My husband and I were in Montreal the last weekend of June for the Montreal Jazz Festival. This will be our second time in Montreal. First time was back in 2015 also in June for Montreal Jazz Festival. I planned our itinerary for the trip and below I will share what we did and saw during our time in Montreal.
We arrived Montreal in the morning via Greyhound bus. We took the night bus and slept throughout the ride from NYC to Montreal. Greyhound bus station was very close to Gingerbread Manor Bed and Breakfast, our chosen accommodation for the trip, so, we walked there to drop off our things and freshen up.
Immediately after dropping off our bags, we strolled to Cherrier Cafe for breakfast, which was like a 4 mins walk. I highly recommend you eat here. The service was impeccable and food was great. We were lucky to stay at a place that was near great restaurants, bars, boutiques and most importantly, the jazz festival.
After having breakfast, we decided to explore the neighborhoods of Saint-Laurent, Saint-Catherine and Saint-Urbain. We spent extra time in Saint-Laurent because it was lined with lots of incredible boutiques with reasonably priced pieces.
Tired from exploring the beautiful neighborhoods, we walked back to our B&B to check in and prepare for our preferred jazz performance of the night featuring Omara Portuondo. The performance was absolutely incredible! One of the best performances I’ve ever watched.
After the jazz show, we grabbed dinner at Omma for some Korean food. The food was great and service was even greater. This was our last meal and last activity of the day. We walked back home to sleep and get ready for the next day. Did I mention we stayed near everything? Oh yes! Almost every spot was a walking distance.
We started the day with breakfast at our B&B. I will have to confess that after breakfast we got pretty lazy and went back to bed to sleep. We woke up around noon, got ready and headed to Quartier des Spectacles where the jazz festival was taking place to watch some afternoon outdoor shows.
The festival was basically an all day event so you could stop by anytime to watch free outdoor shows. We watched 2-3 shows and my husband suggested we walk to Old Montreal.
Visiting Old Montreal wasn’t part of the itinerary on this trip because we visited it four years ago. But I was so glad we visited it again because it turned out there were so many things to do and see in Old Montreal that we didn’t even come close to doing during our first time there. Old Montreal had this European sophistication with its cobblestones and street-lined restaurants and bars that reminded me of Italy.
Some of the things we did and saw in Old Montreal included:
Before heading back to the jazz festival, we had dinner at Santos for some Spanish food. Service here was also good.
Back at the jazz festival, we watched few more outdoor performances before calling it a night and decided to take Uber to our B&B.
Note that Lyft doesn’t work here. Pandora doesn’t work here either.
We went back to Cherrier Cafe for lunch. Lunch was just as good as their breakfast. I highly recommend this place. While there we met a famous Montreal artist, Armand Vaillancourt. After lunch we walked to La Fontaine Park. This park is good for running, jogging, picnic and playground for kids. We didn’t really get to enjoy the park because it started raining.
However, the rain eventually stopped and we walked out of the park and entered this hotel, Auberge de la Fontaine to ask for help on how to get to Montreal Botanical Garden. The front desk staff, Felicia was very helpful and friendly. She went out of her way to call us a cab as if we were guests at the hotel. We plan on staying at the hotel next time we come to Montreal.
Montreal Botanical Garden is the most beautiful garden you will ever see. There are two tickets options, you can get to either see the indoor or outdoor garden. Since it was still drizzling we were advised to get the indoor ticket. But what’s a little rain?
We took Uber back to the jazz festival. Considering jazz festival was our reason for coming to Montreal we made sure to catch some outdoor performances daily/nightly. And on this faithful night, we saw The War and Treaty in performance. The most soulful husband and wife duo we’ve ever watched. And they were also from the USA. I felt their music in my soul! If there was a roof I would have said they brought the roof down. But since it was outdoor they most definitely brought the heavens down.
You can go to their website to see their upcoming events and find out when they will be performing in your city or a city near you. They performed in NYC on July 25th. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend.
After the incredible performance, we got really hungry and had dinner at Baton Rouge Steakhouse & Bar. It was like 2 minutes walk from the performance area. They have the juiciest steak that just melts in your mouth. We decided to walk home afterwards to help burn some of the calories.
We had breakfast as usual at 9am but this time we couldn’t afford to go back to sleep because our bus to NYC was scheduled to leave at 11:15am. So we hurriedly got ready for our long journey back home, checked out and walked down to the bus station. Greyhound is usually one of our favorite options whenever we are traveling to a place that’s a driving distance away from NYC.