6 Things You Should Know About Montreal
Montreal is the city to go to if you’re looking to have a good time on a budget! I only live five hours away from there so after the first time I went there, it became one of those “well, why not?” weekend trips. It’s funny how many cities are only a few hours away from us but that we never think of visiting. I had no idea what to expect going to Canada. Living in the U.S., I’ve always thought that more or less it would be just like home. Sure, it’s a different country and yeah okay maybe they do speak French instead of English but really, I still expected it to be the same.
Although the cities were more similar than different, Montreal had a completely different vibe that I wasn’t used to. Their architecture is way more “old school” and the city was alive at night. Boston is a college city but Montreal puts it to shame because I swear, everyone in that city is young! It might also be because the drinking age is 18 but all of their restaurants, bars, and clubs have this fun, young adult vibe to it. Everyone there was so chill and the environment just makes you want to enjoy the moment and have fun with your friends instead of being rushed, which is the common lifestyle for New Englanders like myself.
McGill and Concordia are the two big universities so there are students that come from all over to study in the city. One time I was at a restaurant with my friends and we heard people chanting something on the second floor. Curious, we headed up there surprised to find that drinking with your peers was part of their freshman orientation! Not going to lie.. I was a bit jealous. My freshman orientation consisted of awkward conversations and failed attempts at making friends but it seemed like everyone there was getting along great! If it wasn’t for the cold, it would honestly be a city I’d consider living in..
What You Should Know:
1. If you tell someone you live in the U.S., they’ll say “oh the states?” and then proceed to rash on your life because they think Trump is a joke along with our government. If you agree though, you’ll both end up laughing and becoming friends over it so it’s really not that bad… but seriously though, I got this at least three times when I went lol.
2. Come with Canadian money. I know you’re probably like “well duh” but I’ve realized a lot of people think they can use American money everywhere there, which you can’t. Depending on where you live too, it’s so close that many people go unprepared. You can exchange your money in every city, along with many ATMs that work with your bank. The reason I say to bring some cash though is because if you need food quick or to put gas in your car, not only will most places not accept your money and you’ll be stranded, but also because if these places do accept your money, they’ll accept it as Canadian money which is worth less than the American dollar.
3. Not everyone speaks English.. and yes, that includes your Uber driver.. and yeah, possibly the cute boy/girl at the club that you want to flirt with too. Just something to keep in mind but don’t worry about it too much. You are going to come across people who don’t know how to but I’ve even met some people who live in Montreal and don’t speak a word of French so you should be fine.
4. If you are single and ready to mingle, you’ve come to the right place. People here have a really good sense of style AND they have an accent, so falling in love shouldn’t be too hard. Especially if you find yourself someone French, then you might as well just move there and get married. The men and the women are really attractive. There’s no chance that you’ll go out for a walk and not see someone that catches your eye. Did I mention that man buns are big there? Yeah ladies, get excited.. but wait, don’t get too excited. The gay population is high there so you can flirt all you want but it won’t get you anywhere (unless you are gay then be excited because damn these men are beautiful.)
5. These people have high taxes! You get a provincial tax on most goods and services of almost 10% and a federal tax of 5%. Basically, you’re legally getting robbed. Since our dollar is worth more then I guess it isn’t that big of a deal but if you’re from a country where your currency is worth less then get your pockets ready.
6. Eat Poutine. I had never even heard of this before I went but you know how every city has that one thing you need to try? Well, this is it. Some places like to serve a meal with french fries on the side but not Montreal. What it is, is basically french fries with everything on top. I’m talking cheese, gravy, meat, vegetables, you name it. You get to mix and match all you want with the ingredients and It really fills you up too. It’s delicious, don’t leave the city before having one.