January 5, 2014

5 Tips to Enjoy Montreal This Winter

While some of you prefer to go somewhere warm to escape the winter, others just can’t wait to put on their mittens, hats and boots to jump in the snow. Montreal, in Canada, is the perfect place to spend the winter season this year.
Winter sports in the heart of the city, incredibly warm people and amazing outdoors parties are waiting for you - and with these 5 tips, you’ll be sure to get the most out of it.
McGill College Avenue / Downtown
Credit : © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin

This might be obvious to some, but do expect cold (real cold!) and snow. Expect the worst, and prepare yourself for even worse. Temperatures can range from around 0 degrees to around -25 on the coldest days. Tip #1: get dressed! A hot coat, gloves, boots, everything… You’ll need it.
Montreal is located in the French-speaking province of Quebec. While some people do speak English, they always appreciate when tourists try their best French to communicate with them. Tip #2: learn to say “ Bonjour” (Hi) and “Merci” (Thank you) and you’ll be sure to make friends to accompany you on your winter sports adventures.
Because yes, Tip #3 is: get outside! It’s going to be freezing cold, but with the right equipment you’ll be able to enjoy winter in town and around. Here are some of my favorites.

Winter sports:

·       Ice skating in Parc La Fontaine, Parc Maisonneuve or in the Old Port : Montrealers love ice skating! The city has three major outdoor skating rings where families and friends gather. (Hint: it’s also very romantic at night!)
Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink
© MTTQ, Pictures Canada

Parc Maisonneuve
 © Ville de Montréal, Alain Chagnon
·       Snowshoeing on Mount Royal : enjoy a walk on the mountain or go cross-country skiing. Nature in the very heart of the city!
Mount Royal Park
© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin

Winter parties:

·       IglooFest (weekends of January & February 2014): Love electronic music? Love partying? This is THE event you won’t want to miss. Dance your heart out and you’ll even forget the cold.
© Miguel Legault

·       Montréal’s Nuit Blanche (March 1st, 2014): a whole night of activities, including musical performances, art exhibitions, dance and more! (Good to know: during this event, the subway is open all night long!)

If you’re visiting downtown, you might get cold walking around. Tip #4: stay underground! Almost all the downtown area is connected by underground “streets” where you can also do your shopping and eat.
To warm yourself up, you’ve also got to taste some of Montreal’s best coffee. There is a big coffee culture in the city and there are some really good coffee shops. Some of my favorite places downtown include Pikolo and Humble Lion. If you’re wandering a bit off the center, stop at Pourquoi Pas (in the Village), Café Volâne (in Petite-Patrie), Café Sardine (in the Mile-End) or Flocon Espresso (in the Plateau).
Bon voyage!
Caroline Cloutier is a French Canadian Food & Travel Writer currently living in Spain. She travels the world in search of the most tasting food and the best travel destinations. Get on board and follow her culinary adventures on her blog Where Caro Eats (www.wherecaroeats.com)! She’s also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/wherecaroeats) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/cloutiercaro).
More: embark on her journeys via Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/cloutiercaro), Instagram (www.instagram.com/cloutiercaro) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+CarolineCloutierComm)
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