Last week we took our kids on a little adventure. It was time for vacation as every winter, and we decided to go to Montreal. My husband and my stepchild had never seen snow, so winter vacation it was. Let me tell you, we went in a week when the cold temperatures where bellow 0. I thought I was going to froze in the streets. But we also had a lot of fun. Here are a few words of advise: If you are traveling in winter, be sure to have the right coat. A simple winter coat will not do, you have to have an insulated coat, insulated boots, thermals, scarves, a lot of layers, and snow gloves, not regular winter ones. Be prepare to be in windy below 0 temperatures, and still feel like you would not faint. I'm been a little dramatic here, I'm from a tropical island, so this kind of weather was new to me. If you prepare yourself with the right clothing, you are going to have a blast at Montreal in winter.
We stayed in Old Montreal, next to Old Port, because we wanted to see the show and the fire works in new years eve. There are a lot of small restaurants, galleries and stores, it reminded me a lot of Old San Juan, here in Puerto Rico. You can either walk, take a taxi (which are not expensive) or if you are going to adventure outside your area, just take the metro. In winter, the city is decorated with lights, making it the picture perfect winter wonderland.
The city is very safe, and it has a lot of sightseeing, is kind of nostalgic, with an enormous european flare. I will have to come back in summer, where everything is different, to experience more of this fantastic city.
Here is a list of the places I visited:
1-Montreal Museum of fine Arts (they have a great Collection, and the entrance is free)
2-Beaver Lake for some winter action. ice skating, skying, inner tubing...my kids had a lot of fun here. You can rent the equipment.
3-Notre-Dame Basilica . This breathtaking church is just too precious to be missed.
4-Old Port Montreal. Here you can Ice Skate in winter too, and they also rent equipment.
5-Jean-Talon Market. From Pastries to fresh cheese, fruits, vegetables, even a Gluten Free Creperie. This one is a must. (You can take the Metro to Jean-Talon and walk a few blocks to find it)
6-Old Montreal for strolling the streets and visit the shops.
7-Le Plateu-Mont Royale. This part of Montreal is full of good quality restaurants, cafes, vintage stores, and Patisseries. Stroll the residential streets for some good architecture eye-candy.
8-Marie Reine Du-Monde Cathedral I just love churches, what can I say. This one is a replica of The Vatican.
9-Christ Church Cathedral If Gothic architecture is your thing, this one is for you.
Places I ate:
1-Patiserie La Ruche - Best Eclairs I have ever eaten. They have an impressive display of pastries, almost too pretty to eat. The Latte was very good, and the Croissants where crispy and fresh. Mount Royal Area.
2- La Fabrique is a hip restaurant, with an open kitchen, in the middle of the salon. Relax, enjoy the action, and eat the freshest and finest meal ever. Plateau Area.
3- Biarritz if you got up to late for breakfast, this place has a great brunch. Good ingredients, awesome service, and great variety of food. Plateau Area.
4-XO Restaurant located in Hotel St-James, please do yourself a favor, and Indulge in the bar area of this fine dinning restaurant. The Hotel itself is very impresive, the architecture, the decor, just ike in a Movie from the 1940. I just sat there, and drank and Old Fashion while admiring the chandeliers, like a good "American" that I am. Old Montreal Area.
Thanks for reading, it looks like 2014 its going to be a good one.