Welcome to the undisputed cultural capital of
where the locals speak French and the maple syrup runs smoother than an ice-hockey puck thwacked by the Rochester Rocket, Brian Gionta. A sightseeing tour of the city will no doubt include the historic district of Old Montreal where sites, such as: Notre-Dame Basilica, City Hall and Bonsecours Market, all add to the attraction of this quintessentially charming city. Boasting the largest church in Canada, St. Joseph's Oratory, as well as providing a home for jazz, comedy and film festivals, Montreal is a superb location and completely deserving all of the accolades.
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Culture & Atmosphere There's a really interesting European air about Montreal and every so often you may need to take on-board a few syrup-soaked pancakes to remind yourself that you're still actually in Canada. Classical music venues, such as: the Place des Arts, do nothing to dampen this joie de vivre and if you do happen to find yourself strolling across the Place Jacques-Cartier or through Mount Royal Park, then simply sit back and enjoy the confusion.
Cathedral tour Dubbed the city of steeples, Montreal has not one but four basilicas and the chance to see the country's largest church illuminated against the night sky is simply a joy to behold. Aside from the Oratory, you'll find the Notre Dame, the Mary Queen of the World and St. Patrick's all of which have been deemed as a National Historic Sites of Canada. A tour of all four churches is a great way to see the city as well as marvelling at the architecture and historical links provided by these revered Roman Catholic icons.
Lachine Rapids jet-boat tour If you prefer your Montreal tours at a slightly more adrenaline-fuelled pace then try jumping on a jet boat and splashing down the St Lawrence River for an hour. This is an excellent alternative to city sightseeing and also provides a unique perspective of the area as you hold on tight and watch the world whizz by from underneath your snug yellow waterproof. This is probably not advisable for the feint-hearted however, if you fancy getting wet and wild on a sunny afternoon then why not give it a go?
Narrow lanes - cafes & shopping If you're intending to indulge in a little retail therapy on your Montreal holidays then you're in luck as not only does the city have a splendid array of high-end streets (rue Sherbrooke) and French boutiques (avenue Laurier), it also has an underground city with almost 2000 different outlets to choose from. Place Ville-Marie is awash with stores and restaurants and whatever cuisine your heart desires, fine-dining, bistro brunch or coffee and doughnuts, right here is where you throw caution to the wind and dive right in.
June to August is a popular time to visit, with the warm weather and an array of summer festivals drawing in the visitors. If you prefer a slightly milder climate then any time from Easter through to the end of May presents an excellent and less-busy alternative to the summer and the same can be said for September, October and early November. It does get chilly in the winter but there are so many indoor attractions to choose from as well as a heated underground city which all help alleviate the cold and add to the unique and charming European atmosphere.
You may think that Montreal's European heritage has led to a range of dining experiences to rival the restaurants of Paris or Milan and, of course, you'd be right. However, one particular culinary concept that has made the leap across the Pond is the chance to eat in the dark. No lights, heightened senses and blind waiting staff make this an amazing experience and dining at O'Noir Restaurant, in the downtown district, is a dinner party topic that you'll be referring to for years to come.
Tours that visit Montreal
13 days | USA / Canada | Hotels
Explore cosmopolitan cities, small country towns and picturesque landscapes, and discover the New World for yourself. Colonial New England and French Canadian culture offer a perfect mix of yesterday and today.
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