Young and Old Montreal

Montreal is a vibrant city, bustling and young. I visited Montreal in the dead cold of winter, but the city was still alive with day festivals and nightlife every day of the week. My best friend attended one of the major universities in the city, which attracts a lot of young people.

The official language in Montreal is French, but do not let this discourage you from visiting. Most residents speak English, as well, especially at restaurants and tourist areas.

Plateau Area

Before You Go…

Flying…

Not only did I go with United Airlines who is known for their terrible customer service, but I also did not buy a direct flight. After many delays, cancellations, and poor customer service, it took me over 24 hours to get from Atlanta to Montreal. In hindsight, I wish I had just paid the extra money to fly direct and with a better airline such as Delta or Canada Air.

YUL (Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau) is the name of the Montreal airport. It has wifi, and a convenient bus route that takes you directly into the city.

Yes, you do need a visa. Americans do need to bring their passport, but can retrieve a free visa upon arrival.

Driving…

Driving into Montreal is also a great option; some of my friends based in New York made the trip over via car. Upstate New York has beautiful views but can be icy. There are no tolls. If you do drive into Montreal, note that driving in the city can be disastrous with construction and traffic.

Plateau Area

How to Get Around…

Again, I would not recommend driving in the city- its a disaster with construction. It is much faster to walk around or use the award-winning subway system. To navigate the metro, you can use Google Maps or download the metro app.

Where to Stay…

If you choose to stay in the city, I would recommend staying in the Old Port. It’s historical architecture is exquisite, everything is within walking distance, and there are various restaurants just around the corner.

Old Port

Points of Interest…

Walk up Mount Royal for the best view of the city. This is a free “hike”- we even hiked up it in the snow. Afterwards, walk around the Plateau Area to view the colorful houses and artwork.

Mount Royal

La Grande Roue de Montréal is located along the St. Lawrence River. During my visit, they had a free fair with a ferris wheel and zip line. They always have something happening, so be sure to check out this spot while exploring Old Port. Old Port is loaded with shops, restaurants, and architecture. It is also home to Norte Dame Basillica, an exquisite church with impeccable architecture.

Although a bit out of the way, climbing the steps at St. Joseph Oratory is magnificent. This is not something I was able to do on this trip, but will definitely plan for next time.

The nightlife in Montreal cannot be missed. Le Warehouse is a hipster restaurant with $5 meals and great drink deals. It has a lively, young atmosphere.

Ferris Wheel

What to Eat…

Montreal’s signature dish is poutine– a dish consisted of fries, cheese, and gravy. A restaurant with great poutine is La Belle et La Boeuf – also great hamburgers and mac n’ cheese. There are also great restaurants with poutine in Old Port, along the water.

Schwartz Deli

Schwartz Deli is so famous that there is even a musical about it! The best deli sandwich and smoked meat I have ever had- it’s worth the long line.

St. Viateur has inexplicably superb bagels. Now, they supply their products to a lot of restaurants, so you can order their bagels from most breakfast and brunch spots. Simply, ask if they carry St. Viateur bagels to take your meal to a whole other level.

If you’re interested…

Montreal reminded me a lot of Europe. Check out more travel inspiration…

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