Montreal is a beautiful city with glittering steel-and-glass towers dominating the skyline and avant-grade architecture but retains the old-world charm of winding cobblestone streets and a slew of heritage buildings which takes you back to yesteryear days.This Canadian city belonging to the province of Quebec is not only its cultural capital but also its economic capital. Canada's biggest French-speaking metropolis is the second-largest French-speaking megalopolis in the globe after Paris.
There are several notable attractions that are worth visiting in Montreal. One of them is the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal. It is one of the most iconic buildings of the city and the first gothic-revival church to be constructed in Canada. St.-Joseph's Oratory or as it is called 'Joe's Palace' is a beautiful Roman Catholic basilica is a 97m-high (318ft) dome is famous for being one of the largest in the world. This massive religious shrine can accommodate as much as 10,000 devotees in one sitting. The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is renowned to be the city's most ancient church. It possesses the original Edouard Meloche frescoes and is home to a small museum dedicated to the life of Canada's first saint, Marguerite Bourgeoys. Climb up the tower and offer majestic vistas of the port and surrounding areas.
While Montreal is an uber-modern cosmopolitan city, take a stroll around Old Montreal and go back in time of the yesteryear fortified city. Walk past the restored buildings and seasoned cobblestone streets that date as far back as from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. If travelling with partner, then a romantic horse-drawn carriage tour around the area is a must. Enjoy a relaxing evening by dropping by the Old Port which is now a major tourist haunt with the riverside promenade brimming with walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers.
Parc Jean-Drapeau is Montreal's largest park and contains two islands (Ile Ste-Helene and Ile Notre-Dame). A remnant of the city's huge Expo 67 World Fair is the Biosphere, now a museum that centers on ecological issues. Other highlights on the islands are the rides and games of La Ronde amusement park, the ancient 1820 British arsenal at the Stewart Museum, Bassin Olympique where the Olympic rowing events were held and race course Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Stroll around the Olympic Park for it was the venue of the 1976 Olympic Games. Other famed attractions in the park comprises of the covered botanic-zoololgical Biodome garden, the unique botanical garden and the collections of different species of insects at the Insectarium. Looking for some peace and quiet? Then go for a relaxing walk at Mount-Royal that rises 233 meters above the city and is famed for being the green corner at the heart of the city. If travelling with kids, then do head over to Montreal Science Center which fosters learning and education in science and technology through interactivity, hands-on workshops, special events, fun activities as well as an IMAX cinema.
When it comes to shopping, visit Montreal markets to leaf through a wide array of products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, maple products, honey, baked goods, spices and other merchandise. Don't forget to drop by at one of the city's largest bazaar in the Little Italy district for it is filled with some of the best Quebecois street food like crepes, fried squid, roasted chestnuts as well as meats, cheese, oils and pastries. Seen as a comfort dish in Canada, do gorge into lip-smackingly tasty Poutine, made up of French Fries, cheese curds and topped with a light brown gravy.
Montreal is brimming with plenty of stay options. Whether it is the best luxury hotels, private apartments or cheap accommodations, tourists have the choice to make an appropriate selection based on their budget and tastes. Montreal experiences humid-continental climate. The best time to visit the city would be during the summer months.