Centered on an island with a triple-peaked hill land-marking the city, the French brews , language and vibe, Gothic architecture dominating the buildings, churches widely dotting the landscape and bagels dripping with maple syrup, that is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world for you, Montreal. Montreal houses one of the largest underground cities in the world with a vast network of shopping complexes and offices.
Before you embark on a 5 day bag-packing tour with me, let me give you a background history behind this trip and why it meant so much to me, so much so that I wanted to do it solo.
So, quite some years ago, I was born in a quaint-little part of this city. My first school, first few friends, first written words (yes, they were in French), first couple of birthdays, holidays, were all this city, before my family shifted back to India, in the Himalayas.
As a 6 year old in a boarding school in India, I asked my parents if they would ever take me back and they told me that once I grew up and could fund my own trip, I could go back. And for 18 years, I carried the desire to go back to relive those scattered memories, revisit those places that I vaguely remembered and leave with a myriad collection of memories, that I can forever cherish.
And thus, when I found myself pursuing a masters in Toronto, I saved enough in 6 months (working as a teaching assistant), to fund my trip to Montreal. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.
My journey began at midnight aboard the night bus, operated by Megabus (Coach Canada) and roughly 6 and a half hours later, the bus drove into a dreary, wet and cold Montreal, to some disappointment. My stay was booked at HI hostels, Montreal, who allowed me to drop in my backpack till 3pm which is the check-in time. Megabus and Greyhound are two economical bus options for low-budget travelers and backpackers.
The HI hostel offers various options for budget travelers like 10/8/6/2 bunker-bed hostel rooms with warm breakfast for a good price starting from 20 CAD per day, if you choose the 10 bed option. A cozy little basement with billiards tables, some French music, a shared kitchen and bagels, fruits,cereals and coffee for breakfast, well, it is more than you can ask for. Moreover, the hostel runs daily walking tours to several sightseeing spots and cooking in the common kitchen, is instrumental in helping you meet fellow travelers and sharing stories. Hi Montreal hostel is comfortably situated at Mackay street between Downtown Montreal and the old city of Montreal and makes it easy to walk to all major sightseeing spots.