Jet lag can put a damper on your wildest of plans. For the longest time, I considered Europe and Southeast Asia the two areas of the world that housed my most prized travel bucket list items and unfortunately, those two sections of the map come with some serious internal clock struggles. However, I recently discovered that traveling and exploring cultures unlike your own doesn’t automatically require long flights, dehydration, and caffeine overload (although I will always partake in a cappuccino) .

Montreal, Quebec is a wonderland of delicious food, wonderful language, stunning  architecture for the average francophile, and breathtaking city views. Best of all, it’s only a few hours plane ride away. With less than 48 hours in Montreal, there is so much to entertain.  Fall is a great time to visit, however you should know that the sun sets super early this time of year, so plan accordingly.

I’ve highlighted the best restaurants and sites in town. Don’t miss any of these if you are planning a visit:

  1. Dinner at Bonaparte. Once we arrived at the Intercontinental, I made reservations at Bonaparte which was highly rated and well established. We each had a four course meal for $40 CAD (about $30 USD) and the food was impeccable. I’m not usually a fan of fried goat cheese and duck, but such a meal definitely satisfied the inexperienced foodie in me. Bonaparte Restaurant Montreal
  2. Visit Notre Dame Montreal. This basilica was built approximately 700 years after the one in Paris and has a charm all of it’s own. The whole altar is backlit by blue light, which sounds odd, but trust me when I say you’ll need a solid half hour to sit in reverence and enjoy the splendor.
  3. Shopping spree at Ogilvy department store in downtown Montreal. The canadian dollar is currently weak, so you really can’t go wrong with a day of shopping here. I got a beautiful cashmere sweater and some Chanel lipstick for about $100 USD. Not too shabby!
  4. A walk around old town. Old town Montreal looks a lot like northern France and has the cutest shops filled with inexpensive furs and some wonderful handmade items. On our stroll back to the hotel at night, we found these incredible  projections dancing across several of the brick-sided buildings depicting reenactments of Montreal’s history. It’s called Cité Mémoire and coincides with an App where you can explore the experiential art and learn more about the city’s history.
  5. Dinner at Gibby’s. One of the oldest buildings in Montreal houses a wonderful restaurant that has received accolades for years. I’d recommend the lobster tails, loaded baked potato, and Oysters Rockefeller.

If you have any interest in delicious food, history, architecture, french language and shopping you will seriously love Montreal. All of this is a short plane ride away from the Northeast and a heck of a lot closer than France.

  • XOXO –

Wanderlust Bound

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