A Weekend Guide To Montreal

One of my few resolutions for 2018 is to nap less blog more about travel and lifestyle and I’m feeling proud of myself to finally get this travel guide up! I chose Montreal as the first city for this series because it holds a special place in my heart. I have visited Montreal over 20 times over the last few years and so I’ve been able to experience it in little snippets. I’ve always loved this city because it’s a unique fusion of modern North America and charming, traditional Europe..


Montréal is an awesome city for walking ( granted you don't visit it in the cold, winter months) . You can conquer a lot by foot, and so you’ll really only need transportation if you’re planning to hop from neighborhood to neighborhood. Driving is tricky in Montreal and Montrealers are stereotyped for being bad drivers. French is the first language here so all streets signs are in French . Parking can get expensive so unless you absolutely need a car, it is better to opt for public transport. I uber in almost every city I visit and find that the drivers are extra friendly in Montreal!

I love Hôtel William Gray because it offers a contrast of history and modernity in a eight-floor glass tower that sits atop two historic buildings. To me, that's a summary of how Montreal is- a perfect mix of old & new.

Hotel William Gray: I have been staying at Hotel William Gray since it opened in late 2016 so I can't really recommend another hotel at this time.I usually go to Montreal for work and this usually involves having to experience the busy downtown life so this hotel is a perfect retreat after a long work day. It's in Old Montreal and only a 5 min uber ride to the business district.

The rooms are very bright making it very easy to photograph! I love that the rooms have   floor to ceiling windows showing off the beauty of Old Montreal. The hotel's iconic mustard lounge chair has been featured in every room I've stayed at so if you love it as much as I do, chances are it would come with your room too! The rooms also come with exposed concrete ceilings, the comfiest bed and views for days! The Nespresso machine, multi jet shower and Bang & Olufsen speakers are some great extra touches.
Did I mention that the hotel lobby is absolute #design goals?! I can stare at that marble staircase all day. The lighting is prettier in person.

This is the view from my 7th floor room but similar views at Terrasse William Gray
Terrasse William Gray:  Whether you choose to stay at the hotel or not, a happy hour visit here during the summertime is a must! This rooftop terrace has stunning panoramic views of Montreal. The menu is very seafood-centric menu and the drinks are top notch.

Breakfast at Maggie Oakes- the best salmon benedict!
Maggie Oakes: This is one of my favorite breakfast spots in Old Montreal. Even though the area is filled with old historical building, Maggie Oakes offers a modern approach to design. If you visit Montreal in the summertime, sitting on this patio is a great way to people watch while enoying quality food!
The best bagels in town at St-Viateur

St-Viateur: Montreal has some of the best bagels in the world-they are boiled in honey-infused water before they are baked, making them much sweeter than their NYC counterparts. St-Viateur is very popular among the locals. 

La Banquise: Poutine is a no-brainer in Montreal, and probably on everybody’s list of things to try. It doesn’t look very appetizing( probably why I never photograph it #forthegram) but trust me – once you’ve had your first bite at La Banquise, you’ll never want to have fries any other way. I should mention that they have over 30 varieties of poutines here. There's even a vegan option!
You can't go wrong with the $9 avocado toast from TOMMY Cafe

TOMMY Cafe : I recently discovered this very popular cafe and have been in love ever since. You must try their avocado toasts, palmiers and chai lattes. Actually, try everthing! You can't go wrong here.  
I love the Asian salad from Mandy's
Mandy's Salads: You know that feeling when a restaurant/cafe is instagram worthy but the food is mediocre or overpriced? Well you don't have to worry about that here because you will get a great food photo, love the food and not break the bank! Definitely recommend this spot for lunch or a light dinner.

Take a stroll down the Old Port of Montreal:

My favorite part of Montreal- the historic port of Montreal stretches for over two kilometers along the St-Lawrence River. Much more lively during the warmer months but beautiful all year long. It is the perfect place for dining and shopping.

Visit Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal:
The Notre-Dame Basilica is one of the finest of its kind, with one of the most ornate gothic facades in the world, and a strikingly beautiful chapel at the back. That’s where you’ll find the impressive organ everyone talks about.
Also, that’s where Céline Dion got married.

Check out the art scene in Le Plateau:

Known as Montreal’s hipster neighborhood, Le Plateau is full of quirky treasures. Wander the countless independent galleries and take in all the youthful energy of this dynamic community.

 Shop the Mile End:

Think of the Mile End as Montreal’s Soho; this is where the fashion is at. There are plenty of boutiques in the area to keep shoppers busy for an entire day, but if you only have time for a handful, here are my recommendations:
  • Boucle & Papier (stationery)
  • Frank & Oak (menswear)
  • Vestibule (womenswear and home decor)
  • Unicorn (womenswear)
  • Annex Vintage (womenswear)
I will be visiting Montreal again next week so I will try to visit more places and add to this guide! Please let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this guide and would like to see the same done for other cities I will visit this year! Till next time xx

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