Sharing how my boyfriend and I spent a fun weekend in Montreal!
After spending a wonderful day in Toronto, my boyfriend, Kyle, and I took a train to Montreal where we spent an incredible weekend getting to know the city.
AT A GLANCE
Pub Saint Pierre
Oh Dumplings in Chinatown
Things To Do:
Observatoire Place Ville Marie
Aura light show at Notre Dame Basilica
Centre d’histoire de Montréal (Montreal History Museum)
Delices Erable & Cie Boutique and Bistro
Noël dans le Parc (Christmas in the Park)
The first thing we realized when we got off of the train is that we were starving. Our train left at 6:40 am, and we didn’t get a chance to eat beforehand. After checking our bags into the train station (because our AirBnB wasn’t available yet), we had some lunch at a restaurant called Zibo! I was surprised at how delicious everything was. I had a red wine sangria, and for an appetizer, we shared some chicken crispy rolls. I love a good app, and that was my favorite part of the meal. We also shared a pizza with bacon and caramelized onions and red peppers.
After lunch, we decided we wanted to take in as much of Montreal as we could at once, so we headed to Observatoire Place Ville Marie where you can see a 360-degree view of Montreal from 185 meters up. It was such a pretty intro to the city, and I’m so glad we got to spend some time doing that.
Afterward, we checked into our AirBnB, and staying on brand, we took a 45 minute nap before we headed out to go to Notre Dame Basilica. As beautiful as I’m sure it is during the day, I’m so happy we decided to visit it at night. They have a light show called Aura that is absolutely gorgeous. If you get the chance to go, you absolutely should. They don’t let you take photos or videos during the actual show, but they have some light displays that you can walk around and look at before the actual light show starts, and those are really pretty as well.
We walked over to Pub Saint Pierre to enjoy some dinner and drinks. It’s a really cozy bar with just a few tables. We ended up sitting at the bar. I would definitely recommend making a reservation if you can. We shared the vegetable gyoza appetizer, and holy cow, I couldn’t believe how amazing they were. For dinner, I had the sticky miso pork ribs, and I 10/10 recommend.
While we were there, our bartender was going around to the couples and asking them what their songs were so they could play it over the loudspeakers. Kyle and I don’t actually have a romantic song. The only song that we can agree on that is “ours” is “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. We were so excited when it came on, and the whole restaurant jammed out with us.
Our last stop of the night was to a speakeasy called Boho. The bar is disguised as a bakery called LA Pop. It was such a cute place! It had a tropical vibe, and I was so excited when my drink came in a cup shaped like a parrot.
We started our Saturday with brunch at a local spot called Holder. I saw it hyped up on a few websites, but unfortunately, it kind of fell short. I had some eggs benedict. Both Kyle and I agreed that our food was just okay. Definitely a shame, but that’s okay.
After a mediocre breakfast, we walked over to Centre d’histoire de Montréal aka the Montreal History Museum. It was separated into three different floors, and it was really interesting to learn a little bit about the history of area. My favorite exhibit was on the top floor, which was about people that came to Montreal from other countries. The entire exhibit was in French, but it was still so fascinating. It’s a rotating exhibit, so hopefully if you get a chance to visit, that one is still up.
There’s something about being in Canada that made me crave maple syrup, and I was so excited to find a little shop called Delices Erable & Cie Boutique and Bistro. They have maple syrup-flavored everything – popcorn, ice cream, cookies, candy, coffee, so many things. We ended up getting some maple syrup candy and sharing some hot maple syrup tea. I also did, what I think is called, a maple syrup tire and made some maple syrup taffy. You basically have snow or shaved ice, and you put maple syrup on it and let it freeze for about a minute. Once it’s ready, you get a stick, and your wrap the maple syrup around the stick. The result is so sweet and delicious. You can see a video of me doing it in the second YouTube video I shared above.
So under Montreal is a series of tunnels that they call the Underground City. It connects several parts of the cities, and it also leads you in and out of various shopping centers. We spent some time navigating the Underground City so we could get to Chinatown. They have signs hanging up above that will point you in the direction of where you need to go.
When we arrived in Chinatown, we spent a little bit of time wandering around and in and out of shops. For lunch, we ended up stopping in a place called Oh Dumplings. The dumplings were really good, and you can make a dipping sauce using the items on your table, and you can also order one of the sauces they have available for purchase. We did both. Everything seriously tasted incredible. I just love dumplings.
Of course we had to work off all of the calories we ate, so we made our way to Mount Royal for a hike. And by hike, I mean we climbed a ton of stairs to get to the lookout at the top. There are a few different trails that you can take to get to the top, but we opted to climb the stairs because it was really icy and cold, and we wanted to spend as little time as possible outside.
I had to make quite a few stops while getting to the top because ya girl is not keen on cardio. The trek to the top was absolutely worth it though. They also have a building where you can warm up. Inside, they sell some hot and cold beverages and snacks, and there’s a shop for you to buy clothing and other memorabilia. If you want to do some more hiking on Mount Royal, you can get a brochure from the information desk that shows you the different trails you can take and some of the sites you can see along the way.
Our plan was to head right to Noël dans le Parc aka Christmas in the Park. We took the subway downtown and found where the event was taking place, only to find out that on opening night, the festival doesn’t start until 5 pm. We decided to get some poutine while we waited for the festival to start. Even though we had both eaten poutine before, there was just something special about eating it in Canada. We found a spot within walking distance called Frite Alors. We seriously had the hardest time deciding which one to get because they all sounded so good.
Since we still had some time to kill before Christmas in the Park, we found a nearby arcade bar called Arcade MTL to entertain ourselves. Kyle and I love visiting arcades when we’re on vacation. I think it started with my love of skeeball, but now we’ve found that it’s the perfect way to kill time if we’re waiting on a flight or a start time for something. I loved Arcade MTL for many reasons. For one, they had a coat check. I really appreciate that in a business, especially during the winter. I want to carry around my bulky coat all day. Another thing I liked is that you only had to pay a cover charge, and you had unlimited access to all of the games. In addition to arcade games, they also had game consoles and a ton of different games that you could switch in and out. Another thing I loved was that they had really cute themed drinks that had to do with video games. It was just such a cute little touch. Now they didn’t have skeeball, which is so unfortunate, but we still had a lot of fun.
After a snack, drinks, and some games, we were finally read for Noël dans le Parc. There was a band playing live music behind a partition so they could keep warm. They also had a fire going, and you could purchase marshmallows to roast over it. They sold a variety of drinks, but everything was in French, so we kind of had to interpret a little bit. We got some spiked apple ciders that definitely helped keep us warm. The festival ended up being a lot smaller than we thought it would be, but it was still a fun way for us to end the night.
We actually ended our night pretty early on Saturday. We were burnt out from three full days in Canada. We took the subway back to our AirBnB, ordered some food on DoorDash, and watched a movie on Netflix. It was such a wonderful and relaxing way to end our vacation.
If you want to see some of our travel day from Montreal to Toronto and then back to Dayton, Ohio, be sure to check out this video:
Have you ever visited Montreal?