Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, and a favourite of mine. It’s always exciting to visit and there’s so much to do and see. Here are five things worth doing in the city:
1. Eat a Smoked Meat Sandwich
Schwartz is hands down the most famous restaurant to go and get smoked meat in all of Montreal. It was established in 1928 by Reuben Schwartz, and offers a variety of sandwiches and other plates. Their signature dish is of course the smoked meat sandwich.
To compare the taste of the most famous and arguably the best smoked meat sandwich in the city, we had to walk down the street, honestly a few steps away, and go to Main Deli Steak House. Simply known as Main Deli, which is the main business rival of Schwartz. Everything I read prior was that these two restaurants are debated amongst people who have tried both sandwiches on a constant basis, with the verdicts being mixed. We had to try for ourselves so we could see which one is the best (in our opinion). After trying both sandwiches, we both thought that Schwartz’s was by far the best! No wonder it is most well known.
2. Montreal Biodome
A must see in the city, is the Montreal Biodome. It was originally constructed for the 1976 Olympic Games as a velodrome, which was used for both track cycling and judo events, but was later renovated and completed in 1992 and the indoor nature exhibit opened. The Biodome houses replicas of four ecosystems: the tropical forest, the Laurentian forest, the Saint Lawrence Marine ecosystem, and a polar area that is divided into Arctic and Antarctic. It only costs about $22 per person, which is why we have gone multiple times, and it still never seems to get old. When visiting the Montreal Biodome, you have to visit the Insectarium, Botanical Garden and Planetarium, which are all located in a close proximity. We didn’t visit the others this time because of time, and we think the Insectarium and Botanical Garden are more fun in the summer time.
3. Old Montreal
Old Montreal or Viuex Montreal is my absolute favourite part of the city and a major tourist attraction. It is actually one of the oldest urban areas in all of North America so it almost feels like you’re walking through European streets. I love to just walk through the cobblestone streets and look around at the beautiful architecture, but you can also take a horse and carriage ride through for something a little different. This is also where the Notre-Dame Basilica is located and it’s definitely worth checking out. (Fun Fact: Celine Dion actually got married at the Notre-Dame Basilica)
4. Mount Royal
If you are looking for a gorgeous view of the city, look no further than Mount Royal. Mount Royal is a small mountain located immediately west from downtown Montreal, Mount Royal offers tourists and locals a variety of activities to participate in in the wintertime such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding/tubing, and winter bird watching. If you are in the mood to go for a nice scenic walk, and to appreciate the true beauty of the city, this is the place to go in Montreal. Each season offers a unique view when you are standing at the top looking down, but none are less spectacular than another.
5. Au Sommet Place Ville Marie
If you are not much in to hiking up Mont Royal, another way to enjoy a view of the city is from the observation decks of Place Ville Marie, which offers a fantastic 360-degree view of the city. There are two observation decks, on the 45th and 46th floor. The view from the observation deck offers a very different perspective from what you can see from Mont Royal. It is a nice addition that there is also a restaurant below one of the observatories, which offers a wide variety of food.