I love summertime, because most of the time this season rhymes, for me, with holidays and traveling and, if there’s something I love as much as books and reading and screaming about books on this book blog, it’s travelling.
I was lucky enough this year to realize one of my biggest dreams and to reach a destination that has been really, really high on my bucket-list for ages now: Canada. In the summer of 2019, with my lovely sister and incredible travel buddy always, we crossed the Atlantic and spent about a week and a half in the lovely Canadian country, with two main spots in our itinerary: Montréal and Toronto.
Today, I’m back with another travel post sharing all of our adventures in Montréal, our wanderings and discoveries. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
It took us a little more than 17 hours to travel from our little hometown in France to the lovely Montréal. Hours of train, then a little over 7 hours of flight across the Atlantic, a little over 3 hours of waiting in the airport because obviously they had a technical problem at the customs exactly at that moment, a 25-something minutes ride in bus until we reached our destination. To be honest, I had no idea how long that bus took, I was so dead-tired I couldn’t even see straight (This was my second time travelling internationally, this far away, so… not used to this). Finally, we made it straight to a comfy bed in central Montréal and slept soundlessly until 4 a.m. Oh, jet lag, hello again.
🏞 Day One in Montréal : Plateau Mont Royal & Mont Royal
After getting up at a reasonable enough hour (read: waiting for it to be 6 a.m at least), we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather to head over to Mont Royal because yes, we wanted to cliché views of the city straight ahead, just to make sure we really were there. We discovered the subway and a couple stations later, the lovely neighborhood of Mont Royal, filled with reasonably sized buildings, stunning graffiti arts, small shops and overall, just lovely comfy vibes of a village.
We caught a bus to head towards the Belvédère Camillien Houde, one of the highest point of views of Montréal and, as expected, it was stunningly beautiful and big and my heart was filled with that fucking feeling of, damn I might hate flying but I made it here across the world and it’s all worth it.
After hanging out with the little view for a while, we hiked through the forest of the Mont Royal Park… which we didn’t quite expect to be a real massive forest like that. More than once while walking through the small paths, we wandered and wondered if we would get lost, but every single time we met and asked our way, we were met by wonderfully friendly people letting us know we were on the right path. Walking on these paths, we didn’t feel like we were in Montréal at all, but someplace else entirely.
We met the city again and its rows of houses, its very unfortunate street workers and noise, its tall buildings and life.
⛵️ Day Two in Montréal: Old Montréal & Port
On our second day in Montréal, we headed towards history and the sea. Early birds as always, we headed towards Old Montréal and its Port, a part of the city I absolutely fell in love with.
Obviously, we had to hit all of the touristic spots, starting with the Basilique Notre Dame De Montréal, a stunning, gigantic basilica that made us feel so small and reminded me, a little bit, of my dear Notre Dame in France, too. We walked around and checked out the little souvenirs shops (because well, we’re still tourists), checked out the wonderfully big City Hall, walked down the Place Jacques Cartier and discovered the Marché Bon Secours, an… impressive building for a market, if you ask me, filled with lovely typical shops and souvenirs.
We headed towards the Clock Tower Quays where I took one of my favorite pictures and where it just felt so beautifully peaceful, with a view of the Saint Laurent and the beautiful Clock Tower.
Always craving for the most beautiful views of the city, we went back towards the Port and the Grande Roue de Montréal, its surroundings quays filled with little wooden houses and artisanal shops, a treetop adventure course and even a zipline.
From the Grande Roue, we could see the city center of Montréal up close on one side and, on the other, the Saint Laurent and the Jean-Drapeau island with its Biodome. All of these buildings and, behind them, the hint of the Mount Royal Park peeking out, were lovely and a million miles away from our little hometown.
🌳 Day Three in Montréal: Parc Jean Drapeau
On our third day, we set out to explore the Parc Jean Drapeau, composed of two islands : Saint Helen’s island and Notre Dame Island. A short subway ride away from the city center, the Parc Jean Drapeau felt like a breath of fresh air in the bustling city life. It also houses one of the most famous Montréal landmark: the Montréal Biosphere, which was a United States pavillion during Expo 67 and is now reconverted into an environmental museum.
Honestly, it’s a stunning piece of architecture.
We toured the park and the islands, missing some of the views because of the Osheaga Festival, a music and arts festival starting on the very island the next day… meaning that there were a lot of white tents and setting up happening on that time we were there. Still, we managed to explore the islands wonderfully on that day, discovering the early Victorian era fortifications, the Formula Race track, the longest Olympic rowing bassin I had ever seen and some stunning views of the city.
🏡 Day Four in Montréal: Oratoire Saint Joseph, La Fontaine Park, Square Saint Louis
On our last full day in Montréal, we settled to explore some landmarks, wander around neighborhoods and take some very instagrammy-clichés pictures of the city because why not. We wished for a beautiful view we did not get from the Oratoire Saint Joseph, mostly because of construction work, but we spotted squirrels instead so that was okay. (I love squirrels okay they’re too cute)
We wandered around Mont Royal again and discovered lovely parks and fountains views, lovely houses reminding me of our New York trip years and years ago and stopped at the Square Saint Louis to snap some pictures of the wonderful colored houses of our dreams.
Other things we did in Montréal:
- Walked around. A LOT. Like, 9 km on average every day,
- Ate bagels,
- Spotted squirrels and marmots,
- Felt impressed by the tall buildings and everything because, well… we don’t have that here.
- Ate some delicious ice cream thanks to Trang‘s recommendations
- Took approximately 400 pictures (for real)
- Bought one book (I KNOW. How reasonable of me. Wait until we get to Toronto….)
- Didn’t understand a thing people were saying, at times, because despite speaking French, in Montréal, they have accents and different kinds of expressions so…. yeah it took us a while at times.
On our fifth day in Montréal, we headed towards the train station to catch our ride to our next stop…. Toronto. Coming soon in another travel blog post! 🤗
Right now as I’m writing this, I kind of can’t believe it’s almost been a month since we were across the ocean. Visiting Montréal was one dream coming true and I dearly, dearly hope it will happen again, because I loved it there so, so much.
If you’re looking to get away a little more, read my latest travel blog post about my trip to Croatia.
Do you want to go to Montréal? Did you get the chance to visit already? What are some places on your travel bucket list?
I hope you enjoyed reading this travel post! Let me know your thoughts in comments!