of the public transit body doesn’t own one himself, nor do a third of the city’s households!
- By Subway:
The STM (Societe de Transport de Montreal) controls the bus and Metro (Montreal’s underground subway) services. Get the $6 OPUS card at any Metro station and you can simply fill it up and use it for your bus and Metro travel. If you’re not staying for too long, there are transfer passes you can buy or pay exact change on board a bus.
- By Bus:
Areas that don’t have Metro or bus coverage run taxibuses.
- By Train:
For longer distances, you can use the five AMT commuter train lines that cater to the North Shore and the South Shore.
- By Taxis:
Taxis can be hailed easily on most busy streets. Cabbies are friendly, though they may be aggressive drivers. Tipping is usually 15% or more, by cash. And remember that while most drivers will understand street names in English, some may not.
- By Bike:
Bikes are the best transport around the city’s central neighborhoods, and there are 660 km of cycling paths crisscrossing across the city. You can rent the popular Bixi bike for a flat fee of $7 for an entire day with some preconditions
- By Walking:
You can also walk around the packed Downtown, through the narrow, charming European streets of Old Montreal, or through the waterfront parks and exhibitions of the Old Port in summer.
Walking is one of the most popular ways to explore the busy Rue Sainte-Catherine and the pedestrian-only Rue Prince-Arthur and Montreal’s Chinatown. And climbing Mount Royal to look down on the city is one of the first things that most visitors to the city do.
What is there to do in Montreal right now?
Just north of Downtown is Mount Royal, the highest part of the city at 234 meters and also the greenest park. The Belvedere Kondiaronk lookout at the top will give you a stunning bird’s eye view of the North American skyline of Downtown Montreal and its river.
You can take the staircases up for the shortest climb, or leisurely walk up (or bike up) the 6.5km long Olmsted Road. The more athletic tourists can tackle Rue Peel up to the hill’s southern edge.
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Things to Do
What are the top attractions to visit in Montreal?
The majority of the city’s historic 17th and 18th century buildings and museums lie in Old Montreal. A visit to this part of town can transport you back to a vintage Europe. Grab a Tourist Office brochure for a walking route map, visit once by day and then once by night to see many of the buildings light up. There are museums and churches to be visited in Downtown as well.
You can head to Beaver Lake for picnic to reward yourself after a busy morning of sightseeing. Or get out to the neighborhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to take a look at the Olympic Stadium, the Biodome, the Botanical Gardens and the Insectarium.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could rollerblade along the canal at the Old Port along with the locals, or even river surf the St Lawrence River.
You can also take lessons at the Surf 66 Boardshop if you’ve never done this before. It is also possible to kayak or go rafting in the Lachine Rapids off Lasalle’s park in the south-west along the river.
If you’re in Montreal in winter, several of the city’s parks, including Parc du Mont Royal, offer groomed paths for cross-country skiing. There are also several year-round and winter skating rinks in the city, and a couple of free ones at Beaver Lake and Lafontaine Park.
Unique Things to do in Montreal
Heading to Montreal for a family vacation or girls getaway but not interested in the typical tourist itinerary? Montreal has a very unique culture – with its European-influence, bilingual politics and large-city feel. Want to actually experience the true flavours of Montreal?
Here is a list of activities to have you living like a local.
- 1. Jean Talon Market
- 2. The Tams on Mount Royal
- 3. The Lookout Workout
- 4. St-Denis Terraces
- 5. St Laurent Street Art
- 6. Piknic Electronik
- 7. Quartier des Spectacles
- 8. Montreal Bagels
- 9. Montreal Jazz Festival
- 10. Fête des Neiges
- 11. International Fireworks Competition
- 12. Le Mondial de la Biére
- 13. Montreal is known for its festivals
1. Jean Talon Market
Jean Talon Market is well known for its cheap, delicious, local foods. You can head over for lunch or coffee, and eat your way around the stalls, tasting fresh local produce. It runs all year long, with many indoor shops serving cheeses, meats and crêpes. Summer is the best time to go and taste the fresh fruit samples from the numerous outdoor stalls.
If you’re looking for a deliciously relaxed afternoon, you can put together a picnic! A great idea – search for all Quebec products and enjoy them in the nearby Jarry Park, a massive green space only a few blocks away. Grab some fruit, cheese and wine and go enjoy Montreal summer.
2. The Tams on Mount Royal
Every Sunday, the young and young-at-heart Montrealers head to ‘The Tams’. It is a major socializing opportunity, where everyone heads to the famous downtown park. There is a huge gathering around the Mount Royal statue (it is massive, you can’t miss it). There, you can relax, have a drink, listen to some amateur drumming, and even watch Medieval LARP combats (Live Action Role-Playing, in case you were wondering). Get ready to see the chillest and weirdest people of the city. The Tams fully encompasses what makes Montreal unique.
3. The Lookout Workout
At the top of Mount Royal, there is a spectacular view of the whole city. You get to see all of the skyscrapers and the mountains in the distance. You can head to the top of the mountain during all seasons. You can find your way by taking the winding walking/biking trail or a seemingly never-ending set of stairs. The walk is much easier in the summer. Don’t forget to bring water and a camera! Don’t worry, it is called a mountain, but resembles more of a hill – no hiking skills required.
4. St-Denis Terraces
A popular street for bars and restaurants, you can enjoy a drink on an outdoor terrace. Some of the bars are known for their enormous outside areas that are popular day and night. St-Denis is a great place to take a break, to just hang out or to start your night. There are plenty of food options open late.
5. St Laurent Street Art
St Laurent Street is known for its vintage shopping and popular smoked meat restaurants. During the summer, it is often closed to traffic for street-sales and celebrations. A unique aspect of Montreal had emerged over the past few years – amazing wall murals can now be found everywhere. Don’t just stick to the main street, walk around and discover local talent painted sky-high. The murals changes every year, so you’ll always have something new to explore.
6. Piknic Electronik
Every Sunday from May to September, there is an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) party on the island of Jean-Drapeau. It is accessible by Metro and the ticket is $11.50 for an entire day. If you love music festivals, then you’re in luck. Piknic Electronik is like having an outdoor festival every weekend of the summer. If you’re not into EDM, there are plenty of other activities on Jean-Drapeau Island including a beach and a casino.
7. Quartier des Spectacles
You can visit the Quartier des Spectacles basically any day of the summer and find something to do. This area is where events such as Just for Laughs, Jazz Fest, International Film Festival, Francofolie, etc are all centered. There are paid shows, but the best part of the Quartier is that all outdoor performances are totally free! Whether you choose to wander from stage-to-stage or dance up-front, you are bound to discover a new artist you love.
8. Montreal Bagels
You can’t visit Montreal without eating one of the famous bagels. No matter what you’ve heard elsewhere, these bagels just can’t be beat. You can head over to St. Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel to experience wood-fired oven sesame seed bagels. Make sure to get them smothered in cream cheese. You’ll fall in love. Don’t forget to buy a dozen (or two) to bring home with you.
9. Montreal Jazz Festival
For ten days every summer the sound of jazz fills the streets of Montreal, Canada. The music event has been held for over thirty years, commencing at the end of June. Several blocks of the city are closed to traffic and stages are erected in the streets and in parks. In 2004 the Montreal Jazz Festival (officially the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal) was crowned the Guinness World Record for world’s largest jazz festival.
According to montrealjazzfest dot com , “The Festival hosts some 30 countries, 3,000 musicians and public entertainers, 1,000 concerts and activities—two-third of which are free—, 15 concert halls, 8 outdoor stages and welcomes more than 2 million visitors, from noon to midnight!”.
I first stumbled onto the Jazzfest in 1997 by accident while stopping in Montreal on my way to a camping trip in Gaspé, Québec. I had been to Montreal once before, but had never heard of the festival. After almost giving up on finding a place to park, one appeared. Not knowing where to start my exploration, I heard music and decided to follow it.
What I found was several stages, free music, street food, lots of Labatt Blue, wine, and people in the streets having a great time. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend at the Montreal Jazz Festival that year, but went back three more times. Each time I had a unique and fun experience. Once I went with my family, one time was just my daughter and I, and another time was a boy’s trip.
The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal isn’t just for hardcore jazz aficionados. The first music I heard at the event was oldies in one of the parks. Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Prince, B.B. King, Wynton Marsalis, George Thorogood, Miles Davis, The B-52’s, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Sting have all played the Montreal Jazz Festival.
If for some reason you’re not entertained by the jazz fest, you’re sure to find something to do in the festive city of Montreal that surrounds you.
TIP: Make hotel/hostel reservations well ahead of time if you plan on staying in the city for jazz fest. Lodging fills up fast and gets expensive if you wait. There are some nice hotels across the river in Longueuil that I’ve found to be a little cheaper and still provide easy metro access to the festival.
10. Fête des Neiges
The Snow Festival is an event, held in January, celebrating all things Winter. Activities include ice canoe racing, ice skating, soap box racing down Saint Denis Street, igloo building, and lots more.
11. International Fireworks Competition
The largest competition of its kind, pyrotechnics from across the globe compete all through the month of July. The competition is held at La Ronde, but you’ll have a good view from Old Montreal.
12. Le Mondial de la Biére
Held in June at Place Bonaventure, sample 600 beers from over 135 breweries.
13. Montreal is known for its festivals
You can probably find something going on no matter when you plan on visiting.
A few more things to see in Montreal
- Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Casino de Montréal
- Montreal Botanical Gardens
- La Ronde Amusement Park
What kind of lodging is available in Montreal?
Montreal has hundreds of hotels, motels, hostels, vacation rentals and B&B’s from a simple place to sleep to first class luxury hotel costing hundreds per night. You’ll be able to find something to suit you no matter what you’re looking for. If you’re visiting the city during the summer months, especially July when there are lots of events going on, make your lodging reservations well in advance is highly recommended.
Pointe Claire Village: A small town appeal
Locate about 20 minutes drive west of downtown Montreal. This picturesque commercial stretch along Lakeshore boulevard has been affectionately named being part of the Montreal suburb on the west island called Pointe Claire. A quintessential stretch of restaurants, cafes and gift shops amid historic Victorian-style houses, this section attracts a lot of locals and outsiders alike.
Park the car! The Pointe Claire Village spans less than a mile or restaurants and shops and is a popular outing spot for all, a great place to mix and mingle with the locals. This uniquely quaint commercial stretch also boasts a boat launch (the boat club is right next door) as well as a small golf course where you can test your putting skills.
Your first stop at the bottom of Cartier street will be Wild Willie`s, a small cabin ice cream shop (This place deserves an article of it`s own). Serving a multitude of exotic flavours, this little place alone is a garden spot in the summertime for young and old alike, with traditional favourites like “monkey tail” (banana) and some newer treats like gummie bear ice cream.
For the adults, check out their “Guinness Beer” flavoured ice cream, and give Fido a treat with some milk bone ice cream (No, I am not kidding!). “You never know what we’re going to do next here at Wild Willies,” the owner once said to me.
Walking west on Lakeshore blvd (the “Main”), you’ll come to the Pioneer Bar, and that’s exactly what it looks like, nicely-styled like a ramshackle barn with regular bands performing blues and traditional ballards while you enjoy a pint.
Almost across the street is the les Moulins La Fayette pastry shop, tantalizing you with it`s tarts and artistic delicacies. It`s also a very cheery place to sit down and enjoy a coffee on a rainy day.
Moving a little bit west we come to Le Panier, with it`s large selection of novelties for the kitchen and home, including selections of spices and jams, as well as other gourmet foods and many household items as well. A relaxed, no-pressure environment, even as a guy I found it a relaxing and enjoyable place to browse.
The Deux Milles gift shop lists many gifts and house wares from overseas and Latin America. And don’t forget the clothing shops, ranging from women`s wear and bikinis to Celtic wear at the Kennedy Celtic Boutique.
For the shopper to the sportsman to the culinary connoisseur, this hotspot has a little something for everyone. Just a few minutes west on highway 20 and a left turn on Cartier and you`re there. Don’t forget to check out small town charm of the Pointe Claire village.
Hiking Mont St. Hilaire in Quebec
Hiking in Montreal is not, as I once had it, nonexistent. I had been spoiled from an early age by the seemingly endless etchings of trail that crisscross B.C.’s Rockies, shorelines, deserts and foothills.
Thus, I was instantly unimpressed upon landing in Montreal four years ago. I remember strolling up the twin-lane gravel road that loops up Mont Royal, thinking to myself “well, this is it!”
Like the plastic loaf-shaped mountains that click into The Game of Life game board, several humps jut conspicuously from the even plain surrounding Montreal. One of the better of these humps (I reserve the terms “peak” and “mountain” for pointier landforms) is Mont St. Hilaire. Some say it was a volcano. Some say it wasn’t. I say it’s fantastic.
Mont St. Hilaire in Montreal
Situated a short forty-five minute drive East of Montreal, Mont St. Hilaire is skirted by a quaint town of the same name. A friend and I took my parents, visiting from B.C., along for the hike. We had entertained our parents in Montreal several times previously, but had since exhausted our list of favorite to-do’s in the city. My previous trek to St. Hilaire having been foiled by a thunderstorm, this would be a first summit for my friend and I as well.
St. Hilaire is more francophone than the island of Montreal, though still easily navigated by an anglo. Arranged between the meandering Richelieu River and the mountain, St. Hilaire has everything needed to turn our four hour hike into a full day trip. Well-kept houses frame every street and each interpersonal encounter begins with a smile. Everywhere we look fruit stands, craft markets and family restaurants promise local delights and countryside charm. For city-dwellers like us, the small-town bliss is a much-desired novelty that awakens an aching nostalgia for quieter times. I breathe in fresh air, and exhale the smog of inner city life.
Before long we arrive at the foot of the mountain. A six dollar fee for adults – less for seniors and children – gets us into the park. The slope looks daunting from here; a sheer rock face vaults upward into the graying afternoon sky. A rolling upper ridge, however, promises extended strolls along the summit. From this first view, we quickly realize why the 414m of vertical takes so long; all the trails must carve a circuitous route around the rear and side faces.
Hiking Mont St. Hilaire in Quebec
100m. from the parking lot we find the park facilities: bathrooms, a lodge, maps and informative signs. Notices draw attention to upcoming activities – the scheduled hillside music performances and lakeside yoga makes us wish that that we didn’t live so far away.
Information board for the visitors
Having snapped an image of the trail map, the four of us set out on the longest and most difficult route: “Rocky Rouge.” Several other options boast more direct access, but today we have the luxury of time. The trail begins as a wide gravel path lined with towering deciduous trees. We easily walk four-wide here, and savour the filtered sunlight and gentle drum roll of raindrops on the canopy above. Though signage indicates the presence of fishers, our only wildlife company consists of chipmunks and birds.
Hiking path through woods at St.Hilaire -Montreal
After ten minutes we happen upon Hertel Lake. Here we see other guests for the first time. The glass-calm water and fine sand makes for an excellent picnic spot, although swimming is forbidden. Moving on, the trail soon crosses a small creek – one of the three feeders of Hertel Lake, no doubt.
Hertel Lake – St. Hilaire Montreal
Beyond this point, the path intensifies beneath our feet. Now on a single track, we weave through sparse forests and switchback up rocky hillsides. In one technical section, a rock face slicked with rainfall takes over the trail bed. In another, the tentacle-shaped roots of a large tree make for an impromptu staircase.
Tree roots – St. Hilaire
The trail covers many different ecosystems; the flora changes noticeably several times. Aside from the few surface changes, however, the grunt to the top is not difficult. We easily managed the ascent in the advertised hour and forty minutes.
Trees at Mont St Hilaire Montreal
The summit is crowded when we arrive but, moving further along the ridge, we come to several other lookout points that are more private and equally spectacular. Towns fan out across the plain below, cut off from one another by weaving rivers and ruler-straight stretches of highway. Everywhere the quilting of farmland fills in the empty spaces. A pair of eagles is suspended on the breeze, 100m. From us and level with our altitude. In the distance, a cluster of grayish rectangles protrudes from the horizon, marking the island of Montreal. From up here, we can see the weather moving in on us.
Cloudy view from the summit
Bringing lunch would be advisable – despite the lack of tables, the smooth rock lookouts make a nice place to stop for a bite. Having forgotten ours, we head back down by way of “Dieppe.” This direct route is much easier walking, and would be suitable for young children and elderly hikers. The path is well maintained and easily walked two-wide. Moreover, it contains none of the washed out sections that tripped us up on “Rocky Rouge.”
Hiking down Sommet Dieppe
After a little more than an hour we arrive back at the car. It’s worth exploring the town of St. Hilaire with any extra time you may have. We found a neat little diner – Cantine Mario Bernard – where we quickly recharge with poutine and sodas. Perhaps even nicer than St. Hilaire is the town of Beloeil, across the river. Vieux-Beloeil is a gorgeous mini-metropolis that feels a bit like Disneyland’s main street. Loads of restaurants are found here, and I can personally attest to the Crémerie du Vieux Beloeil’s high quality ice cream. As a bonus on hotter hiking days, the river here provides a few swim-able alcoves as well.
All in all, St. Hilaire is the wonderful surprise that we should have seen coming. That is, it conspicuously juts from the Quebec landscape like a signpost in itself. Even still, the sparsely populated wilderness and semi-technical trails were, for me, hidden gems.
Montreal’s Parisian heritage is very much visible in the fancy terraced eateries of the Quartier Latin, and the posh restaurants of the Quartier International and Downtown. But Montreal also has a flurry of quality delis and bakeries for travelers looking to make their dollar go a long way.
The most popular of Montreal’s fast food is poutine, which is a greasy but delicious dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy. Combine with a smoked meat sandwich for a delicious meal for under $10. Also don’t forget to sample some of Quebec’s famous local ales.
Some of the Best Restaurants in Montreal
What is the most popular restaurant in Montreal?
The city (ville) of Montreal is has a bustling culinary variety, choosing a spot to dine can often be overwhelming. After careful thought and taste testing, our team have hand selected the best eateries in Montreal that you must try on your next visit.
Great Dine out Spots:
Bird bar magically took fried chicken and made it classy, we don’t know how they did it, but we are forever grateful. This is hands down the place to be for serious comfort food. Potato Waffle with Chicken, Truffled Mac N Cheese, to name a few.
All my vegans out there know the struggle of decide on where do dine with their non-vegan friends, stress no more – there’s vegan options too!
Nestled right underneath your feet is hidden Montreal gem, Henden, a classic speakeasy with a fabulous décor and custom cocktails.
The authentic Thai menu and atmosphere of this spot will make you feel as though you just teleported to Thailand. There is even an impressive selection of Thai inspired cocktails that you get by the glass or the bucket (tip: choose bucket).
Added bonus, the place is impeccably styled for instagram worthy photos.
Need a clean break? Although Venice is known for their poke bowls, everything on their menu is equally healthy and delicious. You honestly can’t go wrong with tacos and a fresh margarita. Winter, or summer rain or shine, you always feel like its summer in Cali when you walk in.
A Montreal classic that has flawlessly fused Asian inspired cuisine with a Quebecois flair. Cho-poutine anyone? Perfect place for a casual dinner and drinks.
Note: This establishment is 100% Peanut and Nut-Free
Nothing says summer like margaritas on the mezzanine
Located in the heart of the Old Port, Emiliano’s authentic Mexican brings to life the flavors of the past in nothing but a modern scene.
Let yourself be charmed by the menu, and the tequila bar, of course.
You will not be disappointed.
*** The restaurant and bar located in Old Montreal, has ceased operations
A culinary list without an authentic Italian option would be madness. Griffintowns’ Moretti Pizzeria’s enticing menu and wine list, along with its warm vibe combine all the ingredients needed for a perfect date night (Not to mention the reasonable price list for upscale Italian)
Private events are available if you prefer a more intimate setting.
French diner meets American comfort food at Foiegwa. Open for brunch and early to late dinners with an overall cheerful atmosphere and an intriguingly scrumptious variety of dishes.
After your meal, be sure take a quick little stroll down the alley until you see a black door that leads you to hidden speakeasy, Atwater Cocktail Club for some creative cocktails and amazing vibes.
Is Montreal good for shopping?
Le Plateau is the bohemian neighborhood where you will find some of the hippest shopping streets with antique and vintage boutiques. Other similar neighborhoods include Little Burgundy and Mile End.
For high end fashion, head to Rue St-Catherine’s busy thoroughfares where several major labels have their handsomely lit stores. For French boutique shopping and eateries, try Rue St-Denis. And picturesque Rue St-Paul with its cobblestones and art will charm the arty side of you.
Montreal: The Complete Travel Guide https://t.co/dFHDtwozPd
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) April 28, 2018
Entertainment & Nightlife
Does Montreal have good nightlife?
To appease your thirst for culture, catch a performance at the multicultural and architecturally splendid Rialto Theatre. Or turn up for one of Montreal’s several comedy (Montreal gave us Just for Laughs), theater, music and film festivals, many of them free and held outdoors in Montreal’s many parks in the summer.
What is the party street in Montreal?
For more decadent night entertainment, head to boulevard St-Laurent or Rue Crescent for its infamous bars, restaurants and nightclubs which expect you to come dressed to the nines.
Joint Post by Eva Krakowski and Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
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