Things to do in Montreal

minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
So I'm going to Montreal first week of October (Wed-Sun) with my SO.

What should we do there?

Things we like: food, beer, walking/exploring, music, culture.

I've also never had legitimate poutine, so I'd like to do that. I'm not sure how prevalent poutine is over there, is it something you can get on every corner, or a coveted treat you must go to a specific location to get?


  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    Regarding poutine : It is both something you can get at every corner at variable quality, preferably when you're drunk, and a treat. For your very first, I would suggest you go to La Banquise, which makes, IMO, the best poutine in Montréal. It is always open, but you will wait before being seated if you go during standard meal hours and at 3 am (when bars close). Take the smallest size. Poutine sizes are always crazy big.

    I would also suggest you go to Schwartz's, which is the quintessential Montréal Smoked Meat deli.

    For beer, you have to go to Dieu du Ciel!, which I consider the best craft brewery in Montréal. Also, Saint-Denis street near Berri-UQAM metro station is choke full of restaurants and bars, of which I'd recommand Saint-Bock.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    There are some great museums there (I recall the history museum being pretty endless).
    Beer - lots of options including dieu du Ciel (which is yes fantastic)
    Food - Again, tons of good options. I highly recommend some steak, as they go pretty rare in Montreal with some great meat.* Note that some places in Montreal are BYOB, so make sure to check first.

  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    Even if you're not religious the notre dame cathedral is exceedingly beautiful
    The fine arts museum is nice
    Hiking up Mont Royal is also nice
    The old port is super pretty and quaint.
    Poutine is everywhere, but the dish to beat are beaver tails.

  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    Totally seconding hiking up the Mont Royal. The scenery should be amazing at the start of October.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Also, if you're going for a week, wouldn't be a bad idea to skip over to Quebec City for a day. It's like an old European City with tons of stonework, pretty cool.

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    What's the best way to get there?
    Looking at bus and rail it's at least $100 for a round trip ticket. I'm assuming those are the only options short of renting a car.

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Poutineville is better than La Banquise, La Banquise is fine but it's for tourists.

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  • LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    I second checking out Notre Dame cathedral, as well as any other old churches you come across. I'm not religious at all, but these churches are very beautiful and memorable. Notre Dame also has a free tours which take place every 30 minutes or so (I think, I could be wrong on the frequency). Totally worth waiting for, you'll learn a lot of interesting history things!

    And yeah if you can get to Quebec City do so.

    Oh, and if you can get tickets, go to a Canadiens game?

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Lail wrote: »

    Oh, and if you can get tickets, go to a Canadiens game?

    Damn, such a great idea!

    But they won't be playing at home until the 15th of October and we'll be long gone by then :(

  • El FantasticoEl Fantastico Toronto, ONRegistered User regular
    Second for Poutineville. Prices are fair considering you're getting a heaping pile of fries and whatever toppings you're about to check off on their list.

    I would also go for a smaller size as the large is a bit much to handle, and would put you in a carb coma. Best to do this in the evening as you're winding down so you're not feeling exhausted/full doing other things.

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  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    I'll go against the flow and suggest not trying to fit Québec City in your schedule. Five days in Montréal are not that much and most of the things you'd do in Québec City have a similar alternative in Montréal, without an additional 5-6 hours on the road.

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    seriously fucking get the normal size at Poutineville and not the large. The large is obscene. Also all their ingredients are great, but the chilis are fresh and strong and can overpower the flavour so use with caution. Get the special potatoes. Order from the French menu like a real man.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited September 2015
    We went to a fast food place that had a duck or a cow? as the mascot.
    They were fine, but would like to get "fancy" pountine sometime.

    Edit: it may have been Harvey's. Maybe there big animal sign was just that location.

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  • FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    Another vote for Poutineville. La Banquise is the most popular spot but not the best. I've always found their fries a bit underwhelming.

    There's "Garden of light" going on right now until november at the Botanical Garden. Chinese and Japanese themes:

    I haven't seen it this year yet but I remember it being really beautiful in the evening. Also depending on what day you go you can enjoy some music at the same time:

    Old Port is very nice to walk around too. Lots of restaurant options in the area and there's also a spot with a bunch of food trucks near the water.

    Sundays at Mont-Royal are tam-tams day as long as it's not too cold. Bunch of people gather near the big statue to play tam-tams together, people and families just chillin everywhere. Further back there's a bunch of slackliners in the trees and then a little field full of people fighting in a 2-sided melee with fake swords and full costumes. Also smells of weed pretty much everywhere in the area but it's cool the occasional cops patrolling the area don't even care.

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  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    Mont Royal is home to some really interesting cemetaries, including Notre Dame des Neiges, the largest in Canada and third largest in North America. I spent a significant amount of my last visit to Montreal this summer exploring them. Lots of unique grave stones/markers, and large Mausoleums you can go into and look around.

  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    No trip to Montreal is complete without getting completely obliterated on St. Cat's and then going to a strip club!

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Got back in last night.

    +1 for the Poutineville > La Banquise from me. I generally saw a whole lot of potato related dishes everywhere on Montreal. I approve. Potato is my #1 carb.
    Mont Royal was an amazing park. I'm so jealous.
    Went to mass in Notre Dame. Did you know they have a 25 people chorus and the play the huge organ for their Sunday service? As a completely non religious person who's never been to mass, I could totally see why many find comfort in religion.
    Went to the botanical garden to see the garden of light. It was really pretty and nice, but insanely crowded. And when we came out of the garden, there was an enormous line to get into it (when we were coming in there was no line). Minds blown.
    The Olympic park looked really cool, we didn't have time to explore the entire thing though, just walked around it. Maybe next time!
    We also went to Little Italy and had some awesome coffee, to the Italian market where we had an amazing crepe, Shwartz's, walked down St. Laurent, St. Catherine, and St. Denis and had many great meals and drinks.

    Thanks all, I had an awesome time!

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