I now have a new tale to add to my all-too-long list of most embarrassing travel moments. I was so incredibly excited to explore Montreal by moped with DYAD Montreal Tours. My All-in-One tour would have me zipping through four of Montreal’s districts after a short lesson and “driving test”. But I just couldn’t get the hang of the little electric moped (guess I won’t be zipping around Italy on a Vespa anytime soon then) in the parking lot. My guide, David, announced I had failed my moped driver’s test, so I’d be hopping on with him. I wasn’t too disappointed because now I could snap pictures instead of worrying about traffic.
Our small group headed out with David pointing out some of Montreal’s interesting spots, like Cinéma L’Amour, North America’s largest XXX adult movie theater (sounds so much nicer in French!) and a type of pharmacy that sells legalized marijuana. I certainly wouldn’t be visiting either of these establishments but it was interesting to hear a bit about their history!
We zoomed (alight, the mopeds top out at 24 miles per hour so maybe it wasn’t quite zooming) to my new favorite bagel shop ever, St-Viateur Bagel. Opened in 1957, the now legendary bagel shop operates 24/7 and sells over 1000 bagels each day! Their famous recipe was brought over from Eastern Europe by founder Myer Lewkowicz and to this day, each and every bagel is hand rolled, boiled, and then fired in the wood burning oven. Bagels quite literally don’t get any fresher than a hot-out-of-the-oven bagel at St-Viateur.
Fueled up with fresh bagels, we rode past the pizza shops of Little Italy and by the noodle bars of Chinatown. We bounced over the cobbles in Old Montreal as Notre Dame loomed above and by boats bobbing in the Old Port. David pointed out the chicest cafes, the kitschiest shops, and the most happening clubs. We paused at the foot of Mount Royal so David could point out where the unofficial tam-tams concerts take place every Sunday.
My favorite stop though was definitely the Jean Talon Market. We had time to explore the market on our own and it was a feast for the senses! From the fresh produce to the macaroons with googly eyes, my mouth watered. The sweet smells of maple syrup drifted throughout the market and the explosion of colorful flowers was a feast for the eyes.
David was a fantastic and entertaining guide, giving us all the insider tips for the city. I definitely had a great time with DYAD Montreal Tours, despite failing my scooter driving test, and felt like I knew the city like a native by the end of my truly unique tour!
Know Before You Go
- DYAD Montreal Tours are $89 per person and are available every day at 10:30am or 2pm. Tours last about 3 hours. Book online.
- No driver’s license is required, but you do need to be at least 18 years old.
- The scooters have a little compartment that can hold things like a small purse, a drink, or a camera.
- Bring cash for the Jean Talon Market as many vendors don’t accept credit cards.
Thank you to DYAD Montreal Tours for hosting me and to David for being such a fantastic guide! As always, all opinions are entirely my own.