Travel guide to flights & holidays in Montreal.
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Montreal Holidays Overview
Despite its beginnings as a small fishing village in the year 1535, Montreal has transformed into one of the major metropolises in the world today. It is considered to be one of the most famous cities in Canada for tourists and is also considered to be an ideal place to live in. The city offers its visitors with a beautiful blend of old world landmarks and cultures and modern day luxuries and allows them to step into the intimate surroundings of old world cafes or explore glittering modern day museums at the same time. Moreover, the city also offers its visitors with an exciting nightlife and magnificent cuisines from all over the world that reflects its culturally diverse population. Montreal might be the second largest French speaking city in the world, but French is only one of the 35 languages that are spoken in the city. Moreover, the city might have been divided into British and French areas traditionally, but today it is home to people from more than 80 different countries.
There are very few cities in the world that can compete with Montrealís unique mix of mouth watering dishes, fun festivals and a joyous way of life. The city brims with places that serve authentic poutine, traditional English pubs, ancient Jewish delights and French perfections. It also offers more than 90 exciting festivals to choose from and showcases a mesmerizing mix of neighbourhoods where artists, musicians and writers coexist.
The winters of Montreal might be known to be long and harsh, but the fun loving locals have managed to find a way to cheer up despite the harsh conditions. Ice hotels along the St. Lawrence River, fantastic skiing opportunities, the legendary Les Canadiens de Montreal hockey festival and the underground city are just a few of the sights and attractions that transform the winter months into a popular time to visit the city.
What ultimately makes Montreal so unique is that despite its modest size, it manages to pack a punch with its food and attractions that allow tourists to spend hours wandering through its many neighbourhoods and exploring the breathtaking array of museums, architectural wonders, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs on offer.
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holidays - Top Places To Go
|1. Old Port
De la Commune Street
|What is it? Montreal's Old Port (Vieux Port de Montreal)
is actually fairly new, having had a major face-lift to make it the
most popular site for visitors to the city - drawing five million
of them each year to throng the bustling wharves. There are still
plenty of boats in evidence but nowadays they are mainly tour
boats, ferries and even amphibious buses, which offer sailings
along the St Lawrence or around the port. Ferries cross to the Parc
des Iles, site of the Expo 67 world's fair, which lies in the St
Lawrence and offers family outdoor activities like picnic
facilities, swimming, skating or skiing in winter. The Old Port
itself is a thriving arts and entertainment venue where something
is always happening. It also offers a huge open-air skating rink,
Imax cinema, and a Science and Technology Center with interactive
displays. The port also has a vibey cafe culture. The clock tower
offers excellent views across the city and contains an exhibition
that traces Montreal's history. Around the port are the city's
original 17th-century fortifications.
Hours of Operation:
Phone:(514) 496 7678
|2. Olympic Park
4141 Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue
|What is it? Montreal's futuristic Olympic Park was built
for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games and still serves as a showpiece
today. Designed by French architect, Roger Tallibert, it is
impressive in both size and shape, able to hold up to 80,000
spectators who now gather here for concerts and baseball games. The
landmark tower on the main stadium, standing at 575ft (175m), is
the world's tallest inclined tower. Visitors can enjoy a
spectacular view of Montreal and its surroundings from the
observation floors, accessible by a funicular-type elevator. The
Olympic Park complex also features the unique attraction known as
the Biodome, a building containing four ecosystems. Opposite the
park pop over to view the wonderful Botanical Gardens, which are
the second largest in the world.
Hours of Operation: Daily guided tours of the Olympic Park are
half-hourly from 10am (low season tours are less frequent starting
at 11am); the funicular runs from 9am to 5pm (Labor Day (September)
to mid-June) and until 7pm from mid-June to
Phone:(514) 252 4141
|3. St Joseph's Oratory
3800 Queen Mary Street
|What is it? St Joseph's Oratory is a landmark in
Montreal, its imposing dome on the northwest flank of Mont Royal
visible for miles. This Oratory is a famous pilgrimage site,
despite only being completed in 1967, attracting over two million
visitors and pilgrims each year. It was founded by Brother Andre, a
beloved monk who was known as the miracle-worker of Mount Royal
because of his healing abilities. Work began on the basilica after
his death in 1937. Its dome is the second largest in the world,
being 318ft (97m) high; it is second only to St Peter's in Rome.
The Oratory's carillon is made up of 56 bells that were originally
cast for the Eiffel Tower in Paris; the Oratory acquired them in
1956. Visitors can climb the 283 steps from street level to the
basilica's portico for beautiful vistas over the
Hours of Operation: Daily 7.30am to 9pm
Phone:(514) 733 8211
holidays - Top Events
|1. International Jazz Festival
|What is it? Montreal's annual jazz festival is one of the
best in the world, just celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Superstars of jazz, like Oscar Peterson, feature on the programme,
which offers more than 400 concerts over about 10 days each
Where is it? Various
|2. Montreal High Lights Festival
|What is it? Montreal's lively 11-day mid-winter festival
is designed to bring some light and warmth into local lives. It is
billed as 'three festivals in one', having a gastronomic, musical
and artistic component. There are more than 100 concerts scheduled,
more than 200 culinary and wine events, and various shows and
exhibitions, many of them free of charge.
Where is it? Various
|3. Pyromusical Competition
|What is it? Montreal's annual international fireworks
competition is the largest event of its kind in the world, and
spectacular to behold. Each year about eight teams from various
countries compete for putting on the most impressive pyromusical
display for a minimum of 30 minutes. This extremely popular event
is allegedly watched by nearly two and a half million people who
have a good view from various spots in the Montreal city
Where is it? Paid seats at La Ronde. Other good viewing points are
Jacques Cartier bridge (closed to traffic for the duration), along
the banks of the St Lawrence and in Vieux Montreal
|4. International Celtic-Acadian-Louisiana Festival
|What is it? The Celtic music festival features Celtic and
Acadian musicians and comprises music shows, music workshops, dance
shows, dance workshops, food tasting, storytelling and many other
activities. Since 2003, the Festival has been a meeting place for
music and for those who love music.
Where is it? Vaudreuil-Dorion
|5. Canadian F1 Grand Prix
|What is it? For more than a quarter of a century the
world's top motor racing drivers have been meeting at the demanding
Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit to battle out an important race in the
Formula One World Championship. This year's race will be as
exciting as ever.
Where is it? Gilles Villeneuve Circuit