The biggest city in the Quebec and the second-biggest city in Canada, Montreal is no doubt one of the best cities you can visit in North America. Being close to European coasts, it’s not surprising how you’ll feel like you’re in a place where two continents are combined. But with its size, one of the most common questions being asked is where to stay in Montreal?
With the beauty Montreal has to offer, it’s not surprising how it becomes a hub for tourists to looking for some exciting city scene experience. For tourists, finding an accommodation in Montreal has never been so easy. With the endless flow of tourists, there are quite a lot of accommodation options available to you. You will have a wide range of options from low-budget to mid-range to high-end accommodations. You’ll definitely have an endless option!
You can easily choose your accommodation according to your needs and budget, so what you have to worry about now is about which area you should stay in Montreal.
Depending on your interests, here are the most common areas chosen by tourists as their temporary neighborhood when they are in Montreal.
The historic center of Montréal, Old Montréal embraces St. Lawrence River’s northern bank. Rue Notre-Dame will give you a flashback with its 17th-century style neighborhood of cobblestone streets, neo-Gothic cathedrals, as well as the candlelit restaurants. As soon as you head to the northern part of the historic center, you will see how Downtown Montréal hosts the cultural highlights of the city.
This is the area you want to start if you want to stay not too far from Montréal’s performing arts and museums like the Place des Arts and Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. You will also find a lot of fine dining restaurants here that serve both local and international specialties. Transportation from this part of Montreal to the rest of the city is very convenient by metro, taxi, and even Underground Pedestrian Network, which is a labyrinth of underground passageways full of markets, shops, restaurants, and hotels.
The Village, also known as The Gay Village, is situated just eastern part of downtown which also marks the pulsating center of one of the biggest gay communities in North America. Stretching throughout Sainte-Catherine Street, it’s a lovely area for those who enjoy daytime walking, quirky shopping experience, and coffee shop stops.
The Village is popular because of its edgy, late-night entertainment, interesting nightlife, and a relaxing lifestyle. The rainbow-colored Beaudry metro station makes getting around from here so convenient.
The neighborhood called "The Plateau" is a Montreal’s residential part, tightly populated with students, hipsters, and small families. You would not find multistory buildings in the center of the Plateau but it’s still packed of different establishments. The most prevailing architectural feature of this area is the appealing Victorian houses with their distinctive exterior design formed iron spiral stairways. The buildings built from 19th and 20th are now both residential or either boutiques or cafes.
If you’re looking to stay nearby trendy shopping boutiques, vibrant nightlife, sidewalk cafés, and several dining options, then you may want to stay around Plateau Mont-Royal. During the summertime, you can use a free bike at the Place Gérald-Godin metro. Check out the unique boutiques and restaurants located on du Mont-Royal Avenue, or chill out with a warm cup of coffee and a nice book at Parc Lafontaine.
The western part of the Plateau and northern part of downtown, the Latin Quarter, are also another great place for dining scene and boutique shopping. Shopping stores are Saint-Denis Street the couture clothing and must-have handbags and accessories.
A suburb area, Longueuil is situated on the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River. It’s a residential, commercial, and industrial area, as well as a historic city which dates back to the year 1657.
If you are looking for a place where to stay in Montreal and want to get close to interesting attractions, then Longueuil is a place to go, even though it’s usually overlooked by many tourists – mainly because of its short distance to Montreal. However, even if you don’t choose to stay here, this city is worth space in your itinerary, even for just for a day.
Longueuil has located only a few metros stops away from Old Montréal, Plateau Mont-Royal, and downtown. In this area, you will be able to find a lot of different high-valued restaurants and great coffee shops. Longueuil is easily accessible from Parc Jean-Drapeau, where you can enjoy summer nighttime fireworks shows and other outdoor recreation. This is also where the sophisticated Casino de Montréal is located.
Laval is located across the Prairie River in the northern part of downtown. A peaceful residential area, Laval is known for its natural beauty. The Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille- Îles, which is located at the core of the town, is famous with kayakers, canoeists, and bird watchers, while the main attractions of Montréal are simply accessible through three metro stops in Laval.
When traveling to Canada, of course, your accommodation should not only be your concern. Whether you’re staying in Montreal long-term or just for a quick weekend trip, knowing activities you should not miss is also worth knowing.
Montreal offers a lot of activities to do, in fact, it could be quite overwhelming especially if you are going to stay there for a short time. And the best approach is to get the city well. To make it easier for you, here are some of the great things to do in Montreal.
One of the most ancient and most stunning areas you can find in Canada is the Old City. It is much recommended for history buffs. You will find attractive connections between narrow streets and cobblestoned alleys and even watch some interesting street performers in Place Jacques-Cartiers, which are free!
The Old City also boasts amazing museums. From the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum to Pointe a Calliere and the 17th-century Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, the museums in the area are both captivating, and very affordable.
Montreal is famous for being an open city that's blessed with many beautiful parks and pulsating green spaces. Together with the Parc du Mont-Royal and the Parc Maisonneuve, there is the charming Parc Lafontaine. On top of being a great place for strolling, each allows a great range of outdoor activities from inline skating, cycling, and even the new activity called river surfing during summer.
Ice-skating is one of the best things to do in Montreal in winter. During the cold season, you will be able to enjoy free places to go, which makes this an all-year-round destination. During the other time of the year, on the other hand, if you’re still looking for a good place to skate, then you may want to check out Le 1000 de La Gauchetiere.
You have to know that it can get really cold in Montreal. Fortunately, the city has always been prepared to manage it. If it’s too cold for you to explore outdoor, then explore the Underground City. Aside from the fact that it is crammed with stores and places to have some drinks and meals, it is an interesting experience to explore it.
Even though it definitely has its swankier areas, Montreal is generally a great location if you are planning to have a night out. When it comes to food, your palette will be pleased with all the option you have available. One of the most popular spots is the busy and pretty reasonable La Gauchetiere Street or Chinatown to offer varied food selection. Make sure to try some poutine!
All in all, it is the Quebecois element what truly makes Montreal a unique place to go in Canada. If you ever have a chance to visit Canada, just make sure that spend some time in this beautiful region.