My first time to Montreal was awesome, I had a really good time. It’s everything that I expected. The city was beautiful and looking down on top of Mont Royal was even better. The locals are very nice and passionate about their city. We didn’t have any trouble with language barrier because a lot of people is bilingual that speak both French and English. Their subway system is so much better than Toronto, it a lot more convenient and a lot cleaner, but one thing I don’t like is it can get humid in some subway station, I literally sweat like a pig waiting for 10 minute. In terms of food there were a lot of options especially in the Old Montreal area where I saw many restaurants I never heard of in Toronto, maybe because they are all French.
On Friday we arrive at Montreal around 8:30 a.m. We were carrying our backpacks while exploring the city because we couldn’t check in until noon. We decide to get some breakfast at Cora’s because we were starving from a 7 hour bus ride. After we feed ourselves, we decide to check the Montreal Eaton Center since it close to our hotel. There’s not much difference compare to the Toronto Eaton Center in terms of the layout and store’s, except it’s a lot cleaner.
After the girls did some window shopping, we decide to check into our hotel. We took the subway to Place-Des-Arts station, it’s like 5 min walk from our hotel. Our hotel is really good, it’s in the heart of downtown. It’s close to subway station with lots of restaurants, bars, and convenience’s store nearby. Our room has two queen’s size bed’s with a sink in the middle and a air conditioner that turn on 24/7. Thank God for the air conditioner that turns on 24/7 cause the weekend was pretty hot. The washroom are located outside our room which is share and there’s a total of three washroom. At first I didn’t like the idea of share washroom, but the washroom was very clean with a nice stand up shower. We never have to wait for the washroom, whenever we need to shower, it’s always available.
After we unpack and shower, we heck out to start exploring Montreal. The first place we decide to go is the Marie-Reine-Du-Monde Cathedrale. The church was breath taking, it was simply beautiful. I never seen anything like it, the more I explore the church, the more I get amaze just how beautiful it is. We spend almost an hour in the church just taking pictures and the best part of the church that I like the most is the roof design, it just awesome. If you like to see more pictures of the church click here.
After we decide to to go to Mont Royal, I heard it a mountain where you can view the entire city. We hike up to Mont Royal not knowing there was a bus to get to the top. It took us approximately 40 minute and it was a pretty hot day. By the time we reach to the top, my shirt was all soak, but it was all worth it, the view was simply awesome 🙂. At Mont Royal, we saw a guy selling beverages for like $4 for a bottle of water and I was like that’s a total rip off, but I see people buying it. Luckily, I brought a bottle of water with me before we came up, but that guy must be making a fortune. We stay at Mont Royal for about an hour taking pictures and enjoying the view, then we took the bus back home which was around 9:00 pm. We took our shower and fresh up to get ready to go out for dinner. We pick the restaurant “La Banquise”, I heard they have the best poutine in town and people who know me knows I love eating poutine. When we got there, the line up for take out was long, it was all the way outside of the restaurant entrance, but luckily we got a table at the patio. There were so many types of poutine’s to choose from, I just don’t know which one to pick, so I randomly pick one and ends up getting the Poutine Elvis with ground beef, green pepper, and mushrooms and it was so good. I couldn’t believe I actually it and my poutine was only a regular size, imagine the portion of a large size poutine!
On Saturday we went to the Biodome where we going to learn more about our ecosystems and see birds, penguins, insects, and also the Biotanca Garden. The admission fee was $28 which I think was pretty expensive. There wasn’t much in the Biodome, I think it’s more for kids education. We saw some birds, fish, penguins, insects, and took some really nice flower pictures at the Biotanca Garden, that pretty much it. My friends wanted to go, so I just tag along.
After the Biodome, we decide to bike to Habita 67 and the Biosphere. Just like Toronto, Montreal have bike station around the city for public use, the only difference is Montreal have bike trails on the street so we can ride our bike on the street with the cars. We choose the $5 for 24 hours for the bike rental, but what we didn’t know is that we need to park our bike to a bike station every 30 minute. We certainly didn’t do that and pass over the 30 minute limit which I pay $15 extra in penalty fee. I was alright with it because it was our first time using the bike and it was a lot of fun. Habitat 67 was pretty cool, you can see rooms from different angles which had me curious how big is each apartment is. The Biosphere was pretty cool, it was hugh that pretty much it.
After, we took the subway back home to fresh up and get ready for our next destination which is to attend the light show at the famous Notre Dame Basilica church. We arrive at Notre Dame and saw there was a line up in front of the church. We saw people holding tickets and didn’t know we have to purchase tickets in advance to admit into the church. We were too late for the 7:00 pm show so we decide to catch the 8:30 show instead. Since we have time to kill we decided to walk to Old Montreal and have dinner at Jardin Nelson, a restaurant my friend pick. Old Montreal was awesome, the old buildings, the narrow cobblestones street gives you that very quaint feel of walking through an old European city. The streets was very lively, people dining with conversations and laughter and performances on the streets, it was just awesome walking through Old Montreal.
We arrive at Jardin Nelson and we saw people lining up. At first we thought it going to be a long wait, but the waiter told us that there’s a table at the front of the restaurants. We decide to seat at the front of the restaurants since we have to catch the Notre Dame light show at 8:30. I was curious what it’s like at the back of the restaurant since so many people are waiting for a table at the back of the restaurant. I sneak to the back to take picture of it and I didn’t see anything spectacular about the back of the restaurant, but it doesn’t it all about the food.
There were so many options to choose from on the menu and I want to try everything. At the end I pick soup of the day “Potage Du Jour” and the main course I got “Newburg” with sweet batter, newbug sauce, lobster, scampies, shrimp, scallops, mozzarella, and chaddar cheese. Our food arrives and we dig in and to be honest the food was good but not amazing that it wow me, it just good.
After dinner we head back to the Notre Dame Basilica church for the light show. We saw people lining up already, so we got in line. We were giving a head phone and was seated in the middle section of the church. The church was pretty dark, we couldn’t see much. The show begins with a history of how the church came to be on a projector with the audio broadcast through our headphone. It was pretty cool and at the end they open the curtain where they show us the Notre Dame Basilica. It was magnificent, truly amazing. I always see customers bring their pictures of Notre Dame Basilica to the photo lab, but I never get to see it myself and now I see it with my own eyes, it truly amazing.
On Sunday it’s our last day at Montreal. Our bus depart at 1pm for Toronto and I was so not looking forward to the 7 hour bus ride. We woke up around 10 am and got breakfast at Eggspecetation. After breakfast we bike to a store called Macaroon that sell these really good cookies with different flavors. I have heard from friends that they are really good so I brought two packs of six macaroon and some for my co workers. So I try a few different flavors of macaroons and they are really good and my co-workers love it, next time I come back to Montreal, I will differently buy more 🙂.
Overall, I think the Montreal trip was a lot of fun. Montreal has a lot to offer in terms of food, history, and attractions. There’s a lot to do in Montreal and I would definitely come back again.
Check out some of the pictures I took from the trip Here
How was your first time to Montreal?