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In the beginning of September, I went to Montreal and Quebec City with 3 friends. For the first time, I didn’t really help plan it well in advance because I wasn’t sure that I was going until a week or so before. However, my friend N, who is well versed in traveling and planning, outlined most of it and I was fine following those plans. Plus I figured since we were driving from Harrisburg to Montreal and had 8 hours that we would have some time in the car to look more things up.
Our first stop was coffee and hot chocolate at Cafe San Simeon. We took it to go and headed to Mount Royal to take advantage of the clear day and see a nice view of the city. (Spoiler Alert: It rained all day the next day.)
Mount Royal Parking Lot, 11088 Remembrance Rd, Montreal, QC H3H 1A1, Canada
Price: $8 or less for the day
1. Chalet du Mont Royal – After parking, we walked/hiked up to the first vista point. It took us about 10-15 minutes from the parking lot, which wasn’t too bad. It was a nice view of the city from here. We saw it just before the sunset as well as right after the sunset.
2. Belvédère Camillien-Houde – Next we kept going further north to the next vista point. However, we missed the right turn and ended up seeing a spectacular sunset from other parts of the mountain. When we realized we weren’t going the right way, we turned back around and found the sign to Belvédère Camillien-Houde. We were too engrossed in our conversation that we didn’t pay attention, otherwise the signs to everything are pretty clear and it is pretty easy to get to where you want.
3. Mount Royal Cross – On our way back to the parking lot we stopped at the famous cross. It looked pretty when it was lit up in the night sky.
Dinner at Romados
So before getting to Montreal, I kept seeing how there is a Portuguese influence in the city and Portuguese style chicken is a must. After researching where to eat that night, I found Romados. It had so many amazing reviews on multiple sites that it felt necessary to try it out.
My honest opinion is that it wasn’t the best chicken I’ve had but it wasn’t the worst either. Some of my friends thought it was terrible but I did finished my meal. If you do end up trying it, I recommend getting the spicy dark meat, it had the most flavor.
It was here, that we also tried poutine for the first time. And I am sorry to report that it was not good!! I don’t get the gravy thing. The cheese curds weren’t melted and it was all so salty. The fries themselves were good though!
Breakfast at St-Viateur Bagel
Guys, once again I was disappointed! First of all, I am not a bagel fan but I gave it a chance and thought, hey a warm bagel out of the oven won’t be so bad. It was so tough and dry that I couldn’t finish it.
Cafe Myriade Mile End
So instead, I got a croissant from next door at Cafe Myriade Mile End which was really good! Ask them to warm it up for you, and it will taste even better! In addition, according to my coffee drinking friends, the coffee was good too!
Next, we went to Old Montreal to check out the Cathedral. Unfortunately, we arrived at Mass time, so we couldn’t go inside. What a bummer that was! So we just walked around and decided to go have lunch.
Lunch at Marche Jean-Talon
Finally, a good food experience! There was a lot of food related things here. Everything from fresh produce to baked goods.
My friend, M and I decided to have some crepes from Creperie du Marche. We got one with spinach, mushrooms, potatoes and cheese. We thought the addition of potatoes was weird but it wasn’t so bad.
We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport. It was the best reviewed hotel within our budget at $136/night. It was about 15 minutes from the city and perfect for our one night stay there.
My favorite part of Montreal was going up Mount Royal and walking around Marche Jean-Talon. The food scene was okay, nothing that I would rave about; however, the coffee was good in most places. Would I visit again? If the opportunity presented itself, I wouldn’t mind going again in better weather.
Have you been to Montreal? How was your experience?