Montréal is by far Canada’s most cosmopolitan city. Toronto may have the country’s economic power and Vancouver its most majestic scenery, but the centuries-old marriage of Protestant English and Catholic French cultures that defines Montréal has given the city a dynamic allure that is unique in North America. Its captivating atmosphere combines the best of both traditions, tempered with the Scottish merchants and Irish workers who built much of the city and also the diverse mix of Italians, Greeks, Eastern Europeans, Jews, Chinese and Portuguese who have put down roots in various neighborhoods over the last century. And yet Montréal’s free-spirited ambiance – at once laid-back and highly style-conscious – is a product of the city itself rather than merely a sum of its multiethnic parts. To help you get the most out of your visit to Montreal, here are the top 10 things you can do in Montreal.
Marvel at Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden)
Montréal’s Jardin Botanique is the third-largest botanical garden in the world, after London’s Kew Gardens and Berlin’s Botanischer Garten. Since its 1931 opening, the 75-hectare garden includes tens of thousands of species in more than 20 thematic gardens. Its wealth of flowering plants is carefully managed to bloom in stages. Head east to see the pagoda-dotted Chinese Garden and serene Japanese Garden, the highlights of this sprawling botanical oasis.
Visit Musée d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de Montréal
Musée d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de Montréal is an archaeology and history museum that uses the most advanced technologies available to provide visitors with a survey of the city’s history. Attractions include a multimedia presentation, a visit to the vestiges discovered on the site, excellent models illustrating the stages of Place Royale’s development, holograms and thematic exhibitions
Explore The Village
The heart of Montréal’s gay and lesbian community, this vibrant neighborhood offers an abundance of restaurants, cafés, bars and shops
Snack on a fresh Montréal bagel
Fans say the city’s bagels are better than New York’s. Decide for yourself by joining the queues at the Mile End bagel bakeries and tasting one straight from the oven
Visit La Ronde Amusement Park
The La Ronde amusement park is chockfull of world-class roller coasters, Ferris wheels and rides that will delight thrill-seekers young and old.
Laser Quest will thrill people of all ages who relish interactive science-fiction games. Two teams battle it out with laser light guns in a labyrinth spread out over three floors. Laser Quest can welcome up to 30 people and offers some 40 different games.
Montréal is full of places that are easily accessible by bus or metro. Here you can enjoy lovely skiing excursions in settings that often make you forget all about the city. In addition, standing on your skis at the top of Mount Royal and admiring the downtown office buildings is an unforgettable experience that few cities can rival!
Cyclists will be thrilled to discover nearly 600km of interesting bicycle paths that traverse the island of Montréal. A map of the paths is available at tourist information offices.
Montréal is easy to explore on foot. However, those who would like to roam about magnificent green spaces that have yet to be taken over by asphalt and concrete will find that Montréal also has hundreds of kilometers of trails, which offer a delightful means of soaking up the beauty of these vast, rolling expanses of land. Some of the few spots you can enjoy include Morgan Arboretum, Mount Royal Park, Parc-Nature du Bois-de-Liesse, Parc-Nature du Cap Saint-Jacques, Parc-Nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation, Parc-Nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies, Parc-Nature du Bois-de-l’Île-Bizard and Parc Maisonneuve.
Ice skating has not lost any of its popularity in Montréal. This sport is inexpensive and requires a minimum amount of equipment and technique. During the winter, a number of public skating rinks appears in the city. Some of the best ones include Lac aux Castors, Mount Royal Park, Parc La Fontaine, Bassin Bonsecours and Parc Maisonneuve.
Now you definitely need to book a flight, right? HERE a guide for how and where to get cheap flights