Montreal Travel Guide
Montreal skyline © Stephan Poulin
French-speaking Montreal is romantic and elegant; those who choose to holiday in the city come for its music, art and joie de vivre. This charming city has plenty to see and do, especially in the realm of culture, and those who plan to travel to Montreal can check out a very full calendar of events, and enjoy the many plays, ballets and concerts that spice up the entertainment scene year-round. Montreal has also earned its reputation as a great destinations for foodies, and boasts an extremely energetic nightlife.
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 British interference in the region. Despite some undeniably 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, showcased in a number of world-class 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 boasts numerous other attractions of interest to visitors all year round, but tourists do tend to avoid the freezing winter months.
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