We go to Montreal several times a year for the past 20 years - it's a fabulous city. In a nutshell:
There are three distinct neighborhoods worth staying in
- The downtown which is like most big cities, but with a French twist. lots of big department stores, Museum of fine Arts, restaurants, pubs, big chain hotels, underground city (huge shopping malls & restaurants)
- The Old City, which is along the scenic riverfront. Very old, quaint. Lots of activity, touristy, somewhat expensive. Outdoor restaurants, street entertainers. Very picturesque. A bit of a walk from the Metro.
- The Plateau - the most European part of the city, centered around St. Denis above Sherbrooke. Very lively, many small shops, cafes, clubs, and restaurants (many are byob). Lots of street activity on Prince Arthur - outdoor dining, street entertainment. Duluth street is a great place to peruse interesting byob restaurants. As you may have guessed, this is our favorite area.
One biggie - if you are going to be there between 6/25-7/5 this when the Montreal Jazz fest happens - one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Lots of free outdoor concerts, located on St. Catherine St. downtown. If you like music, this is nirvana - however, rooms can be scarce, and prices can go up.
PM me if you want more info on activities, lodging, dining, etc.