We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Downtown or Old Town

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
39 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Downtown or Old Town

Hi,

Traveling to Montreal in July with my husband, would you recommend staying in Downtown or Old Town?

What's the difference?

We like to explore restaurants and walk around and like a lively atmosphere. WHat are some good 4 and 5 star hotels in the area you recommend?

Thanks

h

Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
Level Contributor
4,712 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Downtown or Old Town

Depends on your interests. We like downtown because it is closer to shopping, though we are only a 20 minute walk or short metro ride from Old Montreal. Downtown we usually stay at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. The Gold floors are a very good value, plus their restaurants are quite god also.

Old Montreal has the architecture plus great restaurants. The St. James is probably the most top of the line hotel in the area, if not the city. We actually like a much smaller hotel, the Auberge Bonaparte. It doesn't have all the amenities, but its restaurant by the same name is well reviewed both here and in the local press.

JDP

Montreal
Level Contributor
4,386 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Downtown or Old Town

I prefer downtown for the same reasons as JDP... it's more central... Old Montréal is walkable or short taxi ride, especially when returning after dinner.

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
1,886 posts
285 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Downtown or Old Town

Old Montreal is picturesque and expensive. (BTW, Quebec City is Old Town (Vieux Ville)). Downtown is a business district with office buildings and shops. Neither is really Montreal to most locals, they are areas we go to and come from, but not live in (for the most part).

Edited: 08 June 2013, 23:27
Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
18,834 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Downtown or Old Town

Vieux-Québec or Vieux-Montréal is how the "old towns" of the 2 cities are referred to here, or Old Quebec and Old Montreal (in English).

Both downtown and Old Montreal, and especially the former, have housing and many people live there, but because of all the rest that's there (office buildings, hotels, shops, etc) they are not residential areas per se. Old Montreal is the more charming, romantic, picturesque of the two, and downtown can be more practical ..especially for shopping.

Beaupre, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Downtown or Old Town

Plateau if you want to hang out, eat and shop. Downtown is more for the businesses and the strippers. Old Montreal is great if you want calm but then why go to Montreal at all?

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
18,834 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Downtown or Old Town

Old Montreal is busy on weekend nights and in July it is busy in general.

Haverhill...
Level Contributor
1,162 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Downtown or Old Town

" they are areas we go to and come from, but not live in (for the most part"

Isn't that the way for most locals view touristy areas?

A bunch of years ago I had some of my cousins come up to the Boston area....they wanted to go to the Cheers Bar. It is the only time I have ever been there. Its funny how a place can exist as just a tourist attraction, yet you will never find a local in sight.

Edited: 09 June 2013, 17:21
Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
18,834 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Downtown or Old Town

mcamp - Montreal isn't like that, our centre is made up of lived in areas. I lived in several myself and am very close to downtown still, my mum lives in a lovely green neighbourhood that is a 5 minute walk to Bell Centre and a slightly longer stroll to Old Montreal, and I have friends living in downtown and in Old Montreal condos, of which there are many. We are more like European cities in that.

Edited: 09 June 2013, 18:28
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
1,886 posts
285 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Downtown or Old Town

innaMontreal - Depends on the part of downtown, If you are talking downtown centre, between Aylmer and maybe Metcalfe you are talking about an area that has a few apartment buildings and condos and a lot of office buildings. If you get closer to Guy, you get more neighbourhoods. If you are talking about below St-Jacques that's not downtown really.

Old Montreal has more condos now, but it's still not a densely populated part of town, like the Plateau, Milton Park (locally called the McGill Ghetto), etc. For the most part, downtown and old Montreal are areas where most Montrealers GO TO, not GO FROM. Otherwise our rush hour traffic would look very different.

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
18,834 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Downtown or Old Town

TAC - I never said that most people live downtown, just that our centre is lived in, with some very nice areas and of course the part below St-Jacques in Ville-Marie district/arrondissement is very much part of city centre.

Many people who commute downtown to work/study are not even Montrealers but live in the burbs in a different environment, while less city dwellers need to travel outside of Montreal on a daily bases, so am not sure what you meant by "most Montrealers".