Happy Visiting Montreal! or 'Heureux visiter Montréa!' as the French would say.

Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, and the world’s largest francophile city outside Paris. The city is characterised by its gritty suburbs, distinct cobblestoned neighborhoods, busy traffic, wild parks, its imposing Notre-Dame Basilica in the city centre and many new immigrants from every corner of the world.

Notre-Dame Basilica is a basilica in the historic district of Old Montreal.
Notre-Dame Basilica is a basilica in the historic district of Old Montreal.

All of this gives Montreal a great cultural texture and a rich travel experience. Soak up the European charm of old Montreal at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History; take off to picturesque Rue Saint Paul Art Gallery; go for a stroll on the Quays of the Old Port; and dine al fresco at a trendy café.  Cyclists, roller bladers, pedal-boaters and passers-by usually hustle along the harbour front. You can also visit Place Jacques-Cartier for a romantic evening.

In Old Montreal, you can step back in time or rush forward into the future at every turn: this is where the action begins and where it continues, both night and day. Next stop if you’re on a tight schedule should be Downtown. At any time of the day or night, this place is booming with energy. It’s where the city comes together for shopping, dining, sightseeing, clubbing, dancing, and to simply be.

The Palais des congrès and Place Jean-Paul Riopelle (that features the sculpture fountain, La Joute) is another fascinating square in Downtown Montreal. It is located in the newly developed Quartier international, which is an urban space designed with pedestrian quality of life in mind. The Saint Catherine street, the Golden Square Mile, the Crescent street are all places one must visit when in Montreal.

Get a taste of Montreal’s street food dishes such as papaya salad, pork belly sandwiches and dessert waffles on the 3.5-hour Montreal food truck tour by bike.

The Village in Montreal is not an ordinary one. It is a village where members of all sexual orientations come to dance and party. It is one of the largest gay villages in North America and is, in fact, fun for everyone regardless of their sexual preference.

For four months of the year from June to September, a festival like atmosphere is on. The Sainte Catherine Street is closed to vehicles and everyone strolls around leisurely along the strip to shop, dine at café’s or just relax in the sun with a beer. The street has fashion and specialty boutiques, restaurants representing all major types of cuisine and a variety of bars. It’s a summer well spent, where you see artists display their work, LGBT communities set up information booths, and local shops offer interesting things to buy. It’s where the Pride Parade Montreal takes place with week-long celebrations and a lot of colour. There is too much too pen down for this city with it’s old world charm, and new world buzz. With its streets, cafés, people, art, architecture and activities, Montreal’s a great culturalist’s destination.