Explore Montreal in 4 days
Is it possible to explore Montreal in 4 days without a car?
My answer below.
Hello! This is the part 2 regarding our trip in three eastern Canadian cities, Ottawa (part 1), Montreal and Quebec City (part 3 coming soon). I will explain and show you why, in my opinion yes, is it possible to explore Montreal in 4 days if you like walking 10 Km per day, taking a lot of buses, being around for 8 hours per day, keeping your mask on and just explore.
Montreal has been the first city we visited in Quebec, and we like it a lot!
Montreal is big enough, a lot more “European” compared to Toronto, hot (August), quite busy and really colourful with lights and street art.
15 Quick Facts:
- Montreal is the largest city of Quebec. French settlers arrived on the island in 1642.
- Yes, Montréal is an Island, more precisely occupies about three-fourths of Montreal Island.
- In the city are living 1.8 million of people.
- The name Montreal is thought to be taken from “Mount Royal“, the name given to the mountain by Cartier in 1535.
- Temperatures range: 22°C during the summer, -9°C during the winter.
- The average age of the Montréal CMA’s population is 40 years.
- 7.4% of the population speak english only, 37% french only and 53.9% both languages.
- Montreal is a UNESCO city of design.
- Mount Royal Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of New York City’s Central Park.
- 350 km of Bike Paths and 200 km of Ski Trails can be found in the city.
- Montréal is the birthplace and home of the Cirque du Soleil, founded in 1984 by two Montréal street performers.
- No building in Montreal can be taller than the Mount Royal Cross.
- The Montreal Metro was inaugurated in 1966, it has 68 stations on four lines.
- The city is currently (2020) the third largest producer of video games in the world.
- Quality of Life Index (world): 89th.
Even in this city, our main transport was the bus, but we had the opportunity to also use the Metro. To explore Montreal in 4 days we had to purchase a new card, the Opus, 6 C$ non-refundable, but reusable in our next stop, Quebec City. A 3 day pass can be purchased for 19.50 C$ and you can take all the busses and subway trains you need. All the prices here.
Other alternatives are the car sharing/taxi companies Uber, Lyft or Eva; you can also use the bike sharing service Bixi, pretty useful and helpful except for the 100 C$ security deposit that they lock on your card (pretty annoying); or you can walk! Even if it’s truly big, it’s a beautiful city to stroll in.
What we visited?
- The historical Old Port of Montreal, located in Old Montreal, very touristic but must be seen.
- Notre-Dame Basilica, declared a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1982. I’m sorry, but not comparable to the original one.
- La Fontaine Park, nice green area, it was near our AirBnb. At this link you’ll have 95 C$ discount on your first reservation, just in case.
- Fugazzi Pizza, WOUH! Here the address. An extremely delightful place to eat, with great music as well 😎.
- Square Saint-Louis, an urban square that features a Victorian fountain as its centrepiece.
- St Laurent Blvd, a commercial artery that runs north-south through the centre of the city. In this area The Mural Festival is celebrated every year; the street was for pedestrian only, filled of restaurants, shops, arts and public activities.
- Little Italy, a neighbourhood centred on Saint Laurent Boulevard, here as well, bunch of shops, restaurants and the Church of the Madonna della Difesa, built by Italian immigrants from Molise. Montreal has the second largest Italian population in Canada after Toronto. Here is where I found the two Italians playing cards in the picture below.
- Maisonneuve Park, an huge park, 38 hectares of green grass and trees! Inside there are also the Montreal Botanical Garden and Montreal Insectarium. After a long bike made possible by our very kind host, who lent us use his bicycles for free, we had a really enjoyable chat with two old Italians immigrated in Montreal in the ’50s. Now they’re rich.
- Museum of Fine Arts, It is the largest art museum in Canada by gallery space. The MMFA is detached across five pavilions, we had the pleasure to see the exhibit “Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants” , a large collection of works by Impressionists, Symbolists, Neo-Impressionists and observers of life in Paris. Check the events here because it is a really great and interesting museum. I would recommend also a visit to the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, unfortunately closed when we’ve been there due to the virus COVID-19.
- Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, a scale model of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Effectively, it look like the Saint Peter’s one! 😳
- Bistro à Jojo, a really nice pub in the “Quartier des Spectacles”. Live music 7/7, a good musician was playing blues.
- Mount Royal Park, a spectacular greenspace with an impressive view and an amazing atmosphere. It’s a large volcanic-related hill which the city of Montreal takes its name. Other features of this park are Beaver Lake, a snow tube and some cross-country skiing trails.
- Jean-Talon Market, a very beautiful farmer’s market, we’re missing so much places like this in Toronto. Almost totally covered (was raining), proved to be a great and colourful choice. Located in Little Italy, is the largest market in Montreal and the largest open-air market in North America! It is year-round so, open even during Montreal’s super cold winters.
- Mile End, a very impressive and artistic neighbourhood. This district is home to artists, musicians, writers, and filmmakers such as Arcade Fire, Bran Van 3000, Grimes.
The lens I used was the Fujifilm 35mm 1.4, I’m appreciating it so much! It’s super versatile, precise, small, with a wonderfully designed lens hood. On these APSC cameras is the 50mm equivalent.
In therm of settings, I’ve used the Film Simulation Acros with yellow or red filter and post-produced the raw files from there. No CPL, no ND filters.
Some pictures below. Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts in the comment section below the images!
Thanks for reading.
Psst! I have an AirBnb discount of 95 C$, just in case you want to register and book your first accommodation!