Tomorrow, I head home and leave Montreal for a very long time. I’ve lived here for 4 years because of university. It will have a special place in my heart because of that. There were things that I loved and that I hated about this city. But, why spread hate when you could spread love? So, here is a list of things that I think you should do while you’re in Montreal!
Montreal has a ton of great brunch places! Brunch is something that can be quick and easy to catch up with friends while eating a delicious meal! I recommend going to: Universel and L’Avenue. At both places, I recommend getting eggs benedict!
2. Old Montreal (Old Port, Vieux Montréal)
It’s beautiful all year round. I love going to visit Old Montreal. There are cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages, small little shops and restaurants and beautiful architecture. If you go, don’t miss the light show and the tour of the Notre-Dame Basilica! There are also several statues located around Old Montreal that tell the history of the founders of Montreal and the history of the city. Lastly, Old Montreal is right by the water. In the winter, you can skate on the water. In the summer, you can take a boat tour and look at the city skyline.
3. Mount Royal
How could I write a list of things to do in Montreal without including Mount Royal? You walk up to the top via lots and lots of stairs but the view is worth it. I’ve been early in the morning, during the sunset and at night. Seeing the city from high above is absolutely breathtaking. I always love being able to point out my old res, my apartment, various McGill buildings I’ve had classes in, etc.
4. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
If you are an art lover, definitely check out the MMFA! They always have visiting exhibitions as well as a very impressive permanent collection. As an Art History major, I’ve frequented the museum several times for assignments and I’ve been there many times for my own enjoyment. Admission is free and it’s a great way to spend a quiet and calm afternoon. I absolutely love the Impressionist artists so I always like to go see those paintings first. But they have something for everyone! They recently revamped their East Asian art collection so if you are a fan of that, go check it out!
5. Jean Talon Market
I’ve been to the Jean Talon Market several times and I love to go in the morning on the weekends to get fresh fruit and to eat from some food stands!
If you come to Montreal and don’t have poutine, shame on you! The best poutine is from La Banquise. They have a huge menu with so many different kinds of poutine! And if you didn’t already know, poutine is a dish that combines french fries and cheese curds. You might be grossed out by the description, but trust me, it’s heaven in your mouth.
7. Montreal Botanical Garden
I’ve only had a chance to visit the garden once but I absolutely loved it. It’s rather large with winding paths and beautiful architecture in the garden. I went for an exhibition of Chinese lanterns but they always have different exhibitions going on.
8. La Ronde
I love roller coasters. Do you? Then go to La Ronde!
9. Shop ’til you drop!
Montreal has great shopping. St. Catherine street has all the big brand stores that you could ever want to shop in. Plus, if it’s raining or snowing when you’re there, walk underground! You can go through 3 malls that way! Or if you are more into unique shops or vintage shopping, go check out St. Laurent street!
10. McGill University
As a McGill grad (WHOOT WHOOT 2014!), I’ve seen the campus more than I would like to. I associate it with stress and exams, but objectively, it’s a beautiful campus. McGill is Canada’s oldest university and the downtown campus has beautiful buildings. Buildings have marble stairs, wood panneling, stained glass windows on the inside. My favourite building has to be Birks Building which is located on University. If you have a chance, take an organized tour of campus. If not, it’s a fine way to spend an hour or so walking around. Another favourite spot of mine is to go sit on the “Stairs that lead to nowhere.” You’ll spot it on the field. You can’t miss it. During the one summer I spent here in Montreal, my friends and I would go sit on those stairs and just sit and read or chat.
Thanks, Montreal and McGill University for a great 4 years! I’ll try and be back sometime!