Montréal, The City of Saints
In the eastern part of Canada in the province of Quebec is the city of Montréal, and if you haven’t yet experienced Montréal you are in for a treat! Montréal is a thoroughly modern 350-year-old city with so much to do and see visitors will need at least a week.
Montréal has a very European feel, flavor, and flair, which is a big part of its appeal. There are hotels to fit every budget, taste and occasion, and restaurants, bars, cafés, and food markets to satisfy every taste and craving. Montréal is also a party city, holding music, fashion, entertainment, dance, food, and art festivals all year long. Rain, snow or shine.
If you’re looking for some winter magic, Montréal delivers with an abundance of outdoor parties, high-tech light shows, Christmas markets and creative gourmet food. Warm-up at Montréal’s best restaurants, dance and play at jubilant winter festivals, sip a signature cocktail by the cozy glow of a fireplace, wander through fascinating art galleries and museums, shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at professional craft fairs, don a snowsuit and sled down the mountain with locals, go ice skating in Parc La Fontaine or next to the St. Lawrence River, or snuggle up in one of the many hotels decked out for the festive winter season. Pro tip: the Christmas Markets are some of the best outside of Europe!
As winter thaws and spring starts to bloom Montréal comes alive with color, gradually stepping out of the festive beauty of winter and into a true celebration of springtime. Hundreds of butterflies at the Botanical Garden, interactive musical swings in the entertainment district, and Spring Break soirees. As spring-fever kicks into high gear, the season heralds the abundance of festivals to come, kicking off with the Blue Metropolis literary festival, Papier art fair and annual Cirque du Soleil big top shows, followed by music festivals Les FrancoFolies and the Piknic Electronik, along with early June’s Mural Fest, the Montréal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival and so much more.
Summer in Montréal is celebrated, and it’s the height of festival season. Montréal festivals are so unique because each one reflects an aspect of the city’s own creative culture and diversity, with major doses of international flavor. From May through August, visitors can join the summer fun at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Just For Laughs comedy festival, Osheaga, MUTEK, Nuits d’Afrique and many more festivals spanning music, the arts and even pro racing.
Just as spring blooms with bursts of color, autumn in Montréal is a color palette announcing the arrival of cooler weather and abundant harvests to inspire gathering with family and friends. Fall emerges as an action-packed autumn sequel to summer’s frenzy, sporting its own calm moments in the midst of Montréal’s round-the-clock entertainment. Every night of the season brings a new band, award-winning film, or dance troupe to the city, while outdoor venue Jardins Gamelin invites passers-by to see free performances and sample food-truck specialties until mid-October. By day, explore Montréal’s colorful Mount Royal and abundant farmers markets and by night visit the Botanical Garden by lantern light or cozy up with apple cider in a hidden-away bar. Add even more color to your visit with apple picking, an easy day trip just outside the city center.
Montréal really does have something for everyone and when the world gets back to traveling, Montréal should be at the top of the list.