10 Things You'll Love About Montreal
Let me preface this with the fact that, if you’re not new to the Melody Beuzelin program, you’ll know my first language is French. I was born in Dijon, France, which is about two hours South of Paris and moved to the United States when I was little.
Growing up in a European household with a French dad and German mother (interesting mix. I know.) means international culture holds a special place in my heart. Montreal made that place swell with joy, making it one of my favorite metropolitan destinations I’ve ever visited, and soon to be yours. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. Nobody's pissed off.
This is an unusal find that I think most people who have visited big cities can relate to. In most densely populated urban areas, you hear the wail of a police siren or someone angrily laying on their horn with every exhale. I heard one person beep at someone in Montreal, and I'm 95% sure it was accidental.
2. Everything is immaculate.
I counted a total of 12 cigarette butts on the ground in the entire city. There is no waste or trash or mysterious puddles with fowl smells rising from them.
I'd even consider the five second rule on the metro. And speaking of the metro...
3. The public transportation in general is heaven.
Even if you have zero sense of direction (hi, that's me. I get lost in backyards. My mother can confirm) the metro is so simple to understand. In fact, all of Montreal's public transportation is on point.
It's a very easy city to explore on foot, and there plenty of bikes with their own bike paths. You have many art galleries, boutiques, botanical gardens and restaurants to explore my friend, so wander wander wander with your metro card, which can also be used on the buses.
4. You're greeted warmly, everywhere.
Every time we walked into a store, be it a patisserie, dive bar, boutique or bodega, you're greeted enthusiastically in French. Everyone is genuine and helpful, and not only welcomes you into their upscale restaurant (soaked from the rain, in sweaty activewear. Also me), but gives you dessert on the house when they hear it's you and your boyfriend's anniversary, and offers in-depth recommendations on where to go next.
5. Fusion Cafés
There are endless places to go and things to do that could fill this list alone. But a unique concept worth mentioning should be known as "fusion" cafes. I don't know if that's what they're called exactly, by they're everywhere and are like coffee-shop-retail hybrids — one in particular was three stories and had a cafe/men's clothing on the first floor, men's clothing/barber shop on the second floor and a women's clothing store on the third.
6. Al Fresco Dining.
Instead of attaching a patio to some of the restaurants along the main streets, Montreal just puts allows the sidewalk to slice right through them, so it’s like for those brief steps your transported into the atmosphere of whatever restaurant you encounter.
7. Just, honestly, the dining in general.
There is everything you can imagine in every direction. Poke bowls. Creperies. Delis. Lebanese. Italian. Korean Quirky cafes. Fusion. Be adventurous and do this: Go to St. Laurent. Close your eyes. Spin around once and point. Go in, eat, repeat every few hours or as your stomach/budget allows.
8. Bikes have their own lanes.
They are like mini streets, and many times you’ll see more people on two wheels than feet. It’s also a phenomenal way to experience the city.
9. Interesting things on every corner.
Walk 10 minutes down St. Catherine and you’ll come across upscale shopping, burlesque bars, quaint cafes, lingerie shops, antique pop-ups, themed boutiques and regal art museums. This city is great if you have ADD, every few steps you enter a new world.
10. Sexual liberation.
Did you know Montreal is known worldwide for their gentlemen’s clubs? I observed one of their most popular, Chez Paree, had a line out the door when I walked by one night, everyone dressed like they were going to the Academy Awards, except instead of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry as headlining performers, you have fully nude Katrine’s, Brigitte’s and Mercedes’. There’s also no shortage of fetish shops.
Keep doing you, Montreal!