Colorful Montreal

Wonderguide by

Alessandro Berrini

Colorful Montreal: What to See and Where to Eat

Known for its humongous amount of festivals and its diverse gastronomy, this city has a lot to offer whether you want to come in Winter or Summer. There's a big community of English-speaking citizens, although knowing some French may be helpful.

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Iconic Places

These are the must-go quintessential places if you're going to Montreal for the first time.

Image - Mount Royal
Mount Royal
Alessandro:This natural oasis offers the most iconic view of the city. Summer / winter beautiful walks. Lots of people walking, running, cycling (and even skiing!) Admire the local fauna and watch out for the squirrels that may try to steal your food!
Image - Old Port of Montreal
Old Port of Montreal
Alessandro:Nice district to walk by the old streets. Eat a poutine or a queue de castor in one of the food trucks. Get a nice view of the Tour de L’Horloge, on the luminous Jacques Cartier bridge, or be thrilled at the big wheel.
Image - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
Alessandro:Impressive church from 1904. Be immersed in the peaceful vibe of this architectural sanctuary.
Image - Old Montreal
Old Montreal
Alessandro:The oldest district of Montreal. Get prepared for getting back in time with its paved narrow streets & ages of history. Nice squares like “Place Jacques Cartier”, and the one in front of the neo-gothic church Basilique Notre-Dame. On summer, it’s filled with tourists and live musicians.
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Food and Drinks

Montreal is well known for its great variety of restaurants and bars.

Image - Fairmount Bagel
Fairmount Bagel
Alessandro:Here’s the best bagel in Montreal! Get ready to wait a little, and have prepared some cash, but it’ll all be worth it when you’ll get this hot and crispy sesame bagel.
Image - Kem CoBa
Kem CoBa
Alessandro:Next to the bagel factory is the best ice cream in Montreal. Local fruits sorbets, vegan and traditional ice cream, you’ll get the best for your money! Don’t get discouraged by the limited business hours or the huge line up, this sweet, creamy and colorful ice cream delight will fulfill all your ice cream dreams.
Image - Dieu du Ciel!
Dieu du Ciel!
Alessandro:Since 1988, Dieu du Ciel serves arguably the best Quebecois handcrafted beer, in one of the most vibrant districts of Montreal. Get tempted by the serving tray if you can’t choose among their impressive and always renewed beers’ selection.
Image - Punjab Palace Restaurant
Punjab Palace Restaurant
Alessandro:For a little touch of India in your plate. Nice BYOW in the hearth of the Park Extension’s district- mainly inhabited by Indians and Pakistans’ who live in Canada.

Authentic Montreal

Great places for those who want to dig a little deeper on what the city has to offer.

Image - L'Escalier
Alessandro:You wouldn’t notice this small door on the Saint-Catherine’s street if it wasn’t for the music going down the iconic red stair that flirts with the passers-by. Dare to climb this apartment-like bar for listening to daily live music - from traditional Quebecois music to jazz sessions and Latin nights - in a friendly, relaxed and inclusive atmosphere.
Image - Jean Talon Market
Jean Talon Market
Alessandro:Open-air public market opens all-year round. Carts full of beautiful, colorful, and tasty local fruits and vegetables. You can also find here regional products like ice-wine, the unbeatable maple syrup, some delicious cheese. The district of Petite Italie in which it’s based is also worth a walk for buying authentic Italian food.
Image - Village au Pied-du-Courant
Village au Pied-du-Courant
Alessandro:Born from a desire of the citizens to re-appropriate the Saint-Laurence’s banks, the Village-au Pied-du-Courant is an urban park in a beautiful scenery that hosts lots of cultural and musical events from all over the world.
Image - Saint Laurent Boulevard
Saint Laurent Boulevard
Alessandro:Even if you’re not looking for street art, you’ll certainly end up amazed in front of a big mural. But if you’d like to see more of them, I suggest you go onto the St-Laurent’s street, or even to assist the mural festival that take place every June.

Summer Activities

Image - Lachine Canal
Lachine Canal
Alessandro:For an afternoon of biking or rolling in a nice urban/natural environment, this is the place! Be sure to stop at the Atwater market for some food and discover the Saint-Henri hipster district. You’ll also find the McAuslan microbrewery for a well-deserved beer in their huge outdoor terrace.
Image - Montreal Botanical Garden
Montreal Botanical Garden
Alessandro:With its medicinal, alpine, Japanese and indigenous gardens, to name a few, you’ll surely learn lots of things about the flora, while hanging out in a beautiful scenery. Also has nice expositions like the gardens of light or the biggest pumpkins contest!
Image - Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park
Alessandro:Green area in a cute residential zone of the famous Le Plateau district. Play ping pong on one of the free service table (be sure to bring your paddle), bring your hammock for a siesta or simply enjoying the sun while watching the urban fauna in all its diversity. You’ll feel immersed in the Montrealers’ day-to-day life.
Image - Île Notre-Dame
Île Notre-Dame
Alessandro:If you’re willing to go a little farther, the Notre Dame Island is the perfect destination for resting a bit from the city. You can grab a public bike or even take the subway to Jean Drapeau station and walk there. The wild flowers and big willow trees will tempt you to stay for the day. There’s also a beach (Jean Doré) and pedal boats to rent.

Winter Activities

Image - Montréal en Lumière
Montréal en Lumière
Alessandro:One of the greatest Winter festivals of the world in which you'll be amazed by the insanely amount of colorful lights, talented artists and exquisite food.

Wonderguide map

  1. Mount Royal
  2. Old Port of Montreal
  3. Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
  4. Old Montreal
  5. Montreal Olympic Park
  6. Fairmount Bagel
  7. Kem CoBa
  8. Dieu du Ciel!
  9. Punjab Palace Restaurant
  10. L'Escalier
  11. Jean Talon Market
  12. Village au Pied-du-Courant
  13. Saint Laurent Boulevard
  14. Lachine Canal
  15. Montreal Botanical Garden
  16. Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park
  17. Île Notre-Dame
  18. Montréal en Lumière
  19. Patinoire Natrel du Vieux Port

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