Montreal Botanical Garden

Montreal Botanical GardenFor our next healthy travel tour, we’re going to visit the unique city of Montreal, located in the Canadian province of Quebec. This incredible city showcases a culture that’s the perfect blend of the city’s old French roots and a thriving modern metropolis.

A glance at the various neighborhoods in Montreal provides the perfect picture of a culture that still respects its past while looking forward into its future. From horse-drawn carriages making their way down cobble-stone streets of Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal) to a unique housing project that looks like stacks of boxes on top of each other—there’s plenty to see and do here. Even the most adventurous tourists will enjoy the parks, activities, and underground shopping centers.

While walking is generally the best way to get around the city, you may want to consider the convenient and inexpensive public transit system for lengthier trips.

And since most of the locals speak mainly French, you’ll also want to bring a translation dictionary to help you get through your trip with ease.

So here you go, your itinerary to five healthy days in Montreal. Bon Voyage!

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Head over to Vieux Montreal and grab a delicious French breakfast at Restaurant A L’aventure. Try a fresh egg omelet or treat yourself to a delicate fruit crepe.
  • Workout: Rent a bike at Ca Roule Montreal and enjoy a nice ride along the St. Lawrence River, or explore local neighborhoods.
  • Lunch: Try a Polish dish, such as a traditional soup or chicken dish at Stash Café.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Pointe-a-Calliere, also known as Montreal’s Museum of Archaeology and History, is a great way to introduce yourself to the city. View exhibits covering the development of the city or take a trip underground to view an archaeological dig of the city’s original foundations from the 17th century.
  • Must-See Attraction: Speaking of underground, you’ll want to check out the Underground City, which is a network of eight different shopping centers joined by walkways below the city streets. Very cool!
  • Dinner: Celebrate your first day with dinner at the beloved French restaurant, Toque! Try the Atlantic Halibut, which is a fan favorite that includes fresh fish, tomatoes, zucchini, and red bell peppers.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Enjoy a massive fruit platter with a side of eggs and toast at Chez Cora.
  • Workout: Whether you’re a seasoned climber or not, try a little rock climbing at the indoor gym, Centre d’escalade Horizon Roc. There are plenty of beginner options, and it’s a great workout!
  • Lunch: If you’ve worked up an appetite, take your pick from one of the many hearty salads at Madisons.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Montreal Botanical Garden is the third largest in the world, and features 30 different thematic gardens. They even have a poisonous plant garden!
  • Must-See Attraction: The Biodome is the former location of the Olympic bicycle-racing stadium and the current home of four different ecosystems. Feel the changes in temperature as you walk through the polar environment to the tropical rainforest, and then from the Laurentian forest to the St. Lawrence marine setting. Enjoy both the flora and fauna native to each habitat… even penguins!
  • Dinner: Poutine is a local favorite that consists of French fries, cheese, and gravy—yes, not the healthiest, but you walked a lot today. But La Banquise is considered the best place to try it, and offers up to two dozen types of the popular dish. Split the veggie poutine and enjoy a fresh sandwich.

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Lay off the eggs benedict and try a fruit platter at the local diner, Dame Tartine.
  • Workout: Swim a few laps over at Montreal’s incredible public pool, Complex Aquatique de L’ile Ste-Helene.
  • Lunch: Enjoy a fresh fish dish, such as the roasted cod or the seared white tuna, over at Verses.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Notre-Dame Basilica was built in 1824 and is the largest cathedral in North America. Visitors of all backgrounds and religions will enjoy the intricate detail of this tremendous Gothic church that can fit 4,000 worshippers. If you can, try to see the La Lumiere Fut, which is a light and sound show that illustrates the history of Montreal.
  • Must-See Attraction: Yes, there are a lot of architectural wonders in Montreal. So, next, visit St. Joseph’s Oratory, which was designed in the Italian Renaissance style.
  • Dinner: Montreal may be rooted in a history of French culture, but you can still enjoy a delicious Portuguese dinner at Ferreira Café, which features healthy fine dining options.

Day 4:

  • Breakfast: Stop by Crème De La Crème for a coffee and scone to kick off the day.
  • Workout: Go kayaking along the St. Lawrence River with Kayak Sans Frontieres—or try river surfing if you’re feeling adventurous!
  • Lunch: Refuel at El Chalateco with a healthy seafood lunch.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Indulge in a spa treatment at Ovarium, one of Montreal’s most popular day spas.
  • Must-See Attraction: Jean-Talon market is a huge open-air market that features cuisines, fresh produce, cheese, and foods of all kinds. Not too much frommage!
  • Dinner: End the night with dinner at ChuChai, a highly rated and healthy Thai restaurant.

Day 5:

  • Breakfast: Go for the granola parfait and a cup of coffee for breakfast at Nocochi.
  • Workout: Parc du Mont-Royal offers some breathtaking views of the city—go for a run or walk around the park. Dare to try ascending the park’s famous 761-foot hill!
  • Lunch: Café Bistro Serafim offers plenty of organic dishes, many of which are Mediterranean-influenced. Try the vegetarian moussaka or the chicken kebabs.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Head over to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which is one of the most prestigious museums in the city. Enjoy pieces by artists such as Rembrandt, El Greco, Picasso, as well as fine artwork by Canadian artists.
  • Must-See Attraction: Go see a classical music performance at L’Orchestre Symponique de Montreal.
  • Dinner: While not the healthiest, smoke meat is a specialty in Montreal. Head over to Chez Schwartz Charcuterie Herbaique and split a sandwich and salad with your travel partner.
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About The Author

Monica Montesa is a writer at Scribewise. An explorer and foodie at heart, she loves traveling to new places and discovering exotic cultures and cuisines. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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