Montreal

Well-educated people and yummy food in French-speaking Canada.

Explore Montreal's rich history in Old Montreal, diverse cuisine with local bagels and poutine, art at the Fine Arts Museum, and scenic Mount Royal Park.

4.2
out of 5

Montreal, a city shaped by its French and English heritage, is the largest in Quebec province and vibrant with a blend of culture and history. The city's landmarks include the Gothic Revival Notre-Dame Basilica, the cobblestoned streets of Old Montreal, and Mount Royal Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Montreal is also recognized for its influential arts scene, diverse gastronomy, and prominent festivals, such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Old Montreal

Amid the modern skyline of Montreal lies Old Montreal, the historic heart of the city that echoes its French colonial past. Visitors can walk along the Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal's oldest street, where horse-drawn carriages still roam. A notable historical site is the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, which presents archeological discoveries and insights into the city's origins. The nearby Notre-Dame Basilica attracts visitors with its impressive interior.

Montreal Cuisine: A Taste of the City

Food enthusiasts visiting Montreal should not miss trying local specialties. The city is famous for its bagels, which are smaller, denser, and sweeter than their New York counterparts, baked traditionally in wood-fired ovens at places such as Fairmount Bagel or St-Viateur Bagel. Poutine, a comfort dish of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy, is a must-try at La Banquise, known for offering numerous variations. For a unique dining experience, head to Jean-Talon Market, one of the largest public markets in North America, to sample fresh local produce and gourmet products.

Celebrating Culture at Festivals

Montreal's cultural events calendar is packed throughout the year, offering a variety of experiences for all interests. The aforementioned Montreal International Jazz Festival aside, other notable events include Just for Laughs, the largest international comedy festival, and Igloofest, an outdoor electronic music festival held during winter months. These events capture both the city's sense of humor and its ability to party against the backdrop of chilly winters.

Key Attractions Beyond the Historical

Mount Royal Park

A visit to Mount Royal Park offers a natural retreat with a view. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, it is ideal for picnics and provides lookouts offering panoramic views of downtown Montreal.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts displays an extensive art collection ranging from classical to contemporary pieces. It's a centric spot for exploring the city's artistic heritage.

Olympic Park

The Olympic Park, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, features attractions such as the Montreal Tower Observatory and the Biodome, where visitors can walk through replicas of four American ecosystems.

Affordability and Safety

Montreal is generally considered a safe destination with various budget-friendly options. Affordable accommodations can be found in areas like Plateau-Mont-Royal or near University campuses. For eating on a budget, food trucks and local delis offer high-quality meals without the high price.

Embracing Nature in the City

The Lachine Canal is a favorite among locals for biking and kayaking in summer or skating in winter. Additionally, the Botanical Garden offers an extensive collection of plants in thematic gardens, making it a tranquil spot within the urban hustle.

Daily Life and Local Atmosphere

Montreal is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own character. The Plateau is recognized for its colorful murals and laid-back cafes, while Little Italy is home to espresso bars and trattorias. The fusion of languages, from French to English, creates a cosmopolitan milieu that is both dynamic and warm.

Navigating Montreal

Public transport in Montreal is efficient with an extensive metro and bus network. A single journey on the STM transport system covers one metro ride and unlimited bus travel within a certain time frame. For those favoring active travel, BIXI, the city's bike-sharing system, provides an alternative way to explore different neighborhoods.

Average temperatures during the day in Montreal.
June
24°
Jul
26°
Aug
25°
Sep
20°
Oct
13°
Nov
5°
Dec
-3°
Jan
-5°
Feb
-4°
Mar
2°
Apr
11°
May
19°

What people say about Montreal

4.2
People
4
Food
4
Spaces
4
Value
4
Safety
4

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