Prepare for picture overload!
Jetting up to Montreal for the day was unreal! I had such an amazing time exploring the whole city and loved the challenge of only doing so in one day. Below you’ll find my detailed itinerary. I prepared the itinerary ahead of time and am so glad that I did because it really helped me make the most of the day. Also logistically speaking I had the data turned off on my phone, so in order to actually get from place to place I had to have it all planed ahead of time. I love the challenge of using an old school map, which is especially challenging when navigating a new city in a foreign country! Good thing I parle juste un peu français!
I arrived at the hotel (Spring Hill Suites) in Old Montreal at 11:00pm on Wednesday night, and was pretty exhausted after a full day of work followed by my travel. By the time I checked in and put my bags up in the room all the restaurants in Old Montreal had stopped serving food (luckily I wasn’t hungry). Instead of heading straight to bed though I explored the streets of Old Montreal (known as Vieux-Montreal in French) and I’m so glad I did! It definitely gave me a better understanding of the layout of the landmarks around me and honestly it was so much fun to roam the streets so late at night. They were so quiet, no one was out and about (a complete 180 from NYC!).
As much as I would have loved to have slept in the next day I woke up nice and early to start exploring the city. Breakfast is complimentary at Spring Hill Suites. I would have preferred to have had an authentic Montreal breakfast, but I think this ended up working out for the best because I just grabbed a quick croissant and some fruit and was out the door by 8:00am to explore the city!
First Stop: Basilica de Notre Dame.
This was an obvious choice as the first stop since it was the only place that was open before 10:00am! I spent a month in Paris last year studying…well…it was pretty unclear what exactly I was studying (ah! sorry, but it’s true!), but what I do know is that every day we visited a different church and learned about its architecture and history. Now whenever I travel somewhere it seems crazy to me not to have a church on my itinerary. The Basilica de Notre Dame did not disappoint, check out the pictures below! Insider tip: Make sure you walk all the way to the front of the church, on both sides you’ll be able to walk up a ramp that leads to a small chapel, which is incredible! No pictures allowed though, so you’ll have to see it for yourself!
Second stop: Pointe-a-Callière (History and Archaeology Museum).
Similarly to exploring churches, visiting a museum is always on my itinerary whenever I travel somewhere. With this being such a short trip I was hesitant to spend so much of my only day in Montreal inside a museum. This museum was definitely worth it though! I specifically chose this museum because of its focus on Montreal history and archaeology. The museum sits on top of the site where Montreal was originally settled. It’s amazing how much they discovered under their feet! Insider tip: If you head to this museum make sure you catch the film before exploring the ruins. The film was really well done and covers all of Montreal’s history in a really interesting way. // Also, if you’re a student you get a discount so make sure you bring your ID. (website linked here)
After the Pointe-a-Callière I explored all the Vieux-Montreal Landmarks! Pictures below!
Third stop: Lunch at La Panthère Verte.
I was so so so excited to find that Montreal has a plethora of vegetarian/vegan eateries. Typically the biggest challenge for me when traveling is still eating healthy while sticking to my pescatarian, dairy-free diet. I actually think I ate better than I typically do while I was on this trip. Yay! (website linked here)
Fourth stop: Chalet du Mont-Royal.
Parc du Mont-Royal is unlike any city park I’ve experienced before. It is quite literally a mountain! Stairs or a gradual serpentine path lead runners and tourists alike up towards the top, where Chalet du Mont-Royal overlooks the whole city. Walking up all those stairs was exhausting, but well worth it for the breathtaking views!
Explored Downtown Montreal.
There’s so much going on in downtown Montreal, much like any city. It definitely has its own unique vibe though, which is difficult to describe. My best suggestion is to save a little bit of time for just roaming the streets. You’ll definitely stumble upon McGill University, which is pretty famous (and a really good school).
Fifth stop: Crêperie in Vieux-Montreal.
There’s probably a ton of delicious crêperies in Montreal, especially in Old Montreal, but this one was just too cute to pass up!
Sixth stop: Hotel to freshen up/check out.
We were able to get a 4:00pm check-out time thanks to SPG membership. This was really helpful considering after exploring the city all day it was nice to be able to get back to the hotel room and regroup before the evening festivities. Also check out our huge balcony!
Seventh stop: LOV Restaurant for dinner.
I’ve had a lot of amazing dinners, in fact, just last month I ate at Nix in NYC, which is a Michelin star restaurant. With that being said, LOV did not disappoint! Their menu is innovative with so many unique twists catering to vegans. We ordered the Mac & Cheese as an appetizer, and then the Beet Salad and Gnocchi as entrees. Of course we couldn’t leave without dessert! The fudge brownie was amazing, and you’d never know it was vegan! In fact, you’d never know any of the food was vegan! On top of the amazing food, the wait staff were very friendly and welcoming, and the restaurant’s décor is definitely Insta-worthy. (did I just really say that?) (website linked here)
Eighth stop: Centre-Bell for Hockey Game.
Well, if you’re going to Montreal in the winter, then a hockey game seems like a no brainer! This was my first professional hockey game (yay!) and it was a blast! I was surprised that I wasn’t cold at all inside the Bell Center. I layered up, but I could have done without a few layers and still have been comfortable. The Bell Center is in walking distance from Old Montreal so after finishing up at LOV for dinner we walked straight to the Bell Center, and then after the hockey game walked back to the hotel before departing for Plattsburg, NY (we flew back to Boston from Plattsburg rather than Montreal). (website linked here)
6:30am Wake up and get ready
7:30am Head down to breakfast
8:00am Depart hotel (4 min walk to Notre Dame)
8:05am Visit Notre Dame Basilica
9:00am Explore waterfront
11:00am Walk to Chalet du Mont-Royal
12:00pm Lunch at La Panthère Verte
1:00pm Explore Parc du Mont Royal
1:30pm Explore downtown Montreal
3:00pm Head back to hotel in Old Montreal, freshen up before dinner
5:15pm Dinner @ LOV (approx. 6 min walk to Centre Bell)
7:30pm Montreal Canadiens vs. Arizona Coyotes NHL Hockey Game @ Centre Bell
10:00pm Drive to Fairfield Inn and Suites, Plattsburg, NY