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Montreal Travel Guide

Why? French-speaking Montreal is romantic and elegant; those who choose to holiday in Montreal come for its music, art and joie de vivre and leave with happy memories. This charming island city has plenty to see and do, especially in the realm of culture, and those who plan to travel to Montreal can check a very full calendar of festival events and take in one of these to spice up their visit.
When? Those planning to holiday in Montreal may prefer to avoid the winter months, which are bitterly cold and inhospitable, but in fact the city's unique underground labyrinth of shops, hotels, restaurants and other attractions make the weather not much of a deterrent. So, although summer (late May to early September) is the best time to travel to Montreal weather-wise, and the season when most of the festivals take place, the city is, in fact, a year-round destination.
Who for? Culture vultures are particularly well-catered for on a Montreal holiday with plenty of theatre, art, music and ballet on offer. Montreal is also deservedly recognised as a culinary capital. Mostly though it is the feast of annual festivals of all sorts, from films to beer, which draws travellers to holiday in Montreal.
More Info: For information of all that is hip and happening in Montreal make use of our up-to-date Montreal travel guide which contains details of attractions, events and excursions available in the city.


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Montréal skyline and St. Lawrence River © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin

The world's largest inland port, Montreal was founded as a missionary village in 1642, a century after Jacques Cartier discovered the area. The French stayed in control of the growing settlement until 1760 when the British stepped in, sparking a now centuries-old French resentment of the British interference. Despite some undeniable English architectural and cultural influences, Montreal is today one of the world's largest French-speaking cities, set on an overwhelmingly English-speaking continent, and a metropolis of international repute, framed between Mont Royal and the St Lawrence River.

The city is in the south of Canada's Quebec province, only 37 miles (60km) from the United States border, and is an important hub of North American trade. It is a spacious, beautiful city characterised by a series of underground shopping and recreation complexes, linked by walkways and the metro. This subterranean city contains more than 18.5 miles (30km) of office and apartment complexes, major stores, hotels, restaurants, metro stations, parking garages, movie theatres, concert halls and more, all snugly accessible during the snowy winters.

Its population is a multicultural mix, which has fostered a vibrant cultural life, cemented by its French and British roots. There are several theatres offering year-round theatre, ballet and music performances, and a number of art galleries and museums. Like most Canadian cities, Montreal has interspersed urban development with green areas. In this case pride is taken by the spacious Parc du Mont-Royal, designed by Frederic Olmsted, the American landscape artist who also designed Central Park in New York. The city also has 30 museums and numerous other attractions of interest to visitors all year round.

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