With its efficient subway system and vast bus routes, Montreal is an easy enough city to get around on foot. Even if your destination is a mile away, the unique architecture and streets full of restaurants, bars, and stores will keep you distracted from the distance.
There are a few musts in the city, including Parc du Mont Royal, the massive mound of extinct volcano that’s hard to miss in the center of town. It’s an all-season destination, full of runners, cyclists, and tourists in the non-snowy months and of sledders and skiers when the weather turns blustery.
The park is also famous for its Tam Tam Jams, groups of people of all ages and backgrounds that gather together at the George-Étienne Cartier Monument to drum from sunup to sundown and beyond throughout the summer.
Once you’re finished with the athletic pursuits, hop the Metro green line to Place-d’Armes and visit the historic and glamorous Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal in Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal).
A 6 CAD “donation” (cover charge?) gets you inside, where you can explore the rows of stained glass and the intricate chapels tucked away within.
[Due to pretty glorious human error by yours truly, all photos I had of the interior are now lost to cyberspace… it’s one of my many superpowers]
Wandering around Old Montreal is a natural extension of a trip to the basilica, and stone-lined streets wind their way around cozy bars, French-style cafes, and views as close to European as you can get in North America.
There are lots of weird things to see… head shops of all ilk, giant wooden phallic statues, and, of course, that fine line between flapper and storm trooper.
If you’re in the mood for fresh fruits, veggies, bread, and even an eclectic selection of specialty beers, head over to the Atwater Market. This sprawling, art deco shopping center is close to downtown on the corner of Notre-Dame and Atwater; hop the green or orange metro line to the Lionel-Groulx station.
When you’ve done your shopping, get back on the green line to Pie-IX station, where you can take a stroll through the very Soviet-looking Olympic Park, home to many of the venues of the 1976 Summer Olympics.
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