Montreal – Dos and Don’ts

As a late birthday treat I drove up to Montreal with my sister and brother in law. I’ve been to Canada a few times and have visited two biggies Toronto and Ottawa but never had I been to the french district/area/part/palace/place/mountains/blah.

I guess first of all (if you’re close to the border) make the drive! I feel like nowadays people think the only way to get around is flying but although I do love airports and being on a plane – there is something magical about driving or train(ing). If it is within a decent distance I’d recommend driving to Montreal as the shock of everything around you turning first Canadian and then French is quite bizarre. One minute we were driving amongst these beautiful green mountains and the next we crossed the border and there were farms and little shacks with french advertisements.

Notre-Dame Basilica is a must see and is located in Old Montreal. From the outside it appears to be your average gothic church with a pretty outdoor square (complete with statues of Montreal’s elite and mighty and horse-drawn carriages). However it’s the inside that blew my mind and I’m sure will amaze yours. My photos do not do it justice but the interior is very grand and full of colour. There are purples, greens, blues, golds and silvers that overflow the walls all the way up to the ceiling and around the main altar and organs. They portray different patterns from lines to stars and more intricate pieces. It’s one of the most magnificent churches I’ve been in and it truly felt like I was walking into art. It has an almost gypsy and bohemian decor feel to it which I loved. Go check it out and let me know what you think/if you can put the experience into words better haha.

Of course we stopped off at Timmy’s and devoured the delicious ice caps. Incase you don’t know Tim Hortons is essentially the coffee chain of Canada. They’re known for their timbits which are doughnut holes and also their ice caps aka iced coffee goodness.
Whilst I’m talking about food I guess I should mention poutine. Its a common Canadian dish that consists of fries, gravy and cheese curds. There are hundreds upon hundreds of variants to the dish and most places serve it so you really have no excuse not to try it. I don’t recall the diner we ended up getting it from but I don’t think you can really go wrong wherever you choose to go!

If you want to get outside and either go on a nice walk, bike ride or look over all of Montreal then head to Mont Royal. It’s basically a giant, grassy hill in the city haha. We took the metro (which is very easy to use and cheap) and then walked up Royal Street (which is full of cute shops, restaurants etc.) to the edge of the park. You can take a bus to the top of the hill but we opted to wiggle our way through the different paths and get up there. There is a risk of getting lost haha and there are a lot of stairs/tight hill paths but it’s definitely worth it! At the top there’s an indoor space with drinks and toilets and then the overlook is very nice and you can see most of Montreal. Another highlight up there would be the Cross that sits atop the mountain. From our hotel room we could see it lit up at night so to actually stand underneath it was awesome. I’m not sure of the significance but I guess that’s what Google is for!

We also happened to be there during a comedy festival called Just for Laughs. Unfortunately all the performers were speaking french but we did get to explore the ‘campsite’. There were a ton of food trucks, random performers and rides. It reinstated my initial thoughts that Montreal is a really hip and upcoming city. The fact they’re hosting such awesome events and have such bustling neighbourhoods (you’ll see more on my next post), it’s without a doubt a place to visit and explore.
I guess I should include some don’ts or ‘cautions’. First is the Old Port and t’s a really nice walk along the river but make sure you go to the right part as I honestly think we went the wrong direction and ended up by some abandoned factories haha. Another place to check the location of before you go is the RESO aka Underground City. It’s a bunch of shops and restaurants that are underground and co-sync with the metro. We spent hours trying to find it only to be told we were looking in the wrong place so if in doubt ask! Lastly would be milk in a bag as it’s just weird right?

(Little side note – if you do drive from New England to Montreal then you can probably go past the Ben and Jerries factory. We did and it was actually a little disappointing but maybe you’ll find it more interesting?). I was just expecting the tour to be more exciting and the sampling room to have every single flavour imaginable but nope just cookies and cream.

There will be a part two up next week which features a food tour we went on! Lots of food porn photos coming up!


Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

FlΓ₯m - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima



Kyoto 2


Tokyo & DisneySea


Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naçáes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff