I’m in the middle of a six week trip right now, and I thought I’d share some of my favourite spots that I visit along the way. I was originally going away for 2 weeks (a week in NYC with friends for my birthday and then visiting a friend in Toronto), but I’m in the middle of apartment hunting and couldn’t find a place for October, so I decided to extend my trip and get a place for November instead.
Right now I’m back in Toronto, which I am loving so much!! I’m staying at my friend’s place while he’s away travelling, and yeah it’s just the best. I’ve got a really long list of places to check out while I’m here, so I’ll probably do a Toronto post later on.
Last week I was in Montreal staying with my aunt. We kind of just hung out and this is by no means the ultimate list of things to do in Montreal, just some cool places I checked out while I was there.
Just on a side note, my friend messaged me last week after I posted a photo asking how I find so many cool places, and my answer is Instagram! I used to use Pinterest to plan all of my trips, and I still use it, but Instagram is my go-to. I just search hashtags for whatever it is I’m interested in seeing in that city and see where people are going. For example, #torontocoffee, #torontofoodie, #torontoparks, etc. It’s the best! I’ve found so many amazing places this way.
Here are some places I recommend in Montreal.
My aunt lives in a neighbourhood called the Plateau, and it’s a really great part of the city filled with restaurants, boutiques, and cafes and has kind of an artsy vibe.
La Fontaine Park
This park is right by my Aunt’s apartment, and it’s soo pretty and always filled with locals (but in a cozy, neighbourhood feel way, not a crowded way). In the winter, they turn the pond into a skating rink and put up lights and Christmas trees.
Old Montreal is beautiful, and in my opinion, it’s one of the things that really sets Montreal apart from other big cities. Just walking through here is so gorgeous, and you feel like you’re in Europe- cobblestone streets, old buildings, amazing restaurants, high-end boutiques. Some parts are overrun by tacky tourist souvenir stores, but for the most part, it’s just beautiful
A Polish restaurant in Old Montreal that is seriously amazing. I had the krokiety, which is a breaded crepe stuffed with mushrooms or meat, and it was so good. I’d also recommend the borscht and perogies, not because I tried them there, but because you really can’t go wrong with either one in my opinion.
Okay I didn’t actually get the chance to hang out here, but it was this amazing cafe near old Montreal (have you noticed I have an obsession with coffee shops? When I travel I spend so much time at them because a) they’re great places to get work done, b) it’s a cool way to see the city without doing boring touristy things, and c) coffee is amazing). Anyways I just stopped in to look and meant to go back, but I ran out of time. It is bright and open, with a super cute back patio, and the food looked amazing.
Super cute spot in Old Montreal! High cielings, white walls, lots of plants- you know, the classic Instagram-worthy cafe. It wasn’t that big, but it managed to fit in tons of seating without being overcrowded, which is a weird observation, but I liked it.
Probably my favourite coffee shop I’ve been to in Montreal. Omg this place was soo pretty!! It was kind of an industrial meets Americana vibe, filled with plants, leather couches, and metal accents. Almost everyone there was working on their computers, which I loved because some places make you feel awkward for being on your computer, but here it was the go to. Oh and the music was instrumental versions of pop songs, which I have a serious thing for, and it was just so cozy- I felt like I was hanging out in a big, very stylish living room. I wish I could go here every day!!
I loved this coffee shop! It had good coffee, the interior is kind of industrial chic, but still warm and welcoming, there are lots of tables, comfy couches, and an outdoor area. Oh and good croissants. So really, what more do you need in life?
On my first day there, we walked up the mountain, which is located right in the city. The park is gorgeous, and when you’re in it it’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of a city. It’s a beautiful walk up the mountain, and once you get near the top, there is a lookout area where you have great views of the city.
Mass at Notre Dame
I’m not Catholic, but my Aunt is and we decided to go to mass at Notre Dame. The cathedral is stunning and mass (which is in French) was beautiful. If you want to see the cathedral, this is how I’d recommend seeing it because you just walk right in and it’s free (aside from collection, if you choose to pay that), and you get the full experience. If you don’t do mass, you have to wait in a massive line to get in and pay an entrance fee. Either way, I think it’s worth it.
Afternoon Tea at the Ritz-Carleton
I’d always wanted to do afternoon tea, so my aunt and I went to the tea at the Ritz. It was so nice- you have tea, champagne, and a seriously delicious assortment of sandwiches and pastries. They have seatings every day (I think on weekends too, but I’m not positive) at 12:30 and 3:30.
This market is really cute, and it has produce stands outside and butchers/gourmet food stores/chocolate shops/etc. inside. My favourite part is out back where they have a bunch of delicious food stalls with international cuisine and picnic tables. My aunt got paella, and I got amazing steam buns.
This was another spot I didn’t actually go to, but I was right outside it, and it looked so cool! It’s a small boat that’s been turned into a bar, docked right near Atwater Market. There is seating inside as well as Adirondack chairs at the front (on the bow? I don’t know boat terms at all haha), and then a little outdoor lounge spot at the back. So cute.
Now I’m in Toronto for the next two weeks and then Ottawa for a week. If you have any recommendations in either place I’d love to hear them!!