This was my third visit to Montréal, a fascinating city with a mixture of French and British roots. The first two times I visited I wasn’t able to be a tourist, and that’s why I went to third time. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted in this third visit, but I finally had the chance to properly see the city, including historic Vieux-Montréal. Next time, I hope to visit some museums and Parc du Mont-Royal.
I’ve driven to Montréal twice and flew in once. The airport is Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and is located about 20km from downtown. The nice thing about flying back to Chicago is that I was able to go through US Customs and Passport Control before getting on the plane.
Getting around most of the sites in Montréal can be done on foot, but the metro is necessary at times. I used it to get to Parc Olympique and back, and to get from Vieux-Montréal to near Rue Crescent. In the winter, an entire 12km² city exists underground allowing people to walk from place to place without freezing in the bitter cold.
For this visit, I stayed at the Hotel Viger, which is a short walk from Vieux-Montréal. It was a little pricy for the quality of the room, but the staff was friendly and it was comfortable.
On my first visit, I stayed at an Econo Lodge that no longer exists for a trip to the 2002 Canadian Grand Prix with my friend Dionysios. On my second visit, I got an incredible deal at the Ritz-Carlton Montréal, which is located very close to the entertainment district at Rue Crescent. I went with a couple friends to see a concert with Greek singer Giannis Ploutarhos.
There are some great choices for food in Montréal, and it helps to have friends and family there to recommend restaurants. My first morning started off with breakfast with my friend George. He picked me up from Hotel Viger and we drove to the famous St-Viateur Bagel Shop in the Plateau neighborhood, where we grabbed some of the best bagels I’ve ever eaten. We then had a very good coffee down the street at the popular Café Olimpico. It was a great way to start my morning. George had to work so he dropped me off at the hotel again, and I explored the city on my own for the rest of the day.
I also had dinner with my cousins Mary and Tony twice. The first night, we went to Rue Saint-Denis, a street in the Quartier Latin lined with several restaurants and cafes. We ate at Les Jardin de Panos, a Greek restaurant on Rue Duluth, just off Rue Saint-Denis. The brochettes wrapped with bacon were amazing, and the calamari melted in my mouth. The pikilia was also very good. It’s BYOB, so we stopped at a liquor store beforehand for some wine.
The second night, we went across the river to the suburb of Brossard. Quartier DIX30, a huge shopping and entertainment complex with several restaurants to choose from, was our stop for the night. We ate at Zibo!. The lobster poutine was phenomenal, and the pizzas were better than expected. We shared the bacon et oignon, the saucisses, and the traditionnelle.