When I found out that I’d be starting my first job in Canada in 4 days time, I felt that I needed to do something to celebrate. My friend Vivian and I were having a few drinks in my Toronto apartment that night and we decided to book a spontaneous trip to Montreal, leaving the next morning. Getting up at 7am the next morning for the 5 hour bus journey wasn’t that great with a wine hangover but we managed to sleep most of the way.
When we arrived, we went ice skating at “Atrium Le 1000” (where Vivian completely bruised her bum falling!) before heading to our hostel. We booked into stay at the “M” and honestly our expectations were pretty low because it was ridiculously cheap, especially for having booked last minute. But it’s one of the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed at- the rooms were super spacious and clean, and they had a really fancy bar in the basement. The staff were also very lovely! Vivian and I quickly made friends with one of our roommates, also called Chloe, and we all went out to explore the area. We ended up at a patio bar where we had dinner and lots of sangria (shock).
The next day was very dull and rainy so we decided to schedule in our visit to the Holocaust museum as it was indoors. We walked along to the metro station and we found it quite difficult at first to know where we needed to be. Montreal is a predominately French-speaking city (but most can also speak English) so we couldn’t understand any of the signposts. Luckily we had Google Maps and the help of a very lovely man who worked at the metro station. After a long journey to get there, we arrived to find it was closed on Saturdays…woops. Instead, we spent the afternoon in a Vietnamese restaurant eating and bubble-teaing ourselves into a food coma. We spent the evening chilling at the hostel bar with some of our roommates.
The next day the sun was back out so we took a trip to Old Montreal which is one of THE most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I’m so fascinated by the old times so I loved exploring and seeing the horse-drawn carriages. It reminded me a lot of Scotland, with men dressed in kilts playing the bagpipes everywhere. We then walked along the waterfront and rented out a pedal boat for 30 minutes. When we were in the boat, I decided to teach Vivian some Scottish slang words whilst she taught me some Korean swear words. We spent the whole time laughing at one another and it’s one of those moments that I will never forget. After that, we walked around some of the markets before visiting Notre-Dame Basilica. It was stunning and I’d really recommend it if you’re looking for cheap things to do in Montreal.
That same night, we took an Uber to Mount Royal, which is a large hill with beautiful views of the whole city. Although it was a very beautiful view, I think it would’ve been better to visit during the day when you could see more- we were kind of over it in about 5 minutes. However, we did see a lot of wild raccoons who were being fed cheese-puffs by one girl. Bizarre! When we went to walk down the hill to get the metro home, Google Maps directed us through a pitch black forest. We walked for about 5 minutes before we realised there were no lights for the whole 1 hour walk down, so we ran back to the top to take the bus. It was definitely an experience!
We spent our last day at Montreal Biodome before heading back for our bus to Toronto. It was one of my favourite weekends in Canada and I will definitely be back!