(Topic ID: 199481)

Visiting Montréal this Weekend, Tips or Advice?

By mbaumle

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by mbaumle
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 7 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    20171115_011151 (resized).jpg
    20171111_215253 (resized).jpg
    20171113_203010 (resized).jpg
    20171114_024526 (resized).jpg
    5D56397D-52E4-4469-8220-709C8DFF123C (resized).jpeg
    E1957B5B-B252-4419-98C6-3FE8618D6E62 (resized).jpeg
    29AA7699-0853-4F8D-AE55-FE00D70CB5F6 (resized).jpeg

    #1 2 years ago

    Greetings friends from Canada! Myself, my fiancé, and two of my closest friends are taking a road trip up to Montréal this weekend. We've never been, and we'd like to know if anyone could share any advice as to what to look for or where to go. We're staying at an AirBNB on Rue de Bullion. We're leaving Saturday, and only really have the evening Saturday, all day Sunday, and we leave Monday. So time is limited, and we're kinda on a budget.

    We're just looking for some cool stuff to do that won't break the bank. Does anyone have any restaurant recommendations, or things to do to avoid tourist traps? Another thing, how's the language barrier? I can probably fudge my way through french at an elementary school level if I HAVE to, but is there anything we should know to avoid any social gaffs?

    Thanks so much!

    #2 2 years ago

    The Biodome was nice--I'd recommend seeing that if you have time.

    Most French Canadians I encountered were bi-lingual, so it wasn't a problem. However, parking signs are in French, so you will need to be familiar with the wording on those in order to tell which side of the street you can or can't park on particular days/times.

    #3 2 years ago

    Fine dining in Montreal is amazing but on a budget go check out some top rated poutine places.

    We went to Poutineville and it was excellent.

    As a Canadian, shamefully, on our trip I almost never tried to speak French. Every restaurant we went to had English speaking staff to help out, you will be fine.

    Apparently Schwartz's has really good Montreal smoked meat sandwiches. Never been but heard good things. (I think you are really close to there)

    We went to Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History in old Montreal. Not sure if you are into museums. Alberta has almost no history IMO so Montreal was awesome for me that. If you are american I'm not sure how cool it would be. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal is ok too.

    Edit: To clarify I think America has awesome history and would say Canada's isn't as cool, topic for debate I guess.

    #4 2 years ago

    Use your credit card exclusively to get the best exchange rate.

    #5 2 years ago

    in front of Schwartz's you have the North star, machine piastre... nice bar with 10 pinball playing perfectly!


    #6 2 years ago
    Quoted from Boat:

    To clarify I think America has awesome history

    Ehhhh, I wouldn't say "awesome" what with all the slavery, Japanese internment camps, and other things that would never happen in a country that's truly the "land of the free." But I know what you're saying. Different topic indeed

    But alas! I do appreciate your input. I'm no stranger to Canada. I've spent a lot of time in Alberta's beautiful Waterton Lakes National Park, and it's surrounding areas, and I've been to Vancouver, and got lost driving back into the States. This is the first time I've been to an area that's predominately not english speaking, and I want to be able to respect the city by not trouncing in like some no-nothing American.

    Fine dining is definitely not in the budget, but some wallet friendly poutine definitely is! And I love me some smoked meats. We'll definitely check that place out.

    Museums are a win, for sure. I think we were talking about the Notre-Dame Basilica was well. My buddy loves Archaeology, so I'll pass that idea over to him.

    Quoted from Redketchup:

    nice bar with 10 pinball playing perfectly!

    Ohhh man... I promised my friends I wouldn't seek out any pinball places, but I might have to sneak in and check it out.

    Thank guys for the recommendations so far!

    #7 2 years ago


    Great drinks and snacks, wonderful ambience, and all of the machines play really well. It is a great place to hang out if your crew likes so drinks, AND they have both Dialed In and a 60s Williams Pitch + Bat.

    Highly recommend checking Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal http://macm.org/en/ if your group is in to art.

    #8 2 years ago

    If you run into communication problems with an individual, just let them know you are a tourist from New Jersey, their English will show up right away.

    #9 2 years ago

    If you like Smoke meat then "yes 100%" to Schwartz's. And if you need some help with the french lingo just watch this hehehe

    #10 2 years ago

    If you like crepes, go here;


    Great little place. My wife loved it.


    #11 2 years ago

    And if you really want to know what french atmosphere and music is all about.. go here... but you wont understand what the hell they are signing about *hehehe

    #12 2 years ago

    you can also try this... very nice micro brewery with 36 beer on tap and snack


    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from Redketchup:

    you can also try this... very nice micro brewery with 36 beer on tap and snack

    We'll definitely have to check out the local beer scene for sure! Hopefully time allows us to catch everything.

    We were thinking of getting a ticket to one of those "hop on, hop off" busses. Is that necessary, or is this an easy city to navigate on foot? How is street parking?

    #14 2 years ago

    Hop on Hop off is always a good way to see the city... there is a lot of road construction right now in montreal, so it can be difficult to park. Metro work pretty well also.

    The northstar is really fun, and it's also fun if your friend don't like pinball... there is an old juke box, they spin vinyl, music is good and beer is cold

    #15 2 years ago

    Chez Paree. Couples welcome. No language barrier....

    #16 2 years ago

    I was in Montreal a few weeks ago. I agree that the Biodome is a great exhibit.

    #17 2 years ago

    What's the tipping situation like? Is gratuity figured into the food cost and bill like they do in Europe (thus not expected), or is it still standard 20% cash on table or added on the card?

    #18 2 years ago

    I recommend hiking up Mount Royal while you’re there, and second going to the Biodome where the olympics were formerly held.

    As for the payment with card piece, that’s only true if your card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee which many do. Surprisingly, I ran into a lot of cash only areas.

    Have fun! Montreal is a blast.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    What's the tipping situation like? Is gratuity figured into the food cost and bill like they do in Europe (thus not expected), or is it still standard 20% cash on table or added on the card?

    Tipping is not included on the bill. 20% seems high to me but i kight just be a cheap bastard. I usually give 15%

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    20% seems high to me but i kight just be a cheap bastard. I usually give 15%

    Haha, I worked my way through college as a server at Denny's. 15% is definitely considered standard, but I understand the plight of the server, so I try to make it 20% whenever it's reasonable.

    #21 2 years ago

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    We did a grande tour of the city today. We went to the Biodome, explored the Olympic village and stadium, took an Uber up to Mont-Royal, walked to Notre-Dame Basillica, and ended with a trip to North Star.

    North Star was amazing. The pinball machines are impeccable, and the staff was super ultra friendly. Definitely recommend it. Also, the “D. Gottlieb and Co.” sign behind the bar was the original sign that was on the factory, I was told. Super cool.

    Biodome was such a cool place as well. People were nice all around, and my rather poor French skills weren’t needed.

    E1957B5B-B252-4419-98C6-3FE8618D6E62 (resized).jpeg
    29AA7699-0853-4F8D-AE55-FE00D70CB5F6 (resized).jpeg
    5D56397D-52E4-4469-8220-709C8DFF123C (resized).jpeg

    #22 2 years ago

    Glad you had a nice time in Montreal and the area. Olympic Stadium is a cool structure.

    I've wondered what happened to the Gottlieb sign from the Northlake plant & offices. That's definitely it as I've seen it on the building in the '70's & early '80's. They should simulate the original Orange neon with Orange LED's instead of white. But pretty cool to see that it lives on.

    #23 2 years ago

    Thanks! It’s a great little city. Very friendly people, immersive French, but 100% English when it’s important. It kinda reminds me of philly, as it’s a little smaller and quieter than larger cities.

    I wish I had taken more photos of the inside of the bar, but I wasn’t really thinking. The white backlighting definitely goes along with the decor more than a red/orange would, but red would be classic Gottlieb. Ah well. It’s just nice to see such an icon of Pinball alive and well in what’s definitely the coolest bar in the city.

    #24 2 years ago

    Haha..i am doing this exact same trip Nov 9th-16th.!! We only have one planned stop so far...Swartz deli for a smoked meat sandwich.. and now definitely hitting up the North star.. pinball, vinyl, cold beer..heaven! We are even staying at an air b&b..haha..cant wait!

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Ehhhh, I wouldn't say "awesome" what with all the slavery, Japanese internment camps, and other things that would never happen in a country that's truly the "land of the free." But I know what you're saying. Different topic indeed

    Well, Canada had Japanese Interment camps, too.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Canadian_internment
    ...And Slavery... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Canadian_internment
    ...In fact, slavery was done worldwide... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery
    (Note, I am not condoning slavery, just pointing out that America is not the only place where it took place.)

    #26 2 years ago

    Seriously...where is the best poutine place downtown Montreal?!?

    1 month later
    #28 2 years ago

    Love this town

    #29 2 years ago

    This is where we stayed! 19th floor!

    20171114_024526 (resized).jpg

    #30 2 years ago

    Schwartz Deli!

    20171113_203010 (resized).jpg

    #31 2 years ago

    La Brasserie le Pois Penche

    20171111_215253 (resized).jpg

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from Dee-Bow:

    Seriously...where is the best poutine place downtown Montreal?!?

    Strictly my opinion as a Montrealer :

    La Banquise

    Chien Chaud Victoire


    #33 2 years ago

    We just ate at Ruebens and it wasn't bad either! But we will definitely try your poutine recommendation tonite!! 24hrs @ Labanquise!! Wooot. Brazillian bbq tomorrow nite yet too!

    #34 2 years ago


    20171115_011151 (resized).jpg

    #35 2 years ago

    One of my regrets was that I was unable to stop by Schwarts Deli. Next time. Although, in the part of NJ that I live in, we have our fair share of really fantastic Jewish Delicatessens.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 7,599.00
    Pinball Machine
    Gulf Coast Pinball, LLC
    $ 16.95
    $ 199.99
    From: $ 5,899.95
    Pinball Machine
    Pinball Pro
    $ 49.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Pinball Photos
    $ 199.99
    $ 28.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    $ 69.99
    Lighting - Led
    $ 20.00
    Various Novelties
    GC Pinball
    $ 15.00
    Playfield - Protection
    Pin Mods
    $ 248.85
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    $ 80.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Back Alley Creations
    From: € 15.00
    Lighting - Led
    $ 2.50
    Playfield - Decals
    Doc's Pinball Shop
    $ 7,999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Nitro Pinball Shop
    $ 89.00
    Pappy's Pinball Palace
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Pinball Haus
    From: $ 5.00
    Cabinet - Other
    UpKick Pinball
    $ 15.00
    Lighting - Led
    3D MODS
    $ 54.99
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 9.99
    $ 20.00
    Various Novelties
    GC Pinball

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside