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1. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Hey Guys

Im going to Montreal - from 3 until 7 May - short break! I know very little about the city (bar Tina lives there!)

So tell me about Montreal - we have a short time in the city so what is essential Montreal - what should we not miss?

Also its our anniversary on 5th May any recommendations for a nice meal - we both really like Asian food (esp Thai)!

Hotels - any recommendations for a good hotel well located?

Weather - what sort of weather can we expect at the start of May?

How do we transfer from the airport whats the best way? And is the underground the best way to get around the city?

I know that French will be widely spoken ( l havent studied French since l was 13!) but any dos and donts so we dont offend the locals? Should l attempt to speak French badly or just not even try!

I must buy a city guide!

Cheers

Heather

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 2, 2007, at 10:45 AM by Purdy ]

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

I will answer in more detail this weekend, but for now you can get a good idea of the kind of French spoken here courtesy of les Tetes-a-Claques (the Willy Waller 2006 is my personal favourite). They're silly cartoons but hugely popular and good for a laugh.

Honestly, though, it's a bilingual city and you'll do fine with a "SVP" and a "Merci"!

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

We stayed at the Hotel Europa Best Western. Actually, the hotel is quite nice and the bartender, Eric, (if he's still there) was absolutely wonderful. Tina can verify this - because we asked for a smoking room, they gave us the smallest room we have ever stayed in. Do not try to walk into the bathroom in the normal way as you will not fit. No, that is not a comment on your size, but of the bathroom's. Though a very pleasant room, exceptionally "cozy" is an apt description. (The look on T's face when she saw the room was worth the price of admission!)

The hotel was centrally located to everything we wanted to do. It was a block off of the main shopping and restaurant areas. The Metro was also a block away.

Definitely take time to visit "Old Montreal" and a fabulous "open air" bar/restaurant which T will have to give you the name of because I don't remember. Sam, Kris and I spent most of an afternoon there. They close it down in October since there is no ceiling, but we were told they open again May 1st (subject to weather). The place is filled with huge umbrellas that they open and close as the sun moves across the sky.

If you can get T to make reservations for you in advance - please, please go eat here so I know what it's like!!!

As far as the French language issue... We had no problem. Everywhere we went, English was spoken to us initially. Okay, so we look like crazy Americans, but no one spoke to us in Quebequois first. We did have a few of the wait staff give us the specials in both English and French. I would agree with T - and if you want to practice your French, give it a go - just laugh at yourself in the process. (You know how Montrealers can be.) ;)

If you are really ambitious - take the "short" little hike up to Mont Royale. A definite must see for the view. Personally, I recommend taking a cab. Don't forget to take your gnomads along so we can see pics of their adventures too.

(I bet you didn't take them to OZ with you, did you??? Stuck in N. Ireland while you were having fun.) ;)

4. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

I didnt l forgot my gnomads - l admit it - the truth is out! BUT they will definately be in my luggage for Montreal - they can meet up with T's!

We were looking at a Doubletree one - Paul can get a deal through Hilton Honours and it looks pretty well located and ajacent to a subway!

How long its the walk to Mont Royale? Might give it a go!!

Im hoping the weather will be fine in May so we should be able to get to the open air bar and spend a few hours!

We will definately meet up with Tina - but if anyone else fancies it - Q, GregW or Evan (if he's in Montreal or passing through on an adventure!)????? We could have mini - TP meet up Montreal style (mark 2!) If anyone is up for it?

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting Purdy

I didnt l forgot my gnomads - l admit it - the truth is out!

Does that mean you did forget them??? (Thought so!!!!!!!) ;)

How long its the walk to Mont Royale? Might give it a go!!

It's not so much the hike to Mont Royale as it is the hike up Mont Royale. You can walk the road all the way to the top or you can go cross-country up the paths people have made through the woods. We took the road up and the paths down because it was beer time.

6. Posted by Juju76 (Budding Member 34 posts) 9y

Hello,

So tell me about Montreal - we have a short time in the city so what is essential Montreal - what should we not miss?

The old Montreal is nice. It is a bit of the old Europe lost in North America. The "Plateau Mont Royal" area with its many bars and restaurants is great. The Mont Royal park is lovely. The basilique Notre Dame is really worth a visit.

Also its our anniversary on 5th May any recommendations for a nice meal - we both really like Asian food (esp Thai)!

Montreal has loads of very nice restaurant. Your best bet for a nice Thai is in the "Plateau" area around St Denis or Duluth street. The main 3 places to go out in Montreal are:
West: around Crescent street
Center: around St Laurent street
East: around St Denis street
As a rule of thumb the further you go in the western direction, the more expensive and english speaking it gets.

Weather - what sort of weather can we expect at the start of May?

Fairly wet and not too cold

How do we transfer from the airport whats the best way? And is the underground the best way to get around the city?

There is a fixed rate for cabs from the airport to Montreal (around 40CAN$ incl. tips if my memory is right). Otherwise there are buses.
The underground is a very convenient way to get around.

I know that French will be widely spoken ( l havent studied French since l was 13!) but any dos and donts so we dont offend the locals? Should l attempt to speak French badly or just not even try!

As mentionned earlier Montreal is bilingual and it is a very popular destination for American tourists. You don't really need to speak any french but it doen't mean that you should not try.
The road signs and the indications on the parking space are only in french though (and even in abbreviated french), and you see a lot of puzzled english speaking visitors trying to figure out what "lun a sam 8$h dim grat" means! (8$/hr from monday to saturday free on sunday)

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

I'm so happy you're coming! We should meet up at Hurley's Irish Pub to keep with TP tradition. ;)

Here are some thoughts and links to give you an idea of what you guys can do in your time here:

What should we not miss?
Old Port
Mount Royal
Olympic Park
Botanical Gardens (the flowers may not all be out, though)
Plateau district (the site's only in French, but you can look up Plateau and find related things)
Underground City (it's second i the list of top attractions)
Mont Tremblant (it's about 2 hours north, if you have the time!)

Any recommendations for a nice meal?
By 'nice' I'm going to assume fancy! Anniversaries deserve something special. :)

Thai Grill
Toqué (THE best and most expensive place in Montreal)
Versus (in the Hotel Nelligan)
Cube
La Queue du Cheval (overrated, in my oinion - although I've never gone)
Rugantino's (a lot less expensive and quite simple, but wonderful - my favourite)

Any recommendations for a good hotel well located?
Downtown is most centrally located, although the Old Port has more charm. From the latter, you have about a 5- to 10-minute walk to the Metro, as opposed to around the corner downtown.

For downtown, there are all the biggies - Delta, Best Westerns, Holiday Inn - a quick search will find everything!

For the Old Port:
Hotel Nelligan
Hotel St. Paul
W

What sort of weather can we expect at the start of May?
The weather should just start to be turning warm - maybe mid-teens and rain on and off. Weather is pretty unpredictable here - I remember one year it was 0 on May 15th. Bring some warm stuff and some t's, too.

How do we transfer from the airport whats the best way?
Montreal is one of the only major cities in the world that still doesn't have a train/Metro line from the airport. You could take public transportation, but it will take you FOREVER to get downtown and youll have to cart all your bags on the bus and Metro and up and down tons of stairs. The best way is to take a taxi. As someone mentioned, there's a fixed rate of about $35 to downtown.

And is the underground the best way to get around the city?
Yup! That and the bus system. But for the main attractions, the Metro will do you fine. They have tourist cards that, I believe, cover 3 days at a time. Here's the Metro map an their main site.

Any dos and donts so we dont offend the locals? Should l attempt to speak French badly or just not even try!
Montreal is very, very bilingual - but Quebec is prediminantly French speaking, so everyone appreciates a "SVP" and "merci" - just making the effort can score you brownie points! But not to worry - you'll be easily understood. Although the Belfast pronunciation of "eight" is enough to throw anyone of! ;)

9. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Booked our hotel - we are staying in Doubletree Hotel - Sherbrook Street East - anyone heard of it - apparently there is a metro stop just opposite the hotel!

10. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting Purdy

Booked our hotel - we are staying in Doubletree Hotel - Sherbrook Street East - anyone heard of it - apparently there is a metro stop just opposite the hotel!

Looks like you're near Sherbrooke and St. Denis - must be the Berri-UQUAM Metro stop. That's the main Metro stop which will connect you to everything. St .Denis street is a great street to walk - north to the Platueau, and south to the Latin quarter. You're a bit of atrek to downtown - maybe a ood 20 minutes - but very doable if it's nice out.