20 11 2011

From Quebec City, I took a 3 hours train to Montreal. Downtown Montreal is a bustling city in constrast to the quaint Quebec City. I like Montreal more than Quebec city, maybe because it has a good mix of constrast, with the modern skyscrapers to the neo-Gothic churches and cobbled streets. Similar to Quebec city, the primarily language in Montreal is also French. In fact, Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.

I find the town really pretty with its old buildings and picturesque streets. Maybe it’s also because of the season that I am here ~ it’s mid autumn and the maple trees have all turned colours. I enjoyed walking down Avenue Du Mont-Royal, a lively street with little cafes lined up with people, to nice boutique shops. Constrasting to the downtown Montreal, old Montreal has a romantic charm with its narrow cobbled streets, giving an European town feel. This is the historic area of downtown with main attractions such as the famous Notre-Dame de Montreal basilica, the Old Port, Place d’Armes, Marche Bonsecours, etc. Art galleries, cafes, terraces, artisans’ boutiques lined up the narrow cobbled streets with gracious 18th and 19th century buildings. At dusk, the old town light up, giving the town a romantic vibe. There’s also a light show in the evening at Notre-Dame which is really nice and a way to spend an evening (there’s no shopping in the evening so it’s a good activity).

The north of Montreal city has also quite a lot to offer. Little Italy (Jean-Talon metro station) has nice churches, shops and cafes and Montreal residential architecture of the early 20th centyry, wih exteria wrought iron winding staircase. The Marche Jean-Talon in Little Italy is a nice market to visit.

Montreal is quite similar to Quebec City except that it has much more live (and more city-like). But similar to Quebec City, it is like a replica of a European town, and as always, nothing can beat the real thing. Nonetheless, I still like Montreal, especially walking in the old town along Rue Saint-Paul and Rue-Notre-Dame. Of course, autumn is best spent in Canada with its red maple leaves.


– Downtown Montreal has this vast underground pedestrina walkways with shops and restaurants, provding a sheltered link to various buildings and attractions.

– To save, buy a day pass (or the 3 days pass) which allows you unlimited access to the public transport system.

– Take a walk to the clock tower along St Lawrence River. It may be a little way out but it is a nice relaxing and lovely walk. I love this walk with colourful maple trees lining the path (yes it’s autumn and the maple trees have turned colour).

– For a nice view of the whole Montreal, go to the lookout place at Mount Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal). This place is accessible by public transport even if you are not driving (there’s a bus going there from Mont-Royal metro station).

– Some museums in Montreal are free after 6pm so you may want to check out the details at the Information centres and plan your trips to the muesum accordingly.

– The botanical gardens is beautiful. If you enter before 8am, it’s free entrance!

– Prices that is shown generally exclude taxes so don’t get a shock when you are asked to pay more than what you see.



One response

23 02 2012
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