Obviously we said yes. Multiple times.
Being that Dean is from about 60 miles outside Montreal, he always told me he had to take me. In fact, before we met in person (yes, we are a very happy result from an online dating site!) he told me..”I am going to take you to Montreal on one of our first dates!” It’s been a while since that promise was made but regardless, a promise is just that and we are so happy to finally make it.
We debated where to stay. Where would be close to a metro stop but also close to fun things. We settled on downtown. Half a block from the Peel metro station and in the heart of the city. It allowed us the perfect hub to get anywhere while still being in the thick of things. In this area there’s a variety of options for hotels, high end options include The Ritz Carlton, Sofitel and Omni. More affordable options include Best Western, Comfort in and local hotels. We booked through Ebates on Hotels.com and got 3% cash back! (Use our link so we can get some credit!)
So, in case you’re wondering, poutine is something you need to try. Picture this; French Fries covered in cheese curds with gravy poured on top. The hot gravy melts the cheese into stringy, gooey heaven and the fries get to that perfect place between crispy and subtlety soggy with crisp edges. Drooling yet? We absolutely devoured it, in each restaurant we went. Because it’s one of their signature dishes, they make it in all shapes and sizes. Some with the famous Montreal smoked meat, a buffalo chicken version, I even got a version with General Tso’s chicken on top. Whoever decided to make that combination is A-OK in my book!
Getting around the city is effortless. We each got a 3 day consecutive pass for the Metro for 18$ each (~$13.50 US). It not only allows us on and off the metro infinitely but also works on the busses. Between the two we were able to go anywhere in the city we wanted. Individual rides are available for 3.25$ each so to get the pass makes much more sense financially for us since we know we wanted to explore. It’s easy to fly into Montreal, even though we drove. Dean’s parents have flown in and out and found it to be easy to get around and connect through.
The people are lovely. It’s French Canada so everyone speaks French.. but also English! Dean will take any excuse to speak the French he knows, so he’s in bliss but since I can’t speak a lick, it’s nice that I can still communicate. Most people greet you with “Bonjour, hello!” which is very comforting. Lets us know they can speak English and our response to them lets them know our preferred language. Although, it’s probably a bit confusing for them when I respond with “Hello!” And Dean responds with “Bonjour!”.
We did so many fun things, even though the majority of our time was trudging through the slush and snow! We got the famous fairmount bagels (which btw is not a place you go to sit down for breakfast. Legitimately walk up and get your bagel. No cream cheese/butter/accoutrements, so be prepared to get them to go!) We were then off to the Biodome. What a fun place! Especially on a snowy day. Think of a zoo, enclosed but open exhibits in the animals natural habitats. We walked through the rainforest, which we obviously never wanted to leave, the Canadian forest, the St. Lawrence Estuary and finally the Arctic and Antarctic. So many cool animals and environments to see. The rest of the trip consisted of more eating and drinking, of course.
Here’s where we ate/drank:
- Houstons Bar (Downtown) – went here for the 5á7 which is Canada’s happy hour. Some great deals there!
- Dunn’s Famous (Downtown) – By far the best “traditional” poutine!
- Fairmount Bagels (Le Plateau)
- Poutine Centrale (Maisonneuve) – with the AMAZING general Tso’s poutine!
- Le Lab (Le Plateau) – Unique upscale cocktails, also had a great 5á7. Dean got a “Flaming shot” which was so fun.
- Ma Poule Mouillée (Le Plateau) – Fire roasted rotisserie chicken. Yummmm!
- Universel (Downtown) – great for breakfast. They give you a giant bottle of pure maple syrup with your waffles! Try not to guzzle it down!
- Reuben’s (Downtown) – one of the most famous smoked meat places, didn’t disappoint!
Next stop…Cartagena, Colombia!
See you there!
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**We are using Ebates and Hotels.com to book everything we do! We get cash back from Ebates and earn free nights on Hotels.com so you get rewarded for doing what you would normally do anyway! On Hotels.com, they provide excellent service and will match hotel prices if you find something cheaper elsewhere. If you stay 10 nights, you get 1 free and if you become a gold member (30 stays in 1 year) you get early access to deals and special rates. Also 24/7 service. On Ebates, while the percentage cash back varies depending on the store, you legitimately get cash back on almost every store you would shop online for anyway and get a check every quarter with your savings. They also have special coupon codes to get discounts on the site that you can’t get otherwise. In 1 year we’ve gotten back $350 cash back. That’s nothing to sneeze at! We get credit if you use our links (hyperlinked in the names) and would love if you could help us out! But really, you’re helping yourself too!!**