I understand this post is really really late and I’ve been awful at posting lately – I can give you a list of reasons but I won’t (except one – the fact that I have no internet at home). I do apologize and I promise you, I will find internet and make sure I do post everything about my trips in Montreal, because I loved it! :)
Trip to Montreal was fairly easy – but if there is one thing I would recommend is to not take the over night bus. I loved the idea of taking the bus overnight, sleeping and getting there early morning to explore and whatnot. Well.. with the bus stopping almost every hour and the driver turning on the bright lights (not dim red lights but like white florescent lights) each stop, there is no way you can sleep. I dozed off a few times each for a 30 minutes or so and that actually made me a lot more tired.
Getting through the border was quick and easy – just answer a few questions with a smile and a dose of politeness and it’ll be a quick and painless process. Just tell them why you are going, for how long, where you are staying and add a ‘merci!’ at the end. The trip to Montreal from the border is only 2 hours long – I loved it that by the time we got across the border, the sun was rising – it was the first sun rise I’ve seen in a while and I got to see it in Canada! I passed out for an hour after that and arrived at the bus stop in Montreal nice and sleepy.
I have to say – thank goodness for my awesome bus buddy Julien because I clearly had not planned this through before getting to Montreal. Didn’t know how to get to the hostel, what to do, or anything. Usually I plan everything but since the days before heading over was a bit hectic, it completely slipped my mind. I had no Canadian dollars, no map, nothing. But since Julien had already been there before, he led and I followed.
We got the 3 day metro pass for $16 – which is not bad considering one-way ticket is $3 and we took the metro a fair amount. Montreal Metro is the most simple, easiest I’ve seen – it was so straight forward and convenient. The Hostel is right off of the Lucien L’Allier station. We had to get off at the one before that due to some maintenance problem but the walk was really short and quick.
The check-in time for the Hostel was apparently 1pm so we waited in the lobby since I had to wait for my sister and her friends as well anyway. We ended up checking in past 2pm and was exhausted but got to drink some coffee and relax on the couch. HI-Montreal is small, cute and the staff are friendly. It was fully booked for the weekend but that wasn’t too much of a problem because it turns out there’s another HI around the corner! This one was smaller and was also almost full but all I really needed was a bed so everything worked out! Both HIs are on the expensive side, around 30-40 US dollars per bed but it is in a great location.
Unfortunately, the first half of our first day in Montreal was spent waiting for check-in. We did end up spending fair amount on their couches but we were definitely exhausted through out. Turns out, night buses, not the best idea.