Montreal is romantically traditional while at the same time its’ new and innovative. It has a small town European feel mixed with a dynamic cosmopolitan atmosphere. Located in the Canadian province of Quebec, it is the largest city in the province and the ninth largest city in North America. While the native language is French, most of the over 1 million Montreal residents speak English as well. Montreal is a place where you can find a great deal of things to do during any season.
Things to do:
Old Montreal is the oldest area in Montreal, with some buildings dating back to the 17th century. Walking through the cobblestone streets you can clearly see the European influence. There is plenty to see, eat and buy in this quaint area of the city. One of the important tourist sites to hit in this area is the Notre-Dame Basilica. The church is located at 110 Notre-Dame Street West. The exterior of the church is built in the Gothic Revival architecture style while the interior is grand, colorful, and beautiful. There are many other important sites to see but two others that you do not want to miss are the Botanical Gardens, a National Historical Site of Canada and deemed to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world as a result of the extent of its collections and facilities, and the Museum of Fine Arts, which is Montreal’s largest museum.
The best place for shopping in Montreal is Sainte Catherine Street, or Rue Ste-Catherine in French. At a little over 9 miles long it is one of North America’s longest and most dynamic shopping areas. You can find all types of stores here from trendy boutiques to the major chain stores. Montreal’s Underground City is also a great place to shop, as it is the largest underground complex in the world. Over 20 miles of tunnels spread throughout the city connecting shopping malls to apartments buildings, hotels, museums, banks, seven Metro stations, a regional bus terminal, and two commuter trains.
The food in Montreal has been influenced by many different cultures from around the world. You can find anything you want here. There are also many food festivals year round. Two of the biggest ones are Montreal En Lumiere and MTL a Table. During the summer there are around 350 food trucks that drive around the city serving all different styles of food. Additionally, there are many public markets, such as the Jean-Talon Market, which are popular with the locals.
Summer & Winter
There are many things to do both in the summer and the winter. It might be difficult to choose which season to visit Montreal in. Here are a few things you can do in each season.
Winter: Montreal is one of the few places in the world where you can cross-country ski, snowshoe, ice skate, ride snowmobiles, and go ice fishing all within city limits. While it does get extremely cold here, the snow capped buildings and parks aren’t a sight to miss. Additionally, there are many nearby ski resorts; traveling to them would be a great excuse to see some areas outside of the city.
Summer: During the summer months everyone is outside enjoying the beautiful weather.
Whether they are jet skiing or kayaking on the St. Lawrence River, biking along the river, or eating at one of the many food trucks, Montreal is a great place to visit in the summer. Moreover, there are many festivals during the summer months for those who are a fan of such events.
No matter what time of the year you plan on visiting Montreal, there is plenty of fun to be had! While this list gives a great overview of things you must do, see, and eat while you are there, there is lots more to do. To learn more check out tourisme-montreal.org and tripadvisor.com.