I received a complimentary tour credit from TripAdvisor in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
Traveling with your family can be a lot of fun, but it can be especially rewarding on an emotional level when it's just mom and daughter...as you have probably noticed over the years, my most constant traveling companion is my daughter, Angeline. We've been all over the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe...and most recently, we went to the beautiful city of Montreal together! It was a very short trip, as I was only there to gather some photos for social media for a client, but I wanted to make the most of our 36 hours in this brand new (to us) city, so I booked the Gems of Montreal Small Group City Tour through Tripadvisor! This is definitely How to Spend a day in Montreal - even if you're there for longer than a weekend, like we were.
How to Spend a day in Montreal
About the Gems of Montreal Small Group City Tour
There’s no better way to tick off the multicultural monuments of Montreal than on a small-group sightseeing tour. Over six hours and in an intimate group limited to 14 guests, you’ll explore Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal) — home to the Old Port, Place d’Armes, and Notre-Dame Basilica — and visit Mount Royal. See, too, the upscale neighborhood of Westmount and enjoy panoramic views from the Kondiaronk Lookout. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
Our tour picked us up at our hotel and we set off to our first stop, the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Some people find it odd that while I am not particularly religious, I always make a point to visit cathedrals and basilicas while traveling outside of the United States. It's simple really: religion is history. People built cities around their cathedrals, important events happened in these places, and they are usually one of the most prominent displays of the architecture at the time they were built. Having grown up in the Southern Baptist religion, our churches were stark white and a wooden cross above the baptismal....that was it. To walk into a catholic cathedral or basilica is awe inspiring to me.
I always light candles and say a prayer while visiting cathedrals, and this time, Angeline was able to light one too.
When visiting a city, you can certainly visit attractions, monuments, etc. on your own, but one of the benefits of booking a Tripadvisor tour is that you often bypass those entrance lines because group tours have separate entrances.
Notre-Dame Basilica was our first stop in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal), then we walked across the street and our guide explained the history of Montreal - did you know that it used to be called the Wall Street of Quebec?
We also stopped at St. Joseph’s Oratory to take a photo, but this particular tour did not include having time to go inside and take a look. There are other tours for that though! The Gems of Montreal Small Group City Tour included so many things, it was perfect to get to see everything - if I had more time in Montreal, I'd have booked more tours!
Next we went to Mont Royal, with is Montreal’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park, which is a huge mountain devoted to outdoor fun. Families picnic there, people take walks, and it's HUGE for cycling! We got a real taste for just how expansive Montreal is when we stopped and took photos at Kondiaronk Lookout.
I loved this photo of Angeline and I that when I got home, I had a canvas created of it to hang on our living room wall!
I can see myself spending a lot of time in Mont Royal if I lived in Montreal!
We ended the day with a stop and free time at Bonsecours Market, which was an amazing little market with everything you could possibly think of, from local maple syrup to pizza, crepes, smoked meet...Angeline and I ate our hearts out!
The things Montreal are really known for, culinary-wise, are poutine and smoked meat. Our time there, we ate Poutine three times...we were only there for 36 hours! I loved the smoked meat too!
There were also plenty of shops and restaurants in the vicinity, though Angeline I didn't venture too far - we were having too much snacking on the samples in the market and enjoying our meal!
We truly enjoyed our Gems of Montreal Small Group City Tour - it's definitely How to Spend a Day in Montreal! I love that Tripadvisor makes it so easy to go off and explore the world, one city, one tour at a time, and I can do it all right from my phone!