Any tips for Montreal visit?

Hoping to spend a few days in Montreal in October, and looking for some insider tips from folk! I am keen to hear your must sees and favourite insider things to do! I love bookshops, am a virtual cook - like looking at the gadgets, bakeware etc, but not too great at actually doing the cooking now, and of course I need a list of good coffee shops or places to rest up as I can't go far without a break. Where can I sit and enjoy watching the world go by? Planning to stay near the convention centre as that looks fairly central. Also if you have any ideas for easy day trips - by bus or ferry that would be great, or must see museums. So please do share your experiences and tips - I'd love to hear them, and it would really help me plan.

Fabulous city, AuroraB – lucky you! But I don’t know it well enough to give specific advice, except that one of the places to go is Old Montreal. The best person to ask here is MicaelinVermont, who is a frequent visitor. There are also some members who live there. Maybe some of them will answer!

Hi aurorab

I just moved from montreL having lived here for 7.5 years. Here are some things I love in montreal

  • Atwater market - nearest metro is Lionel groulx - much nicer than the market at jean talon and make sure you have the best breakfast ever at quoi de Neuf on rue notre dame west - between the metro and the market
  • entrecôte st jean (rue peel) for fantastic set menu of salad, soup, steak and frites and profiteroles
  • always love going to beaver lake park and the chalet on a Sunday or Saturday! for a walk probably too early for skating or there is great - fab view, and always busy

    These are just some of the things I love doing there - hope they help

Thanks ever so much for the tips - really appreciate your response and I will be looking these up on the internet as I formulate my plans!

Hi Seenie, thanks for the reply - have not been so well recently, so this is something nice to look forward to and am enjoying planning my trip.

You’re welcome!

Don’t know if you’re into churches - I’m not religious but enjoyed looking around the notre dame basilica - a really nice church in the old town and there’s a fab cupcake shop very near to it on rue st sulpice (called les glaceurs) I tend to steer clear of the old port as I have very painful feet and the cobbles make it excrutiating for me to get around! Also I find it depressing when it’s cold although a nice afternoon out if it’s warm and sunny!

The plateau area (again on the metro - mont royal station) is nice to spend a couple of hours in - lots of cafés and shops that aren’t the chains on rue at Catherine. Hope you have a fab time!

With regard to hotels - montreal is pretty small for a city so anywhere should be reachable pretty easily

thanks for the ideas - always nice to see the shops that aren't the chains (although as I am based in the UK I guess even the chainstores will be different for me!)

Speaking of chains, I agree, I like an independent shop. BUT when in Canada, you must have at least one coffee at Tim Horton’s. It’s our own iconic chain of coffee shops, eh? And while you are there, you may as well have the Canadian Maple donut and get that crossed off your list. But never fear, if you miss Timmy’s in Montreal, there will many more opportunities, as every town has them everywhere.

Speaking of food, Montreal has a couple of food specialties that you should try to have:

  1. Smoked meat – kind of a pastrami seasoned with a Montreal spice blend. Really delicious if you aren’t vegetarian. Everyone on Montreal has their own view on where the best smoked meat is.
  2. Bagels – traditional Montreal-style bagels are made in a wood burning oven. Quite a unique taste and texture, that I love.

I am jealous AuroraB! I try to go to Montreal 2-3 times a year and I haven’t been at all this year. I have been flaring and now may be moving house! I am there in spirit though.
I love the Botanical gardens. They have a tram for when you tire. Though my friend Seenie has a scooter which worked perfectly. I have tried a wheel chair there but only with limited success.
I also love Old Montreal and can explore there all day. I also love St Joseph’s and the Montreal Meusuem of Fine Art. Oh I do love Montreal!

Thanks Michael for the extra ideas, knowing there is a tram in the botanical gardens is good to know.