I have always heard great things about Montreal and Quebec City, but have never had the opportunity to go up there, but when a bunch of my friends planned the trip, I decided to tag along.4 Days is enough to see all of the sights if you start the day early since some of the places close around 5 or 6 PM.
14 Things to See in Montreal
- Notre-Dame Basilica
- Montreal Bio-dome
- Stroll through the streets of Old Montreal
- Old Port of Montreal
- Explore Saint Laurent Street. I would say this is a more hipster area with lots of small shops, places to eat, and artwork.
- Visit the clock-tower. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs, but the view from the top is worth it. There is also a small beach on the other side of the clock-tower as well.
- Botanical Gardens
- Olympic Park– Did you know the Olympics were held here in 1976?
- Crescent Street– This is a popular area with a lot of bars and a great place if you are into the nightlife. We stopped by Winston Churchill and Thursdays. Here is Savoy obsessed with the fries that we got…She loves fries.
- Insectarium– This is located inside the garden. I hate bugs, so this pretty much the only picture I took. Other people found it fascinating, but I am not an insect lover.
- Views from the Tower. In the Olympic Park, you can take the funicular up to the tower for a view of the area.
- Montreal Planetarium
- Jardin Nelson– This restaurant is affordable and absolutely adorable. You sit inside a garden and you feel like you are in a scene of Romeo and Juliet. The food was great and so was the service. This place is most famous for their crepes.
10 Things to See in Quebec City
Quebec is such a cute city! I loved it a lot and wish we had more time to spend there.
- Quebec City Hall
- Enjoy the beautiful view of the city and of course take pictures.
- Citadelle of Quebec– We didn’t get a chance to go inside because it closed early. On the website it said 6 PM, which is what the hotel said too, but sadly it closes at 5 PM, so by the time we rushed there, why not take a selfie.
- Montmorency Falls– Going to the falls was a very cool experience because you get to be right on top of the falls. There are a few ways to get there, you can park at the top and walk across the bridge, you can take a cable cart, or you can climb a huge set of stairs. The boys decided to do the stairs, I don’t even know how I survived, it was a never ending set of stairs. You can see below all the stairs we climbed.
- Chateau Frontenac
- Wander through the streets to find cute shops, artwork, and so many more small surprises. The streets are honestly some of the cutest ones I have seen that reminds you of a stroll in France.
- Walk the scenic route along the water to the Citadele and climb the +350 steps to reach the top.
- Visit the Holy Doors that were blessed by the Pope. It is located right next to the cathedral.
- Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame of Quebec
Things to Try and Things I Learned
- Exchange a good amount of Canadian dollars. Normally in other countries, you can find plenty of places to exchange money, but it’s not that easy here unless you go to an ATM and get charged a fee.
- Customer service is not a strength and they don’t really care to be extremely kind to tourists, especially if they know you don’t speak French.
- Taking Uber is not as reliable as in the US and in they have no problem driving off if they feel like you are giving them an attitude. The most reliable option was a taxi and if you split it between 4 people, it is almost the same price as a bus or metro, but it saves so much time.
- Try a Bagel. Jason discovered that Montreal is known to have the best bagels in the world. We tried one and I can say, it was not my cup of tea, but for 80 cents, sure why not.
- Maple Ice Cream
- Maple Taffy- If you have a chance to watch them make it, it is definitely worth it!
- Speak broken French with a local and have them critique your accent. That was a favorite activity for Savoy.
- The airport is really big that the security uses bikes to get around.
- Grab a map and plan your day. Trying to go-with-the-flow in a foreign country with a group of people is not easy, a good use of time, and at many points frustrating. Take a few minutes to plan what sites you are going to see in order, where the locations are at, good restaurants in the areas that you will be at, and what time each place closes. My advice for all my trips is always to ask to hotel concierge, they know the area with their eyes closed.
- Trying to find good Poutine, which they are famous for is difficult to find. I asked what is Poutine and Alex explained it is fries with gravy, meat like duck, and other toppings.
- If you want to book a car, make sure to do it ahead of time. We ran into problems trying to get a car because a lot of them were sold out. Here is Chase being super serious getting our cars booked.
- We flew Porter Airlines, an airline that we ever knew existed, but it has great service and a lot of flight options to Montreal. During the layover, they give complimentary coffee and soda!
- Tres-Vietamigos– Chase, Nguyen and I got this nickname because we all shared a room and of course we happen to be Vietnamese. Savoy made that up and she’s pretty proud of it. These two were seriously booking cars, so I just took selfies per usual.
- Starbucks Karma– I fell asleep on the plane and had my coffee in the seat pocket. I woke up and heard the guy sitting next to me telling the attendant to take my coffee because it’s going to spill when she was serving drinks. I turned to him and said “It’s fine.” The attendant smiled and said she’s fine and asked if he needed anything to drink. He took a soda and when he put it down, he spilled all over himself, my leg, and all over his MAC laptop. The flight attendant looked at me, laughed and handed him a bunch of napkins. I always say, Karma never loses an address, but I didn’t realize it would come so soon in this case. And he was embarrassed, he apologized for spilling and said “I guess I shouldn’t have been so concerned about your coffee.” And of course I had to take a secret selfie with him in it. Never again will he touch any girl’s Starbucks, especially me!
- Savoy’s Packing– We are only going for a few days, so I didn’t understand the huge luggage. She made fun of me saying I could only fit my underwear in this small luggage, but over the years of traveling, I have definitely learned how to pack light.
- Snapchat Lessons– Brandy has never heard of Snapchat, so I decided to give her a lesson. She loved all of the filters.
- I LOVE Stickers! Yes, never give me stickers because this is what I’ll do to you.
- You can tell when people are tired, when they are trying to look like they are awake sleeping.
- I swear anytime I take a picture of Savoy, she is eating.
- Our last meal!
- Finally going home! It is a 3 hour drive from Quebec to Montreal, so we didn’t get to the hotel until 4 AM. I was so sleepy driving the last leg, but we made it, but you can see how tired we were as we were ready to head to the airport.
- I flew home on United and I’m glad I did. United is considered a “US” airline, so I cleared customs over in Canada so when I arrived in the US, I just went straight home. If I flew Porter, then I would have to clear customs once I landed on US soil