So you want to go to Canada, Eh?
We went to Montreal in September of 2015 and there is definitely no shortage of things to do on this magical island! (Fun fact: Montreal is actually an island). We did so much in 3 days time, it was pretty hard narrowing it down to only 10 things… but without further ado and in no particular order, here is a list of the top 10 things we recommend to do in Montreal:
Eat Poutine! – This delicious concoction of french fries, gravy & cheese curds is a staple snack food among Canadians. It’s tasty & gooey & available all across the city! Poutine is truly so amazing, there is even a festival dedicated to it each year. ‘Le Grand Poutine Fest’ is celebration of Canada’s favorite dish where many different flavors of poutine (general tsao poutine, anyone?) can be found. This is a once a year ‘all-you-can-eat’ event, usually at Montreal’s Old Port, so if you are planning to go, make sure you research the dates it will be occurring before you come.
Visit ‘Stade Olympique’ – This is the Olympic stadium, located in Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal. The 1976 summer olympics were held here! At 165meters (541 ft), the Olympic stadium is the world’s tallest inclined structure.
Have a feast of the senses at ‘Marche Jean-Talon’ – This is one of the largest markets in North America, located a block or so off Boulevard Saint-Laurent. They sell everything from sausages, Quebecois cheeses, fresh brightly-colored produce, home-grown spices, handmade chocolates, crepes… anything you could possibly want! We got an amazing ham & cheese crepe from Creperie de Marche!
Visit Notre Dame Basillica – This beautiful cathedral towers over the cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montreal. Entry to the basillica costs approximately $4 USD for adults and $3 USD for children 7-17. Kids under 6 can enter for free. Several guided tours are also available for an additional cost.
Walk up Mont-Royal – This is a beautiful walk up to the Belvedere Observatory where you can see downtown Montreal and the mountains below, overlooking the south bank.
Eat, drink and shop on St. Paul Street – This beautiful little street in Old Montreal is lined with a variety of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops & art galleries & has a very European type of feel.
Eat a Smoked Meat Sandwich at Schwartz’s Deli – Admittedly we did not try one of these delicious sandwiches but it’s on our list for next time! Schwartz’s Deli is one of Montreal’s most-famous delis and I’m told their piled-high Smoked Meat Sandwiches are out of this world! We’ll try this next time… 🙂
Dance the night away on Saint-Laurent – Conveniently located on the same street as Schwartz’s deli are some of Montreal’s best bar & clubs! Get your nightcap on well into the night, as bars stay open til 3am! The bars on this street range from cocktail lounges, to dives, to clubs, to karaoke… no matter what you’re digging at the moment, Saint-Laurent’s got you covered!
Relax at Parc Du Mont-Royal – This beautiful park surrounds the base of Mont-Royal and is packed with outdoor sports & activities, a bike trail, a lake, a playground etc… bring a blanket, food and a book and cozy up next to Beaver Lake for some relaxation.
Browse the streets of Montreal’s Chinatown -You’ll know you’re there when you see the tall red arch and white porcelain lions lining the entrance. This is found in the area of De la Gaucetiere Street. The neighborhood contains many Asian restaurants, food markets and convenience stores. We’re pretty big foodies and we were able to get a delicious bowl of Pho right in the heart of Chinatown.
If you’ve been to Montreal, what were some of your favorite things to see and do in the city?