I know what you are thinking; 48 hours is not a whole lot of time, especially when exploring a new city. And that was exactly what I was thinking after my recent weekend adventure visiting Montreal. However, with enough curiosity, energy, and wanderlust, I was able to get a taste of what this lovely city has to offer!
While I have always wanted to make the road trip up north to Montreal, the city’s lights festival and winter carnival finally lured me in to book accommodations for the weekend. With free concerts and performances as well as a variety of different activities and cuisine to check out, Montreal En Lumiere is a great way to enjoy the end of the winter season!
After a long afternoon spent on the road to the city (with plenty of frequent stops!), checking into the hotel and driving around the same three roads just to find the parking garage, we dove right into the festival and exploring the city around us! En Lumiere had quite a few (free) activities for anyone to participate in, including a zipline (I sadly did not participate this time, although I’m usually the first to jump into an extreme sport. Oh well, gives me an incentive to go next year!), the “Milk” slide, a ferris wheel, and various live performances, just to name a few! Luckily, this festival was right next to the infamous underground mall, which is another fun place to explore, as well as to grab some delicious grub!
Saturday gave us much more time to explore our surroundings more in depth, outside of the festival itself. While we were not fortunate enough to have decent weather, we still managed to make the most of it! From our location, Saint Catherine appeared to be sort of the “main street” in our area, offering a variety of restaurants and cafes, clubs and bars, sex shops (I’ve never seen so many within a one mile radius), and a few media and sourvenier stores. And of course you cannot pass up trying Montreal’s famous cuisine of poutine, as well as exploring a local coffee shop.
We were also within walking distance to Chinatown (which we did not make time to explore, sadly) and the Old Port (which is definitely a must for any newbie to Montreal). I fell in love with the cathedral-style churches and architecture within Old Montreal. I love how preserved and separated this part of this city was from other regions.
And of course, what better way to spend your last night exploring more of the festival! We found there were more activities occuring on Saturday night, including some fantastic performances and food to endulge in.
As you can see, there was quite a bit we managed to do during our short visit to this beautiful city! Of course we did not complete everything off our Montreal bucket list; we were too tired to check out the night life and go clubbing, or explore more of the city that was beyond walking distance (the biodome was the main attraction I wanted to see). However, we wanted to be able to enjoy the city at our leisure and enjoy the sites, while still being able to see as much as possible! These activities and places we missed just gives us an incentive to go back again next year!