Every year we celebrate our wedding anniversary by traveling to a place we have never been. It has already become a tradition of ours. September is our anniversary month, but for the first time in 4 years, we had to postpone the trip. So, when the time finally came, we decided that we did not just want an adventure, we also wanted to experience beautiful fall for me (I was used to 4 seasons before moving to the USA) and the road trip for hubby. We did not have much time, so we had to cancel on Europe trip this year. We explored many places in the USA, so Canada seemed to be a perfect travel destination.
Here is what we did:
– took a plane to New York City to experience the most beautiful autumn;
– crossed the entire state of New York by car for a sake of road trip;
– entered Canada by land simply because we have never done it before;
– visited magnificent Montreal and Ottawa.
Today I invite you to be a part of our adventure in Montreal: we fall in love with it.
First of all, it’s an absolutely beautiful city full of culture. Both of us speak English and Spanish, but sometimes we had trouble to explain ourselves since most people prefer French. I couldn’t complain, it felt wonderful to experience something completely new, I didn’t even realize how much it helped to escape the routine. Everything that we are used to seeing in English changed: name of the streets, menu and the smallest things you may not even pay attention to. This is one of the reasons I can’t go over this city.
Where to stay? We lived at one of the Airbnb apartments in Downtown in Montreal and we really enjoyed the experience. We never booked with Airbnb app before, so it was kind of new for us and we didn’t know what to expect. It gave us more privacy than a hotel and we chose a really good location, so all the attractions were really close to it.
Do I need a car? We had Hertz rental car because we took a road trip from New York City. But if you plan to fly to Montreal, I may assure you that car is not needed at all. Everything is really close, and if you need to get somewhere else – public transport is a good option (we even used the subway once). Otherwise, you will end up paying a lot for parking and waste time looking for it. Oh, and I have never seen so many parking tickets in one city. We also got one ;(
How to pay? We had both credit cards and cash because in some places you have to pay whether with cash or only Canadian cards. Therefore, make sure you have enough cash with you.
What to visit? The architecture of Montreal is breathtaking, small streets are beautiful and clean. The city itself brings a lot of romance with coffee shops and the smell of fresh bread in the morning and city light and little cafes in the evening. I know that the picture may be different if we, let’s say, moved to Montreal, but I am just a traveler, so this is my point of view. It was really cold for us after 75F in Austin, but it did not really matter, we didn’t want to stop exploring. It was worth it. If this is your first time in the city, begin your trip by visiting Montreal Museum of Archeology and History: it would give more understanding of where you are and answer a lot of questions. Make sure to have enough time to spend in Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and Place des Arts. There are plenty of things to explore in Montreal, so make sure you spend enough time in all parts of the city. Stop by their Atwater market, take a long walk in old Montreal, enjoy shopping at Little Burgundy, and keep your eyes wide open: Montreal is famous for its beautiful churches.
We also enjoyed the weather: we visited a couple of parks to experience fall in Montreal. And even though we were in New York before going to Canada, fall in Montreal is beautifully unique. I recommend visiting “Central Park” of Montreal – Mount Royal.
What to eat? No matter what your preferences are, you will always get a high quality of food. Let me be honest with you: when we were packing for the trip, food was something we were not excited about at all. We were like: what is Canadian traditional food like at all? We knew about maple syrup and heard about poutine, but other than that we were had no clue what to expect. No matter where you go, food is organic therefore it tastes really good and fresh. So, if you, for example, order hot chocolate – it’d be made with milk, not water. Jams would be without preservatives, your omelets would be made of farm eggs, etc. At least this was our case in both fancy restaurants and street food places.
Coffee shops and bakeries are another story: I have to confess – I have never had so much coffee, croissants and crepes in my life before. There is a coffee shop or bakery on probably every street in Montreal (at least this is how it feels like), so make sure you use the opportunity to try different things.
This is it for my adventure in Montreal, Canada. Is there a place you fall in love with at first sight?