In June, Ted and I headed north to Montreal and Quebec City Canada. Both of these cities are in the French speaking state of Quebec and have a wonderful old world flair. We started our journey in the city of Montreal, so I’m sharing my two day itinerary for this fun Canadian city.
Montreal is just a short two hour flight from Chicago, so the best part about this trip is you get to visit a new country and hear a different language, but you get none of the jet lag. Woot! You can literally hit the ground running, and that’s exactly what Ted and I did.
Our 2-day stay was an amazing experience, but of course if you have the luxury of time, stay longer! But if you have just a weekend or want to add on other cities to your stay, two days is perfect.
Explore the Old Town’s St. Paul Street
After Ted and I landed, we made our way to the hotel, freshened up and headed over to St. Paul street. This street was once the heart of Montreal’s business district. Today, rue Saint-Paul now preserves the historic French charm of Montreal. Old grey faced buildings are now home to numerous tourist shops and restaurants. It actually reminds me a bit of Paris. The street isn’t too big so you only need to dedicate about two hours to exploring the area.
Eat Crepes at Jardin Nelson
When in a French speaking city filled with proud French descendants you better be eating some crepes. We took a break from our walk and ate on the patio of Jardin Nelson. I had the Diva crepe with chicken, broccoli, shallots, cheese and pulette sauce. It was so yummy !
Explore McGill University Campus
After spending time in Montreal’s Vieux port area (basically this is right by the water) we started walking through the city to explore Mont Royal. On the way there we encountered McGill University and it looks just like Hogwarts. Naturally I made us stop and enjoy since it’s such a pretty campus and has an abundance of “instagrammable” spots.
Hike Mont Royal
What I love about Montreal is there is literally a “mini” mountain in the city. Because of this you get the best of both worlds: an urban area and outdoor activities. If only Chicago had a mini mountain. Mont Royal gives an amaaaazing view of the city and the St. Lawrence River. You can drive up the mont to get the view or you can hike up the whole way. Ted and I chose to use our feet and walked around the entire park. On top of Mont Royal there are miles of hiking and natural areas to enjoy – its such a cool benefit of the city.
Coffee at Cafe Olimpico
That night before Ted and I slept so deeply since we had such an early morning flight but I still woke up needing some coffee. We stopped at Cafe Olimpico for breakfast and their iced coffee was sooooo good! They put in slushy like ice in it and it gave the coffee an interesting texture. They also used whole milk which made my coffee so creamy!
Group Tour with Fitz & Follwell
I usually pick free tours but Ted and I could only do this tour at a specific time so we went with Fitz & Follwell and did their Old Montreal Walk to learn the history of the city. The tour guide spent three and a half hours with us so for the $42 it was well worth it.
Visit Notre Dame Basilica
I’m a sucker for old churches and the Notre Dame basilica didn’t disappoint. The tickets to enter are $6 and I don’t mind paying since it goes to keeping up the church and maintaining the beautiful stained glass. My favorite aspect of the church is the ceiling – its a beautiful blue decorated with gold stars to look like the sky.
Get Your Portrait Drawn
I’ve always wanted to get my portrait drawn so sat down at one of the artist stalls in Place Jacques Cartier. It took about an hour and at first it’s super awkward as the artists stares at you in order to draw you properly. But as time goes by you get more comfortable and it’s fun. The portrait is a wonderful memory from the trip.
Late Lunch at Venice
Just look at this pizza. Do I have to say anything else to convince you to eat here? The ingredients are super fresh and they make healthy food taste good.
We stayed at Hotel Chrome – similar to hotel in Charleston, this was an average hotel but with a great location and affordable price. Its right in the middle of the city and from there we were able to easily walk to the port and Mont Royal.
Ted and I left Montreal around 4pm to take a train ride to Quebec City – stay tuned for a future post on that (In the meantime, check out some of the other travel posts in Girl Meets Party!). Overall we loved Montreal. It was a friendly, pretty city that perfectly blends the new and the old. If you plan on going give me a message or leave a comment below – I’m happy to offer more suggestions.
Christina has always felt like an old soul and is a lover of tradition and all things vintage. A typical Libra, she loves beauty and is always trying to balance her love of cozy nights at home with her adventurous spirit (23 countries and counting). By day she works for an international accounting firm. By night she works on her blog, My Petite Joys. On her site, you’ll find her featuring topics on travel (near and far), baking adventures, crafting, and thoughts on life’s simple joys. She lives in Chicago with her husband and high school sweet heart Ted. In her spare time she enjoys bookmaking, watching documentaries, and yoga.