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Washington DC, Montreal or Toronto for a city break?

(19 Posts)
squashyhat Tue 15-Jan-19 11:05:05

I am looking to do a solo city break in March or April. I have been to most of the North American 'tourist' cities but never the above. Any thoughts on which would give me enough to do and be safe for a female solo traveller taking the usual precautions? (thinking here particularly of Washington) I like museums, galleries, historical sights and just wandering the streets.

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squashyhat Tue 15-Jan-19 18:50:38


OP’s posts: |
SleepWarrior Tue 15-Jan-19 18:57:03

I've only been to Toronto on your list, and it would certainly have lots to do and feel safe. It's not very historical though and would still be pretty cold in March (if that puts you off). Quebec city is lovely if you went to Montreal (about 3hours away).

SleepWarrior Tue 15-Jan-19 19:00:33

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 15-Jan-19 20:33:58

Have been to Washington a couple of times now and have always felt safe there both on my own and with my family.

Would be somewhat warmer than Toronto and Montreal in March also.

Moussemoose Tue 15-Jan-19 20:39:34

I've been to Washington but not the other places.

D.C. was great excellent museums and you can book tours of Congress. It felt safe - lots of secret service men about!

HundredMilesAnHour Tue 15-Jan-19 20:46:12

Washington DC makes a great city break for solo female travellers. Tons to see and do so no chance of getting bored at any time of year.

I like Toronto but it's much better in the summer as so much of the fun things to do are outside (like touring vineyards, Niagara etc) so sunshine and warmer weather makes a difference.

Have you considered Denver? Slightly longer flight but it's a very friendly city and gets surprisingly good (and sunny!) weather. The locals are lovely, there are some very good restaurants as well as art galleries. If you drive, it's easy to hire a car and head into the Rockies. I used to go Denver on business a lot and I love it.

kateemo Tue 15-Jan-19 20:49:07

Montreal. Been a traveller in all three and lived in one (DC). Love the hilly streets and vistas.

BubblesBuddy Tue 15-Jan-19 20:49:42

Washington would be my top pick too. There is so much to see and do. Stay in the well known tourist areas and you will be fine. The Georgetown area is great for restaurants. The weather should be ok. The Smithsonian museums are first class and you have the memorials, the important buildings of government, Arlington and so much more.

As an alternative, have you been to Philadelphia? Plenty to see and do there plus trips out into Pennsylvania.

MotherForkinShirtBalls Tue 15-Jan-19 21:23:13

Can I butt in, Op? I'm trying to decide between 4 days in DC or NYC in July, leaning towards DC. Could anyone recommend a place to stay in DC?

mumsiedarlingrevolta Tue 15-Jan-19 21:26:52

My Dd going to Washington next month for History trip.

All the museums they are meant to go to are currently closed due to govt shut down.

Assume won't last forever but seems a mess... worth bearing in mind.

maroondress Tue 15-Jan-19 22:02:54

I haven’t been to Montreal or Toronto so not sure how much help I can be but in 2017 I booked a random last minute trip to WC and I LOVED it. I had low expectations as just really didn’t want to spend Easter at home an BA had a sale on so I just went for it. We stayed at the Loews hotel which was near enough to most things and we basically walked everywhere.
I felt safe, it was clean and everything was just nice. I’d been to New York not long before and didn’t like it at all so went out with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

maroondress Tue 15-Jan-19 22:03:39

DC not WC Haha sorry 🚽

BubblesBuddy Wed 16-Jan-19 15:50:33

We stayed at The Westin Georgetown and The Omni Shoreham. I preferred the Westin. However to save time, make sure you are fairly close to an underground station. There is a line that mirrors The Mall but the distances are deceptive so don’t waste time waking for miles unless you really want to. I definitely preferred Georgetown but if you look at Washington, the hotels tend to be in clusters. Many are very business oriented because of government visitors but Georgetown has some beautiful old houses and more character. You don’t want to be walking miles for restaurants either.

SJane45S Thu 17-Jan-19 19:09:24

Not been to Washington but lived in Toronto & been to Montreal a couple of times - I'd go to Montreal out of the Canadian two! It's an attractive city with good parks & places to eat & I felt really at home there. It's in Quebec & French speaking but English is very widely spoken & it's friendly & feels a bit more European than Toronto. A lot of Canadians pronounce it the French way - Mon-re-al just so you know! Will be bloody cold though if you don't mind that!

squashyhat Wed 23-Jan-19 17:42:21

Sorry not to have come back sooner and said thanks for all your suggestions. Still pondering...

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TowerRingInferno Wed 23-Jan-19 17:59:15

Washington hands down (provided the shutdown is over). The museums are fantastic, some of the best in the world imho.

I found Toronto and Montreal pleasant enough but a bit dull.

littlemoon86 Wed 23-Jan-19 18:06:53

I live in Toronto and it’s anything but dull. Tons of things to do but I wouldn’t recommend March, might still be pretty cold then.

digitallyremastered Wed 23-Jan-19 18:08:32

Montreal is ok for about a day but not that exciting or interesting, especially for a European who is used to lots of older buildings anyway. The old town is nice but more impressive if you aren't used to that sort of thing. Of there and Toronto I'd go for the latter.

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