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A day and a 1/2

Pleasanton...
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A day and a 1/2

For some reason I think we can see Montreal in a day and a 1/2. In September would drive down from Quebec City probably arriving Montreal at around 2 PM. Have the rest of that day & night, and the following day & night. Only interested in heritage Montreal sights (not museums), and strolling heritage streets with shops and restaurants. Have been to many, many places and have found very, very few that warrant 3 or 4 or 5 days, as most local "experts" will say is necessary.

Prove to me that Montreal deserves more than a day and a 1/2!

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1. Re: A day and a 1/2

Bonjour.

Well if you want heritage sites and no museums than no, I won't try to convince you that Montreal is worth more than 1 1/2 days! lol

Yes indeed if you are interested in history/architecture than you will miss a lot if you don't visit the 6 or 7 places that comes to mind to me immediately. We could skip a few but others are must do.

--Pointe-à-Cailières Museum of Archeology. Award winning modern building in Old Montreal, nice audio visual presentation pertaining to Montreal history, nice city and particularly Old Montreal/Old Port view from the tower. Then you go underground to visit the digs to go back to the founding of Montreal, the enclosed river, the main XIX sewage tunnel, the first cemetery, etc.

--Stewart Museum will be reopened then, it is located in the old fort on Sainte-Hélène Island. So you got to see the old fort + the content of the buildings. But the reenactment of XVIII military practices will probably be finished for the season when you visit.

--Mc Cord Museum of Canadian History. Again it helps to understand the evolution of the Canadian society + our native peoples and it is located on Sherbrooke st where you will be able to visit the McGill campus and see many interesting historical buildings on the street, many with plaques explaining their historical/architectural importance.

--Ferme Saint-Gabriel, a beautiful XVII Century farmhouse that belong to a nun order, this farm was used to provide food for the order since most of the nuns were teachers. The architecture is very interesting with many nifty details and the attic roof, built as an inverted ship is stunning.

So with just those in the program I could provide you for 3 full days.

And this in not counting the Botanical Garden, yes yes the Chinese Garden was built by artisans from Shangai and both the Japanese and Chinese gardens + the greenhouses host the largest and most stunning collection of bonsai/penjing in the Western World. In the same neighbourhood you will also find a small “chateau” building patterned after the Little Trianon, the Olympic buildings and some of the finest early XX Century public architecture to be seen around, part of the City Beautiful movement. Plus, in September, the Chinese Lantern Festival is a must see.

Jean-Talon Market and neighbouring Little Italy, the market will be in the full bounty mode then. Interested in seeing a fresco in a church featuring Mussolini? See the famous Montreal triplexes with outdoor stairs, try to figure out how the locals can negotiate those in winter without breaking their necks!

If you would be interested in classic modernist architecture I could even send you visit the only gas station that Mies Van der Rohe ever designed! Well I’ll stop here at the moment…

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2. Re: A day and a 1/2

This statement reminds me of someone from the united states who told me he had visited Paris once and that had been enough for him. I asked him what he did in Paris and he told me that he spent an afternoon there where he saw Mona Lisa and went up the Eiffel tower before heading to the airport.

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3. Re: A day and a 1/2

BUT I looked at your previous "history" on this site and see that you visited a lot of the most architecturally/historically signifiant cities so, yes Montreal could be a let down after Prague. So just tell me, I am curious, how many days did you spend in Prague?

Pleasanton...
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4. Re: A day and a 1/2

Rick B -> Thanks for providing so many interesting places. The "McCord Museum of Canadian History" we have deemed a must. So we will see that, plus walk and shop along Rue St Catherine, and spend the second day in Old Town Montreal. I am sure we will see more than this.

You asked about Prague. Absolutely beautiful and vibrant and any wonderful adjective you can think of. I won't list all the palaces and attractions we went to, but they were the top 15, and we did so "not rushed". Flew into Prague from SFO to begin a 4 week "Germanic" vacation and stayed dead center Old Town. Stayed 3 nights. More than enough.

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5. Re: A day and a 1/2

Hmm.... I would say that if you're pleased in seeing a city in a day and a half, Montréal will please you for that length of time. If you find 3 or 4 days too long in other cities you will find them too long here, too.

You could do the main shopping streets such as Saint-Denis, Mont-Royal, Saint-Laurent, Sainte-Catherine, and explore Old Montréal in your day and a half and say you've seen Montréal. Or you could dig deeper and discover little bits of interesting all over. For example, one of my favourite shopping streets is the little stretch of Laurier East from Bréboeuf to Papineau. It's certainly not a tourist destination, only a few blocks long with nothing particularly amazing to see or buy, but there's something about it that is just so lovely indeed that I will lengthen my journey to stop by whenever I can.

You see, Montréal pleases not because of anything exceptional -- our old town is pretty but not amazingly so, our downtown is nicely put-together but not everywhere and our towers are medium-height and of medium-interest architecturally, our shopping streets are pleasant but not 5th Avenue or the Champs Élysées, and so on. Instead, Montréal shines more quietly, though steadily and brightly, not for its flash or superlatives but more because it's such a nice, easy, relaxed, and comfortable city to be in.

When I travel, I like to picture how my life would be where I'm visiting, and Montréal is perfect if you enjoy it that way. So if you DO decide to stay for longer, you'll want to visit the smaller shopping streets -- Laurier East mentioned, but also Laurier West and Parc, for example, perhaps stopping by the beautiful Croissanterie Figaro for a break and exploring that neighbourhood -- Mile End and Outremont, such as Parc, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Viateur, and Bernard. There are some very pretty residential streets and back alleys and squares in the Plateau to explore, too -- I've listed my favourites here http://goo.gl/maps/7DiI

If you like heritage, Montréal has taken an inventory of what it has, including significant buildings, churches, and areas of historical or architectural interest. The documents, which include pictures and descriptions of some choice buildings, are found here ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page… Alas, they're divided by neighbourhood (which you don't know) and all in French (luckily, there's translate.google.com). At the end of each document, however, there is a colour-coded map showing you the main areas of interest. Perhaps too much digging, but for me it shows that you could well spend 5 days or, like me, 20 years looking at what Montréal offers in terms of heritage and still be happy.

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6. Re: A day and a 1/2

Bonjour.

MartyFeldman you misunderstood me, I have been to Prague, Barcelona, Venice, Rome 4 times, Florence and Paris numerous times as I am an architecture buff. The first 3 I was there for a week, the last 3 less days but more often but each time at each place I decided that I didn't want to try to see everything on a rush but more to walk and discover things around or go to very specific places that I deemed must sees like the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. Not on a rush but discover things on the spur of the moment, one of the most vivid remembrance about Florence for example is when I rode on a bike (I also remember the state of my “derrière” afterward) and ended in a small street where there was an open air exhibition of wedding gowns and appropriate make ups and hairdos! Yes almost on par with the Uffizi in my memory!

That's why I wrote that Montreal cannot compare with Prague and if you spend only 3 rushed days there then I don't even see the point of coming to Montreal. But on the other hand there is a lot to discover around here. Once, for example, I gave some students in urbanism an impromptu half hour lecture at one corner in Old Montreal, mind you not the prettiest or the one with the most historical significance but yes there was a lot to see from one viewpoint if you scratched the surface a bit: the signs of the demolished city walls, the stone skeleton architecture, the first corner stores, etc. etc.

So I would say that in what I listed in my first posting the Mc Cord Museum was probably the weaker attraction. Notice that I gave many other things to see around, which I didn't do for the other 4 museums, as it could take easily half a day long or more visit and walking around. Pointe-a-Caillières would be my first pick as you will learn many things about my city there.

So with 1 ½ days in your first half day I would do visit downtown and Mc Cord and then head to the Botanical Garden before sunset to see at least the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, take a little snack at the cafeteria and then come back to the Chinese garden for sunset to see the lanterns lighting up. Next day I would do Old Montreal and Old Port with the must see visits at Norte-Dame Basilica and Pointe-à-Caillières then, may be take a bateau-mouche dinner cruise to see the city skyline at night and have a good meal.

Actually you mention that you will also visit Québec City but I haven’t seen you on that city forum. Well the place is probably much more charming and historical than Montreal and we usually recommend that visitors visit Montreal first and then Qc as otherwise Mtl can be a let down, but if you crammed Prague in 3 days everything afterward will be so quaint as to be a let down. I have no idea of your general plans and how you will travel to Qc but keep that in mind anyways. Also I don’t know if you wanted to include that in your plans but Ottawa, our nation capital is only a 2 hour ride from Montreal and has many things to offer both historical and modern. Yes the national museums are in striking modern buildings and the Canadian Museum of Civilisation would be more insightful in Canadian history than the McCord, not to say about 20 times larger!

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7. Re: A day and a 1/2

And if you do have more time, you might want to check out this post that has a few links to easier ways of discovering Montréal's heritage: tripadvisor.ca/…17776807

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8. Re: A day and a 1/2

I don't have time to elaborate on this, but i want to mention one very important thing.

On a Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, most shops/museums/businesses close at 6pm.

There are some few exceptions such as some boutiques (not all) on Ste-Catherine and the Eaton Center.

So be careful because your monday evening might be wasted.

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9. Re: A day and a 1/2

Well museums don't close at 6 on Mondays they are closed on Mondays...

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10. Re: A day and a 1/2

he's not interested in museums anyways...