Montreal is a perfect year-round getaway destination. It is alluring, unconventional and effervescent. There is a broad spectrum of options for restaurants, hotels, cuisines, attractions and festivals. There is always something happening in Montreal. With over 90 festivals lighting up the calendar, this is Canada’s cultural powerhouse.
There are many reasons to include this Canadian destination in your travel wish list. Canadian Living’s Kat Tancock shares these in the post: Travel idea: 9 reasons to visit Montreal
“… Montreal might be just what you’re looking for. Its diversity of restaurants, attractions and festivals makes it the perfect destination, whether your goal is romance, sightseeing or family fun. No matter what time of year you visit, one thing’s for certain — you’ll never be bored.”
9 Reasons to visit Montreal
- Restaurants for every taste and budget: Traveling on a budget doesn’t have to mean quashing your appetite for what’s delicious and ‘unforgettable.’ After all, the city has the most number of restaurants per capita than the other cities in North America.
- Escape the weather in the RÉSO: When the weather’s just too hot or cold for you, there’s a way out: RÉSO. RÉSO has been derived from the French word ‘réseau’ which literally means ‘network.’ It is the underground city consisting of a subterranean complex of interconnected or network of walkways, subway stations and commercial establishments.
- The Montreal Biodome: This is an “indoor re-creation of four different ecosystems of the Americas — the Laurentian forest, the tropical forest, the St. Lawrence Marine ecosystem, and the polar worlds of both the Arctic and Antarctic…” It is a popular attraction for kids and adults alike. It is home to a large number of animals, birds and botanicals; and there’s the Biodome’s gift shop for souvenirs you’d like to bring home.
- Superb shopping: Montreal is a fashion mecca that is matched with numerous retail destinations. Start at the Eaton Centre mall downtown … Rue Sainte-Catherine and pop in at the more than 1,200 upscale chain stores (BCBG Max Azria, Mexx, Browns), department stores (La Maison Simons, Ogilvie) and independent boutiques that line the street.
- 90 festivals a year: This city loves festivals. Lonely Planet’s top picks include famous joie de vivre such as Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Grand Prix du Canada, L’International des Feux Loto-Québec and Osheaga Festival. Montreal is also known for its:
- Gay Festivals – Pride Montréal and Black & Blue Festival
- Film Festivals – Montréal World Film Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinéma de Montréal
- Arts & Music Festivals – Montréal en Lumière, Nuit Blanche, Blue Metropolis Montréal International Literary Festival, and Biennale de Montréal
- Outdoor Festivals – Fête des Neiges and Tour de l’Île, Gardens of Light
- Food & Drink Festivals – Beer Festival
- Comedy Festival – Just for Laughs
- Electronic Dance Music Festival
This is also a wonderful destination for experiencing and immersing in culture. There are museums for all tastes and interests. There’s the Musée d’Art Contemporain for contemporary arts, the Museum of Fine Arts “… for the best in European and Canadian art, Mediterranean archaeology and antiquities from around the globe,” and kid-friendly spots such as the Planetarium, the Insectarium and the Environment Canada’s Biosphere. The city is also a center of culture for opera buffs, ballet enthusiasts and outdoor theater (in summer).
Whatever is your budget, you’ll find a hotel or B&B that’s right for you. With so much going on here, you’ll find that there’s always something to grab your attention, keep you entertained and satisfied. Going around – above or underground – is easy with the metro, taxis, buses, and car rentals. When you come to Montreal, spend time roaming and exploring the city, you might just discover other reasons to come back to this city.