As the largest city in Canada’s Québec province, Montreal is home to close to 2 million residents. Known as one of the most fascinating cities to visit in the country, Montreal is a buzzing cosmopolitan place that’s bursting with a wide range of attractions and activities and a great starting point for exploring Canada’s East Coast. If you’re looking for a thriving city that caters to all age groups, here are just 10 reasons to visit Montreal and why it should be next on your travel list.
No matter how long you have in Montreal, no trip to the city is complete without a visit to Old Montreal. Renowned for its historic architecture, and narrow cobblestone streets, Old Montreal is home to some of the most interesting boutiques and upscale cafés around. From the moment you set foot in Old Montreal, your first stop should be the Place d’Armes, which is a gorgeous public square that’s surrounded by important buildings such as the Notre-Dame Basilica. There are several neighborhoods dotted throughout Montreal that you should check out too, which are bursting with architecture, charm, and local life.
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Located in Montreal’s Little Italy, the Jean-Talon Market is a quirky old public market that’s open across the year. Once you hit the market, there are many stalls that sell a variety of produce, baked goods, fish, meat, and much more. Another awesome place to check out is Atwater Market, which is ideal for those who want to browse and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables. There are many food stalls dotted around the market too, where you can sample some of the tastiest home-cooked grub.
If you’re heading to Montreal in the winter months, there are plenty of activities that you can join in on. Many of the parks in Montreal offer cross-country skiing, including Parc du Mont-Royal. You can also go ice skating, sledding, or even hit the spa.
If a summer trip is on the cards, why not have a go at watersports? Whether it’s kayaking in Lasalle or river surfing on Montreal’s St-Lawrence River, there are plenty of fun activities to try out when in the city.
While there is plenty of fun to be had in the city, there may come a time where you want a break from the hustle and bustle. Thankfully, Montreal has a glorious park known as Parc du Mont-Royal which can be found high atop Montreal, providing you with breathtaking views, as well as trails for walking and jogging, not to mention all the lush greenery you can check out. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, getting some fresh air and taking in the stunning views will help make your Montreal trip one to remember.
From the moment you arrive in Montreal, prepare to feast on all sorts of tasty cuisine. Known for its diversity, the city has dishes from across the world, meaning no matter your taste buds, you’re bound to find something that you enjoy. While the city’s main influences are Irish and French cuisine, you must tuck into Poutine, which tends to be on most local menus. No matter your budget, there is a wide array of dining establishments to pick from in Montreal.
The city is famous for being one of the liveliest cities in North America, so for those who are after a place that turns wild and alive once the sun goes down, you must take a trip to Montreal. There are numerous establishments dotted across the city that specialize in all genres of music, meaning there is something for everyone to enjoy. What’s more, Montreal attracts some of the planet’s most famous DJs, so if your plan is to dance the night away, you’re in the right place. Note that although the legal age to drink in Montreal is 18, there are some clubs, pubs, and bars that will not admit individuals who are under 21 years of age.
There are tons of events and festivals that take place in Montreal throughout the year, with one of the most popular being the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. Whether you’re a fan of reggae music or electronics is more your thing, there are tons of events that you can purchase tickets for which will provide you with plenty of live entertainment.
Shop Till You Drop
Montrealers are famous for their eclectic and quirky style, so if you’re looking for a new piece for your closet, the city has everything you could possibly want and more. As one of the top retail destinations in the country, you must begin your shopping extravaganza at the Eaton Centre mall, which is located in downtown Montreal, before heading west along Rue Sainte-Catherine. On your journey, you will have the opportunity to check out over 1,2000 upscale chain stores, as well as unique boutiques and department stores. You’ll also find a lot of souvenir shops that can be a great memento gift for friends or family.
Galleries & Museums
If you’re a lover of history, art, culture, and science, Montreal has you covered. With a wide range of galleries and museums, there are many exhibits to feast your eyes on. For example, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts plays host to some of the world’s greatest art, antiquities, and archeology items. If you’re a nature lover, you just have to visit the Biosphere, Planetarium, and Insectarium. No matter the type of gallery or museum you plan on visiting, make sure that you look into opening days, times and fees beforehand to avoid disappointment.
As you wander through Montreal’s dynamic neighborhoods, prepare to be amazed at all the fascinating street art around you. The vibrant street art can be found scattered across buildings throughout the city, making Montreal one of the most creative hubs in the country. Rather than dismissing it, the city celebrates its street art, and it even has certain zones where local street artists have the full freedom to get creative. So no matter where you are in the city, there are tons of eye-catching work to feast your eyes on.
Getting to Montreal
If you’re coming from the US, you can just hop on a train or bus, or rent a car for your trip to Montreal.
Whether you’re heading to Montreal for a solo break, with your partner, or as a family unit, the city is full to the brim with activities and attractions that cater to all age groups. Before you head out on your Montreal adventure, make sure that you create an itinerary to help structure your trip and ensure you get the most out of your time away.
Helpful resources for visiting Montreal
For cheap flights to Montreal, use this special offer by Air France to save up to 20% on all flights to Canada.
Looking for great accommodation deals in Montreal? Use my Booking discount coupon to get up to 15% off on all properties in Montreal.
Compare the best car rental deals and choose the best one while saving up to 30% with this special offer by AutoEurope.
Finally, don’t forget about travel insurance; it’s mandatory for all people who travel to Canada. I personally use and vouch for World Nomads– they have some of the best deals you can find.
Did you ever visit Montreal? What’s your favorite thing about it? If no, would you like to visit soon? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
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