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    Here's How To Have The Perfect Weekend In Montreal

    Welcome to the paradise city of poutine, street art, honey-sweetened bagels, and winding staircases.

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    If Montreal isn't on your travel bucket list, it should be — between the winding staircases and street art to the honey-sweetened bagels and *gulp* poutine, it's a place that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.

    Which is why we've decided to compile a super helpful travel guide. Just for you!

    We’ll break down everything from where to eat, where to drink, where to lay your head at night, and OF COURSE the main must-see and must-do sights and activities that no trip to Montreal is complete without. Get ready to look like a loitering tourist!

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    -Planes: If you're looking for a quick weekend getaway, Montreal may be the perfect way to get out of the country without flying a trillion hours. Just be sure to check budget flight sites like Just Fly and Skyscanner to ensure you get the best deal.

    -Trains: If you're departing from NYC, Amtrak is here to seamlessly get you from Point A (New York) to Point B (Montreal). The ride is roughly ten hours, but gorgeous views and onboard WiFi make that time pass super quickly. Whether soaking in the passing sites or catching up on some work, this budget-friendly option (roughly $140 for a round trip!) is the perfect excuse for a last-minute getaway.

    -Automobiles: Depending on where you live in the U S of A, a road trip might be in order. Grab your passport, curate some tunes on Spotify, and get ready to drive through the Canadian border and into poutine territory. If your own vehicle won't make the trip, renting a car might be a great option — and an affordable one, if you're going with a big group!

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    Treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the W Montreal, complete with the kind of chic decor (and picture-perfect bathrooms) that will leave you wanting to remodel your own apartment.

    W Montreal, AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    In additional to comfortable beds, tasteful artwork EVERYWHERE, and 24-hour room service, the hotel also offers the below:

    Away Spa — Indulge in a lovely spa visit that's just a quick and convenient elevator ride away. Schedule anything from a romantic couple’s massage and a rejuvenating body wrap to a much-needed manicure and pedicure. Their facials are also the perfect post-flight treat, here to transform your skin into a dewy, radiant complexion that *doesn’t* scream jet lag.

    Nom Nom — If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ll probably want to gym sprint to Nom Nom…even if you’re not staying at the hotel. Bright lighting, blue hues, gorgeous tables and chairs that look like they were sourced from a fancy antique shop, and delicious menu items involving lobster and poached eggs make it a must-visit for your AM meal. (They also offer free continental breakfast for guests, of course.)

    Address: 901 Rue du Square-Victoria

    Rooms start at $194+.

    Live like a local Montrealer by, well, staying in their home. Scour Airbnb for the place that best suits your needs — whether looking for a spot to accommodate a big group or a centrally-located flat perfect for two.


    Through Airbnb, you can rent out entire homes or small bedrooms while filtering results based on location. You can also refine your options to include more specific requests, like whether you want a place with a kitchen, indoor fireplace, or washer/dryer. (I'll have all of those, thank you very much.)

    CALLING ALL BABES ON A BUDGET! M Montreal Hostel offers shared dorms and private rooms starting at $20 a night, although their amazing amenities will make you feel as if you've paid quadruple that price.

    M Montreal

    In addition to modern decor and a budget-friendly rate, you'll also be able to take advantage of the below:

    Rooftop terrace: Head on up to the rooftop terrace equipped with two jacuzzis and a prime view of the city, rivaled only by the one atop Mount Royal (more on that later). The jacuzzis are on all year long, that way you can take a hot dip even in the middle of the bitter Montreal winter.

    M-Bar: For a bar visited by both guests and locals alike, all you'll have to do is exit your room and walk down a few flights. On top of their huge drink selection, be sure to ask about any live events during your stay — they often bring in super talented local bands for a (free) live performance.

    Laundry: Stained your favorite — er, only — going out blouse? No worries. Head on over to the laundry room to give it a quick wash.

    Shared dorms: Each of the beds in the shared dorms offer a privacy curtain, which (as someone who has stayed in their fair share of terrible hostels...) is a pretty fantastic plus.

    Address: 1245 Rue Saint-André

    Rooms start at $20.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    Stop at Patati Patata for heaven in the form of poutine, a Canadian specialty made with french fries, cheese curds, gravy, and happiness.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed, Flickr: jisforjetsetter

    I’ve come up with my own golden rule when it comes to dining — go for the hole-in-the-wall places because they usually have the best food. Patati Patata is small to the point where you'll bump people on the way to the bathroom, but the food is made right in front of you (the kitchen is right in the middle of the space) and it is truly a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

    Promising Yelp review: "...let's talk about the poutine. The fresh french fries are smothered in squeaky white cheese curds and smothered with brown gravy and topped with a single kalamata olive. It's delicious and wholly satisfying, especially after a long night drinking and before a long flight home. The staff were friendly and accommodating and the price was less than I thought it was going to be. A really great place, and I would definitely come here again. Magnifique!" —Justin M.

    Address: 4177 St Laurent Blvd

    Carb devotees, sprint to the infamous St-Viateur and see bagels prepared fresh in front of your peepers. (Just note that these bagels are boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked, so the taste is definitely different.)

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    St-Viateur has three locations (two of which offer no place to sit down because they're PACKED with bagels) and they're all open 24/7!

    Promising Yelp review: "I am considering ordering these bagels directly from Montréal to be delivered here in Louisiana. That is how good they are. I ahve actually never been wild about bagels, and I always thought they were too dense, rubbery, or hard to chew. These St-Viateur bagels are none of those things. These bagels don't even need anything on them. They are magical on their own. Light, fluffy but substantial, just the right amount of crispy, and with the slightest honey-sweet taste. Pure joy in bread form." —Heidi S.

    If your ideal feast involves pasta, head to Maiolo Montreal for fine Italian dining. Fresh ingredients and an impressive menu will have you coming back to this spot again and again....and again and again. And probably again.

    Maiolo Montreal

    Between their fresh octopus, delicious pastas, fried-to-perfection calamari, and wine pairings, you're guaranteed to leave here with a happy belly and welcomed food coma. AND! Do not skip out on dessert, no matter how stuffed you are. There should always be room for their delicious tiramisu and cheesecake.

    Promising Yelp review: "This is a great spot, which was conveniently located across the street from our hotel on Rue Sherbrooke. We enjoyed excellent ravioli, pappardelle, salmon tartare, calamari, mussels, and tiramisu. They have a decent wine list, plus the service was friendly, attentive, and professional without making us feel rushed. We will be back!" —Lady M.

    Address: 1800 Rue Sherbrooke O

    Time for the most important meal of the day: BRUNCH. At Le Passé Composé, you'll devour all kinds of delicacies from poached eggs with pesto to apple beignets and waffles. Drool. / Via @passecomposemtl

    Their ingredients are super fresh (some of their menu items sell out by early afternoon), and they've got a wide variety of menu items that appeal to both the adventurous foodie and the picky eater.

    Promising Yelp review: "If I could give more stars I would. There was quite a line up outside Le Passe Compose when we arrived, but it was WELL worth the wait. No lie, this was the best breakfast I have ever had. The attention to detail and effort that was put into each item on my plate was phenomenal. I ordered the chorizo, goat cheese, and spaghetti squash omelette, which came with a baguette, a mini smoothie of the day (raspberry and beet, it was amazing), potatoes (so buttery omg), and fruit. The omelette must have been baked in cheese or something, because it was so cheesy and crisp on the outside, yet gooey and delicious on the inside." —Ruth H.

    Address: 1310 Boulevard de Maisonneuve E

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    Montreal is known for their speakeasies, and Le 4e Mur is one of the greats. It's even got a ~murder mystery~ theme with clues sprinkled throughout their menu, as well as frequent burlesque shows. / Via @4emur

    Promising Yelp review: "I love speakeasies because of their hidden entrances, relaxed atmosphere, and creative drinks. Le 4e Mur (which means "the 4th wall" in French) has a hidden brick wall entrance located behind a detective agency door front. Find the brick to open the wall and reveal the staircase to the bar!" —Jing "jade" X.

    Address: 2021 St Denis St

    Get your caffeine fix at Café Ferlucci, a small spot known for delicious cappuccinos and yummy pastries — including their horse shoe nutella rolls, of which you'll want to inhale at least 73 pieces.

    Instagram: @cafeferlucci / Via @cafeferlucci

    Promising Yelp review: "This is, in fact, a perfect café. One of those times you don't want to review something because it's precious, but I trust you guys.

    The food and service maintain the link to Italian Montreal history and hospitality. Old gents sit at the bar trading stories of vintage finds they've brought back for the young owner. This place has beautiful cappuccinos, delicious cookies and pastries, and big, glorious sandwiches on crusty and fluffy Italian bread that will break your heart." —Risa D.

    Address: 432 Rue de Castelnau E

    Bartizen specializes in combining craft perfumes and all things G-I-N, a beloved Québécois specialty. Try out the Wendigo cocktail (made with Gin Wendigo, hibiscus syrup, lemon, and prosecco) and get ready to order 11 more.

    W Montreal

    Grab the truffle fries and sliders if you're feeling a bit hungry, and feel free to try out their other cocktails if you're usually not a gin person. Although you should try the gin! Get out of your comfort zone.

    Promising Yelp review: "What a beautiful bar with exceptional music and amazing gin cocktails! Actually my favorite in Montreal. The place is elegant with nice vibes, and the description of the drink on the menu is really what you taste. Plus, the cocktails are strong and delicious! A must-try." —Vanessa V.

    Address: 901 Rue du Square-Victoria

    Le Majestique has a unique, diner-like setting with a dive bar vibe — but come hungry, because their sharing plates are absolutely delicious and their menu is constantly changing. / Via @lecuisinomane, / Via @josi_th_

    For the foodie friend, Le Majestique is heaven. Try everything from mushroom toast and duck tartare to squash soup and octopus, all freshly-made! They're also known for their 22-inch specialty hotdog dressed with all kinds of toppings.

    Promising Yelp review: "This place is one of my favorite hidden gems! Located right on the Main, this place has a really intimate and fun vibe. The ambiance and decor is fits perfectly for anyone looking for a night out in a lively atmosphere. I was initially a bit hesitant because it is a bar, but all doubt was cast aside as soon as we tried their food." —Anny T.

    Address: 4105 Boulevard Saint-Laurent

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    Enter Basilique Notre-Dame, a breathtaking basilica with intricate stain glass, while taking a stroll through Old Montreal.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 110 Notre-Dame St

    For stunning views of the Montreal skyline, climb to the top of Mount Royal! Then reward yourself for all that physical activity with a hot chocolate, which you can purchase *right* at the mountain cafe.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    The street art in this city = fantastique. Stroll along Le Plateau-Mont-Royal to catch some art at your own pace, *or* sign up for a walking mural tour to ensure you don't miss anything.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    On the Spade & Palacio walking tour, you'll spend two hours with a local guide who will take you to 25 (!!!) different murals — each one more gorgeous than the last. Your 'gram ain't ready.

    Book your tour at Spade & Palacio for $40.

    Test your fear of heights aboard the Montreal Observation Wheel, which brings you 60 meters *gasp* above the city. This is equipped with 42 cabins with tempered glass windows, meaning there's nothing to obstruct your view.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Check out the schedule and rates for the Montreal Observation Wheel.

    Address: 362 Rue de la Commune E

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    A travel wallet to keep EVERYTHING — your passport, your boarding pass, your ID — all in one neat place. Whether traveling by Amtrak, rental car, or plane, you'll feel safe knowing that you haven't lost a valuable document.


    This is designed with a passport slot and five card slots, a removable wristlet, a cellphone pouch, AND a pen holder — all while remaining slim enough to store in your tiny carry-on purse.

    Promising review: "Honestly, this is the perfect travel wallet. It fits both of my passports, my phone, a pen, and some cash. I bought it in a bright red color that meant I could find it right away, and the strap is also useful." —Suman S.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in 24 colors).

    A Mario Badescu facial spray because flying (+long roads trips and train rides) wreaks absolute havoc on your skin, please don't tell me otherwise. This lovely option is packed with aloe, herbs, and rose water for a blast of hydration and dewiness. / Via @mariobadescu

    Psst, this facial spray comes in a set of two! One with four fluid ounces, the other with two fluid ounces (AKA travel-sized).

    Promising review: ""The redness on my cheeks has gone way down and I have a much more even complexion after just four days. I've been lightly spraying this on my face after cleansing with the Mario Badescu Rice Milk Carnation Cleanser and again first thing upon waking. It smells very nice and magically fixes skin problems — even my acne has cleared up! I'm very impressed." —Terryoke

    Get it from Amazon for $7+.

    An essential oil roll-on stick with a pretty bizarre appetite. The main thing it craves? Your migraines. This will gobble 'em up and get rid of all those annoying headaches with pleasure — because nothing should get in the way of your honey-sweetened bagel adventures.

    Katy Herman / BuzzFeed

    This roll-on stick is packed with peppermint, spearmint, and lavender essential oils. How do you use it? When you feel a migraine coming on (ugh), just apply this to your temples, forehead, and the back of your neck — it'll give you a blast of cool relief that will lessen that pesky headache (and in some cases, get rid of it completely).

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    Check out a BuzzFeeder's review of this migraine stick.

    A windproof parka designed with PrimaLoft insulation, which will keep you warm and toasty in 0° to 20° F weather — AKA close to the daily temp during a Montreal winter.


    Promising review: "This coat arrived just in time for a big storm in Montreal. It was days after days of -35 weather, but I did't care because I had this coat to keep me warm. It's baggy so you have just enough space to put a sweater underneath. The big pockets are super convenient. I'm recommending this 100% if you live in a cold, windy, northern city. Plus, it's made of plastic bottles and recycled polyester!!" —Montrealer

    Get it from Everlane for $165 (traditional retail value for $325, available in sizes XXS-XL and in two colors).

    A travel-sized Batiste dry shampoo capable of making your 'do look freshly-washed by the time you land at your Canadian destination. Grease? You don't know her. You're too busy traveling the world to even think about her.... *nervous giggle* / Via @batiste_us

    Not to mention this adds immediate volume to even the flattest hair.

    Promising review: "After trying several dry shampoos and thinking that none of them would work for me, I finally found a product that does what it's supposed to do — and VERY WELL!!! My flat hair had immediate volume and smelled great!!" —SD

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $10.99.

    A paraben-free Bioderma moisturizing lipstick for long-lasting hydration that even the recycled air aboard the aeroplane won't be able to ruin. BEWARE! Montreal winters are frigid, so make sure your pout is protected.


    Promising review: "I am addicted to lip balms, and this is the first kind I have found that actually moisturizes my lips without drying them out more. I only have to apply this once in the morning and once at night (and with other lip balms, I usually have to reapply every hour or so)." —grelmcmu

    Get it from Amazon for $4.90.

    And with that, I bid you adieu — time to plan your trip to Montreal and use this post as a reference!


    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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