Trips

Visiting Montreal in winter

For those who follow the blog, know that at the end of the last year (2017), we took a trip to the province of Quebec, where we spent a few days, including Christmas in Quebec City and shared our script and experience on this vlog and then we went on to Montreal to spend New Year’s Eve and in today’s post, I will share the script for this second part of the trip.

ABOUT MONTREAL

Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec and the second-most populous city in Canada, second only to Toronto. Like Quebec, the city’s first language is French. Montreal is a metropolis that breathes art and history everywhere, a true open-air museum, in addition to being a great collector of titles, as being elected in 2015 by Economist magazine the 14th best city in the world to live in and in 2017 was classified as the best city in the world for University students, by QS Best Students Cities.

THE TRIP FROM QUEBÉC

This stretch between Quebec City and Montreal takes about 2 hours and was super quiet, as we were lucky to get a great weather condition on the road, with clear skies. In addition, because the section is shorter than the 6 hours we did from Toronto to Quebec City, it was also much less tiring.

WINTER CLOTHES

(This tip was repeated in the Quebec post)

If I could, I would put a flashing neon on that item to get your attention!
Visiting Canada in the snow-covered winter is beautiful and I highly recommend it, but you need to be very careful because it is very frequent to have more rigorous winters, where temperatures drop dramatically, reaching a thermal sensation of -50C in some regions of the country.

On the days that we were in the Province of Quebec, visiting Quebec City and after Montreal, practically every day of the trip the average temperature was -38C, with that, there was an alert of extreme cold (that means, that it is recommended to be exposed for a long time on the street)

And being very sincere that temperature hurt! It hurt my fingers, that even wearing a snow glove froze, my feet that even wearing a snow boot froze, my face burned, my eyes burned and it reached the point of gluing my eyelid and I had to walk 3 blocks with one eye glued because I couldn’t take my hand off the glove, because my fingers were already frozen, imagine if I took the glove off?

And why did all this happen? Because I had the accessories that couldn’t stand that temperature. So, below I will give some tips for you not to go through these difficulties.

HOW TO DRESS

Layers: It is important to dress using the layers, which I already mentioned in this video here and on the Quebec vlog, I also showed how the layers are. This helped me SO MUCH to not feel cold on my torso and legs, even in these extreme temperatures.

A good winter coat: Do not save money on this item, it is very important and on a daily basis you need to have only one coat of this to wear every day of the winter, that is, a super investment.

Ear protector: Don’t be under the illusion that only your cap will be enough to protect your ear. You do not need to invest money in this item, any ear protector that is just enough is enough to help you in these temperatures. Because of him and the cap, I didn’t feel cold in the head.

Waterproof gloves that withstand extreme temperature: I took my snow glove, which is thick and lined, but that didn’t make any difference, because my hands, even inside the glove and with my hands in my pocket, froze. This happened because my glove was certainly not made to withstand that temperature. The solution is buying a glove that can withstand even lower temperatures.

Waterproof snow boots with higher numbers: After being exposed to the cold for a while, my toes froze too, because we were exposed for a long time and we couldn’t. My case was even worse because I bought my boot just half a number bigger than what I use, when in fact the ideal is to buy 1 to 2 bigger numbers, so that in temperatures like this you can reinforce the boot using a good sock thick. In my case, I couldn’t do that, because the sock didn’t go into the boot, which is practically close to my foot.

Protect your face: I usually use my scarf to do this, but since it is not made for this purpose, it will be fuzzy on your face and you often need to fix it. The problem is to do this, with an extreme temperature. Therefore, it is better to opt for practicality, using an appropriate accessory, like this one.

TIP: If during the walk you feel cold in some part of your body, wear more layers or change to more appropriate accessories and most importantly, it is good not to abuse it by spending too much time on the street.

MONTREAL ITINERARY

Due to the climatic conditions, unfortunately, we were unable to visit everything we had planned in the city. However, I believe that we have abused exposure in the cold and this contributed to us getting a cold and having a headache, this meant that we had to rest for the last 2 days of the trip. Below, I will share with you the itinerary that we did and in the end, I will share the tours that we did not, but that you can include in your list.

OLD MONTREAL

In this region are concentrated some of the main historical buildings of the city such as the palace of justice, the city hall and many of the attractions that we visit, such as the famous Basilica of Notre-Dame and the Jacques Cartier square.

It is worth strolling through the place and eating in one of the several restaurants spread throughout the region, such as the Crêperie Saint Paul, where we have eaten a delicious crepe.

NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTREAL

This is the most famous church in the city and consequently the most visited. She is really beautiful and worth knowing.
On the day of our visit, CAD $ 6.00 / person was being charged to enter. As I had not read anywhere that there was a cost to enter, I do not know if it was recently that they started or it is only at that time, so I leave here the information for you to consider and take money, as they do not accept cards.

PLACE JACQUES-CARTIER

For most of the year, this square is always crowded as it hosts several festivals and fairs in the city, but in winter these attractions are reduced. When we visited there were some kiosks, but all closed and there was not much to do, however, as it is a path between one attraction and another, we decided to check it out.

CENTER-VILLE-DOWNTOWN

If you want to include a shopping day in your itinerary, I believe that this region is the best, as it is the commercial center (downtown) of the city and in it, you will find several chain stores worldwide.

SAN JOSEPH ORATORY

This oratory is at the top of a hill and it is beautiful to see it from below. Going up the hill there is a deck overlooking the garden and the city.

Inside the Oratory, it is not as beautiful as the Notre-Dame church, but it impresses with the height of its right foot.
The entrance and parking are free.

MONT ROYAL LOOKOUT

Mont Royal is a huge park in the city, full of activities all year round, including in winter. There is an observatory overlooking downtown and its huge buildings.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL SHOW

For those who don’t know Cirque du Soleil is a Candense company and the largest circus in the world. The company’s headquarters are located in Montreal and there they have fixed shows all year round.
At the time we went, the show on display was Crystal, their first show on a skating rink. In several moments I was breathless, not believing how it was possible to do so much acrobatics with ice skates on a rink. I STRONG recommend watching the show or any of them because it is always amazing.

OTHER PLACES THAT I SUGGEST

  1. Montreal Olympic Complex – It is possible to enter the complex and have a city view.
  2. Parc Mont-Royal – All year round there are activities going on in the park, in winter, for example, it is possible to do snow tubing (go down a snow slide).
  3. Botanical Garden – It works all year, of course, in winter it is not the peak of the beauty of the place, but it is worth including in the list.
  4. Parc Jean-Drapeau – This is the most famous park in the city and houses a biosphere with the only environmental museum in North America.
  5. Place Ville Marie – This building has on one of its top floors an observatory with panoramic views of the city.
  6. Pointe-à-Callière – Museums of archeology, one of the several museums scattered throughout the city.
  7. Vieux-Port – The port of the city of Montreal and the largest in the province of Quebec.

Even with all the unforeseen events, we had such as the cold because of the extreme cold I hope you enjoyed the trip and learned a little more about Montreal.

Xoxo and see you in the next post.

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