Traveling to Montreal alone

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Jul 16th, 2004, 10:57 AM
  #1
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Traveling to Montreal alone

Are there any areas of Montreal I should stay away from in the evenings - safety wise? I'll be touring around while my husband is busy in his training class. We'll just 1 day together to tour, but the remaining 3 days I'll be alone.

Thanks!

Monica
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Jul 16th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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Hmmm - We've been to Montreal many, many times and walked the streets until late in the evening. I can't think of any areas I would consider dangerous. The area around the corner of St. Laurent and St. Catherine, and going downhill on St Laurent towards Chinatown is a little seedy; as is the small park near the downtown bus station, where the homeless and spiked hair crowd hang out. However all in all, Montreal is a very safe city with lots of people on the streets until the wee hours.
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Jul 16th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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Thanks Zootsi for your information!

Monica
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Jul 16th, 2004, 02:50 PM
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I had a friend who spent 4 days in Montreal, alone. She went everywhere and had a great time. I think Montreal is a very safe city. It is easy and not expensive to take cabs everywhere if you feel better in the evenings than walking alone.
Have fun!
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Jul 17th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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Hi Scarlett,

Did your friend have any particular itinerary for her days? I'm just now reading up on sights to see and I think my days will be filled. I also have a list of restaurants to pick from. My friend Oliva was in Montreal last year and enjoyed Le Express.

Monica
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Jul 17th, 2004, 07:35 AM
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Hi Monica!

I'm sure you'll have a blast exploring Montreal; I've lived here 7 years now and find new things to love even now. As far as safety is concerned, I wouldn't worry too much. There are a few areas of the city where I feel on edge (parts of Saint Michel, Montreal Nord), but these are well-removed from anything downtown. Besides, you're likely to stay within Papineau-Lionel Groulx on the green metro line (with perhaps a visit to Viau/Pie IX for the Biodome and Jean Talon-Snowdon on the orange or blue metro lines (check a map!)...honestly, I feel very comfortable all throughout this zone.

You may want to get a tourist 3-day metro card (CAN$12 I believe), which will give you unlimited bus & metro usage on the island of Montreal for the 3 consecutive days you select.

I'd highly recommend going to Parc Mont-Royal, meandering the side streets of Old Montreal & the Plateau Mont-Royal. This city I find has quite a number of options for the solo diner, if you're interested: healthier solo dining options I enjoy include le Commensal or Aux Vivres for vegetarian, Patisserie de Gascogne for fantastic pastries and lunch fare. All of which I go on my own and feel totally at ease; I should also mention that there are a ton of food courts if you're hankering for fast food.

Bon voyage et bienvenue a Montreal!!!
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Jul 17th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Monica, here is part 1 of StCirqs stay in Montreal last year. I think it will be very helpful to you as well as entertaining.
Hope this helps~

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...9&tid=34438977
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Jul 17th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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I'd recommend getting a three-day visitor's pass for unlimited travel on the buses and metro, along with a free map. You can get both at any metro station.

Though the city is very walkable, you'll want to conserve your energy so as to cover more of it.

Also valuable are the Access Guide Montreal, and Ulysses Guide Montreal (this one includes lots of self-guided walking tours).

Fabulous ways to spend ? day:

You might want to start with a ? day bus tour. This is a sensational tour (which includes a visit inside the not-to-be-missed Notre Dame). Having taken this, you?ll be able to determine where you?d like to spend more time and which neighborhoods most appealing to you.

Go to Chez Leveque on rue Laurier for lunch. Phone and reserve a window table. This is a lovely street in the little touristed, and very French, neighborhood of Outremont. There is fabulous shopping (no chains, local boutiques, markets, etc.) including Maison d'Emilie (kitchenware heaven), a travel clothing store (Tilley products), an old fashioned grocery (with an amazing cheese display) with merchandise beautifully displayed on wooden shelves, a lovely lingerie store, etc. Heading east, there's a wonder travel accessories store (with fabulous items I've never seen anywhere else) called Jet-Setter at #56 (between Blvd St-Laurent and rue St-Dominique).

From there, you could take a bus to St-Denis and Ave Mont-Royal East. You could walk, but you?d want to conserve your energy. Walk southeast. Both sides of St-Denis are lined with shops and boutiques of all sorts, patisseries, cafes, all housed in beautiful vintage town houses. As you approach rue Sherbrooke, be sure to stroll about Square St-Louis (on the right). Gorgeous restored townhouses around the perimeter of a beautiful park. There are any number of places to relax and enjoy refreshments.

Vieux Montreal is another fabulous destination. Head for Place Jacques Cartier. Jardin Nelson at the foot of the hill (on the right facing the statue at the top of the hill) is a lovely spot for lunch. There is usually live music in the nice weather. There are all sorts of historical sites to visit and a fabulous waterfront park to stroll.

Rue St-Catherine between rue St-Mathieu and rue University is a lively street chock full of shopping and dining. At 1611 is another kitchenware heaven, Le Soupier (with different merchandise, much unique), than Emilie). Marche St-Catherine is a wonderful collection of indoor concessions. Especially fun is the bakery with marzipan figures. They are beautiful and adorable. Oglivy is a magnificent department store, with a lovely café for relaxing on the lower ground floor. The Chapters bookstore is huge with a Starbucks café and lots of seating throughout. Guy & Dodo Morali is a charming place for lunch, just off St-Catherine at 1444 rue Metcalfe. Or,

If you appreciate art and architecture, a self-guided walk all about the Sherbrooke Square mile would be fabulous, along with a visit therein at the Musee des Beaux Arts and Musee des Arts Decoratif. Holt-Renfrew is an amazing upscale department store with extraordinary service at the many cosmetic counters. This is a fabulous place to shop for accessories. Lunch on the outdoor deck at Thursdays (on Crescent between Maissoneuve, which is one block south of Sherbrooke, and St-Catherine) is absolutely delightful. Extensive menu. Gorgeous rooms. Vintage ladies room. (The cocktail lounge in the Hotel de la Montagne on the backside is a terrific, romantic, nighttime destination for you and your husband, along with the restaurant, Le Lutecia, within as well.)

Lovely outdoor destinations include Parc Mont Royal and the Botanical Gardens.

If the weather is rainy or too hot and humid, just head for the underground. You can get a detailed map and guide from the concierge at your hotel.

If you plan to do some shopping, be sure to visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/nonresi...rs/menu-e.html for information on sales tax refunds.

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Jul 18th, 2004, 07:06 AM
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WOW!!!! You all are awesome! Thanks everyone so very much for your suggestions - I feel I may not have to read my guidebook - but I will.

My husband Tony will be in training at the airport (pilot for Midatlantic - a subsidiary of USAirways - he finally got a job after being furloughed over 1.5 years), so I'll be staying with him. His hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn very close to the airport. Question: Is there a metro near the hotel? Or from the airport? If not, I'll probably taxi to the nearest metro station.

I'll check out StCirq's posting.

Thanks again!!!!

Monica
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Jul 18th, 2004, 03:44 PM
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Zoiks!

Monica, I'm not sure how to tell you this, but I'll just spell it out. You're in a TERRIBLE location for exploring the interesting parts of Montreal!

The good news is that it is certainly doable, but will take you 45 minutes- 1 hour to get to the good stuff... I do a shorter version of the same trip every day almost to get to work. You're looking at *at least* a $15 taxi ride to Du College Metro and a $30 ride to downtown. Luckily alternatively for you there's the #202 bus which runs about every 20-30 minutes daily, or the #460 bus which runs frequently only at rush hours on weekdays, going to Du College Metro. You'll see some pretty ugly industrial parts of Montreal on your 10-15 minute bus ride that most tourists don't see. If you decide upon reading this that you want to rent a car, know that driving in the city and finding parking can be tedious!

From du College metro, you'll take the Orange Line to Bonaventure for downtown shopping (about 20 minutes), to Place des Armes or Champ de Mars metro stop for Old Montreal (about 25 minutes ride), to Sherbrooke or Mont-Royal (about 1/2 hour ride) for Plateau Mont-Royal exploration.


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Jul 18th, 2004, 03:47 PM
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I wanted to add that you can check out www.stm.info for bus schedule information (you can plug in the bus # you want at various prompts). The good news is that the 202 and 460 seem to stop practically right in front of your hotel (75 metres from, it says).
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Jul 18th, 2004, 10:12 PM
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For sure, commuting into Montreal every day over three days will be inconvenient and expensive.

If it were me, I'd look into booking another room for myself with Priceline, Hotwire, etc.

I've done this on occasion when "joining" my husband on business. For example, this week he is in the San Franciso area. He is staying in Concord for business in Walnut Creek. Previously, I've stayed in the hotel with him, taken the hotel shuttle to the Bart station, then the train into the city, and back again, every day. And this was not nearly as inconvenient or pricey as commuting from Dorval to downtown Montreal.

This time, I've booked a room right in the city via Hotwire for the weeknights and the weekend. He'll join me Thursday night for the rest of the nights there.
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Jul 19th, 2004, 04:34 AM
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The Dorval train station is only minutes away from your hotel; a short cab ride.
Then you would be 4 stops away from the downtown station; the train line from Dorion-Rigaud would be the one you want; from the train station downtown, you could metro directly to the area of your choice or walk up to the central downtown core.

There is also a main bus stop across from the train station where the 211 bus would get you to Lionel Groulx station, which is very central.

I'm sure the hotel where you are staying will point you to your alternatives as far as getting downtown the simplest way, they might even offer shuttle service to some areas; returning during the evening, you could splurge on a cab from downtown...
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Jul 19th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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The main bus stop I am referring to in the 2nd paragraph is across from the Dorval station.
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Jul 19th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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Mitch has a good suggestion. You will definitely want to see the schedules for the commuter trains on www.amt.qc.ca (Montreal-Dorion/Rigaud) line if you choose this option, because there are maybe 10 daily weekdays and fewer on Sat/Sun. The #202 also runs to Dorval train station in the opposite direction. Know that the tourist 3-day pass is NOT VALID on the commuter trains though, so you'd have to buy tickets. The 3-day pass would work for the #211 bus however. The 211 bus option will still take you 45 minutes to get downtown and the commuter train maybe 25-30 minutes if you time it right.

Whether you take Donna's option or choose to stay at the hotel in Dorval, I hope you have fun on your vacation. DAN
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Jul 19th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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Yes Daniel,

I might be in a terrible location, but my hotel is free. Tony will be there for training and I?m taking the opportunity to stay in his hotel and touring Montreal. I won?t mind taking a bus through the ulgy part of the city. I?d rather not rent a car, because I believe it would be expensive for those 3 days (not counting the day I arrive).

On the day that Tony is off (Thursday), we will tour the city together. One of his pilot co-workers may have his wife in town too and may have a car. If that?s the case, then I?ll only have to deal with transportation for 2.

Djkbooks, I?d rather not spend money on another hotel, as I want to make this trip as inexpensive as possible. Maybe another time when Tony and I can actually travel and tour together.

Mitchdesj, I?ll definitely check with the hotel about the Dorval train station (and bus station). Maybe they have courtesy shuttle to the station.

Thanks again everyone. I?ll have a great time even with the multiple bus and train rides.

Monica


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Jul 19th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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Hey Monica!

I'm glad you're cool with taking the buses and trains. You seem like a type B personality (I am too...I don't mind bussing and training) so you'll probably have fun with it. Like I said, I do a similar route almost every day for work.

Since the #202 bus passes in front of your hotel, one thing you could do that's closer is take the 202 past Dorval Train Station one day and continue on to Chemin Bord du Lac; it's a lovely area with some beautiful waterfront homes and paths along the Saint Lawrence River (here it's wider between two narrow areas and is called Lac Saint Louis even though it's not really a lake). Just get off the bus where you find it looks pretty.

Have a ball! DAN
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Jul 19th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Hmmmm Dan,

I actually fall about the middle of type A and B. I?d rather take the bus than spend lots of money on a taxi. This way I can enjoy the sights and spend money on some yummy French meals and a little shopping. I?m definitely a Budget traveler. Maybe that?s the ?type B? in me.

Thanks for your suggestions!!

Monica
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