A festival and foodie heaven, Montreal is a fascinating French flavoured destination of old-time European splendour and glittering urban charm. An elegant place of history, pavement cafes, and cobbled streets - Montreal wears its French heritage with a healthy dash of on-the-pulse Canadian cool.
Set on the banks of the mighty St. Lawrence River, you can head to beaches and elegant parks that open out onto the pretty waterfront. Mount Royal is a jewel of the city, and on warm days locals spill out onto its sloping grasses to soak up the sun. Rise to the top, to look down over the reaching skyscrapers of downtown. The city's massive botanical gardens are alive with the sounds of flowing water and surreal floral sculptures. The vivid colours of the impressive Notre-Dame Basilica's interior add more vibrancy, while a diverse set of museums and galleries offer plenty of space for both traditional and contemporary art.
The sounds of ivories tinkling, and basslines wandering, are ever-present in downtown – whether it’s street performers earning a living, or jazz musicians riffing in dusty bars. The city’s musical swing ramps up a notch during the famous Montreal Jazz Festival, which brings international talent to the city en-masse. It’s impossible to visit Montreal without sampling its ultimate comfort food, poutine. French fries smothered in gravy, cheese curd and your choice of topping. It’s as Québécois as ice hockey and bagels.