Staying in the center of a city is almost always an amazing experience, but that exact experience can come at a pretty hefty price. I’m a strong proponent of staying in a hotel or Airbnb outside of the city center because of the unique experience it provides and the lower costs that come with it.
Most recently in Montreal, Ryan and I chose to stay in Verdun, an eclectic and diverse neighborhood in the southwest of the city. When Ryan first presented the idea to me I wasn’t very open-minded because of how far away the neighborhood looks on a map, but I soon realized that it is easily accessible via public transportation. The ride on the metro is between 20 and 25 minutes depending on which of the 3 Verdun stops that you utilize. Even if you choose to use Uber because of the convenience, the prices are low for a ride from most major parts of the city. We requested an Uber from the Village in the early hours of Monday morning and were pleasantly surprised that at such an odd time it cost less than $20 (CAD).
On top of the close proximity to more popular neighborhoods, the area offers an affordable alternative for lodging. I will almost ALWAYS suggest to use Airbnb over a hotel or hostel, and Verdun is the perfect place to stay in one. Click here to see the apartment that Ryan and I stayed in. I highly recommend staying here if your dates are available because the host was super helpful and the apartment was clean and comfortable. If you come to Montreal via car you should not have any issues with parking as long as you read the street signs and park in the appropriate locations on the appropriate days. (Don’t worry if you don’t speak French, Google Translate is your friend!)
When it comes to eating in Verdun you have options galore. There is a great mixture of chain restaurants among locally owned joints. One of the nights of our trip we ate at Bistro Garage Cafe. This was a bit pricier than some of the other restaurants in the area but it was everything I could have hoped for and more. The atmosphere was relaxed and casual, with large garage doors opening up the restaurant to the sidewalk seating. It appeared to be recently renovated and impeccably clean. The wait staff was friendly and helpful and the food was absolutely delectable.
Overall, Verdun was an amazing place to stay. We were able to stay outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown while also enjoying city life. The people were welcoming, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the experience was unique. Stepping out of our comfort zone allowed us to see a completely new side of Montreal and enjoy the parts of the city that we already loved.