Montreal, Canada – Mount Royal

Hi friends, welcome back! 2022 was filled with lots of travels, and today I’m finally getting around to sharing part one of our long weekend in Montreal. Jon’s company’s headquarters is located in Montreal, so he goes up there at least once a year, but I’d never accompanied him until last summer. I didn’t do any real planning because our trip to Paris and London were so jampacked, and this trip was two weeks later, so we were just going to go with the flow. The only things on my list were exploring Old Town, climbing up to Mount Royal, and visiting the Botanical Gardens. I made it to all three and enjoyed the more leisurely pace of this trip.

In November of 2021 I booked Billy Joel concert tickets for a Friday night in June, and it just so happened to be the weekend we were heading to Montreal. We wanted to make the most of our weekend so we booked an 8 am Saturday morning flight.

We were pretty exhausted, but we survived. For some reason I felt like I had more energy in Paris after maybe two hours of sleep than four and a half hours of sleep in my own bed. The flight was a breeze and we were only in the air about forty minutes. We landed around 9:30 am, got through customs easily, and then checked into the boutique Hotel Monville. The room was very comfortable and chic, and the bed was one of the comfiest I’ve slept in.

It was a beautiful day so we decided to conquer Mount Royal. For sustenance we grabbed a bagel sandwich that wasn’t that great (there are debates that Montreal has better bagels than NYC but I’m not buying it) from La Fabrique and then headed to Mount Royal.

Mount Royal Park is Montreal’s version of Central Park and in fact, Fredrick Law Olmstead designed both parks. Mount Royal was inaugurated eighteen years after Central Park and is about a little over half the size of its southern counterpart. We didn’t explore much of the park, only climbed up to the Kondiaronk Belvedere lookout point, but you can bike, hike, picnic, skate, ski, and toboggan here depending on the season.

It was a hotter day than expected and I was wearing jeans, so walking up all the 256 stairs wasn’t super fun, but we made it to the top and took in the beautiful view of the city and St. Lawrence River! I loved the contrast of city with greenery.

To beat the heat, Jon and I stopped in the café for a refreshing lime slushie. I haven’t had something like this since I was a kid, but it was perfect for the heat and gave me some energy.

The stairs were so much easier going down!

After we got back, we freshened up, hung out with Jon’s coworkers, and then headed to a group dinner at Jellyfish. The dinner was family style and very fancy. Dinner started at 9pm, and Jon and I didn’t think we would be able to stay awake because we had been up since 5 am, but we had a lot of fun. It was dark, so I didn’t take many pictures, I only got this smores dessert. Dinner finished around midnight and we crashed hard when we got home!

Stay tuned for part two exploring the Old Town & Old Port.

37 thoughts on “Montreal, Canada – Mount Royal

  1. We have been to Montreal many times and it seldom disappoints. Mount Royal is a good destination, as is the Old Port. As to the bagels, I would say both NYC and Montreal are winners. You just have to know which baker to buy from. The best bagels are fresh form the oven and slathered with Schmear. I now make my own, so I think my fresh Levain bagels are the best. We hope to get to Montreal this year. Cheers and happy Monday Lyssy. Allan

    1. I bet the bagels would’ve been better if we went in the morning, or not to a place in a mall haha. I bet yours are delicious! I hope you make it to Montreal so I can read about it 🙂

  2. Sounds like a crazy-long day after a concert-shortened night (but I’m sure Billy Joel was worth it!) Good choice to explore outdoor places when sleep-deprived. Your photos make me want to visit Montreal again someday. I’ve only been once, on a short business trip, and the schedule didn’t allow for any sightseeing other than a dinner in the Old Town.

    1. Billy Joel was definitely worth it! We didn’t even have a beer, just plain old tired haha. You’ll have to go back one day, it’s probably a pretty quick flight from SC.

  3. That park looks lovely! Pretty sure I would have slept through dinner though… even in college it was a real struggle to make it up until midnight. I am usually sleeping by 9:30/10!

    1. Jon and I usually eat dinner around 8:30 during the week, but somehow we made it until midnight haha

    1. It’s a nice little city! I would love to visit Vancouver and that side of Canada one day.

  4. Ah Montreal! I love this city so much, especially during the summer with all its festivals and animations, the city becomes like a big theme park, especially around the Old Port. When it comes to Mount Royal it’s a great adventure playground, it’s easy to get lost a thousand times before finding the way back when seeing the high cross between the trees. My advice would be not to take the stairs, that’s where the crowds are concentrated. And to go down through Lac aux Castors, Saint-Joseph and Westmount, another facet of Montreal.

    1. You’re right, it is light a giant theme park in the summer. A very fun atmosphere for sure. The stairs definitely get crowded, maybe one day I’ll be back to explore more of the park after a good nights rest.

  5. The park looks gorgeous, great photos. Well done on managing to stay out and about after such a short night. I’d love to visit Montreal, even if only to compare the bagels with the ones I had in NYC.

    1. Thank you! Montreal is a cool little city. I think I need to find a better bagel shop if I ever make it back haha. Although for a New Yorker I don’t eat very many bagels

  6. Looks lovely – I’d really like to see more of Canada one day 🙂 You’re like me – I love an excuse to tag on to one of Chris’ work trips. They’ve taken me to Istanbul, Porto and Bucharest this year!

    1. Canada is really beautiful, I’d love to see the Western part one day. Those are some great places to tag along! We’re actually headed to Puerto Rico for another work trip tomorrow. Jon has another office in London I wish he could do a rotation at, that would be a dream!

    1. So fun, it was a nice view from the top! Maybe one day I’ll go back and explore more of the park.

    1. You can’t beat a 40 minute flight! Felt like we were taxiing longer than we were in the air.

  7. Oh, I didn’t know the Mount Royal park and Central Park were designed by the same person! I’m glad you had a great first day in Montreal and I’m quite excited to read more about your short trip there. It is a city I really love and I always make sure to go back to the Mount Royal everytime I go there!

    1. Mount Royal is such a great park! I bet it’s the best in fall with all the colors. We really enjoyed our time in Montreal!

  8. I’ve only ever been to Montreal in the winter, but I’m now tempted to return in the summer as the city looks completely different with all that greenery. Lovely views from Mount Royal.

    1. The summer is nice, I have a hard time exploring places in the cold. The views were worth the climb.

  9. I’ve never been to Montreal, but I love how the city is a beautiful mixture of North American atmosphere and European cosmopolitan charm. And even though you’ve got the skyscrapers and a real city vibe, you are never really far away from nature – there aren’t many cities around the world where you can do that! Thanks for sharing and take care 🙂 Aiva xx

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