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What To See & Do In Montreal...


CanuckGalInVic

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Hi!

I'm going to be in Montreal near the end of February to take in the Canucks game on the 24th. I'm hoping to spend a couple days leading up to the game exploring the city seeing as how I've never really spent any time out east (a year in Halifax at age 2 and 2 hours in the TO airport don't count).

There are a couple things I want to ask about. First, just general must-sees for one visiting Montreal. I've heard the shopping is great, so I'll definitely do some of that, but what else should I check out? Please keep in mind I'll be restricted to my feet and an unfamiliar transit system so places that are easy to get to are definitely a plus.

Second, is there anything special going on at that time of year? The 2 reasons for visiting my parents (in Ottawa) in February were hockey (Canucks eastern Canada road swing) and Ottawa's Winterlude festival. Does Montreal have any special winter activities or festivals of interest?

Third, any recommendations on inexpensive places to stay? I figure I'll probably try to find a hostel that's relatively close to where I want to go, or close to transportation. Are there any places I (female traveling alone) should avoid?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I live in Nova Scotia and I love going to Montreal and I used to make several trips a year there with work. I haven't been there for three years but I know that my next visit will include a trip to Centennial Plaza. Perhaps some of our Montreal based fans can share their thoughts on this.

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Well places you should avoid are definitely some of the metro stations nearing midnight and later, as well as stay off some buses around the same time, especially if you're a pretty girl. St-Michel, Cote-Des-Neiges, Notre-Dame-de-Grace (NDG), South-west and North-end of montreal come to mind as places and stations to avoid. Lot of druggies, drunks and gang members at that time, especially on Fri-Sat-Sun. At midnight, most of the folks are hard working people coming home from a day of work but being it Montreal, there's always a bunch of addicts and uncouth members of society hanging around.

If you like skating, go to a refrigerated rink at Lac des Castors and the Old Port skating rink, which is the largest rink in Montreal.

If you're looking for a date or some adult fun, like I said earlier, just go to St-Catherine and you'll be sure to find what you want.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I spent a week there in October...

Some suggestions:

Hockey:

Bell Centre Tour (call ahead, not always held on days with special events)

The Forum (now called the Pepsi Forum, it's a shopping center but they have some old Habs stuff still there)

If you like art:

Musée D'Art Contemporain De Montréal

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Animals/Plants:

Biodôme de Montréal (definitely a Metro trip)

Interesting Architecture:

Basilique Notre-Dame

Hotel de Ville

St-Joseph's Oratory

St Patrick's Basilica

Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde

Shopping:

Everywhere on Ste-Catherine!

Some Restaurants We Enjoyed:

Les 3 Brasseurs (restaurant/microbrewery)

Guido & Angelina (reasonably priced Italian food, a couple downtown locations)

I hope some of that helps. If you have any other questions let me know! :)

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there isn't a whole lot to do in february other than keep warm but if you let me know what you're interested in, i'll see if i can help.

the shopping is good and you can pretty much stay indoors along st. catherine so that's a bonus.

staying either near st. laurent or crescent is pretty much where you'll find the best shopping/night life.

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I'm fond of hanging around Chinatown myself, but it's a pretty small area; good restaurants if you like Chinese food, though. Don't miss Old Montreal & Notre Dame Basilica; it's easy to get to all these places from Place d'Armes metro on foot, and the metro system is fairly easy to navigate (though multi-line stations can be confusing).

The Museum of Fine Arts is pretty good; they've got a crazy giant painting of Dryden, believe it or not. I'm fond of their (small, but nice) ancient art collection myself, plus the permanent collections are free/by donation.

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Some new suggestions - awesome!

I'll have to take a closer look when I get home. I still haven't figured out where I should stay. I've heard there's a hostel fairly close to the arena, but is it easy to get to other places from there? (I have no idea how Montreal is laid out - haven't looked at a map yet) Or should I stay somewhere more central to the shopping and the sights?

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Some new suggestions - awesome!

I'll have to take a closer look when I get home. I still haven't figured out where I should stay. I've heard there's a hostel fairly close to the arena, but is it easy to get to other places from there? (I have no idea how Montreal is laid out - haven't looked at a map yet) Or should I stay somewhere more central to the shopping and the sights?

It's easy to get anywhere from anywhere in the downtown core. The Bell Centre basically has two metro stations attached to it, along the orange line which connects to the green line in two places; pretty much anywhere you want to go downtown will be on one of these lines. The Bell Centre also serves as Lucien L'Allier train station, which has three different train lines going to various suburbs, including Dorval (which is where the airport & Via Rail train station are).

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  • 2 weeks later...
Bell Centre Tour (call ahead, not always held on days with special events)

The Forum (now called the Pepsi Forum, it's a shopping center but they have some old Habs stuff still there)

Was the Bell Centre tour worthwhile? The only NHL arena I've been to so far is GM Place and I don't see that I'd get much out of a tour of that building. I'll have to try to check out the Forum though.

And I'm definitely going to be doing some shopping. I've been holding off on buying new clothes until I get to Montreal. :lol:

Thanks for the other suggestions!

It's easy to get anywhere from anywhere in the downtown core. The Bell Centre basically has two metro stations attached to it, along the orange line which connects to the green line in two places; pretty much anywhere you want to go downtown will be on one of these lines. The Bell Centre also serves as Lucien L'Allier train station, which has three different train lines going to various suburbs, including Dorval (which is where the airport & Via Rail train station are).

So getting into town from the airport is easy? The original plan was to take the train, but Porter Air isn't much more expensive, and isn't quite as limited in terms of the 'cheap schedule' as Via Rail is.

I really should pick up a map of Montreal before I get there, and figure out where everything I want to see is. It's been a long time (4 years since Europe) since I've had to navigate a new large city on my own. Well I guess Vancouver was unfamiliar at one point, but when I went there I knew exactly where I had to go (find my friend's place, find the arena, let my friend take care of the rest :P).

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So getting into town from the airport is easy? The original plan was to take the train, but Porter Air isn't much more expensive, and isn't quite as limited in terms of the 'cheap schedule' as Via Rail is.

I really should pick up a map of Montreal before I get there, and figure out where everything I want to see is. It's been a long time (4 years since Europe) since I've had to navigate a new large city on my own. Well I guess Vancouver was unfamiliar at one point, but when I went there I knew exactly where I had to go (find my friend's place, find the arena, let my friend take care of the rest :P).

Yeah, it shouldn't be too hard. It's quite a ways to walk to the train station from the airport due to the general layout/massiveness of the place, but you could probably catch a cab or there might even be a shuttle or something... I'd look it up if I were you. Train fare's just a couple bucks from Dorval. And like I said, you can get off right in the Bell Centre! Taking the train would be easier than getting there from the airport though, 'cause the Via Rail station is literally pretty much the same place as the Dorval suburb station, so you wouldn't have to bother with the distance from the airport. It's also a bus hub, so if you want to you can take any number of buses that go all different places. If you want to look up bus/train schedules, check here:

http://www.amt.qc.ca/tc/train/index.asp This is the train site; it's in French, but you're looking for "horaire" on the "Montreal/Dorion Rigaud" line.

http://www.stm.info/English/a-somm.htm this is the bus/metro site. If you're stuck, just google "tous azimuts" (there's an English version); it's a trip planner where you can enter your place of departure/destination and it'll show you whatever routes are available.

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