5 Reasons to visit Montreal

Montreal is vibrant metropolis nestled in the French-speaking province of Quebec that beckons travellers with its unique blend of European charm and North American flair. It offers visitors a rich history, diverse culture, captivating architecture, and an exceptional culinary scene. Whether you’re looking for incredible foodie moments, a bit of North America history, or simply seeking an unforgettable travel experience, Montreal has something to captivate every traveller. Here we look at just some of the countless reasons why you should consider visiting this captivating city.

Cultural Melting Pot

One of the most compelling reasons to visit Montreal on a guided holiday is its rich cultural tapestry. The city embraces its multicultural identity, blending French, English, and various immigrant cultures into a harmonious whole. Explore the historic streets of Old Montreal with its cobblestone lanes and charming architecture and wander through vibrant neighbourhoods like the Plateau-Mont-Royal.

Remarkable Architecture

Montreal's architectural landscape is a testament to its fascinating history. From the iconic Notre-Dame Basilica with its stunning Gothic Revival design to the modern marvels of Habitat 67, the city is a playground for architecture enthusiasts.

Habitat 67 is a housing complex located on an artificial peninsula designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie for the 1967 Expo. It is an architectural marvel of futuristic cube-like condominiums that exemplifies Montreal's forward-thinking and innovative spirit.

Located in the Old Town, the Notre Dame Basilica is one of Montreal’s most iconic landmarks. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by a stunning interior featuring intricate woodwork (just check out at the carved alter piece!), a grand pipe organ with seven thousand pipes, beautiful stained glass, and gilt stars on the ceiling.

The neo-classical Royal Bank Tower, once Montreal’s tallest building, restored in 2016. Its interior is home to a stunning marble mosaic floor and 50-ft vaulted ceilings, decorated by the Italian master Angelo Magnanti. You can stop here for a coffee and bagel and enjoy this wonderful surrounding.

Montreal is a perfect example of how old beautifully preserved heritage buildings can sit perfectly alongside new sleek skyscrapers.

Gastronomic Delights

Montreal is a culinary paradise, offering a delicious fusion of flavours from around the world. Visit the vibrant food markets, such as Jean-Talon Market where you’ll enjoy a feast for the senses with fresh produce, local delicacies, and international treats. From neighbourhood eateries to trendy restaurants there is something for everyone. Make sure you try Montreal-style bagels (hand-rolled and boiled in honey water before being baked), smoked-meat sandwiches (smoked beef brisket served with mustard on Rye bread), tourtiere (a traditional meat pie topped with flaky pastry) and of course, no trip is complete without indulging in Poutine, a Canadian comfort food of french fries covered with cheese curds and gravy.

Incredible outside spaces

The Parc Jean-Drapeau, is a popular recreational space for both the locals and tourists. Made up of two islands, on Saint Helen’s Island you’ll find the Biosphere, originally built for the 1967 World Expo, this geodesic dome now serves as a museum focussing on sustainability, ecosystems and ecotechnologies. Cross the bridge to Notre Dame Island and you’ll discover the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – a world-famous formula 1 racetrack. You can walk this 2.7mile circuit and enjoy the lush gardens, artworks and views of the Saint Lawrence River that surround it.

At the heart of the city is Mount Royal, follow a wooden staircase nick-named the ‘stairway to heaven’ to the Kondiaronk Belvedere Lookout with panoramic views over Downtown Montreal. You can also take one of the walking trails to the spiritual summit, a popular meeting point, where you’ll find the Croix du Mont-Royal. The first cross, originally installed in 1643 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, has undergone several renovations since and in 1924 an illuminated cross was installed by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society and gifted to the city a few years later.

Cultural and Artistic Enclaves

For those culture vultures, Montreal boasts numerous museums, art galleries, and theatres that highlight a diverse range of artistic expressions. The Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, and La Guilde are just a few of the venues that cater to art enthusiasts. Montreal’s vibrant theatre scene features both English and French productions, which only further enhances its cultural allure.

Montreal effortlessly weaves together history, culture, architecture, and culinary delights, offering a captivating experience and welcoming atmosphere for every visitor. Whether strolling through its historic streets, sampling its diverse cuisine, or simply being immersed in the city's vibrant ambiance, Montreal promises an unforgettable journey. So, is Montreal at the top of your travel list?

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