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Montreal/Quebec tips - going there this weekend

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eleguin

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
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246
FI and I are taking a 4 day getaway to Quebec this weekend. We are spending 2 nights in Montreal and 1 night further north at the Ice Hotel. For those of you familiar with the area, what kinds of activities and restaurants do you recommend? We were thinking of going to the Biodome and the Montreal casino. We are active people and we are open to most things. Thanks!
 

mercoledi

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 20, 2006
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2,822
Hi,
My husband I were just there in November and had a great time. We went to the biodome (I think, there's a biodome and a biosphere, we went to the one that's an indoor zoo). It was nice, but the first biome exhibit is the best, most impressive one. It's fairly cheap, but kind of not near anything else. If you haven't been inside Notre Dame it's $5 for the tour, and it's really incredible. Or you can go for mass and see it for free but without the commentary and history. We didn't do much else that was touristy. Wander through the old town for shops and galleries and head up to the latin quarter and Rue St. Denis for a slightly younger vibe. I've heard good things about the botanical gardens, but I haven't been.

Mostly, we were there to eat. We went to Toque! which was lovely and very high end. We had a nearly-as-good meal at chez l'epicier which is on Rue St. Paul in the old town. It's a lovely local restraunt with a rotating menu, excellent service and a focus on local ingredients, including local cheese and wine. There's a chartucerie also on St Paul that has a lunch worth seeking out.

On the off chance that you don't have a hotel reservation, we adored the St. Sulpice. It's a boutique all-suite hotel just behind Notre Dame and I can't say enough nice things about the rooms and staff. The restraunt is worth skipping though... we wouldn't have eaten there if we hadn't been given free breakfast.

Hope that helps, have fun!

ETA: Mont Royal is pretty much in the middle of the city. You can take the longish hike up the south face or cheat and drive up the north face to enjoy the parks and view. If you like to hike, you shouldn't miss it, especially on a clear day!
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
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3,255
eleguin!!! Oh my favorite topic about my home town!

what are you up for??? If you are shopping, then go down St. Catherine''s street, starting at around Stanley and St Catherine. Walk down St Catherine street in the same direction of the cars. Montreal designers are at les "Cours Mount royal" this is hip young, club wear and normal wear (but more stuff that is one-of a-kind). St Catherine is the MAIN street in Montreal. For dining, all of the resturants on St. Laurent are the hip-dining resturants (around Racheal and St.Laurent). Crescent street is for bars, nightclubs and pubs (that''s the street that in the summer is just psychotic, but at this time of year, it''s a little cold).

Suishi (my FBIL''s family owns Mikado''s on St. Denis, and although I''m not crazy about him, it is definitely one of the BEST suishi resturants in Montreal. )If you go there, try the Nu (role not on the menu, but it''s what Celine Dion likes to eat from their resturant, also good are Don Juan and scorpion).

The best (but also expensive french resturant) is Guy and Dodo, t''s in the cours mount royal. Uhmm... have a beaver tail if you can (pastery) in french it''s written "Queue de castor", that''s the name of the shops in old montreal and old quebec that have them.


Montreal and Quebec are REALLY known for their religious heritage. In Montreal, definitely go to the Oratoire St. Joseph.
entrance is free, http://www.saint-joseph.org/ and really, it''s so reflective of the strong catholic background in Quebec. I go to the biodome every year and usually do the combined insectarium (well, they have great butterfly display in the summer, although I''m not sure what is on display in the winter.)

In Quebec, you need to go to Vieux Quebec (old Quebec) it''s prettier in summer with the cobblestone roads, and performers, but I spent two days browsing the shops and looking at the town, it was too gorgeous in the summer.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
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12,450
My boyfriend and I love Quebec City (I''m not sure how far away that is from Montreal though, so I apologize if I''m not answering your question directly). We went three years ago for our first trip away together. We went for New Years for a short stay (2 days). We stayed at the Loews Le Concorde: http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hotels/Le-Concorde-Hotel/Overview.aspx?source=adwords. The hotel was amazing! It has a revolving restaurant at the top and we had New Year''s Eve dinner there and in the middle of dinner it began snowing. It was so romantic! The only drawback was that the hotel is outside the walls of the more historic part of the city but it''s within walking distance. My boyfriend and I definitely plan on going again. Maybe for a destination wedding...

If you go to the ice hotel, please report back! We wanted to go but we didn''t have time.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
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3,867
FI and I went to Montreal a few years ago for a weekend trip, and we went to this fondue place that was amazing! I''m sure there are a lot more "haute cuisine" places to choose from, but this place was romantic and quiet and dark and we just had the best time with our 3 course fondue dinner. It''s one of my fondest memories. I think it was called Fonduementale but I''m not sure. Maybe Ally has heard of it. It wasn''t crowded like the Melting Pot and it seemed really genuine and real, not like a chain. I remember the restuarant was upstairs and kind of small.

We also found the metro really easy to use and LOVED the old town area. We went during lobster season and every restaurant we walked by in old town was soliciting us for dinner! at one, even the chef came out to talk to us! It was kind of "high pressure"! but in a charming way.
 

eleguin

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
246
Thanks for everyone''s input!
I guess I am up for a little bit of everything. Touristy things like churches (maybe notre dame), shopping (how is the underground city?), biodome, and of course food!! I am just trying to get a feel for how much we can fit into a 4 day weekend. We really enjoy exploring a new city on foot, but I hear it''s going to be real cold this weekend (well, cold by NY standards, although 20 degrees might be more normal for up north?).
We will be spending some time in Quebec city as well. Has anyone else been to the ice hotel? It sounds fascinating but cold! But we can''t wait to see it.
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Oooh, have fun! The metro is definitely a great way to get around the island. The biodôme is a must, and you''ll be just next to the insectarium, which is having a neat butterfly exhibit, and the botanical garden and Maisonneuve Park (where I was proposed to!
), which are beautiful places to take a stroll. If you like astronomy, I also recommend the Planetarium down on Peel street.

This might help for the restaurants: http://www.restomontreal.ca/index.php?lang=en

In Québec city, the Montmorency falls are pretty breathtaking, and the Vieux-Québec is very interesting to visit. I''ve never been to the Ice Hotel, though.
 
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