Top 10 Montreal & Quebec City Paperback – Mar 15 2010
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The only problem is after visiting some of the top-10 spots I find myself disagreeing with the choice of the author. While some interesting spots were left out of given less attention. Some information is also outdated or incorrect, such as museum opening hours.
For example, while the cross on Mount Royal has historical significance, the steel structure itself is unimpressive and I doubt whether it's worth walking half-way through Mount-Royal Park just to see the cross.
Another example is the Museum of French America in Quebec city, which houses many interesting exhibits but it wasn't even mentioned in the guide.
Apart from tourists spots, I also find myself disagreeing with some top-10 restaurants picks. For example, the Alphenaus restaurant (in downtown Montreal) recommended by the guide is located in a kind-of-run-down neighbourhood and AAA only gives it 2 diamonds. There are some good picks though, like Le Latini in Montreal.
One last glitch about this travel guide is the inclusion of some seemingly irrelevant information. While it's good to know about Celine Dion or the separatist movement, I'm not sure how useful that information is to my trip.
Clear, concise, numbered list of tourist attractions, restaurants, etc. Also some travel tips. Most attractions lists are show on mini-map and nearest metro station, which makes the job of finding that attraction/restaurant a lot easier.
some out-dated information, some top-10 picks questionable
This is an excellent guide to accompany anyone travelling to Montreal/Quebec city
However, this particular Top 10 guidebook -- Montreal and Quebec City -- only gets four stars because of various odd omissions.
There's no map of the Montreal Metro. Why not?
Although the book covers both Montreal and Quebec City, it neglects to provide information on how to get from one to the other. Is there a train? If so, how often does it run? How much does it cost? How long does it take? Are there busses? How long to drive from one city to the other by car? All this should have been described in detail.
Also, the book is needlessly vague at times. The author says that a taxi from the Montreal airport to downtown should be avoided because they're "too expensive." But what exactly is "too expensive"? $50? $100? More?
Currently, there is a fixed price of $35 Canadian dollars for a taxi from Trudeau airport to downtown Montreal. That's not exactly cheap. But, if you've ever taken a black cab from Gatwick to downtown London, you know it isn't truly expensive either.
The author should just list current prices and let the reader decide what is "too expensive."
Otherwise, though, the book is quite helpful.
The guide takes a pyramidal approach to the sights of your destination. So you slowly can work yourself through the areas that really interest you by easily skipping things you would not want to see or visit at all.
It also makes it easy to find the things that are important to you because the descriptions are small enough and pictures further make it easy to attract your interest or pass things by.
The MINUS: 4 Stars!
The good about the Maps is that they are there at all and also that there is an index of some streets.
The contained foldout maps though helpful when there is nothing else at all are not my favorite because they are quite small and are more an overview to identify the area where something is to be found on a better more detailed map. The same maps as the foldouts are also on a separate map that is detachable. This is a good idea but they are way to small and hard to read especially in dim light and in an awkward format to be really useful. - When available, I rather get a local map from the tourist office and transfer my destinations to it.
SUMMARY: 5 Stars!
This guide is an extremely useful sightseeing guide and small enough to be carried with you all the time for quick reference. It also allows you to choose the amount of detail you want to follow for the town: top 10 Highlights - top 10 to each highlight - top ten to some general categories like museums, bars, hotels, restaurants, shopping, and also some specific categories just for this destination like historic sights in old Quebec or places of natural beauty.
Just watch out for one quirky approach of this specific TOP 10 guide: the top ten list contains sights for BOTH cities. Listing the top tens for each city individually would have been a better choice because they are too far apart to visit them together and mix their top 10s.
Insider tips or as they call the sections: "Street smart" round up this little guide. The maps are OK but could be improved. The deficiency of the maps though should not detract from the overall usefulness of this guide for your destination. This is true for a first time visitor with limited or all kinds of time and also for the return visitor, who wants to to repeat some destinations in more detail or avoid the same old top ten but venture out into new territory.