Allons y! A Weekend Guide to Montreal, Canada
Having lived in different parts of Quebec for about a year, I made a few weekend trips to Montreal and it’s always a trip to look forward to. A special part of Canada, Montreal is this hybrid between renaissance Europe architecture, and modern, lively, young night life. It is by far the coolest city in Canada in terms of fun. Montreal truly is a mecca for great food, people and culture. Ideally, it would be nice to move there to enjoy all the great culture, but if you’re only in town for the weekend, here’s a guide of how to hit all the best food and attractions in one weekend.
Friday – Late night poutine at La Banquist
Let’s just start smack into Canadian-French culture: Poutine. It’s the classic, Canadian dish, you know is bad for you, but you can’t stop eating. Poutine is a French-Canadian dish that is essentially fries, covered in gravey, and topped with cheese curds. How does one not drool at the sound of that?! And more modernly, it can be topped with everything from bacon, to sausage, to pulled pork, and peas, you name it!
La Banquest is located at 994 Rue Rachel E in Montreal (rue means street!).
Saturday Morning Brunch at L’Avenue
While this wasn’t the best brunch I’ve ever had in my life (go about 200km south to Wilf and Ada’s in Ottawa for that), L’Avenue is very good and popular in Montreal. It’s also at a convenient place and makes incredible bread!
L’Avenue is located at 922 Mont-Royal Ave E.
Saturday Afternoon Tourisim: Mont Royal, Old Port, and Notre Dame
Mont Royal Park: 1260 Remembrance Rd.
Old Port: 333 Rue de la Commune O.
There’s always fun festivals going around!
Notre Dame: 110 Notre-Dame St W.
I personally think it’s nicer than the Notre Dame Paris; breathtaking! Ordinarily I would recommend this in the evening for the “And then there was light show” but it was unfortunately cancelled. Still a beautiful basilica!
Saturday Night – Smoked Montreal Meat dinner at Schwarz’s Deli
While poutine is found in everywhere in Quebec (and Canada), smoked meat is special to Montreal. And you have to go to Schwarz’s, I’m serious. The line is HUGE but it’s for a very good reason. On one of my visits to Montreal, I went to a different smoked meat place because my friends and I were on a tighter schedule and couldn’t wait. It was not as good and we ended up getting sick. Another plus, is that not only do they have incredible smoked meat sandwiches, the guys that work there are super nice. My friend and I ended up sitting at the bar, and got to watch them make sandwiches the whole time with a great attitude. Memorizing.
Rest Break – Back to your Accommodation
Cause everyone needs a break! Time to take a food-coma nap. Get well rested because next up is a long night ahead! So as the sun sets it’s time to get ready for the sunrise.
Saturday Night on the Town
All dolled up! Great, now let’s get ready to go! Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which is the best night club because what’s hot one night, ain’t going to be hot the next. But look up some local events and see where to go next, but it doesn’t stop there.
Montreal’s night life is also reminiscent of Europe. As the night clubs close around 2-3am, the after party is still going on! Literally partied until the subways opened up again at sunrise. Good times always.
Sunday Morning Dim Sum in Chinatown
Okay so it was a long night. And what’s better for hangover food than dim sum! Of course, this isn’t true authentic French-Canadian food, but personally, when I wake up, I really need something substantial and waffles and sweets won’t do it. A part from Vancouver, I think Montreal has one of the best Chinatowns in Canada!
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Sunday Afternoon stroll and lunch at Marche Jean Talon
And speaking of art, I think there’s a real art to food, and you can eat it too. Endless possibilites and the freshest food you can find (seriously, I still think about that amazing peach I ate here), it’s time to taste test everything in sight (for research of course).
The Botanical Gardens
I absolutely loved the Botanical Gardens, but it’s not a must-see in Montreal. If you missed any of the classic locations due to weather or time, this is the time to catch anything you had to miss. But the Botanical Gardens are definitely worth it. These sculptures are ENORMOUS. And on a beautiful day, it’s the perfect ending.
Sunday Night – Goodbye Vieux Montreal
And to end off, it’s one last hurrah in Old Montreal. Of course you probably walked (and biked) around yesterday to see the town and Old Port, but this is a great way to end. Truly authentic to Montreal and near any train station/transfers that you may need to get back home. So sit in a cafe or restaurant with your luggage or find the last minute souvenirs, Montreal is a magical place.
Allons y! Let’s go!
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