Go The Distance: Montreal, Quebec

If you would love to head to Europe for break but lack the funds to get across the Atlantic, head north of the border to Canada to experience Montreal’s European vibe. And best of all: You don’t have to be 21 to indulge. Montreal’s drinking age is 18.


A direct flight from D.C. will take less than two hours and cost just over $400 roundtrip. And a $9 public transportation pass will give you unlimited metro and bus access for 24 hours.


The “M Montreal” hostel is housed in a 150-year-old mansion. Coed dorm rooms that sleep 16 are the cheapest option at under $20 a night. For more privacy, single-sex and private rooms are available. You can cook meals in the communal kitchen to cut back on costs. It is conveniently located near the Old Montreal area, the Latin Quarter and shopping thoroughfare St. Catherine Street.


Head to Old Montreal to explore the city’s European flavor with winding cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes and quaint shops.

Mount Royal is a great place to escape the bustle of the city. This “mountain” is a large park that rises above Montreal, providing beautiful views of the city below. You can get to Mount Royal via the No. 11 bus.

After taking in Montreal’s culture, go to Boulevard St. Laurent or Rue Crescent, two nightlife hotspots lined with bars and clubs.


Your visit would be incomplete without a taste of poutine, a Québécois specialty. Steaming layers of French fries, gravy-like sauce and cheese constitute the classic version of this calorie-laden dish, but many Montreal eateries offer their own spins. Maam Bolduc (4351 Avenue de Lorimier) serves a wide range of poutines, some with chili, onions and jalapeños, most at around $10. Many other late-night restaurants stay open to serve up poutine to party-goers stumbling home, so no need to search far after a long night out.

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