Feedback on Montreal Itinerary Please?

Jun 15th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Feedback on Montreal Itinerary Please?

I'd love some feedback on this preliminary itinerary for a very short Montreal trip later this month. It will be 2 adult children and our mother, who is 70, but an active walker (though we make sure to take it easy.) Keep in mind we're not lounge at a coffee shop for 3 hours type of travelers. My mother prefers to actively be doing or seeing something, although she also enjoys people watching and beautiful scenery. Having said that, we don't plan to run around like maniacs. And we'll still play it by ear depending on our mood. But I do like to group sights together to be practical, while keeping other options in mind in case something else interests us.

Arrive Montreal by plane from NY around 10am
Head over to hotel (either Embassy Suites or Springhill Suites) using taxi or bus
Lunch in Old Town and explore area
Visit Notre-Dame Basilique, Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel
Head to Vieux Port or Pointe-a-Calliere Archaeology & History Museum? Or maybe Plateau?
If we end up in Plateau area, thought we'd have dinner there
After dinner, maybe check out free Jazz Festival goings-on closer to hotel?

Breakfast at hotel, and then head downtown
See Cathedral of Marie-Reine-du-Monde, St. Patrick’s Basilica
Museum des Beaux-Arts (opens at 11am)
Lunch near Rue St. Catherine
Head up to Mont Royal, Oratoire St. Joseph
Dinner somewhere
Something close to hotel after dinner?

Early breakfast at hotel
Jean-Talon market – worth a visit during the hours before our train? Thought it might be fun on a busy Sat morning to buy snacks there. Or too busy and not sensible to backtrack if we already visited Plateau earlier in the trip?

1:00pm Train to Quebec City
4:00pm Arrive QC (still working on this part of the itinerary)
Check into hotel in Old Town

I considered the Botanical Gardens since she loves gardens, but I'm hesitant to take up so much time there as we just visited Hungtington Gardens & Library in Los Angeles (I realize it's not the same thing, but I'm trying to prioritize given our limited time.) Mostly we want to see some key sights while appreciating the beauty of Montreal itself.

I'd appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or "oh no, that's the worst idea ever" comments! Thanks in advance!
jv827 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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I'm a Montrealer and it looks overall like a good plan to me. If you were to go to the Botanical Gardens (metro: Pie IX) which is free after 6pm, I could see you squeezing it in the day of walking Mont-Royal, especially if you decide not to trek out to the Oratoire St. Joseph.

Jean-Talon Market is not "back-tracking" relative to the Plateau; they're really too far apart to say that. You won't have a ton of time to go there prior to your 1pm train, but if you shop like me (quickly), you might be fine if you arrive close to the opening of the JT Market.

Have a great trip! Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts, Daniel! After looking at the map again, I see what you mean about Jean-Talon. I don't know why I thought it was closer to the Plateau! Perhaps I'll leave that as an "if we have time" activity and plan to spend our last morning before the train closer to Old Town/Downtown. And we'll probably just stick with the Chalet and view at Mont-Royal (your saying "trek" prompted another map re-look. Again, helpful.)

Do you think Jean-Talon would still be a nice visit on a Thursday if we were to stop there before dinner and walking in the Plateau? Or is it just better on the weekend?
jv827 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 02:37 PM
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Hello again jv827,

If it's just snacks you need, there's a Premiere Moisson (sandwiches, pastries, salads) in the train station in case you find yourself pressed for time prior to the train Saturday morning.

One might argue the Jean Talon market to be better during the week, as there are fewer crowds. Thursday however might be a bit tight, especially given that you're arriving that day and especially if you're really taking in Old Montreal & the Pointe a Calliere museum. I think your "Plateau" idea with a meandering through the Jazz Fest sounds more feasible for the Thursday.

Have a great trip, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jun 16th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Since your mother likes gardens, be sure to check out the one behind the Chateau Ramezay in Old Montreal. See also this description of the area around St Joseph Oratoire

The tourism web site I have linked to here has lots of good information about the city--descriptions of neighborhoods are here
Vttraveler is online now  
Jun 16th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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If you are planning to go to Jean Talon, the best time go is a weekday morning - less crowded than a Saturday, and everything is nice and fresh. It starts winding down by 2:00 or so. You are planning a lot for 3 days, but it is feasible. Also realize that downtown St Catherine St will be wall to wall people for the Jazz Fest, but don't let that keep you away - it's a lot of fun, with free outdoor concerts from noon until midnight. I would choose the botanical gardens over St. Josephs. The gardens are quite beautiful, especially the Chinese gardens and temple. The Plateau is perhaps the best area for dining, especially if you want to dine outdoors, and escape the Jazz Fest crowds.
ps: do you have a room reserved? During Jazz fest, downtown rooms fill up early, and they get a premium.
zootsi is offline  
Jun 16th, 2012, 07:00 PM
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Thank you Daniel, Vttraveler, and zootsi for all the suggestions. I'd forgotten Chateau Ramezay, but will make sure to see the gardens there. Depending on how long the Mont-Royal visit takes, I think I'll leave what we do afterward as a "game-time" decision, with the botanical gardens as one option.

Since there seems to be agreement about going to Jean Talon on a weekday, if interest is there from my family, perhaps we'll do that before the Fine Arts Museum on Friday instead of the churches. Or maybe after the museum, but before Mont Royal, and pick up items for a picnic lunch. Since we'll be staying close by, we could always save St. Catherine for evenings.

And zootsi, yes, we do have a hotel booked. Though I knew I'd have to put off itinerary planning until now due to work, I made sure to book hotels a few months ago when we first decided on the trip. I always figure it never hurts to have something on hold, even if I something better later. And with it being summer AND the Jazz Fest, I was too afraid to wait!
jv827 is offline  

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