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14 Things to Experience in Montreal, Canada

Montreal, Canada is an inviting city located just north of the northeastern United States. If you can stay in the downtown district, you will be able to walk to many places and explore the city during your downtime on the ground. Montreal will greet you with many experiences that you will not soon forget. Below is a list of the top 14 things to see and do in Montreal, based on my visit there last year. Take time to savor the local cuisine, visit a museum and other landmarks, shop and experience the culture, and you will be captivated by this French Canadian city!

1. Eclectic Locally-Owned Shops – You will find many to browse in Montreal, and the décor is as delighting as the merchandise. Avenue Laurier Ouest is one of the popular areas for shopping and dining.

2. Local Cuisine  My favorite is poutine – A distinctly Québécois dish that consists of french fries topped with a gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. Montreal is also famous for bagels that rival New York’s finest and smoked meats that are similar to New York pastrami. Visit Schwartz’s Deli for a taste of Montreal’s famous smoked meat on rye.

3. Decorative Balconies Many residences feature hanging plants and flower boxes along their balconies that add vibrant color to the streetscape.

4. Local Markets There are lots of local markets to shop and pick up a few handmade souvenirs. Jean-Talon, Atwater, Maisonneuve and Lachine are some of the most popular markets.

5. Quaint Streets Most are tree-lined and create a natural canopy that is complimented by streetside landscaping.

6. Fashion  Be sure to pay a visit to boutiques on Rue Sainte-Catherine of famous brands and designers.

7. Notre-Dame Basilica – Architecture that is a must-see when visiting the city!

8. Place Jacques-Cartier Square – A scenic plaza in Old Montreal which features street vendors and cafes.

9. Cathedrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde – A beautiful 19th-century basilica that is a scale model replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome!

10. Outdoor Cafes – Cafes are located all over the city and provide outdoor seating during the summer. Each café has its unique style and decor. Restaurant L’Autre Version, Jardin Nelson, and Santropol are just a sample of the many unique places to dine and enjoy the weather.

11. Bixi Bikes – An affordable and convenient way to get around town. You will see many people coasting along the streets on these.

12. Streetside Musicians – While exploring the city on a beautiful day, you will encounter streetside musicians “busking” (entertaining passersby). If you are using the Metro, you may even notice busking signs that mark locations where the city encourages artists for perform without any need for a license.

13. Artistic Facades – Montreal is full of the arts, and building facades are not overlooked. Artists create vibrant murals that add to the ambiance of the city.

14. The Biosphere – An environmental museum located on Saint Helen’s Island in the Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Have you been to Montreal? Be sure to leave your favorite spots to visit in the comments below.


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