how to be a tourist in montreal

On my second visit to Montreal, I had three days instead of the 12 hours back when I went in 2013 with my friends as a stop on our Toronto road trip. We did some of the same things, and some new ones. Here is what we got the chance to check out:

  1. Get a 360 view of Montreal at the Observatoire de Ville Marie. Bonus – if you still have your student ID, you can get the ticket for $15 (regular adult is $19). The entrance is a bit hard to find, which I guess deters a lot of tourists because when we got up there, there were barely any peopleObservatoire Ville Marie 17
  2. Explore the Notre-Dame Basilica – so the first time around, we didn’t have time to go inside so we just snapped a few pictures outside. The second time around, I told myself that I would make it inside this time. But when we got there, there was a huge sea of people waiting in line. Neither Ben nor I are big church/architecture buffs, so we decided to skip it. Apparently, you can pre-purchase tickets online but at that point, we were already leaving the next afternoon and we didn’t think it was worth the trouble. Maybe third time will be the charm?Notre Dame Cathedral 3
  3. See all of the different flowers at Montreal Botanical Garden – the grounds are HUGE. They do have some trolleys but they’re always full so we ended up walking a lot around the park. That being said, make sure you bring plenty of water. Especially during the summertime (we went in August)
    Montreal Botanic Gardens 23
    Montreal Botanic Gardens 41
    Poison Ivy!

    Montreal Botanic Gardens 56

    Montreal Botanic Gardens 85
    Flower arch for pictures!
  4. Admire the architecture of the Montreal Olympic Stadium – this is where the 1976 Summer Olympics were held. I’m not sure if you can actually go inside, but if you have time – check out the exterior. Especially if you’re planning on visiting the Botanical Garden, since they’re right next to each other

    Parc Olympique (6)
    Ok, I cheated – this shot is from 2013
  5. Take a stroll around Old Montreal – you’ll feel like you’re in a European cityOld Montreal 9Old Montreal 12
  6. Hike up Mont Royal to get a view of the city – don’t worry, it’s paved so it isn’t bad. The bad part is just the hoards of tourists so you should probably go early (unlike us)

    Mont Royal 3
    View from the top!
  7. Get some produce at Marchés Atwater (Atwater Market) – this was a little disappointing because I thought there would be more food vendors there (or maybe we just went too early). It’s better for produce/meats so it would be a good place to get some ingredients to cook with if you are staying at a place with a kitchen

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