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12-06-2019, 05:36 AM   #1
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One day visit to Montreal next October

We're thinking about visiting Montreal Columbus Day weekend in October 2020.
We would arrive on Amtrak Saturday evening and depart early Monday morning.

With just a single full day - a Sunday - in Montreal, what would you suggest we see?

TIA,
Chris in New York

12-06-2019, 05:53 AM   #2
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Chris,
I went there last year for a few days.. It became one of my favorite cities. so much History.. and photo ops.

"old montreal" is definitely worth reading up on.. its touristy but the architecture,cathedrals, and museaums offer a ton to compensate.

The botanical gardens in Montreal are great too and maybe really nice in Oct. We hit it in July.

Im hoping to visit again this summer.

Al
12-06-2019, 06:52 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
We're thinking about visiting Montreal Columbus Day weekend in October 2020.
We would arrive on Amtrak Saturday evening and depart early Monday morning.

With just a single full day - a Sunday - in Montreal, what would you suggest we see?

TIA,
Chris in New York
My wife and I spent a couple of days in Montreal during our “Canadian” vacation a few years ago. Although we traveled by car, we stayed at a motel on the edge of Old Montreal, and did all touristing by foot. We didn’t see Mount Royale, but we found plenty to see as it was.
12-06-2019, 08:37 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
We would arrive on Amtrak Saturday evening and depart early Monday morning.
First thing I would suggest when you get off the train is find a place downtown to have a long, late meal; like NYC, the odds of getting a really good meal after 9PM are high, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. If the weather cooperates, you will want to spend time in Old Montreal and the port, I would also suggest making time to see the Biodome (supposed to reopen in spring 2020) and the Botanical Gardens, which are in the same general area around Olympic Stadium. Unfortunately, the Insectarium (which is also in the same general area) is closed until 2021. Take the Metro for a more civilized subway experience. Or spend some time getting fresh air at Mont Royal. If you were coming from a more mundane municipality than NYC, I would suggest spending time among the shops on St. Denis and St. Catherine, but there will plenty of opportunities to support the local retail market in Old Montreal.

12-06-2019, 09:15 AM   #5
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As others may suggest, Montreal is a vibrant city with lots to see and do. The weather is usually fair in mid-October with temperatures in the mid-teens Celsius, mid-50s F.

For a one-day visit, I'd recommend several options, but I don't think you could do all of these in one day.

Old Montreal area
- Old Montreal streets and shops
- Old Port
- Chinatown
- Montreal Museum of Anthropology and History, which includes a fascinating audio-visual walk-through exhibit highlighting the origins of the city. Pointe-à-Callière | Montréal Archaeology and History Complex
- Bonsecours Market (worth a drop-in if you are walking by)
- Harbour/River Tour -- not sure what would be running in October. Typically 1-2 hour guided cruise.

- Above all, at the top of my list would be Notre Dame Basilica. In one word: stunning. A guided tour is an hour very well spent. Check for Mass and tour times.

Museum district/Mont Royal
- Museum of Fine Arts
- McGill University: Redpath Museum (small, but eclectic and interesting)
- McCord Museum (Canadian history)

- Mont Royal -- climb the stairs from the base at avenue des Pins/Peel Street. The lookout provides a great view of the city. The maple trees should be in colour then.

Olympic Park
- Biodome (re-opening after extensive renovations Spring 2020)
- Botanical Garden: Gardens of Light (evening) Check for opening dates/times nearer your trip.


A good website for Montreal tourism: Discover your Montréal | Tourisme Montréal

- Craig
12-06-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
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Agreed re: Old Montreal and the Basilica, and the botanic garden, which is amazing, I was there in September and it was great. Also in Mount Royal, near the Parc, is the Oratory St. Joseph. Stunning huge building on top of a hill. The interior is amazing, completed in the 1960's. As noted, the museums are great, too. Montreal is definitely one of my favorite cities, and I try to get up there every year.
12-06-2019, 04:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

Also seeking recommendations for nice but not too expensive nearby hotels.

Chris
12-06-2019, 04:24 PM   #8
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Chris we stayed here...

Accueil | Hotel Universel Montreal

It was close walking to the botanical gardens and the subway was a block away. Had a decent restaurant in it, and the staff were very friendly. Hotel was very reasonably priced and was clean. Spent 4 days there and have zero complaints. Please understand this was a family trip, and I'm not one to stay in fancy schmanshy hotels. We plan on staying there again next trip up.


al

12-11-2019, 07:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
We would arrive on Amtrak Saturday evening and depart early Monday morning.
Just beware of Amtrak delays on this trip. I've done NYC to Toronto via Amtrak and no issues up to Albany. After that freight trains get track priority and the stage to Toronto was hours behind.

Same with NYC to Chicago via Amtrak. While I love going by train if you're not in a hurry and have no plans for arrival day, it's a real drag if you DO have plans.

VIA rail in Canada is the same.

Phil.
12-12-2019, 08:06 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
VIA rail in Canada is even worse.
Fixed it for you. Especially for the Canadian (the Toronto-Vancouver route), which can be more than 24 hours late on it's 4 days and nights schedule. Family members have taken the Saskatoon-Edmonton segment several times, which is about 550 kms, 5 hours by car and supposed to be 10-11 hours by train. Last year, my son was supposed to depart from Edmonton at 7:50PM on December 30th to arrive in Saskatoon at 6:57AM (one hour time zone change) on the 31st. He finally arrived at the VIA station in Saskatoon at 1:30AM January 1st.
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