Montreal has to be one of my favorite cities to visit. I mean, tell me I can be in a place that feels like Europe without actually having to travel all the way to Europe (i.e. without having to take a long overnight flight) and I'm there. If you're visiting from NYC, it's about a 6.5 hour drive, a quick flight or scenic train ride from here to there. We've driven both times we went (once from NH, which was a much shorter drive, which makes me regret not visiting more when we lived there, and then once from New York). It's a perfect weekend (or long weekend) escape.
You know how we roll. We love our Airbnb's. The one we found in Montreal has to be one of my favorites we've ever stayed in, though. Yes, the location was perfect (it was within walking distance to everything we wanted to see and right in the middle of restaurants, shops and lots to do). But what we really loved was the decor and the vibes of the space. It was a bit rustic, a bit bohemian, a bit quirky, but oh so cool. I'd definitely recommend checking it out.
for BRUNCH check out L'AVENUE. It's arguably the most popular brunch spot in town, and you definitely better plan in time to wait, but they had an extensive menu with quite a variety of things (i.e. not the typical eggs benedict and pancakes) so I would definitely deem it worth the wait..... Saving for Later: Foigwa and The Sparrow
for COFFEE head on over to Tommy's (Café Myriade and Vieux were also on our list but we didn't have time to go) but grab your BAKED GOODS from Le Bete a Pain or an infamous Montreal bagel from FAIRMONT (We also tried St. Viateur).... Saving for Later: Maison Christian Faure and Cocoa Locale
check out the JEAN TALON FOOD MARKET if you're looking to grab items for cooking or for a picnic (We loved the olive stand and the cheese shop!)...this market feels exactly like the ones you would find in Europe!
for DINNER we tried both CADET and AU PIED DE COCHON, both of which were delicious, but if I had to pick just one, Au Pied would for sure be my favorite...Saving for Later: Joe Beef and Marconi
Montreal is great for going out, but our favorite drink spots were MAYFAIR and LA MAL NECESSAIRE (Hello, tropical speakeasy and drinks served in pineapples!).... Saving for Later: Flyjin, La Distillerie, Velvet Speakeasy and Tavern Square Dominion
*While the restaurants are plenty, the food is amazing and the people are so nice, one very strange thing we noticed is how frequently we were turned down from places for what seemed to be no other reason than there were just two of us. I won't name names of the exact places, but on multiple occasions we were turned away, being told there was no room for two people, but then immediately afterwards a large group would be told there was plenty of room. It almost seemed like places would turn down two people knowing they wouldn't make as much money as they would from a group of people. It was a bit frustrating and off-putting, to say the least.
Walk around the seaport
Visit Notre Dame
Explore the art galleries in the Belgo Building
Check out Bibliothèque et Archives
Stroll the streets and check out the architecture and allllll the street art (literally, there is art on every single wall!)
Wander around the underground city
Go to Mount Royal for a view of the city