Montreal Canada is the hub of the completely unique French-Canadian culture as the capital of Quebec, . The majority of the population speak French as a first language, and the city combines French sophistication and culture with the friendly Canadian spirit.
Montreal is home to Just for Laughs, the biggest comedy festival in the world, and a packed festivals and culture calendar which has attracted many tourists to the city who quickly discover its unique charm.
Montreal is named after the three hills that mark the island, and the home of Montreal's biggest park. The beautiful wooded park, designed by the same person who landscaped Central Park, is a great spot for taking photos of the Montreal skyline. It also has a lake and hosts cultural events throughout the year. Explore the sculpture park or have a go on the dry ski slope that overlooks the city. In the winter, many locals take advantage of the hills to go sledging and tobogganing in the snow.
Most visitors to Montreal will start their sightseeing in the old town, containing some of the oldest buildings in North America. Where the financial district's skyscrapers dominated downtown, Old Montreal is an attractive set of streets where fine, French-influenced architecture can be found on every corner. It is home to the grand Bonsecours Market, the historic city hall, and the incredible Notre-Dame Basilica, a dramatic gothic style building that is one of its kind in Canada.
You can spend the whole day wandering around the cobbled streets, plazas and bridges of Old Montreal, and there are even authentic horse drawn carriage tours around the district so you can explore in a Victorian fashion!
Things To Do
Eat Like a French-Canadian
One of Montreal's most famous exports is Poutine, a dish of french fries and gravy topped with squeaky cheese curds. The best way to eat poutine is from a 'chip wagon' which can be found on most of the main streets and plazas in Quebec. If you want to try a more gourmet option, the lobster poutine at Garde Manger is one of the most talked-about dishes in the city.
Other local treats include a plethora of bagel shops (the local favourite snack), maple candy and the “flat burger” from the local Dic Ann franchise. You certainly won't go hungry!
Originally built for Expo 67, Biosphere is a huge, transparent geodesic dome in the city which now houses a fascinating museum about the environment. Montreal is a city that wears its green credentials on its sleeve, and the museum teaches visitors all about weather, energy, air quality and global warming. Most of the exhibits are interactive and make for a fun and informative day out in gorgeous surroundings.
Where to Stay
Montreal has become a trendy spot, and a lot of the nightlife and trendy bars can be found the The Village, which is also home to a bevvy of boutique hotels like the Hotel Felix or the Aux Studios, a set of apartments in the centre, if you value your privacy.
For a luxury option, you can't go wrong with the St Paul hotel in old Montreal. This 'design hotel' delivers cool minimalist chic in a brilliant location. Highlights include Hambar, one of the trendiest bars in the area, selling premium drinks alongside Spanish serrano ham.