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Montreal Travel Recommendations Needed

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by pilgrimsoul, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

    My husband will be traveling to Montreal on business this August & lucky me gets to go along! :D We've never been there before & plan to turn this trip into a mini vacation. Does anyone have recommendations for lodging, dining & fun activities? We'd like to do this on a budget, so any cost saving suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Try Hotwire for your hotel. We did that in September and got a great deal at the Intercontinental right on the edge of the Vieux Carre. Don't get a rental car unless you're planning to go out of the city altogether; the Metro and buses are easy to use if you're going places farther than you want to walk.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Catherine M

    Catherine M Well-Known Member

    I went to Montreal two summers ago for a Tennis event and like flyingsit said, don't get a rental car unless you plan on seeing stuff in the countryside.

    Agree with staying as close to the Vieux Carre as possible. Since we were there mainly to be at the big Tennis center, I can't really help you on what to do as we basically got up, ate something, rode the metro to the complex and watched a bunch of tennis. Oh we did eat out a couple times in the evening which was very nice. Montreal has some really nice restaurants.
  4. Montreal is a great city for festivals. The two biggest -- the jazz festival and Just for Laughs comedy festival -- are in June-July, but you might still find something corresponding to your visit. Festivals

    Be sure to walk down into Old Town at least once. It can be very touristy in the summer but it's beautiful, and at night very romantic. Some great traditional restaurants (I went to a great one that was entirely crepes and fondue!). There are river cruises that operate out of that area that make a nice excursion -- prices vary enormously.

    In addition to walking & transit, bike is a good way to get around. The Bixi bike share program has been in place there for a while and is highly popular and successful. You might want to bring your own bike helmets from home though.

    Wherever you end up staying ... be sure they have AC. Montreal can get stinkin' hot in the summer, and if you're like me that can make it impossible to sleep.
  5. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I last stayed at the Best Western Ville-marie Hotel & Suites in Downtown. Very convenient location and a very nice hotel (at least, IMO). My room was quite large and the price was under $100 per night (I was there during the winter time, though).

    If you're in Quebec, you should try out the smoked meat sandwiches and poutine--there are the usual suspects like Dunn's, Schwartz's (owned by Celine Dion), The Main, Reuben's, Smoked Meat Pete, Chez Claudette, Masson Hot Dog, Monsieur Patate, and Patati Patata. Also, if you love roasted chicken, Montreal has tons of those types of places too.

    For higher-end French cuisine, I was taken to two places that I have very fond memories of: Au Pied du Cochon (LOVED IT--you will need to get reservations NOW) and L'Entrecote St-Jean (for some steak frites). At most restaurants, you can bring your own wine.

    For dessert, I liked a small chain called Juliette & Chocolat. For coffee, nothing stood out for me except some hipster joint at the edge of the city near one of two major food public markets. For pate, I got mine at Premiere Moisson Bakeries (didn't get the bread).

    Their Chinatown is small but cute.

    I went to a few churches and museums but I don't remember anything about them. I was more fascinated by all their underground markets.

    Montreal is an extremely walkable city. I would just walk and get a day pass to use their very extensive transit system.
  6. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    :cheer: we actually went to Montreal just to go to this restaurant - and it was completely worth it. Not to mislead though, it's more expensive but very casual, and I wouldn't call it French cuisine (although Chef Martin Picard is French trained), but more nouveau Quebec. Come hungry, and don't even think about it if you are vegetarian or counting calories :lol:
  7. pair mom

    pair mom New Member

    Definitely recommend pre-ordering Cirque du Soleil tickets ahead of time to correspond to the dates you are in town. Yes any commentary/dialogue is in French..but don't be scared off...it's an experience of a lifetime! The 'tent' is down by the Old Port and a wonderful dining experience is just up the hill at Hotel Nelson! I'd recommend reservations...lovely!

    Enjoy your trip! Our son lives and trained in Montreal at St. Leonard! It has changed our lives for the better!
  8. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Like Artemis says, make sure your hotel room has air conditioning. At that time of year it can be really hot and/or muggy. And take that into account when planning your activities.

    Depending on how cost-conscious you are - both McGill University and UQAM (Universite du Quebec a Montreal) rent dormitory rooms in the summer. Both are downtown and quite clean and acceptable. One of the McGill dorms actually used to be a hotel so it is quite nice - I am not sure if this is one of the buildings with summer rentals, though. Another good and not too pricey hotel is Hotel Lord Berri, right across from the Berri-UQAM metro station.

    And clearly Artemis is braver than I am, to use the Bixi rental bikes. Montreal drivers are insane and there is no way I would ride a bike there, even with knowing the city and the roads reasonably well. If you are not a really experienced cyclist I would think twice about it.

    The Montreal Museum of Fine Art is great. Their big summer show this year is an exhibit of Dale Chihuly's glasswork.

    Go up Mont-Royal, which has some lovely $$$ homes on the way up and a beautiful park/viewpoint at the top.

    If you're thinking of specific things, or have particular interests, PM me and I might be able to make some suggestions.
  9. LOL! Yes indeed! We stuck to the park paths only. I should have mentioned that. :yikes:

    Oooh, Chihuly! I've seen lots of his stuff in various locations. A big exhibit would be amazing.
  10. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

    Oh my goodness, so many great suggestions! I can't thank you all enough. I knew the well traveled folks at FSU would have some info. :respec:
  11. Parsley Sage

    Parsley Sage Well-Known Member