Montreal, Canada: Things to Know Before Visiting

If you have planned a journey to Canada’s second largest city for this summer, then you have surely made the right choice of destination. Although Montreal is known for its cold winters, it is the perfect location for a summer adventure. Let us discover some things you should take into account before travelling to this beautiful city.

General Information About Montreal

Montreal is located in the southeastern side of Canada, in the Quebec province. It is a city with the most French speaking inhabitants after Paris. It is considered to be one of the strongest economies in modern days and it is densely populated. Its geographical location along with its financial development have contributed in making Montreal stand out among other important cities of North America.

History of Montreal’s Old Town

One of the first thing visitors tend to do when they first arrive in Montreal is wander around the picturesque alleys of the old center. This historic center, known as the Old Montreal gives visitors a glimpse of the city’s history. Do not even think of taking your car along with you when you visit this city that goes back to the 17th century. You will have great difficulty in finding a parking space and most of all you will not get this unique feeling of visiting on foot or by metro this wonderful city.

Let’s see some major sights you need to visit in Montreal. Firstly, the most popular square of the old city, named Place d’Armes. You will have the opportunity to see several historical buildings surrounding this square, like the first skyscraper, name Aldred Building. Next, you should pay a visit to Basilique Notre-Dame. Pay special attention to the interior of the building and its fascinating architecture. After walking down the graphic streets of the Old town, do not forget to pay a visit to some of the most important museums of the city, including the Science Museum and the Historical Museum.

Cultural Life

Montreal is a city where culture and civilization met very early. There are numerous spots for sightseeing that you will want to visit, so be sure to leave sufficient time for this purpose. The most popular monument of the city, the Place des Arts should be your first choice of destination. This building includes 6 different halls of theatre where various events are held, including opera, ballet, choral music and film presentation. The building also, includes the contemporary Art Museum, as well as traditional shops and cafes.

Another thing you should do while in Montreal is visit its Olympic Stadium along with the Bell Centre sports and entertainment complex, where Montreal Canadiens (the city’s famous NHL ice hockey team) also playes its NHL matches. Citizens of Montreal are known around the world for their passion for ice hockey and Canadiens is historically the most successful NHL team with 24 Stanley Cup wins.

Food Tour

If you are not familiar with the different flavors of the traditional cuisine of this city, then you should definitely spend some time savoring some of the most popular national dishes. Although it is not so widely known, Montreal has one of the most interesting and tasty cuisines around the world. Grab some good poutine-it will change the way you see fried potatoes in the future. Taste at least one smoked meat sandwich. You will definitely lick your fingers afterwards. If you visit Montreal during the summer period, then you should definitely have a tour around the most central markets of the city. You will be able to taste traditional food, like fruits and vegetables, some of which are widely known and unique. For example, you cannot possibly leave this city without tasting the local strawberries. When you visit the markets, you could spend some more money in buying some local delicacies, like wine, ciders and of course maple products.

Shopping Time

You cannot neglect to pay a visit to the city’s most well-known boutiques. Shops like ”Frank and Oak” or ”Unicorn” will give you the opportunity to come across some of the most fashionable pieces of modern lifestyle. You should also, buy some local souvenirs from the various gift shops that surround the central road of the city.


Undoubtedly, Montreal is a fascinating and unique destination. A combination of its great history along with its modern stroke promises to give visitors an amazing experience. If you are wondering on the things you have to do when you visit this city, then the best advice we could give you is make a plan beforehand. Try to visit the places mentioned above and if you have more free time, spend it wisely in wandering around the center of the city.

Further Reading