Tour Guide – Montreal with Tanya

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Here is the Montreal Tour Guide from my friend Tanya Solari!

I met Tanya, who is amazingly well traveled, loves food and is passionate (and talented) with language while working at Transat. When you start talking to Tanya, you will want to stay with her and visit Montreal: she is the perfect definition of this great city. She speaks three languages, is curious, and seamlessly moves between cultures. I have asked Tanya to share her favorite spots in Montreal, places where you can discover new treasures with each visit.

How would you describe Montreal to someone who has never been?

Montreal is a vibrant, cosmopolitan and multicultural city offering something for everyone, namely foodies, socialites, trendsetters, sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. Its cold, snowy winters are ideal for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and skating on Mount Royal, and its sizzling hot summers offer a variety of back-to-back festivals. The colours of fall make Montreal a feast for the eyes as well.

What do you love about living in Montreal?

I love the cultural diversity, fabulous restaurants, Tam-Tams and having a mountain right in the heart of downtown.

Tell us about your neighbourhood…

I live in the Plateau, which is known for its trendy bars, charming buildings and hipster look and feel.

What is the best way to get around Montreal?

To get around downtown Montreal, I recommend walking, hopping on a Bixi or taking the bus and metro. Driving isn’t ideal because parking (paid or not) can be hard to find, especially in the Plateau and Mile End.

Montrealers love their weekend brunch. What are your favourite spots?

Prohibition, Suwu, L’Gros Luxe

Where do you go to pamper yourself? Do you have a favourite spa? Other ideas?

Spa Diva and Espace Nomad are my favourite spas. I also love treating myself to Bota Bota’s outdoor thermal baths (open year-round, even during winter!) and beautiful views of Old Montreal.

How do you stay fit?

Biking, hiking, skipping, yoga, walking

Name your favourite place for…

  1. A date night: Ryu, Bouillon Bilk, Dolcetto, Le Comptoir, Pullman, Darbar
  2. Dinner with friends: Le Majestique, L’Gros Luxe, La Sala Rossa, Lola Rosa, Terrasse Nelligan, Jardin Nelson, Atma
  3. Working: Home
  4. People watching: Any outdoor terrace open during the warmer months

Your favourite coffee shop:

Café Névé

Your local bar:

Big in Japan Bar

Your park:

Jeanne-Mance Park

Your restaurant:

Ryu

Describe your perfect Montreal weekend…

My ideal weekend goes something like this: brunch at Prohibition, followed by a bike ride back to the Plateau for some daytime bar hopping and perhaps a bit of shopping. Dinner will depend on the day’s cravings, but I’m always up for oysters at Le Majestique. For dessert, nothing beats the homemade, artisanal ice cream at Ripples or Kem CoBa. And if I’m in the area, I’ll be sure to pick up a dozen bagels at Fairmount Bagel before heading home to watch a good movie.

Montreal is full of great cultural spots. Where do you love to go?

I enjoy a simple stroll in the Old Port, taking in the sights of the beautifully preserved historic buildings. Plus there’s always something cultural going on at Place Jacques-Cartier, be it a live music or dance performances, local painters showcasing their work or sugar shack kiosks serving maple delights.

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Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.

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