I've never been there but this restaurant (Au Pied de Cochon) looks pretty awesome.
A few years back the we (my folks, wife and I) went to Quebec City during a stay at our lake house in NH. This year my parents are thinking about visiting Canada again, but we want to go someplace else.
Montreal is a bit closer, is that a nice place to visit? What's there to do? Any locals or frequent visitors with tips for places to say, places to eat and stuff to do?
I think someone on here mentioned they have high quality strip clubs.
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Been there for business a few times..actually on the train there now lol. It's really nice, if you've been to any european cities - its a lot like that especially during the summer time. A lot of amazing restaurants but as I said in a few other threads, the people there just cannot drive.
Oh and if you feel homesick, you can always go to the local variety store and grab beer and liquor
The Old Port (Old Montreal) is beautiful. Lots of amazing architecture and a big central open air market. The Eaton Center is the main mall, and it's pretty much smack dab in the middle of downtown.
Mont Royal is worth the trip up for the view, if the weather cooperates do it at night. It's a bit of a hike though, you have to park at the bottom and walk up.
The Expo 67 Islands (which Circuite Gilles Villenueve is on), Notre Dame Basilica, St Josephs Oratory, and the Olympic Stadium are must see tourist sites. Lots of lovely little cafes and restaurants all over the city. The north side of the mountain has a nice middle eastern feel to it, lots of awesome donner kebab, falafal and shwarmas to be had.
Don't bother driving your car around downtown, the Metro is pretty good, and Montreal is really not that big. It's lovely to walk around in the summer.
You can buy your booze from gas stations or convenience stores, but beware, they legally cannot sell alcohol after 11PM. Often there isn't much variety either. Make a trip to the SAQ (Sack), which is the Frenchies provincial booze supplier. Get lots of 5$ bottles of wine.
My cousin has a condo at St Dominique and Rene Levesque (pronounced leh-VEK) and I'm there pretty much every month for drinkies and shennanigans. I'll be there over the Grand Prix weekend next month and we're going bungee-jumping the day before in Beaconsfield.
Lemme know if you have any questions.
ps. completely blanked on the fact that student protests are going on. we're talking 10k+ people every night. I'm not sure if I'd want to visit if they're still in full swing. If you're still feeling like a visit to Canada, Toronto is gorgeous this time of year.
If you don't feel comfortable driving at 130-140 kms in traffic, please stay out of the fast lane.
Last edited by psbahra; 05-27-2012 at 05:29 PM.
I went there with a few friends two summers ago for a few days. I would definitely go back multiples of times.
Here is a thread I started before going. A few locals chimed in with suggestions.
The city itself is very clean.
Drink Molson Ex instead of your usual miller/bud if those beers are your thing.
Get ready to pay $10 for a pack of smokes if you smoke.
It is actually just as expensive to go out and drink as it is to stay in. The sin tax renders pre-gaming useless. IIRC we paid like $17 (US) for a sixer of pabst blue ribbon (cheapest thing the liquor store had).
Eat breakfast a Cafe Joe (intersection of Rue Saint-Antoine Ouest and Avenue Marin) one day. Get the layered french toast and thank me later.
The subway system is top notch. It isn't expensive and it is fast, on time, and clean. That is comparing it to the DC Metro and the BART in Cali.
I didn't see any homeless people or beggars anywhere and we went off the beaten path in the city checking out record stores.
If you are a fan of weird mexican places try 3 Amigos at 1657 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest. Get a table up front and people watch while you knock back some Molson Ex.
Also, someone told me that Montreal sends all of their ugly girls to Toronto. Well, I am here to tell you I believe that to be the truth. I saw maybe two women I would consider ugly the entire time.
I've been a few times and can offer the advice of speak French whenever possible. Obviously you can speak English at your hotel if your checking in and such. But if your at a traditional Montreal restaurant don't come in there expecting people to be friendly if your speaking English.
The thing that gets me is that they know how to speak perfect English if you ask them something, but they play dumb and act like they only know French.
I was there last week and it was a ****ty French speaking version of Philly with almost every main road under construction and the rest were so pothole ridden it was worse then NY
To me it was another large city that was once cool that is now on a very large extended down turn , well from the. 70s to be precise.
- I stayed downtown all week and there was no 10k lol. And it was just a repeat of dirty hippie OWS clowns
Waaaaaa college is going up $300 a year for the next five year waaaaaaa
If you don't want to pay for it don't go , not only that it's the cheapest in Canada and those assclowns kept students and teachers out with violence that actually wanted to finish out the year .
It's a colony of French speaking clowns and nothing else .
The country side outside of Montreal reminds me of Ohio flat and absolute nothing to see .
Other things I noticed:
Saint Catherine is super sketchy at night.
The metro is great.
Booze is expensive.
A lot of really good restaurants (try getting a reuben sandwich at a place called Reubens, it was very good ).
Taxi drivers are crazy.
Don't try to be a "spontaneous free spirit" and walk up Mont Royal at 4pm during light rain after a full day of walking and having little water left.
As was mentioned, the Old Port area is very nice and has lots of nice restaurants. I definitely recommend checking out the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve. You can drive on most of it, albeit at 30 km/h. Still gives you an appreciation for what it's like to drive an F1 car on a track like that though.
One great area of town is the Plateau. This is where Schwartz's Deli is, and there's tons of great restaurants and shopping there. It's within walking distance of both downtown and the Old Port but it less touristy and thus more French. Still, you shouldn't have any issues communicating with people.
Keep in mind that a lot of restaurants don't serve alcohol but you are allowed to bring your own, which is awesome. This typically means people bring wine but we had no issue bringing a case of beer with us to one place.
I'm going to Montreal of the F1 race in two weeks and am pumped. On the downside this is the last time I'll be able to stay with my friend who lives there as he's moving to Ontario next month. Was awesome to have someone living there because it meant I could come up anytime I wanted and have a place to stay.
Most people do speak English in the city but as soon as you get an hr or two out side it drops to 1-5 who speak English if that good of odds.
I spent 2 days in drummonville which is 2 hrs north and that reminded me of Ohio minus the manufacturing which is alive and going up there .
I was there during the GP weekend and I bought a 3 day pass that also worked on the express buses. I forgot how much it cost, but it was cheap
And yeah, the women there are pretty much all attractive. I was floored .
Last edited by mx5er; 05-28-2012 at 05:59 AM.
Almost forgot. But where are all the drug stores?
I was at the Grand Prix on Saturday for qualifying and at the end, I was pretty much burnt. We all needed aloe bad. So as we were walking around in the downtown area, we were all lookin' for a drug store. In NYC, you're practically tripping over a Walgreen's, CVS or a Duane Reade.
At the end, we finally found one at the hotel near our's.
I ordered those with my F1 tickets, I think they were $17 each. Not bad at all.I was there during the GP weekend and I bought a 3 day pass that also worked on the express buses. I forgot how much it cost, but it was cheap
Hi = Bonjour
Thanks = Merci
Those two words will get you brownie points.
If you want a Smoked Meat sandwich, go to Schwartz on Saint-Laurent.
Definitely go see the Old Port. There are horse-carriage rides if you're into that sort of thing.
I wouldn't recommend eating there though, most of the food isn't great for the price you pay.
Definitely try the Pied de Cochon restaurant, it's incredible. If you visit St-Henri/Petite Bourgogne, there's the Atwater Market and Joe Beef which is another of Montreal's best restaurants.
There's the Mont-Royal Park if you want to take a walk.
Visit the Mont-Royal Avenue too if you want to see a lot of smaller shops and definitely try the bagels at Saint-Viateur Bagels. It's on par with the best bagels in NY.
As mentioned earlier, there's plenty of drugstores just not the same chains as in the US. Just look for Pharmaprix (prix is pronounced "pree", Familiprix or Brunet.
The area around Montreal is pretty boring, you have to go deeper in the country to see interesting stuff. The odds of finding people that speak English drops a lot though. Pretty much all people working in restaurants, hotels and attractions will speak it.
Don't worry too much about the student protests. It's overblown by the media and they mostly walk around at night (8PM-1AM) and don't cause a problem if you're traveling on foot or by subway (which you SHOULD be doing). It's just a bunch of people walking around chanting slogans and banging on pots. The police have arrested pretty much all the dicks that were causing trouble in the last 30+ days
Also, there's the Eaton Center (mall) downtown if you need to do some shopping. In fact, most of St-Catherines street in that part of town is pretty fun and really lively.
**** JUST GOT CHAEL