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    Here's Everything You Need To Know If You're Visiting Montreal For The First Time

    The land of poutine and winding staircases is calling your name.

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    Montreal deserves a spot at the top of your travel bucket list — think winding staircases, honey-sweetened bagels, street art, and *gulp* lots of poutine.

    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 addition to comfortable beds, tasteful artwork EVERYWHERE, and 24-hour room service, the hotel also offers the on-site Away Spa and Nom Nom: an eclectic restaurant that offers free (and delicious) continental breakfasts for guests.

    Address: 901 Rue du Square-Victoria, Montreal, Quebec

    Rooms starting at: $140-plus

    CALLING ALL BABES ON A BUDGET! Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal offers two-bedroom suites for as low as $120 a night, which is especially great if you're traveling with a group (select rooms comfortably fit about five people) and are looking to save a ton of cash.

    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 into 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 "Cake Eater" M.

    Address: 4177 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec

    Carb devotees, sprint to the iconic 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 Montreal to be delivered here in Louisiana. That is how good they are. I have 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.

    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.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

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

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Promising Yelp review: "I love speakeasies because of their hidden entrances, relaxed atmosphere, and creative drinks. Le 4e Mur (which means 'the fourth 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 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, Quebec

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

    Bartizen specializes in combining craft perfumes and all things G-I-N, a beloved Quebecois specialty. Try out the Wendigo cocktail (made with Wendigo gin, 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 the 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, Montreal, Quebec

    Le Majestique has a unique, dinerlike setting with a dive bar vibe — but come hungry, because the sharing plates are absolutely delicious and the menu is constantly changing.

    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 W, Montreal, Quebec

    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 café.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 1260 Remembrance Road, Montreal, Quebec

    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, Montreal, Quebec

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


    Note: The reviews in this post have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Don't forget to check out Bring Me! for all of BuzzFeed's best travel tips and hacks, vacation inspiration, and more!

    Jay Fleckenstein / BuzzFeed