July 14, 2008 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Plan our trip to Montreal this August 5-ish to 12-ish.

Where should we stay? Where should we eat? What should we do?

My wife and I are going to Montreal for a week as a late honeymoon. We were thinking spending half the time at a hotel and half the time at a B&B. We don't really have anything on our agenda, just exploring the city. Send your recommendations!
posted by lockestockbarrel to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
some notes from my visit
posted by jcruelty at 11:49 PM on July 14, 2008

Go for a walk on Mont-Royal, rent bikes and ride the Canal Lachine. Catch the last fireworks of the season on August 6 (a good spot to sight the fireworks is the edge of the Parc de la Cité du Havre, and to get there, you get to ride in front of Habitat 67 as a bonus).
posted by jchgf at 12:20 AM on July 15, 2008

Make sure you eat some poutine, preferably from La Belle Provence or La Fleur. It's cheese fries and gravy, basically, but it's the most delicious food ever. Seriously.
posted by Grither at 4:45 AM on July 15, 2008

If you have any interest in beer, I mean any whatsoever, you owe it to yourself to go to Dieu du Ciel, on Laurier Ouest. They make some world-class beer there.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:31 AM on July 15, 2008

It's always nice to see the fireworks. You can go to La Ronde (amusement park), I know there's some sort of cruise related, and you can always see it for free either on the Jacques Cartier bridge or just under -- take the metro to Papineau and follow the large groups of people.

If you're foodie types, you might like the Jean-Talon market. As for restaurants -- well, what kinds of food do you like? Montreal bagels are classic. I don't much like either poutine or smoked meat. Chowhound is good for restaurant recommendations.

The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art has a great exhibition on of Quebec artists. It's free Wednesday nights.

Walking around the old port is fun. If you go for brunch (weekends), I like Le Cartet. Generally, food around there sucks. You can find some nice overpriced stuff at Marche Bonsecours, and I believe there are still glassblowers in the basement.

You might want to bike along the Lachine Canal -- you can rent bikes (or rollerblades) near the water in the Old Port, and just go west until you get bored. Even take a brief stop at the Atwater Market -- smaller and more expensive than the Jean-Talon market, but nice for a brief stop.

People-watching is good along St-Laurent, St-Denis and Mount Royal. (I do not find it fun on Crescent; other people may disagree.)

More specific interests might be useful for better recommendations.
posted by jeather at 6:35 AM on July 15, 2008

The Biodome is very very cool.
posted by fish tick at 6:42 AM on July 15, 2008

Oh yeah, the Biodome is wicked cool, plus they've got a few lemurs at the moment. Get there early, though; we went on the day after Canada Day, and by 10:30am it was packed to the gills with camp groups.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:57 AM on July 15, 2008

My favorite place to stay in Montreal -- Petit Auberge Les Bons Matins. It's half way between a B&B and a hotel -- it has B&B charm, and included breakfasts, but has quite a few rooms so is somewhat like a small hotel. The owners are wonderful, and the location is very close to a subway stop, so it's quite convenient for getting around the city.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:00 AM on July 15, 2008

Hotel Vogue on la Montagne is nice and it's near Crescent St., which has a line of restaurants, bars and clubs - all with outdoor sections. Fun at night especially.

I go to Montreal almost every year for the GP and the Vogue and the Ritz-Carlton are the two best hotels. Sorry I don't know what your budget is, but they are both 5 star hotels.
posted by Zambrano at 9:49 AM on July 15, 2008

I have always enjoyed Shakespeare in the Park, this year's performance is 'The Tempest'. I rather like St Joseph's Oratory, and while you're there try a croissant at Duc de Lorraine.

Not exactly where to go, but how to get around once you're there. Street names differ depending on the language. People have been known to get lost trying to find the wrong names and often don't think of this when giving directions.

Some translations: de la Montagne = Mountain; des Pins = Pine, Trudeau airport = Dorval.
Some English pronunciations (French pronunciations are always also acceptable): St-Laurent = Saint Laurent or Lawrence; St-Denis = St Denny; Pie IX = Pee Neuf (pope Pius IX).

Street parking signs are byzantine. Avoid driving if possible. Use the public transit website to find bus/metro directions, not google. Streets are laid out on a sort of grid. We pretend that St-Laurent is a north-south street, so all streets parallel to it are north-south and all streets perpendicular are east-west (Sherbrooke, for example), and people use compass points to give directions. Even numbers are on the west and south sides of the streets. Ignore the fact that the grid bears only the faintest resemblance to an actual grid and that the compass points are in entirely different places.

Street numbering on north-south streets increases as you go north. Street numbering on east-west streets increases as you go away from St-Laurent -- streets are called [street name] ouest and est.
posted by jeather at 12:11 PM on July 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

We went last August. I adored it.

Our hotel was the small but gracious l'Auberge du Carre St. Louis. Lovely breakfast of bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit and delicious coffee each day. A hot tub, which I didn't visit because the tub in the room was luxuriously deep. The hotel is right next to a little park on Rue St. Denis.

Our best meal of the trip took place a block from the hotel, at Cafe Cherrier. I had quiche and frites, and The Musician had a salad with chicken livers, which neither of us had ever had before but which knocked our newly-purchased socks right off. (I don't know how Frommer's manages to call the food unexceptional.)

I definitely recommend taking a walk up Mont Royale.
posted by Riverine at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2008

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