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Montreal City Holidays

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Often referred to as ‘The Paris of North America’, Montreal City makes an amazing destination and is an intriguing mix of tradition and innovation. Located in Quebec and nestled along the St. Lawrence River, the city – which is actually an island – welcomes visitors into its cultural hub of art, fine dining and unique history.

Montreal was discovered 350 years ago by French explorers, and the European influence has retained a captivating hold over the city ever since. The Quartier International de Montreal is full of peaceful streets, cultural treasures and some of the city’s best-known landmarks.

Love to shop? Then a Montreal city break is going to be just perfect for you. The famous Sainte-Catherine Street is 15 kilometres of department stores, artisan stores and high-end restaurants. Stroll further afield in the city and you will discover quirky boutiques and the chance to purchase some unique aboriginal folk art.

Experience Montreal with the Family | Canada Travel Specialists
Montreal Holidays | Explore Canada

Montreal Travel Guide

Things To Do in Montreal

1. Go Underground

Known as ‘The Underground City’, this vast network is a Montreal marvel. This city beneath the city is a huge web of train stations, hotels and museums – plus, it connects over 1,000 retailers and restaurants! As the largest underground complex in the world, Montreal’s underground is perfect for exploring if you are visiting the city in the long winter months.

2. Take a Ride at La Ronde

La Ronde is a great day out for all the family! Now owned by Six Flags, this amusement park is the largest in Eastern Canada and has been beloved by visitors since 1967. This theme park is home to over 40 rides and attractions including The Goliath, one North America’s highest and fastest roller coasters – perfect for the adrenaline junkie within you.

3. Visit Mount Royale Park

Mount Royal Park is one of Montreal’s most recognisable landmarks. Composed of 343 acres of beautiful forest, this picturesque park rewards those who make their way to the summit with panoramic views of the Ile de Montreal and St. Lawrence River. Make your way to Beaver Lake and enjoy the restaurant-bistro on the waterside, or visit on a Sunday morning to catch the Tim Tams, an outdoor drum jam that draws a crowd and some of Montreal’s most talented musicians.

4. Admire Notre Dame Cathedral

One of the most well-known buildings of Montreal, this basilica is an architectural wonder from the Gothic revival that will enchant any visitor. Packed full of sculpture, mosaics and stained glass, the cathedral is also home to the largest Casavant organ and the biggest church bell in Northern America. Make sure you check out the Chappelle du Sacre-Coeur, hidden behind the main altar.

5. Wander the Botanic Gardens

Regarded as the jewel of the city, the Montreal Botanical Gardens are recognised as one of the best in the world. Take some time to leisurely explore over 20,000 species of plants and 10 exhibition greenhouses, gazing in awe at the ponds, bonsai and orchids in the themed gardens. The Garden also offers a varied program of events and activities all year round, so there is plenty to see in this natural oasis.

Places to Eat in Montreal

1. Garde Manger

Located in Old Montreal, this quaint restaurant is perfect for a relaxing dining experience. Focused on seafood-fusion – lobster poutine, anyone? – the daily menu is written on a blackboard so that the chefs only use what is fresh that day. Make sure you ask for a deep-fried mars bar!

2. Patati Patata

Patati Patata is a small, quirky restaurant is known throughout the city for its delicious poutine – some even say it’s the best in Montreal. This restaurant is beloved for its colourful façade and welcoming family-style atmosphere; not to mention its decent prices, hearty portions and fantastic vegan and vegetarian options! Make sure you try more than the poutine – the burgers and beer are also delicious.

3. Depanneur Le Pick Up

A hidden gem off Boulevard St. Lauren, this is the perfect place for a takeaway lunch. Depanneur Le Pick Up serves daily specials and are known particularly for their gourmet breakfasts and delicious deli sandwiches. Grab some food to go – there are also many vegetarian-friendly options – and continue to explore the city.

4. Smoked Meat Pete’s

Famous across the city, Smoked Meat Pete’s is a popular choice as one of the best places in Montreal to sample the city’s famous smoked meat sandwich. Make sure you try one of the delicious delicacies on offer! Smoked Meat Pete’s also hosts live blues music 7 days a week, making it the perfect place to kick back with a beer and mingle with the locals.

5. Au Pied de Cochon

This upscale dining option is regarded as not only one of the best restaurants in Montreal but one of the best in the world. The menu is packed to the brim with high-end cuisine, from gourmet burgers to foie gras chips. If you can’t get a reservation, don’t worry – the owners have a second offering in the city, Sugar Shack. If you can’t get enough of the delicious food on offer, you can even buy merchandise and produce, including Canadian maple syrup for you to enjoy long after your trip is over.

Top Tips for Visiting Montreal

1. Montreal Delis

Schwartz’s is one of the oldest and most renowned delis in Montreal, and so are the incredibly popular – queues for their smoked meat sandwiches can stretch all the way around the block! Try and eat in off-peak times to reduce your waiting time. Alternatively, try Lester’s deli for delicious food with less of a wait.

2. Try a Montreal Bagel

You cannot visit the city without sampling one of the famous Montreal bagels. The Montreal offering is smaller, sweeter and denser than traditional bagels and is commonly adorned with poppy or sesame seeds. We recommend you head to St. Viateur or Fairmont to sample this Montreal delight – it will be like no other bagel you have ever had.

3. Experience a Montreal Festival

Montreal is known as the city of festivals, being host to the Grand Prix and Just for Laughs each year. The Montreal International Jazz Festival is also incredibly popular, featuring 11 days of all-day entertainment in July, with over 3000 artists performing in more than 650 concerts. The atmosphere in Montreal is electric during these events, making the festival season the perfect time to visit. Make sure you book your accommodation early, as prices can be higher and sell out fast.

4. Take a Tour of the City

A bus tour around Montreal is a great way to familiarise yourself with the city and will help you decide on what you want to see, do and explore further during your stay. If you would prefer to see the city on foot, you can also take a foodie walking tour around Old Montreal, so you can fill your mind and your stomach at the same time!

5. Visit a Market

Montreal is packed full of artisan markets that are the perfect place to spend your souvenir money. Discover local crafts and produce and buy something unique for your loved ones – or why not treat yourself to commemorate your unforgettable trip to the city? There is a never-ending supply of maple-themed gifts and produce around the city!

The second-largest city in Canada, Montreal is more than a great cultural haven. The city is home to exciting nightlife, with quirky pubs and high-end bars that will keep the young at heart entertained until the early hours of the morning.

If you are looking for the perfect romantic getaway, Montreal is the perfect city to fall in love all over again. Grab a strong coffee with that special someone and watch the world go by in Square St. Louis, one of the oldest and most beautiful public squares in the city.

Montreal is home to numerous fascinating neighbourhoods, many of which can be accessed by the extensive underground network that the city is famous for. Why not also use the underground walkways to explore Montreal’s famous culinary scene? The city is full of French-inspired cuisine, high-end fine dining and cheap eats that will delight all of your senses.

Would you love to visit this stylish, picturesque and multicultural city? A visit to Montreal will provide you will experiences that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in North America. With direct flights, hotels and car hire, we'll cover it all, so get in touch today and embark on the holiday of a lifetime with Canada Travel Specialists. We can provide a personal advisor who will custom-design your itinerary to fit your requirements, low deposits and fantastic holiday payment plans – there has never been a better time to jet off to ‘La Belle Ville’.