(above photo Candice and I on the train crossing Canada)
I am currently traveling across Canada with my friend and fellow travel blogger Candice Walsh. Our first day was spent on a train for 20 hours going from Halifax, Nova Scotia through New Brunswick to Montreal, Quebec. We only had two days here and wanted to make the most of it and I think we were pretty successful in doing just that.
Here are some tips if you ever make a short visit to Montreal:
1) If you know you will be visiting Montreal only for a short time try to schedule it to fall on the weekend as that is when most things are going on.
2) Make friends with a local. Conveniently for us I had a friend in Montreal from home that had been living there for 5 years. Her knowledge of the city, the metro, the good bars to go to, where to shop and so on were invaluable. If you don’t know anyone or you don’t meet any great locals then definitely tweet out asking for tips of things to do ( and continue reading this article) and you should have no problem at all. The bars in Montreal seem very social so there shouldn’t be a problem meeting a local there.
3) The Metro (subway aka tro ) can be your best friend. Clean, fast and convienient.
4) Walk through the old town, stop and sit on a patio with a beer and people watch. This is a great way to really see the city on a warm Saturday afternoon and is a great way to experience the culture and way of life in the city.
5) Eat poutine on more than one occasion at various locations. We had a pretty good poutine at a place called “the Main” and apparently a place that we haven’t tried yet called La Banquise is too die for.
6) Be sure to go to TamTams on a Sunday afternoon. Located at the base of Mt. Royal the Tam Tams have been taking place every sunny Sunday afternoon at this location for the past 20 or so years. Not an event out on by the city, rather just a known gathering of musicians (most playing the hand drum Aja tam tam) along with artisans and peoe that just want to dance, hang out, go larping, play hackey sack you name it. The Tam Tams can attract anywhere from 100 to 1,000+ people on any given Sunday and is a unique experience that you won’t find in many other cities.
7) Try one of the fabulous restaurants. Montreal is known for food like poutine, bagels, smoked meat sandwiches but they also have a lot of great restaurants serving everything. One of my favorite places was Tokyo Sushi you pay $23 and it is all you can eat sushi, amazing! (the waiter was a big jerk though unfortunately).
8 ) Visit the Biodome (but not on a rainy Saturday huge huge lines!) it’s really neat to see all of these animals and habitats under one roof. Kind of reminded me of that Pauly Shore movie… and it is reasonably priced. Our trip didn’t allow time for much else but I also recommend visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Cirque du Soleil and there is a lot lot more.
If you think I have let something out of utter importance please let me know and enjoy your trip to Montreal!
Also don’t forget to leave a comment on this post linked here to win a road trip from Vancouver to Whistler including accommodation and adventure tour!
NicoleJune 4, 2011 at 7:36 am
Haha great timing! I was looking at booking a flight with either a two-three day stop over in Montreal or Iceland. I think after this Montreal is leading by a whisker. =)
Hope your trip is going great! :)
CailinJune 6, 2011 at 2:56 am
Pick Iceland over Montreal silly! But if you really want to come to Canada come to Halifax and visit me there! :)
Cathy SweeneyMay 31, 2011 at 2:34 am
Nice tips! I haven’t been to Montreal in years, but loved it. The Metro system is terrific. Next time, I’ll have to try the places you mentioned. How wonderful that you have a friend who lives there — really makes a difference.
CailinJune 6, 2011 at 2:56 am
Thanks Cathy! It really did make a big difference to have a friend there that could tour us around, two days however was not enough time and I definitely need to go back now myself! :)