My sister and I traveled to Montreal over Easter weekend. What a beautiful, artistic, interesting city! Montreal’s neighborhoods remind me of both Chicago and New York, but the French influence was inescapable. We truly felt as though we were visiting Europe for the weekend instead of Canada. After just a two hour flight from Chicago, we stepped into a city full of brasseries, boulangeries, très chic people and peppered with the twinkly French language. Speaking French is not necessary for survival in Montreal; most seem to understand some English. Arriving equipped with a few essential French phrases is extremely helpful, bien sur.
Suggestions for a weekend in Montreal:
- Save your Canadian dollars and stay in a guest house to get the true neighborhood vibe of Montreal
- Avoid Vieux-Montreal (the old city)….it is boring and touristy
- Climb to the highest point in the city, in a park designed by Frederick Olmsted
- Take the train to Marche Atwater (this is where your French will come in handy)
- Stick to Saint Denis Street for amazing boutiques, cafes and restaurants
- Leave your GPS at home and use a map. Get ready to walk, walk, walk through the Plateau Mont Royal, Saint-Laurent Blvd, and other neighborhoods that flow into one another.
- Follow my restaurant suggestions….coming soon!