Montreal - things to do?

Old Jun 5th, 2007, 06:53 PM
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Montreal - things to do?

Hello, my husband is interested in visiting Montreal later this summer. A friend of his told him Montreal is "the Paris of North America". I had been there once when I was much younger, and didn't recall there being all that much to do. Any suggestions on things to see/do while we are there? Hotel suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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You don't give much info: interests, budget, age group, sports or arts....

Check this site
http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/B2C/00/default.asp
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Sorry for the lack of info. My husband and I are mid-30's, his parents, who will likely accompany us, are 60. Budget not an issue, we'll likely be there for 2 days. Not that interested in sports or arts - would be more interested in any tourist activites that are must-sees, shopping, good restaurants, possible shows, etc.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Also - we will be flying in. If we stay in a hotel downtown, is it necessary to rent a car, or is everything walking distance or cab distance?

Thanks.
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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Montreal is a good walking - cab city, packed with exceptional restaurants.

Old Montreal / Vieux Porte is well worth a day prowling around. Very fashionable city, as far as women's fashions go.

For that matter, lots of fine men's fashions, too.

A a great bug museum.

Care about trains? There's a good train museum, too, but it requires a car rental.

BAK

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Old Jun 7th, 2007, 05:03 AM
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For shopping, you will find practicaly the same stores as in the USA or Toronto.

Some fashion designers worth mentionning are Marie St-Pierre
http://www.mariesaintpierre.com/

Philippe Dubuc
http://www.dubucstyle.com/

Andy TheAnh
http://www.andytheanh.com/

As for restaurants, for over 15 years L'Express (3927 RUE SAINT-DENIS - (514) 845-5333)has never failed me. Reservations recommended.

Many will rave about Toqué (900 Place Jean Paul Riopelle (between St. Antoine & Viger) (499-2084)) who is frequently cited as one of the best restaurants in North America. Their presentation is simply spectacular. And their prices are also quite high - reservations absolutely required.

There is also Milos (Greek) (5357 Parc & Fairmount (514) 272-3522)). Probably one of the five best restaurants in Montreal, period. But the price tags comes with it - very very pricy (minimum of 35$ for a main dish). Reservations required.

Those 2 also got great reviews
Ô Chalet
1393 René-Lévesque Blvd. E.; 527-7070

Chez L'Épicier
311, rue Saint-Paul Est
Téléphone: (514) 878-2232

As for activities, browse the Montréal tourisme website.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Hi there.... I stayed at hotel Le Germaine and recommend it highly. As for restaurants..... if you like great meal, service, subdued elegance in Old Montreal, I suggest les Remparts. For a great seafood restaurant that is upscale and very exciting, try the Globe. Trendy area is around St Laurent Boulevard. Touristy stuff is on Crescent St. Old Montreal around the port is amazing. You will have fun.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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and didn't recall there being all that much to do

I guess it depends what you're looking for. From my experience, if you're looking for a city full of attractions where you can pay an admission fee, be entertained, and go on to the next attraction, Montreal might not be for you. Montreal, at least in my personal experience, is not about attractions as it is about its neighbourhoods, and strolling around trying different cafes, browsing into shops, admiring the architecture, strolling through the parks. It's not what's inside, but what's on the outside.

Montreal's also a very artsy city, big on galleries, live music, festivals, and fashion. Since you have no interest in the arts, there's probably going to be a lot of Montreal that you won't appreciate. And it's probably why you didn't think there was much to do there for you during the last time you visited.

However, I think the whole "Paris of North America" stems from the fact that Montreal is a relatively large city (3 million people) where the primary language is French. Add the French language and aspects of European cafe/arts culture to the historic architecture peppered around the city, and superficially, Montreal appears more Parisian than say, Boston, Toronto, or LA.

As for things to do, I'd say a must-see is Parc Mont Royal, also called the Mountain. It's a huge park with beautiful lookouts over the city.

For shopping, I'll let the locals answer that, but I've enjoyed shopping on Rue St Laurent, Rue St Denis, and Rue St Catherine.

If you like history, I enjoyed the McCord Museum, which focuses on Canadian history. It may/may not be for everybody. It's a small museum and can eat up 2 hours.

Actually, if you really love museums, you might enjoy spending a day trip in Ottawa, which is about an hour and a half west of Montreal. It's Canada's capital city, but has the best collection of museums in the country. The Museum of Civilization is worth the trip alone - you could spend a good portion of the day there. I also really liked the Aircraft museum, and the War Museum. Or you can just go to Ottawa and tour the House of Parliament, or just stroll downtown, which is very tiny and walkable.

Back to Montreal - the Old Port is the historic and touristy part of Montreal along the riverfront. You can take a horse-drawn "caleche" tour where the driver narrates the city.

If you're there on a Sunday, there is a collection of people that get together at the park at the bottom of Parc Mont Royal, where they drum and dance. Thousands of people show up. It's a weekly event and very unique to Montreal.

There's of course more to do (if you like architecture, you can tour the Notre Dame Cathedral, or the Basilica). If you like gardens, the Botanical Gardens are very, very beautiful and worth a visit. There's also the Biodome which you might as well visit if you're by the Botanical Gardens. It's an indoor complex with recreated ecosystems. Not really a zoo, but they have animals in different exhibits, recreating the tropical rainforest, Antarctica, etc.
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 12:49 PM
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I have been looking for some info on Montreal, where our family of four plans to visit later this summer. We've never been there, but so far I like what I've read about the city. The question is which area to stay-- downtown, near the airport, or some other area. I like the idea of taking a day trip to Ottawa. Does it mean we need to (we'd better) rent a car? We plan to stay for four days there.
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 02:12 PM
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Tominrm. I wouldn't stay near the airport--there's little for visitors to see or do in that part of the city. The big hotels are mostly in the downtown area, while Old Montreal has smaller "boutique" hotels and some B&Bs. The Plateau Mont-Royal area also has smaller hotels and B&Bs. I'd stay either in Old Montreal or the Plateau area.

Ottawa is about 2 hours from Montreal whether you drive or take the train. For a day trip, you probably won't need a car to get around in Ottawa, but for four people a rental car would likely be cheaper than the train, and more flexible. (The last train back to Montreal leaves about 6pm).
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 04:32 PM
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thank you, laverendrye. I am not sure about visiting Ottawa when we have only three days there. We might not go if we have other things to do for three days. I think we will stay in the downtown area because of easy access to many things. The question now becomes: What is the transporation from the airport to downtown? Anything other than taxi? How much would it cost? Rental cars cost about $200+ for three days and parking costs about $20/day at downtown hotels. If there is public transportation between the airport and the hotel, rental car would not be necessary unless we decide to go Ottawa. So here are the questions:
1.Are there any decent public transportation between the airport and the downtown? If so, what would be the fare? If not, what would a (approximate) taxi costs?
2. What would be the (approximate) fare between Montreal and Ottawa by train?
thanks inadvance.
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Tominrm: Tranportation downtown from the airport is available by taxi, limo and airport shuttle bus. Taxis cost $35. You can get more information from the airport website:

http://www.admtl.com/passager/acces_...ment/home.aspx

Regarding renting a car, you really don't need one in Montreal as you can get around easily by walking, taxi and the metro. If you're not used to it, driving in Montreal can be a bit of a challenge.

If you do want to go to Ottawa, you might consider renting a car for the day with pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.

Train fares vary depending on the day and time and how long in advance you book. I think that the cheapest round trip fare to Ottawa would be about $70. Children under 11 are free. You should check the Via Rail website for more details:

http://www.viarail.ca/en_index.html
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