If you love the arts, festivals, good food, and simply enjoying life, you have to visit Montreal, the largest city in Quebec. The mix of French and English creates a unique cultural mash-up of European and North American influences throughout the city. The Quebecois people are one of the best parts of Montreal, as they personify the joie de vivre.
After leaving your bags at one of the many hotels in Montreal, head out to explore this charming city. Then make your way through this list of the best things to do in Montreal, Quebec.
Admire the Arts and Architecture
The way that Montreal combines old European style with contemporary design is superb. You can see it around every corner. When taking a stroll around Old Montréal, you’ll want to photograph the picturesque 18th-century facades. In the downtown area, you’ll find a plethora of modern shops and restaurants.
Don’t miss a visit to the Basilique Notre-Dame, an architectural marvel built in the 18th century. For some 20th-century icons, check out the Montreal Olympic Stadium or the fascinating housing project, Habitat 67. Art lovers should look no further than the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, which houses a collection of fine arts spanning several millennia.
Attend a Festival or Two
Montreal doesn’t hold back when it comes to public celebrations of the arts. The city hosts more than 90 different festivals, many in conjunction with its hundreds of theater and dance companies. Visitors and residents can attend many of these events at no cost.
Every year, the city hosts the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which fills the heart of the city with jazz and blues music. Jazz is the headline event, but throughout the year, festivals celebrate world cinema, comedy, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Montrealers also take pride in their food. The city is brimming with creativity that doesn’t stop at the kitchen. With exquisite patisseries, cozy English pubs, luxurious bistros, Jewish delis, and splendid food markets, Montreal offers the ideal culinary experience.
Marché Jean-Talon is a huge open-air market located in the Little Italy district. Here you’ll find the freshest products from vendors selling produce, meats, cheeses, fish, baked goods, and more.
Head to vibrant Rue St-Denis in the Quartier Latin to enjoy bistros and bars. Work up an appetite shopping in the boutiques and hip record shops in this area.
Experience Winter Wonderland
Montreal’s northern location means long, cold winters, which Montrealers experience to the fullest. They love the warm summer days, but they don’t miss out on celebrating winter. They enjoy cozy pubs and warm fireplaces as well as skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing down the slopes of nearby mountains.
In Montreal, you can also spend some time indulging at a steaming sugar shack. In these old cabins, the sap of maple trees boils down into maple syrup. Many sugar shacks also offer tours, sleigh riding, and samples of maple toffee.
No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll fall in love with Montreal.
Featured Image via Flickr by abdallahh