A Weekend in Montréal

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Over President's Day, I took the long but beautiful Amtrak train from New York up to Montréal.  I shared the amazing food tour that I took for lunch over here, but the rest of my trip was just as fun.  Before the food tour, I got up a little early and was able to explore the Mile End neighborhood to drive up my appetite! 

I love the fun geometric doors all over this neighborhood, not to mention the amazing street art EVERYWHERE.  The hot yoga astronauts were some of my favorites, and I found these little guys closer to downtown. 

After exploring the Mile End, eating my fill during the food tour, and then taking a quick food-coma induced nap back at my hostel, I made my way over to the Musee des Beaux Arts to see a Chagall exhibit. It focused on his many projects in music, theatre, set design, costume design, all with a multitude of mediums. He may not be my typical cup of tea, but I can definitely respect the extreme breadth of his work. Not to mention some of those costumes were a little out there...

Taking some time with Chagall was a fun way to spend an hour or two, but afterwards I made my way up the many many stairs to catch the sunset at the Mount Royal main overlook spot. Seeing cities lit up at night is always one of my favorite views to both admire and capture. Since the sun sets behind Mount Royal, the evening light isn't really great for the typical orange glow... but waiting it out to catch a few shots of blue hour was definitely worth it. 

And once blue hour was over, it was definitely time for a drink to warm up! Shout out to the amazing bartenders at Dundee's

The whole weekend was freakishly warm for February (40°F+ !!!) so the next morning I made my way over to Parc Jean-Drapeau to see the city from a different angle. 

There was an ice covered road that led from the metro stop and the Biosphere (above) over to the lookout point... but I had come all this way, so what was a little ice? (Turns out it was a lot of ice, but that's ok, I survived right?)

After my early morning icy adventures, I made my way back to the metro and went over to Old Montreal. 

My mother went to McGill not too long ago ;) and somehow was able to pick out this exact spot when I showed her the above photo.  I guess some areas stick with you! 

I got a recommendation from some friends to visit the Centre d'histoire de Montréal, and I'm so glad I did! The first floor is all about the history of Montreal, but once you go upstairs you find a great exhibit about the Montréal version of the roaring 20s (imagine New York without prohibition!)  

My favorite quote of the entire exhibit was on this wall, by Al Palmer, author of Montreal Confidental. "Get to know your bartender. This is most important." 

I'll leave the exhibit itself for your own exploration, but there was a great hallway filled with political comics of the time, and I thought these ones were definitely telling of the feelings of the era. 

After exploring the rest of the museum, I set out to enjoy the sun and indulge in the old european feel of the architecture in Old Montréal.  

After a morning of exploring I was definitely ready for some lunch, so I popped into Les 3 Brasseurs to have some poutine, as one must when one is in Montréal.  

After lunch, I made my way over to the famous Notre-Dame Basilica. Sadly they don't open for visitors until noon on Sundays, so the line was rather long. But it moves quickly, and the wait is worth it. 

After indulging way too long in the beauty that is Notre-Dame, I made my way back downtown, indulged in a different way with some shopping (who can turn down a 1.3:1 exchange rate...), and stumbled upon this beautiful building, the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Definitely worth a look inside if you like colorful places! 

I ended the day, and the weekend, by having a lovely night out with some new friends from my hostel (M Montreal). What a great cap to a great weekend! 

The next morning I made my way back to the train station for another 10 hour journey back to New York. Thanks for coming with me on this weekend away, I hope it inspires you to give this beautiful and diverse city a visit


~ V


Date & Locations: Saturday & Sunday, 18-19 February 2017 - Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Photos taken with: Nikon D5300, Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f3.5-5.6 Lens, Apple iPhone SE