In 2015 I wasn’t able to visit my beloved Europe. I was feeling a little down about it, so a friend suggested I look into Montreal and Quebec City.
I wasn’t convinced at first, but the more I looked into it, the more I realized I knew nothing about Canada and I was ready to change that. So, with the miles I had collected from our last Spain trip I booked a cheap flight to Quebec! And here’s why I loved it:
Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)
Man oh man, was she right about her suggestions! Montreal is a beautiful and diverse french-speaking city. If you love architecture with a European flair, check out Vieux-Montréal.
The first dinner we had there, we sat by the window and kept seeing vintage cars pass by. It seemed like a movie. I think they were having some sort of event, but it was the perfect entrance scene to this old town.
Picturesque streets with great cafes all around!
We booked an Airbnb in this area. I read that it was the best place to stay, and they were right. We were near so many great restaurants, cafes, bars, you name it. But most importantly, we were near all the colorful streets that I love finding!
This was such a fun part of town. If you’re there around May-September you may be able to catch the Boules Roses installation a.k.a. the pink balls. There are 170,000 of them that go on for nearly a mile!
The streets are closed off to cars and you’re free to eat, drink, and snap as many ballsy pictures as you want!
Montreal Botanical Garden
Pinterest tricked me into going here! I wouldn’t normally go to a botanical garden, but I had seen a pin that made me believe they had these amazing must-see sculptures. We walked every corner of that place and couldn’t find them!
We finally stopped at the map, and another couple was standing there trying to figure out the same thing. LOL! The girl had seen it on Pinterest too. Damn you Pinterest! When we asked customer service about it, they said they stopped doing the sculptures in 2013. Lesson learned, do more research before you pay to visit a “pin”.
the evil pin, photo by worldfortravel.com
Either way, the garden was beautiful and a great place for photos. We went during the best season (spring). You’ll find the tulips above before you actually enter the garden. So if that’s all you care to see, they’re free for pictures.
These trees are everything!
Where to Eat
Montreal is such a great city for foodies. Considering we went 2 years ago, I can’t remember every stop we made (traveler tip: carry a notebook!) But below are the places that stood out the most to us:
L’Avenue– Such great breakfast is served here! I recommend the french toast. There is a line out the door, but it’s so worth it. We waited in it twice during our time in the city. And before you go, make sure you check out their creepy cool bathroom! It glows in the dark, and the clock looks like someone is erasing the old time and marking in the new every minute.
Schwartz’s – The best smoked meat sandwich I’ve ever had. This is compared to the ones I’ve had in NYC and Chicago.
Olive & Gourmando – A great place for coffee and pastries, but they also serve full dishes.
La Banquise – You’re in Canada. You need to try poutine. So we sought out the best poutine place in Montreal and waited in line for it (we tend to wait in lines a lot). Once we tried it, we realized we don’t like poutine haha! It’s a creative dish that’s just not for everyone.
La Distillerie No.1 & 2 – They have 3 locations, but we only visited two of them. The drinks were affordable and so good!
Are you convinced yet? I sure hope so! Next week I’ll share my love and tips for Quebec City.