10 THINGS TO DO IN MONTRÉAL

So you’re going to Montreal? LUCKY YOU! Is there room in your suitcase? Can I come? On the off chance that you said no, and you’re going without me (rude), here’s my ultimate list of thing to do, see and drink in Montreal.

Like all good things in life, Montreal is full of extremes and the unexpected. Summer is hot hot hot. Humidity central. And Winter… Ice Ice Baby. It’s so cold that your nose hairs freeze outside. And fall is simply splendid. The trees explode with colour and make for some pretty popping Instagram pics. Regardless of when you visit, keep in mind that this will ultimately determine what you do and when you do it. Because you ain’t going to be walking the streets of Montreal for hours on end in freezing rain (I know this because we tried and I swear our veins were starting to freeze up). OK – so now I’m done being weather woman, here’s my ultimate list of things to do in Montreal!

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1. Mont-Royal.

This is my number 1 thing to do in Montreal, and once you do it you’ll see why. There’s not many cities in the world where you can feel like you’re lost in the woods when you’re actually just on a mountain in the middle of the city. You can do this in all seasons and it’s still just as magical. Mont-Royal was designed by the same guy that designed New York’s Central Park (that dude knew his parks). Not only is the walk up easy and beautiful, but the top hosts some of the best views in all of Montreal (plus it’s FREE). If you’ve got a few hours, definitely explore the rest of the mountain. There’s a beautiful old cemetery, L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph and Beaver Lake (which you can go ice skating on in Winter).

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2. Vieux-Port (Old Port).

This is the heart of culture in Montreal. Home to Basilica Notre Dame (Paris’ Notre-Dame’s little sister), Rue Saint-Paul (Montreal’s oldest street), and access to the Saint Laurence River, this is a place you simply cannot miss. In Summer there are markets, stalls and lots of street performers and buskers to keep you entertained whilst you soak up some sunshine on a Terrace. Exploring old port, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were lost in a little European town.

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3. Le Plateau.

This is for all you coffee lover, hipsters out there. The Plateau is an area of Montreal, kinda the equivalent of Newtown in Sydney, but French. Yea – I’ll let that sink in. And this is where I used to live so I think I’ve earned the right to say I know the Plateau pretty well. You can get off at metro station Mont Royal and explore Avenue Mont-Royal. You’ll find some beautiful little cafes, thrift stores, restaurants and houses. The architecture in the Plateau is really something special and you can feel the buzz and vibe in the air. You haven’t been to Montreal unless you dip your toes in the hipster hood of the Plateau.

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4. Parc La Fontaine.

This is one of my favourite parks in Montreal. There’s squirrels galore and you’ll see dogs running about like crazy. Summer is beautiful as you can sit under a tree and watch the fountain bubble over the pond. Winter is extra special because it honestly looks like something from a fairytale. If you can get your hands on a toboggan, you won’t regret unleashing your inner child and slipping and sliding down the hills. It’s located on Rue Rachel near Mont Royal Metro.

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5. La Banquise.

The best thing about travelling is trying new food, we all know this. And if you go to Quebec, especially Montreal, you need to try their specialty, Poutine. La Banquaise definitely has some of the cities best poutine. Whilst people will tell you poutine is just chips, gravy and cheese… it’s so much more than that. My favourite is called La Boogooloo, fries, gravy, cheese, pulled port, sour cream and cabbage… OMG, it’s bringing tears to my eyes just thinking about it. It’s right around the corner from Parc La Fontaine on Rue Rachel, so once you’ve finished exploring, you can stuff your face with Poutine. Make sure you look after your food baby accordingly.

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6. L’avenue.

Speaking of food babies… make sure you go to this renowned brunch restaurant on an empty stomach. Wait times, similarly to La Banquise can reach 45 minutes, but I assure you it’s worth it. After taking 15 minutes looking through the menu and finally deciding what to devour, make sure you check out the bathroom. Just do it. Again, I assure you you’ll leave that place waddling down the street.

Check out Ben Brown’s vlog from when he was in Montreal and go to experience the extravagance of L’avenue. 

 

7. The Gay Village.

One of the best things about Montreal is it’s liberal thinking, love and acceptance. They have an amazing gay village, right near Berri UQAM Metro. In Summer there were beautiful decorations lining the street that was closed off for pedestrians to stroll along. If you’re looking for some gay nightclubs, then this place has you sorted!

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8. Jean-Talon Markets.

Fresh food and produce your thing? Make sure you don’t miss these incredible markets! Again, ensure you’re got an empty stomach and follow your noses. Are you noticing a trend here? Yes, I love food. Yes, Montreal has f*cking good food!

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9. Boulevard Saint Laurent.

Think murals, street art, thrift shops, clubs, restaurants… the hub of nightlife in Montreal. Any good night out in Montreal starts and ends here. You’ll want to make sure you’re looking pretty flashy and jump in line pretty early for a lot of clubs, or you may find yourself just partying in the street. When you’re stumbling from the club at 4am, make sure you stumble by ‘Two Chow’ or ‘Toodles,’ $2 noodles. You’ll be devouring them in seconds and it will make the walk home much more entertaining.

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10. Sundays.

Sundays in Montreal are honestly perfection. Especially in Summer. To enjoy your Sunday afternoon you can either go to Picnique Electronique or Tam Tams. The Jean Drapeau park with the theme park. Sadly I didn’t make it to this place, but hey, you’ve gotta have something to go back for. You take the yellow line from Berri UQAM and jump off on the island. My friend told me they built this island from all of the dirt from building the metro (thanks Rosa), and decided to put a theme park on it. In Summer it hosts an EDM event every Sunday afternoon called Picnique-Eletronique. And if you go in Winter, you can go to check out the view of the city, I’m told it’s pretty spectacular.

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And to shake things up, you can spend your Sunday afternoon at this free unofficial community event called Tam Tams. Held in Mont Royal Parc near the big statue, every Sunday afternoon whilst it’s warm, you’ll see hundreds of people playing drums, Frisbee, hacky sac, and smoking weed. Montreal is pretty relaxed on smoking weed, especially at this event. Whether you smoke or not, it’s an incredible sight to see, people coming together to celebrate music, their community, friendship and good times.

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Tam Tams

So they’re my top 10 things to do in Montreal. There are sooooo many more, but that should keep you busy for now. Two pieces of advice, brush up on your French, and engage with locals. The locals of Montreal are so lovely and kind (and know how to drink), so to get the full Montreal experience, make sure you have a chat with some locals at a bar.

Well, get on out there! Montreal is waiting for you. Wait, I still need to get in your suitcase!!!!

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 16

So I think I can officially say that August has literally been the craziest month ever! I’ve actually lost track of where I’ve been and what I’ve done – thank god for journal entries and Insta posts… But before I get stuck into it – August has been an absolute whirlwind. Something that I think I’m paying for now (I’m a bit run down and sick at the moment). So it’s always important to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out. OK – without further ado…. I present to you my incredible month of AUGUST!!!!

SPAIN

Believe it or not I started this month in San Sebastian, Spain. It was the first time I’ve ever been and I was lucky enough to be travelling with my Dad at this point. San Sebastian was literally like a fairytale come to life. The most vividly blue water, crowded lively and buzzing tapas bars and the best sangria I’ve ever had! A highlight was probably SURFING! The beach we stayed near is famous for it’s surf so it was pretty cool to rent a board for an hour and paddle out without having to worry about sharks!

You can see my SAN SEBASTIAN VIDEO HERE

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Sangria all day everyday
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Dad and I exploring
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Sunset in San Sebastian

Barcelona

Another incredible city that I’d never been to! Barcelona was an absolute whirlwind! The architecture is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! I felt like I was walking through a Tim Burton film most of the time!

You can check out my Barcelona video here!

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BARCELONAAAA
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Love a good snapchat filter!
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Endless views of this incredible city

PARIS

After Barcelona we flew to my favourite city of all time… PARIS! There’s not enough words in the world to describe just how much I love this place! We stayed in an AirBnb in Abbesses (click here to see). It was in the best location, right under the Sacre Coeur, with bars, boulangeries, markets and restaurants surrounding us. I felt like an actual Parisienne living there, which is pretty much the dream!

For me- Paris isn’t about the museums, galleries, monuments etc (although they definitely do add to the experience). But it’s the atmosphere. That beautiful immersion in French culture, history and way of life. To me, that’s absolutely magical.

However, it was my Dad’s first time in Paris… so I got to play tour guide (and I think I did a pretty damn good job). We walked absolutely everywhere, ate baguettes with every meal and enjoyed incredible food.

You can see my PARIS VLOG HERE

ICELAND

Round 2 in Iceland and dayum this place knows how to make someone happy! We rented a car (which is an absolute must for Iceland) and drove around the Ring Road and just pulled over whenever we saw something awesome. I’m talking, waterfalls, plane wrecks, more waterfalls and glaciers.

The highlight of Iceland was probably Vestmannaeyjar. It’s an island about 30 minutes from the mainland and is probably one of the most wild places I’ve ever been. The hiking was incredible and the views were literally breathtaking!

You can check out my ICELAND VIDEO HERE

MONTRÉAL

The time finally came where I touched down in Montréal! Woo! It’s so surreal when something has been months in the making and then it finally happens. All that hard work pays off… and then you come to the realisation – shit. I’m in a new city, new country and don’t know anyone… You can read about my first impressions of Montréal here but after being here for a few weeks… this place is AMAZING!!!

My housemate is cool af, I’ve made countless friends, drank waaaaaay too much alcohol and just am all round having a great time.

TUNES

This month it’s been kind of hard to keep on track with new music, but there’s no way in the world I would miss new music from BANKS! OMG finally! I’m absolutely in love and I’m just hanging out for the album to be released!

Just A Gent

I’ve been trying to keep on top of my Like A Versions but when I heard this my mind was blown!!! It’s so sick I really don’t have many more words….

FLICKS

Same as July, I haven’t really had the chance to watch many films… but I’ll get there. Instead, like always I’ve been binge watching Netflix, and this is definitely a huge advantage to being in Canada! The Canadian Netflix is awesome!

I smashed out Season 2 of How to Get Away With Murder in nearly a weekend and OMG if you can start this show without smashing it out in a weekend then I’m very impressed with your self control.

QUOTES

I think this one is extremely relevant to my life at the moment. I guess when you have a lot of spare time and find yourself chilling alone, it’s easy to forget what you’re passionate about. You kind of get caught up in other things. This quote has motivated me to get out there, introduce myself, make mistakes, make a fool of myself, make friends and get in there. When you do the things you love and are truly passionate about, your heart and soul will be absolutely raging… so do it.

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OK – What a month! I can’t believe I somehow made it from Spain to Canada! I’m sooooo looking forward to September. For classes to start and meet even more people and have many more exciting, scary and daring adventures!