Every city has them, places where tourists congregate and locals avoid. While dabbling in these places is essential reading, it’s at times comparable to taking notes on volts when you’re a physics major completing your PhD. You’ve been there, you’ve done that. Everyone is looking for that cool little spot to call their own, that experience no one else has had.
Montreal is ripe with opportunity to blaze your own trail, something, an online travel agency based out of Montreal, knows about. attractions across Canada and the World, but doesn’t need to try too hard to know how to have a unique day in Montreal. I asked them what places to avoid if you were looking to have a unique trip through Montreal.
Located near Montreal’s crumbling Olympic Stadium, you need to go pretty out of your way to head to the Biodome. This massive ecological centre is fun, don’t get me wrong, but going here means sacrificing a day in the middle of nowhere when you could be checking out any number of things elsewhere. Add in the fact that the place is overrun with tourists, school groups, and tours, it can get rather crammed.
The Old Port
Cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages, and endless terraces. Sounds pretty sweet at first, but the Old Port is at times a little overrated. While it is loaded with what look like cool shops, a lot of them are simply pushing the same “I Heart MTL” shirts and stickers. If you have reservations at a really highly rated restaurant then by all means make your way down to the Old Port, but if you are looking to shop or bar crawl, there are simply better options in more diverse areas.
The Plateau is much like the Old Port, it’s got its perks. But if you are looking for places with what I would describe as character, The Plateau may not be for you. It has a lot of cool bars and restaurants, but the area does experience a high degree of turnover, meaning you aren’t getting classics. While trying new places is great, if my vacation clock is ticking down I don’t want to be banking on maybes, I want to be hitting those old, resilient holes in the wall for some greasy French Quebec breakfast.
While its hard to be pessimistic about anything in Montreal, these places can present more the same for some travellers. If you are planning on checking out Montreal for a prolonged period of time, these places are worth checking out. If you want to blaze your own trail, check out neighbourhoods like St-Henri, The Mile-End, Rosemont, and other off the beaten trail spots. You’ll have better stories than all your friends, and have a getaway you can truly call your own.
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