Province/Territory: Quebec

Urban sophistication, French culture, creative arts

  • 30+ kilometres of underground city to explore
  • 5,120 public bikes for rent
  • 01 UNESCO City of Design

Absorb the stylish élan of this glamorous, highly creative city—the world’s second-largest French-speaking city. Feel the history along the cobbled streets of Old Montréal. Notice art and design all around the city. Even the subway is a showcase for public art. Climb—or take a bus—to Mount Royal, the city’s peak, and scan the horizon to spot the 1976 Olympic Stadium and the Laurentian Mountains in the distance. Cycle along riverside pathways on a public bike.

Be amazed that the renowned Montréal International Jazz Festival offers many free concerts. Pack your sense of humour for the Just for Laughs comedy festival. And no matter where you go, from Chinatown to Little Italy to the Latin Quarter to the Gay Village, Montréal’s chefs treat you to world-famous fusion fare served with smiling multicultural friendliness. Smile back, and say merci.

Urban adventures

  • Save some energy for the city's legendary nightlife.
  • Explore the cobbled streets, shops and eateries of Old Montréal.
  • Shop like a local at Simon department store in the heart of downtown, or fashionable boutiques along Crescent Street.
  • Step into hotel history at the Ritz-Carlton, Montréal’s grand dame of lodging.
  • Experience one of the world’s most vibrant gay villages: Le Village.
  • Try your luck at the luxurious casino.

Arts & Culture

  • Join circus-loving Montréalers for a performance at La Tohu.
  • Be humbled by religious heritage architecture of Notre Dame Basilica.
  • Be dazzled by the creative force throughout the city, including museums and more at this UNESCO City of Design.
  • Experience four science museums in one city. Feast on all of life by experiencing exotic eco-systems, peering at galaxies and strange insects, and exploring grand gardens.
  • Enjoy opera, musicals, theater, art exhibits and outdoor events at Place des Arts.

Food & Drink

  • Shop for regionally produced goods at Jean Talon Market.
  • Sink your teeth into a Montréal tradition: a smoked meat sandwich.
  • Walk off some calories, eat them back on during an Old Montréal food tour.
  • Ask your hotel concierge where to find the most current fusion cuisine.
  • Experience the region’s famous Poutine: French fries with cheese curds and gravy.

Outdoor adventure

  • Walk up a gentle path, or take some strenuous stairways, to summit Mount Royal.
  • Book a day (or more) tour to hike, bike, ski, or snowboard in the nearby Laurentian Mountains.
  • Take advantage of the hugely popular, public BIXI bikes.
  • Skate outdoors over nearly a mile of smooth ice on the quays of the Old Port of Montréal.
  • Join golf-loving Montréalers on one of the area’s more-than 140 courses.

Events & Festivals

  • Hear legends and discover new sounds at the Montréal International Jazz Festival.
  • Let your funny bone get tickled at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.
  • Watch nations compete for creative supremacy at the L'International des Feux fireworks festival.

Weather

  • Montréal can be warm, even hot and humid, during the summer months - bring your shorts for the Jazz Festival outdoor concerts, or your swimsuit to hit the city's urban beach.
  • Winter, from December until March, can bring plenty of snow. Just do what many locals do and escape into the underground city.
  • Spring lasts from March until early June, and you can see plants in springtime glory in the 30 themed gardens of Jardin botanique de Montréal.
  • Fall, from late-September to November, brings cool to cold weather to Montréal. The leaves turn colour, and many cruise ships visit.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Quick facts

Area: 4,259 sq km (1,644 sq mi)
Population: 1.65 million (city), 3.4 million (metropolitan)
Official Language: French and English (French predominant)
Status: Montréal is the world's 2nd largest French-speaking city after Paris. It is Canada's second-largest city by population.
Original Name: Ville-Marie (City of Mary)

When to go
  • Summer and early fall months are ideal for cycling and walking the paths of Mount Royal.
  • Montréal International Jazz Festival occurs in late June and early July.
  • Autumn leaves turn the city's parks and hills into dazzling colour show.
  • Winter is ideal for performing arts, and cold weather sports activities.
Getting Here
  • Montréal is located in the southern part of the province of Quebec, situated on the St. Lawrence River.
  • Air passengers arrive/depart the Montréal Trudeau International Airport (YUL), which has frequent service to many domestic and world cities.
  • Montréal is approximately six hours driving time from New York City, three hours drive from Ottawa and is easily accessible by train.
Getting around