For months, my friends and I have talked about going to Montreal. Most of us had never been to Canada, but we’d all been dying to make the 5½ hour road trip across the border and into Canada. So, finally, in our spring semester of our senior year, we decided it was time to make our dream trip a reality. So this past weekend, we packed our warm winter sweaters, scarves, and snow boots, and headed up to Montreal! Here are some things to know if you and your friends plan to trek up to Montreal for a long weekend (I highly recommend it!):
1. Don’t take a selfie at the border; immigration officers will get mad at you. We learned this one the hard way.
2. Make sure you have water (but not too much) and snacks to help get you through the trip! Or, alternatively, you can stop at the Chick-Fil-A in New Hampshire like we did. Totally worth it.
3. MUSIC! Whether you listen to music on your iPod through an auxiliary cord or make CDs, be sure you have good music to listen to on your drive up. Hint: The Great Gatsby soundtrack is amazing and perfect for singing along on a long road trip (“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody,” anyone?).
Things to Do/See:
1. The Biosphere is definitely a cool place to go. The Biosphere is an awesome, interactive environmental museum that was incredibly shocking and informative. In addition to learning about the impact that we have on the environment and getting to dress up to pretend you are saving other people from environmental disasters, you’ll get an amazing view of the city when you go to the top floor of the museum. Overall, an awesome place to stop!
2. Marché Jean Talon: This market was incredible, and all the vendors were so nice (and let us have a zillion free samples). There were stands of fruits and vegetables, meats, and cheese, but also endless amounts of maple products. Maple syrup, maple butter, and maple candy are all for sale, and all delicious. We went there after lunch, but if you have time, it would be really cool to go buy food there to make dinner one night if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen.
3. Old Montreal was a great place to walk around: cobblestone streets, beautiful buildings, and good shops to stop in. Also, it’s right along the water, so you can wander over to the Old Port and then down to Notre Dame.
4. Something you shouldn’t do… so, you may hear talk about an “Underground Mall.” Well, we never found it, and the kind Canadian woman who helped a bunch of lost Americans in the Metro told us it doesn’t really exist; it’s just a bunch of underground tunnels that the Quebeçois use to go between buildings in the winter without going outside.
Places to Eat:
1. Resto-Darbar!!!! There are no words to describe how amazing this restaurant is. I had never had Indian food before eating at this incredible restaurant, but trust me, this will not be my last time eating chicken korma, butter chicken, naan, and chicken tikka masala. Also, the owner of the restaurant is awesome! He had so many awesome recommendations for us and we loved everything he suggested. If you’re ever in Montreal, you must check out Dar Bar. I promise you won’t regret it!
2. Tim Horton’s is a must—basically the Canadian equivalent of Dunkin, but even better (sorry, New Englanders). Their chocolate glazed donuts are delicious, and I was told that their egg sandwiches are as well.
3. We went to Eggspectation for breakfast: cheap, delicious, and your food will come so quickly you can’t even imagine. I highly recommend it!
So, New Englanders, take advantage of the fact that Canada is so close by. Gather a group of friends, pack your bags, and travel to Montreal for a long weekend! You won’t regret it!