Full of culture and stunning architecture, Montreal is an outstanding option for travellers.
Montreal is one of the world’s most beautiful destinations and is bursting with a variety of culture. Made up of 19 boroughs that were once separate cities, the area boasts a truly metropolitan atmosphere along with a vibrant and decorated history.
As arguably Canada’s most diverse destination, visitors can expect to see people from a range of different backgrounds along with constant reminders of its celebrated past through stunning museums and architecture.
Montreal was colonised by the French before it was surrendered to the British in 1760. It was later introduced as a city in 1832 and, through immigration, has thrived as a hub of culture collected from nations across the world.
Montreal’s cobbled streets, public markets and multicultural cuisine mean it is a fantastic destination for international travellers who want to explore a truly historic city.
The exceptional Notre-Dame Basilica and Mount Royal give holidaymakers a taste of Montreal’s sophisticated and breathtaking architecture, while the Laurentian Mountains are a great place to see the area’s magical landscape.
Whether you’re a history buff hoping to learn more about the city’s storied past, or looking for some lively night-time attractions, this wonderful destination has it all.
What are the local customs?
Perhaps the most obvious local custom in Montreal is the language. French is the mother tongue here and many of the destinations you will visit are written in it. However, it doesn’t mean you need to be bilingual, as English is still spoken fairly commonly.
To make your trip easier, it may be wise to learn some key terms in French to communicate properly and show your respect to the city’s culture. Quite often, locals will appreciate the effort and offer any advice you need.
Like the rest of North America, tipping is a common practice in restaurants. The recommended amount to pay is around 15-20 per cent of a total bill for good service. If you feel you were treated either exceptionally or poorly, you can determine whether to award a bigger or small gratuity.
Montreal is an easy city to explore. Due to its relatively compact size, it is simple for visitors to walk around the destination and enjoy its welcoming atmosphere on foot. A series of tunnels and malls based underground make it especially straightforward to get around in the cold winters and humid summers.
However, even if you don’t want to walk around too much, there are efficient subway and bus stations to make sure you get where you want to be. These are relatively inexpensive and cover many of Montreal’s top attractions, so you won’t miss out on any of the city’s delights.
Montreal is so packed with things to do that it can be challenging to know where to begin.
A great place to explore at the start of your visit is Old Montreal, where tourists can gain a fantastic snapshot of this city’s culturally diverse nature. You can expect an array of street performers lined up along exceptional restaurants, such as The Keg Steakhouse, which offers mouth-watering seafood options. There are plenty of boutique shops to pick out some unique souvenirs, too.
After you’ve wandered around Old Montreal, you can make your way to Notre-Dame Basilica, where you can see some of the world’s most beautiful gothic revival architecture. Tours of the church are included in the admission fee and provide a great insight into the building’s rich history.
For those looking for great photo opportunities, Mount Royal could be the ideal destination, where travellers can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city. It will take around 20 minutes to complete the climb, but the journey is well worth it.
If you want to take a step away from the busy centre, perhaps venture to the Laurentian Mountains where you can marvel at the unbelievable natural scenery surrounding the city, including tranquil lakes, towering mountains and some peaceful hiking routes.
Montreal is well-regarded for its diverse culture and this is reflected in its variety of excellent bars and restaurants.
While the vast assortment of French restaurants is to be expected, some tourists may be unaware of the other culinary options available. Toque is one of these. It is a critics' favourite in the city and cooks up recipes that are designed as actual pieces of art, providing meals that both look and taste great. You can even pick up some traditional British fish and chips at Brit ‘n Chips if you’re in the mood for something familiar.
If you’re after somewhere for a quiet drink, Le Piano Rouge could be perfect. With beautiful decor and live music, it’s a great place to wind down. On the other hand, those looking for something livelier will be right at home at rue Ste-Catherine. The district is full of the city’s best nightclubs and is a top party destination.