Montreal Highlights

The Best Parts of Montreal

As you may know, I just returned from a weeklong trip to Montreal. I haven't posted at all while I have been gone, but now that I am back I wanted to share some of the highlights of my trip with all of you. First of all I have to say that Montreal is a beautiful city and it is probably my favorite place that I have visited so far. Many things about the city are very progressive and it seems to do a lot of things really well. I give it an A for urban planning! I will post pictures of some of the places that I went that I really enjoyed!

As a side note, I wanted to mention that the city is huge. I spent about five days just walking from place to place and I feel that I still missed entire neighborhoods within the city. And when I say I walked I really mean it. I used a Jawbone Up Pedometer to measure my distance and I ended up walking 60 miles!!
Underground City

These two pictures I took while I was walking around in Montreal's Underground City. At first I was really skeptical and I wondered what an underground city was, but I quickly found out! It is a network of interconnected malls, apartments, shops, businesses and subway stops that can all be reached without stepping outside. This is really useful in the winter when temperatures rarely rise above freezing. I wasn't sure what exactly to expect, but many parts of this subterranean maze were quite beautiful. All in all, the Underground spans about 18 miles of downtown. Of course I only got to see a small portion of this, but it was completely worth it.

Old Port

The Old Port area was one of the biggest surprises for me. I didn't even really expect to visit the area but I sort of stumbled upon it by mistake. It is one of the oldest parts of the city located on the eastern bank of the St. Lawrence River. There are three long wharfs extending down into the river that have many restaurants and bars. This area is separated from the rest of the city by a long railroad park that runs along the river. It was a bit challenging to get to this area as it was a bit of a walk from the nearest metro station, but it was well worth it. 

Old Montreal

This was one area that I knew I had to see. Old Montreal is really the oldest part of the city and it has long cobblestoned streets that are closed to cars in many places during the summer. This part of the city felt very European and the buildings were absolutely stunning. Walking through this area you could really feel that Catholic history of the city. There were also tons of restaurants around here but they tended to be out of my budget!
Parc du Mont-Royal

As expected this was my favorite part of the entire city. The park is essentially a mountain that overlooks the entire downtown and is located right in the center of the city. It is a long walk up the mountain; it probably took me about an hour and a half, but it is certainly worth it. The views from up here are absolutely stunning. I have never been anywhere that has a view that compares to this urban park.

Botanical Gardens

This was one of the most surprising parts of the city. Halfway through the trip I changed hotels and moved to the Northern part of the city and my hotel happened to be right next to the gardens. I wasn't sure at first it it would be worth paying $25 to look at trees and sculptures, but I am so happy that I did! The gardens are collections of giant flower sculptures and some of them stand 20 or 30 feet tall. These were two of my favorite exhibits in the park! 

There are many other things that I could share about the city, but these were some of the quick highlights for me. Besides, I also ran into the problem where I filled up my available space on my iPhone so I had to reduce the number of pictures that I took. If you want to hear more about the trip let me know and I'd be happy to write more about the city!