The Best Montréal Summer Travel Guide for Anyone In Their 30s

Summer is almost over, and we’ve been in upstate NY for a few months now. Although I love the greenery and thunderstorms here, I’ve been feeling a bit restless. So when we found out my boyfriend’s younger brother got his passport, we figured it was time for a trip!

Montréal is only a 3.5-hour drive from Albany, New York. Highway 87 will take you straight to the border. Along 87 you’ll see the Hudson River, pass Lake George, go through the lush Adirondack mountains, and drive besides Lake Champlain. 

Montréal is an old city with tons of history and beauty. Like New York City, it’s a hub for immigrants and has been since 1642!! Insane, right?
Its history makes Montréal a vibrant city for all things culture, food, music and more! (I’ve only just left, but I already want to go back!) It has many building old and new, and it's continuing to grow year after year. 

So how do how do you plan a trip in an epic city like Montréal? Well here’s my travel guide to Montréal!

 
 Have you ever wanted to visit Montreal? Use this travel guide to one of the oldest, beautiful, culturally diverse cities in North America! use these tips on your summer vacation to the best eats, drinks, cafes and more! Read at SimpleGoldLife.com
 

Planning Your Trip to Montréal

 Travel Guide Montreal: Where to Stay - How about this Awesome Airbnb Next to the Metro! haven't tried Airbnb yet?  Try Airbnb Today!

Travel Guide Montreal: Where to Stay - How about this Awesome Airbnb Next to the Metro! haven't tried Airbnb yet? Try Airbnb Today!

Where to Stay

If you’re driving, flying, training, or bussing, one thing is the same. You want to stay where it’s popping! And close to everything you want to visit. We wanted to be near metros and also walking distance restaurants and bars. We were so relieved when we found an excellent spot on Airbnb. 

This rental had two beds, a great view of the city, and so close to everything. It was perfect!

How to get around

Like many old cities, Montréal has a bustling metro system, so it's easy to get around. As we were right outside Berri UQAM, we were stops away from old Montréal, Mount Royal, Mile End and more. Fares are CA $3.25 one, CA $6 return, and CA $12 all day. 

Besides the metro, Montréal is walkable and bike friendly. The city bikes can be rented by the day for CA $5, but remember you must return your bikes every 30 minutes.

When to go

Being a California girl, I would never opt for cold weather. In winter, it can get to -40˚F, which is when Celcius meets back up with Fahrenheit. In other words, effing freeeeeezing! No wonder Montréal has underground malls, so people can shop and leave the house in the winter months. No thank you.

For this reason, it only makes sense to visit in the summer! But even in summer, Montréal was about 10˚ colder than Albany. The nights in the low 50s and days no higher than 75˚. Plus it was likely to rain on the day we arrived. 

I would highly recommend summer, but if you’re okay with your nose hairs turning into icicles, go on with your bad self. 

What to Pack

With the weather ranging between 50 and 70s degrees Fahrenheit, I knew layering would be the key to packing. Keeping with my capsule wardrobe, I packed nine pieces.

Bottoms: Black Jean Pants | Blue Denim Shorts
Tops: White & Black Thin Striped Tee | Black Silk Camisole | Pink Tee
Dress: Blue & White Patterned Silk Dress
Outerwear:  White Zip Sweater | Black Duster | Camo Green Sleeveless Duster
Shoes: Black Nikes | White Vans | Beige Rothy’s

Get Discounts: Matt & Bow | Rothy's

How to Pay

Because Montréal is so close to the US, many establishments accept US Dollars. Some may honor an exchange rate, where others will take USD as Canadian dollars. IE if it’s CA $1, and you have USD 1, you will not get any change back. 

Also, Montréal is excellent about splitting bills. Oui Oui!

What To Do

Old Montréal

Montréal is 374 years OLLLLLD! Here you can find the Basilique Notre-Dame, cobblestone roads, and more mesmerizing history. 

Sites: Basilique Notre-Dame + Saint Paul StPlace Jacques CartierMontréal Town HallBonsecours Market
Museums: Pointe à Callière + Science Centre + Centre d’histoire de Montréal
Coffee: Crew Collective + Le Petit Dep

 Seats upgraded at the Kendrick Lamar Show - Bell Centre Montréal

Seats upgraded at the Kendrick Lamar Show - Bell Centre Montréal

Downtown

It's the heart of all the shopping in Montréal. But we didn’t spend much time here. But if you’re into shopping it’s a definite must. We strolled around downtown when we went to the Kendrick Lamar show at the Bell Centre. Fun fact, we bought nosebleed tickets, but ended up in section L! Pretty amazing if you ask me! 

Sites: Cathedral of Marie-Reine-du-Monde + Bell Centre + Lieu Historique National du Canal-de-Lachine
Museum: Musee des Beaux-Arts
Drink: Peel Pub + Brutopia + Le Sainte-Elisabeth
Eat: Shwarmaz

Mont Royal

We were so lucky when we trekked to the top of Mout Royal and La Croix. The skies were the bluest of blue, minimal clouds, and the sun was shining on our backs. I could hear Ice Cube Today Was a Good Day  playing in my mind. It wasn’t overly crowded either, which is a big plus in my books.  

Sites: Mont Royal + Mont Royal Cemetery + Chalet Du Mont Royal
Eat: push cart ice cream

Le Plateau Mont Royal

This district is full of cute neighborhoods, and it’s entirely walkable. It has tons of fabulous shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. We spent a lot of our time here, and I highly recommend it! 

Sites: neighborhoods + restaurants via walking and biking tours
Coffee: Le Cafe de Chats + La Monieau Masque
Eat: Hakata Tonosoku + Schwartz + Mikado  + La Banquise
Drink: L'Barouf + Patrick’s Pub

Mile End
The Mile End was once the old garment district turned poor when jobs went overseas. But with the help of poor artist, this area became full of top cafes and restaurants. It’s now full of fancy shops, gourmet chefs, and delicious coffee. 

It was also the start of our fantastic food tour, led by the best guide Christian. On this vegan-friendly tour, we devoured bagels, Falafels, Chocolate, Gnocchi, cheese and meats, sorbet and ice cream!!! We left happy, full and tired!

Sites: Theatre Rialto + Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony
Coffee: Cafe Neve + Noble Cafe
Drink: Dieu Du Ciel + Ping Pong
Eat: Birona Hummus Bar + La Panthère Verte + St Viateur + Drogheria Fine + Boucherie Lawrence + Fairmont Bagel
Sweets: Chocolats Genevieve Grandbois + Kem Coba

Little ItalyHow cute is Little Italy! Full of amazing neighborhoods and tons of good Italian food!

Coffee: Cafe Dispatch 
Eat: Gema Pizza

 

I would go back to Montréal in a heartbeat. There's still so much to see and friendly people to meet. I could easily imagine myself living here for a few months which is always a good sign when you arrive in a city. 

Have any questions about my Montréal Travel Guide? Let me know in the comments. Better yet, have travel tips of your own? Comment below to share with everyone!


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