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Frommer's Montreal day by day

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This attractively priced, four-color guide offers dozens of itineraries that show you how to see the best of Montréal in a short time—with bulleted maps that lead the way from sight to sight. Featuring a full range of thematic and neighborhood tours, plus dining, lodging, shopping, nightlife, and practical visitor info, Frommer's Montréal Day by Day is the only guide that helps travelers organize their time to get the most out of a trip. Inside this book you'll find:
- Full color throughout with hundreds of photos and dozens of maps
- Sample one- to three-day itineraries, as well as themed itineraries that include tours of Montréal's popular cultural sights, hippest neighborhood hotspots, best places to eat, and even activities that will appeal to kids of all ages
- Exact pricing so there’s never any guessing
- Day trips to Quebec City, the Laurentians, and Cantons-de-l'Est.
- Star ratings for all hotels, restaurants, and attractions that clue readers in on great finds and values
- Tear-resistant foldout map in a handy, reclosable plastic wallet 
The authors have thoroughly up-dated this current edition of Frommer's popular Montreal Day by Day.

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14 FAVORITE MOMENTS

ePub

Step back in time along Vieux-Montréal’s cobblestone streets.

14 Favorite Moments

An enormous joie de vivre pervades Montréal, which celebrates its 375th anniversary in 2017. It’s the largest city of the Québec province and the most French region of North America. Modern in every regard, Montréal has a beautifully preserved historic district, skyscrapers in unexpected shapes and colors, and sprawling neighborhoods of artists’ lofts, boutiques, and cafes. Cold and snowy a good 8 months of the year, Montréal’s calendar is packed with festivals and events that bring out natives and guests in every season. Here are 14 favorite moments in taking in this humming, bilingual metropolis.

Montréal’s main square, Place Jacques-Cartier, by night.

❶ Strolling Vieux-Montréal’s cobblestone streets and forgetting what year it is. Horse-drawn carriages (calèches) add to the ambience, but it’s the old-world feel of the buildings that really transports you back to the 18th century. In summer, find a cafe table on the Place Jacques-Cartier, the main square. In the winter, lace up some ice skates and twirl while the snow gently falls. See p 62.

 

1 THE BEST FULL-DAY, TWO-DAY TOURS, & THREE-DAY TOURS

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Montréal’s grand Museum of Fine Arts.The Best in One DayCenter your first day in Montréal around the sites and atmosphere of the oldest and most historic part of the city: Vieux-Montréal. The city was born here in 1642, down by the river at Pointe-à-Callière. Its southern boundary is Vieux-Port (Old Port), a waterfront promenade that provides welcome breathing room for cyclists, in-line skaters, and picnickers, and it extends north to rue St-Antoine, once the “Wall Street” of Montréal. Read up ahead of time at the neighborhood’s official website, www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca. START: Take the Métro to the Place d’Armes station and head down rue St-Sulpice to the river.Canada Day celebration at Vieux-Port.❶ ★★★ Vieux-Port. Montréal’s Old Port has been central to its commercial and economic status over the last 200 years, but the port was a dreary area of town until it got a facelift in the 1990s. Now the converted waterfront and its piers, or quays, are a playground year-round for families, strolling couples, and outdoor athletes. In winter, ice skating rinks are set up here. The popular children’s science museum, Centre des Sciences de Montréal, is located on Quai King Edward, and includes good special exhibits and an onsite IMAX theater (p 121, bullet ❶). From June to September, a miniature electric train (board in in front of the museum) scoots along the length of the port, and in 2015 Canada’s first urban zipline circuit set up shop here. Cruise companies also leave from here on daytime trips along the St. Lawrence River. Bikers can pop into ÇaRoule/Montréal on Wheels (27 rue de la Commune est; ☎ 877/866-0633 or 514/866-0633; www.caroulemontreal.com) and pick up a bike to head out on the path along the adjacent Lachine Canal. Activities continue in the cold months, when an expansive ice skating rink becomes the focal point.  At least 2 hr. www.oldportofmontreal.com. ☎ 800/971-7678 or 514/496-7678. Mini train rides C$4. Zipline $C20. Ice skating C$7 adults, C$5 children 6–12, free 5 and under. Skate rentals available. Métro: Champ-de-Mars, Place d’Armes, or Square Victoria.

 

2 THE BEST SPECIAL-INTEREST TOURS: Historic Montreal, Cultural Montreal, Gastronomic Montreal, Romantic Montreal, Montreal's Parks, Montreal with Kids, & High Design

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Sightseeing ships and a view of the Montréal skyline.Historic MontréalFirst Nations vs. Europeans. French vs. British. Peace vs. war. Montréal history is thick with both tranquility and strife. The city wears its history proudly on its sleeve: In no other place in North America does the richness of 400 years of nation building continue to be as discussed, dissected, and celebrated as it is in Montréal and its sister city, Québec City, to the north. START: Métro: McGill.Catch a glimpse of Canadian history at Musée McCord.❶ ★★ Musée McCord. This museum is fresh at each visit and boasts two appealing permanent exhibitions: “Montréal: Points of View,” touching on the lives of first inhabitants and the spirit of the city today, and “Wearing Our Identity: The First People’s Collection,” which presents a respectful look at the relationship of the region’s First Nations to their clothing, which often is made of animal pelts. Temporary exhibitions are edgier and have included the first major retrospective of fashion photographer Horst (a frequent contributor to Vogue in the 20th century) and a collection of “queer baroque” ceramics works. The museum has a collection of online exhibits that give a taste of its playful voice. A strong museum shop features locally made bags and jewelry, aboriginal artwork, and children’s toys. Each exhibition is small, and won’t take most visitors more than 15 minutes each, but there usually are at least two temporary shows in addition to the permanent displays.  1 hr. See p 13, bullet ❶.

 

3 THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD WALKS: Vieux-Montreal, Downtown Montreal, Plateau Mont-Royal, Pard du Mont-Royal

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A stroll along Place Jacques-Cartier in Vieux-Montréal.

Vieux-Montréal
Many cities are best explored on foot, and Montréal is one of North America’s most pedestrian-friendly. There’s much to see in the concentrated districts—especially cobblestoned Vieux-Montréal, where the city was born. Its architectural heritage has been substantially preserved, and restored 18th- and 19th-century structures now house shops, boutique hotels, galleries, cafes, bars, and apartments. Take this tour to get the lay of the land: You’ll pass many of the neighborhood’s highlights. Start: Métro: Place d’Armes.Stanford White’s commanding Banque de Montréal.

Banque de Montréal.
Montréal’s oldest bank building dates from 1847. From 1901 to 1905, American architect Stanford White (1853–1906) extended the original building, and in this enlarged space, he created a vast chamber with green-marble columns topped with golden capitals. The public is welcome to stop in for a look. Besides being lavishly appointed inside and out, the bank also houses a small and quirky banking museum, which illustrates early operations. It’s just off the main lobby to the left, and admission is free.




 15 min. 129 rue St-Jacques.

 514/877-6810. Museum open Mon–Fri 10am–4pm.

 

4 THE BEST SHOPPING

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Fancy, delicious chocolates at Suite 88 Chocolatier.

Shopping in Montréal

Shopping Best Bets

Best Street for Parisian & Québécois Fashion

Avenue Laurier has boutiques for shopping and restaurants for relaxing, Avenue Laurier, between bd. St-Laurent and ave. de l’Epée (p 87)

Best Store for Warding-Off-Winter Fashion

★ Kanuk, 485 rue Rachel est (p 88)

Best Department Store for High Fashion

★ Holt Renfrew, 1300 rue Sherbrooke ouest (p 86)

Best Adorable, Handmade Dolls

★ Raplapla, 69 rue Villeneuve ouest (p 85)

Best Department Store for Teen Fashion

Simons, 977 rue Ste-Catherine ouest (p 87)

Best High-End Inuit Sculpture

★ Guilde Canadienne des Métiers d’Art, 1460 rue Sherbrooke ouest (p 85)

Best Wool Blanket

★ La Baie (The Bay), 585 Ste-Catherine ouest (p 86)

Best Store for Seeing a Bagpiper

★★ Ogilvy, 1307 Ste-Catherine ouest (p 86)

Best Antiques

★ Antique Alley, rue Notre-Dame ouest (p 85)

 

5 THE BEST DINING

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Mouthwatering baked goods at Olive + Gourmando in Vieux-Montréal.

Dining Best Bets

Best Restaurant in a Glass Box

★★★ Brasserie T $$ 1425 rue Jeanne-Mance (p 98)

Best Fancy White Tablecloth Experience

★★★ Europea $$$ 1227 rue de la Montagne (p 99)

Best Parisian-Style Bistro

★ L’Express $$ 3927 rue St-Denis (p 101)

Best Contemporary Québécois

★★★ Le Club Chasse et Pêche $$$ 423 rue St-Claude (p 101)

Best Cocktails

★★ Hôtel Herman $$ 5171 blvd. St-Laurent (p 100)

Best Seafood

★★★ Ferreira Café $$$ 1446 rue Peel (p 99)

Best Modern Italian

★★★ Graziella $$$ 116 rue McGill (p 100)

Best Slabs of Pork

★ Au Pied de Cochon $$$ 536 rue Duluth (p 98)

Best Vegetarian Buffet

★ Resto Vego $$ 1204 av. McGill College (p 103)

Best Vegan

★ Aux Vivres $ 4631 bd. St-Laurent (p 98)

Best Bakery

★ Première Moisson $ 1490 rue Sherbrooke ouest (p 102)

Best Creative Cuisine

 

6 THE BEST NIGHTLIFE

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Musicians play at Montréal’s famed International Festival of Jazz.

Nightlife Best Bets

Best Bar in Old Fur Warehouse

★★ Bar Furco, 425 rue Mayor (p 110)

Best Downtown Wine Bar

★★ Pullman, 3424 av. du Parc (p 112)

Best Upscale Cocktails

★ Bar Henrietta, 115 av. Laurier ouest (p 110)

Best Mysterious Night Club

★ Velvet, 426 rue St-Gabriel (p 112)

Best Low-Key Jazz Venue

★ Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, 1254 rue Mackay (p 114)

Best Bar for a Huge Group

★ Brasserie Harricana, 95 rue Jean-Talon ouest. (p 110)

Best Gay Night Out

★ Sky Club & Pub, 1474 rue Ste-Catherine est (p 113)

Best Fans During Habs Games

La Cage Brasserie Sportive, 1212 av. des Canadiens du Montréal (p 111)

Best Craft Beers

★★★ Dieu du Ciel, 29 av. Laurier ouest (p 111)

Best Late-Night Menu in Sexy Setting

★★★ Ferreira Café, 1446 rue Peel (p 99)

Best Hipster Bar

★★ Bílý Kůň, 354 av. Mont-Royal est (p 110)

 

7 THE BEST ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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L’Orchestre Symphonique tickets are specially priced for people 34 and under, 25 and under, and 17 and under.

Arts & Entertainment Best Bets

Best Circus

★★★ Cirque du Soleil and Montréal Complètement Cirque festival, in July (p 117 and p 157)

Best Opportunity to Hear French Chanson

Les FrancoFolies de Montréal festival, held in June (p 156)

Best Old-Time Jazz & Dinner Club

Maison du Jazz, 2060 rue Aylmer (p 114)

Best Refined Evening Entertainment

★★ L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Place des Arts, 1600 rue St-Urban (p 120)

Best English-Speaking Theater

★ Centaur Theatre, 453 rue St-Francois-Xavier (p 122)

Best Comedy Spot

The Comedy Nest, 2313 Ste-Catherine ouest (p 120)

Best Drag Club

★ Cabaret Mado, 1115 rue Ste-Catherine est (p 113)

Best Music Festival

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, held in June and July (p 156)

Best Venue for Sports & Big-Name Concerts

 

8 THE BEST HOTELS

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The Ritz-Carlton Montréal is one of the city’s most splurge-worthy hotels.

Hotel Best Bets

Start the day in style with a light breakfast at the restaurant Bonaparte, complimentary for the Auberge’s guests.

Best Luxury Hotel

★★★ Ritz-Carlton Montréal $$$$ 1228 rue Sherbrooke ouest (p 132)

Best Romantic Hotel

★★ Auberge du Vieux-Port $$$ 97 rue de la Commune est (p 127)

Best Family Hotels

★★★ Le Saint-Sulpice Hôtel Montréal $$ 414 rue St-Sulpice (p 131); ★★ Hôtel Bonaventure Montréal $$ 900 rue de la Gauchetiere ouest (p 129); ★★ Le Square Phillips Hôtel & Suites $$ 1193 Square Phillips (p 132)

Best Value Hotel

★ Hôtel Le Dauphin Montréal-Downtown $ 1025 rue de Bleury (p 130)

Best New Boutique Hotel

★★ Hôtel ÉPIK Montréal $$ 171 rue St-Paul ouest (p 129)

Best High Design Hotel

★★ Hôtel Gault $$ 449 rue Ste-Hélène (p 130)

Best Full-Service Boutique Hotel

★★ Hôtel Nelligan $$$ 106 rue St-Paul ouest (p 131)

 

9 THE BEST DAY TRIPS & EXCERSIONS

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Ice skating at Manoir Hovey.

Québec City

Québec City seduces from first view. Situated along the majestic Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence River), much of the oldest part of the city—Vieux-Québec, or, in English, Old Québec—sits atop Cap Diamant, a rock bluff that once provided military defense. Fortress walls still encase the upper city, and the soaring Château Frontenac, a hotel with castlelike turrets, dominates the landscape. A revitalized Lower Town, by the water, is thick with boutique hotels and cafes. The city is almost entirely French in feeling, spirit, and language: Almost everyone—95% of the population—is Francophone, or French speaking. But many of the area’s 677,000 residents do know some English, especially those who work in hotels, restaurants, and shops. START: A full day stroll can take in the sites below in the order presented. Start at Place d’Armes, the central plaza in the upper city.

The striking Château Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world.

 

THE SAVVY TRAVELER

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Ice skating is a favorite winter pastime in Montréal.

Before You Go

Government Tourist Offices

In Montréal: Downtown Montréal boasts a large Infotouriste Centre (1255 rue Peel; ☎ 877/266-5687 or 514/873-2015; info@bonjourquebec.com. The city of Montréal maintains a terrific website at www.tourisme-montreal.org.

The Best Times to Go

The summer months—late June through August—are when Montréal is at its busiest. You’ll pay the most for a hotel room in this period, and it can be hot and humid, but the city is in full bloom. In May and early June it’s easier to get accommodations and the weather is often more comfortable, although you’ll miss out on the big festivals. September and October are less hectic months and the perfect time for autumn hikes and seeing the region’s beautiful fall foliage. Winter in Montréal is cold and snowy, but people still get out and play. Early spring and late fall, when the weather can get iffy and not much is happening, are quieter times in the city.

 

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