Travel diaries – Canada: Montréal

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.

You can find more pictures of our trips on my instagram and my sister’s instagram!

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!

 

 

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

67 thoughts on “Travel diaries – Canada: Montréal

  1. Wow! This sounds so amazing, I’m SO happy you got to visit a place so high on your bucket list ❤️

    Your pictures are amazing and everything is so beautiful. I’ve always wanted to visit Toronto, so I’m really excited to read about your experience there xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Has it really already been a month!? I feel like it was just yesterday that you mentioned you had some fun summer travel plans. How has it been that long already!?! Your pictures are gorgeous, though, and I’m so glad you and your sister had such a good time!! I can’t wait to read the next travel post and see how Toronto treated you!

    (Also, lowkey, I feel like you would just be so much fun to travel with and it would just be an amazing travel companion!? <3)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? I can’t believe it’s been this long already…. time flies!
      I’m so, so happy you enjoyed this post and my pictures, Nicole, thank you so much! ❤
      And ahhh you're too sweet! I'm not sure about that, @nyxcorner would be the best one to answer this haha… I think I'm okay haha 😛

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Nicole! Thank you so much for your kind words, we had a such great time and we really wish we could go back 😍 As for being an amazing travel companion…yeah, my sister is alright, haha! (She’s awesome but ssh the praise will go to straight to her head 😏😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg you came to my country !!
    I gotta say i’ve only been once in Montreal 😅 I’ve never really went outside of New-Brunswick & Nova Scotia (we go there fairly often for our dachshunds events!).

    Ah man, first time I took the plane we had technical issues too ! I had went to newfoundland and when coming back home, we wait 2. HOURS. sat in the plane.. after waiting in the airport and being delated like, twice. They had done the technical stuff, but forgot to look at the tire and one was less filled than it shall 🤦🏽‍♀️ so we had to wait as all the other planes were first in line — Oh, and we even missed our bus we needed to go home, hah ! xD (luckily my parents were able to drive and pick us up to go back home, roughly another 3hour)

    I’m happy you enjoyed your trip! Of all you did, I only went to the Oratoire St-Joseph; We lasted vaguely a weekend to go to La Ronde as we were invited by dad’s work (They do a thing were all employees & their family is welcome to go before the park open) and dad surprised mom to go see it, as it was one of her dream since the Père St-Joseph helped her alot when she was on dialysis. My oh my, so many stairs 😂 I was in shorts and we had caught the rain … so the inside of my legs hurted aLOT. It also made me giggles how you could barely understood the Quebecois ahahaha …idk if you’d have less struggle with us, as where I live we mostly mix french with english; as of which you do speak both so mmh..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I DID and I want to go back SO BADLY right now haha, I loved it so much! ❤
      Oh no I'm so sorry you had some issues, too, it's SO bothering, especially in these cases when you just… well, you can only wait and that's it, nothing more you can do 😂
      Oh I'm glad you had struggles with the language as well. I understood it better once I got used to it, but they have so many different expressions compared to my French! Maybe I'd understand you better 😀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Kristina! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You should come to my province next, ahaha ♥️ I’d love to meet you!
        Yep.. and plane seats are really not the best, we were not even in the air yet and my butt was hurting ahaha xD meanwhile, Alex was just passed out.. so he didn’t cared much hah.

        Really, Quebecois is fine for me; as I’ve grown up right under them, so our spoken was alike — Them on the other hand .. ahahah because we are surrounded by english, we have a tad english accent… so they answer to us speaking french in english 😐 ahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahhh who knows, maybe I will, there’s so much of Canada I want to explore! 😀
        I get that, I feel like if I had grown up close to it or listening to it, I would be a little more used to it haha.
        Ohh But it’s such a nice mix of French and English, that’s nice! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. first time you hear it though you get SO confused XD I was purely from a french town when I moved here .. which my high school mostly spoke english or chiac (the mix of both language) it took me a while ahah ..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. your photographs are absolutely gorgeous marie. i feel like i’ve traveled with you to montreal. i’m so glad you had such a great time on your trip!! i can’t wait to hear more of your travel diaries, i absolutely love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Montreal is stunning!! When I was younger I wanted to live in Canada SO badly. I wanted to drink Tim Hortons every morning and marry a French Canadian hockey player. 😂 I’m glad you guys had a great time in Canada! Your photos are absolutely stunning — seriously, how talented are you?? I hope you have lots more travels to come. Thanks for sharing so I can live vicariously through you and your adventures. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh that’s such a nice dream Madeline haha 😂
      Oh thank you, it’s nothing extraordinary, really, you’re too sweet 😭 I’m so, so happy you enjoyed this and happy to make you travel a bit with these posts ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh this is SO exciting!! Canada is truly the dream and I hope to go there someday as well – for now I’m living vicariously through your photos 🥰 Montréal looks lovely: the parks and especially the Mont Royal neighborhood (I love that one of the grafitti is a cheshire cat, soo beautiful 🥰), plus bagels are already a good idea and I get hungry thinking about them 😄 I cannot wait to read all about your adventures in Toronto! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s funny because I’ve visited Montreal twice, since my brother moved there a year ago. But reading this post, I’m realized that I actually haven’t explored the city at all! I really need to change that the next time I visit! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time though, and I can’t wait to read all about Toronto!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, well you always have an excuse to come back then and next time, I hope you will get to explore a lot of the city 😀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Malka ❤

      Like

  8. YAYYY! SO HAPPY YOU LIKED MY CITY! ❤ HAH Unfortunately I wasn't in Montreal when you came back T_T It would an awfully cute blogger's reunion if we did! You really did Montreal fond en comble hahah so proud of you :D!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so glad you had fun, Marie, all the pictures look lovely! 💕
    I’d love to visit Canada! However, I can’t imagine sitting in a plane for so long, I’ve had the experience once and it was so hard 😭

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It sounds like you had a fantastic time and I love getting to see all of the pictures of the places you visit. I love reading your travel posts and look forward to the next one.

    The places I most want to visit are Paris, Rome & Venice. I’ve wanted to go to those three for years. I’d also love to visit Iceland though and see the Northern Lights as they look stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They’re wonderful. I love hearing about the experiences and seeing the pictures that go with them. I’d love to 😀 I’ve wanted to for as long as I can remember. It always sounds so dreamy and romantic there in books. Yes definitely. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it there.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad you did a travel post and I loved reading it. I don’t actually know much about Canada despite my mum leaving there for 6 months when she was 18 or something but I don’t know anything about the history or anything. I loved your pictures– the architecture and the nature look amazing. I’m so glad you to got to go as it was so high up on your travel list and it sounded like you had a wonderful time!! It looks beautiful in Montreal and I would love to go one day!! Lovely post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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