Montreal is the largest city in the Province of Quebec and the second largest city in Canada with a population of over 2 million people. It has a perfect mix of European charm and North American modernity. Montreal is a cosmopolitan and fully bilingual city and a must see destination on any visit to Canada. In order to enjoy the many attractions this city has to offer remember to apply for your Canada eTA authorization in time. The best time to visit is from April to September when the temperature is warm and the city is in a festive mood.
Montreal is named after Mont Royal, a hill that is found in the city center. The city was founded in 1611 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain who established a fur trading post on the St. Lawrence River in present day Montreal. The official language is French and it is also the language most spoken at home although the majority of people are also fluent in English. In order to make the most of your visit we highly recommend you visit the following sites when in Montreal:
1. Old Montreal – This historical neighborhood of the city oozes charm with its cobblestone streets, French architecture and horse drawn carriages. Some of the attractions here include Place Jacques Cartier, Montreal City Hall, Old Port of Montreal an the spectacular Notre Dame Basilica.
2. Notre Dame Basilica – This architectural gem located in Old Montreal dates back to 1829 and is a Gothic revival masterpiece. The interior of the basilica and the altar are stunning. A visit is highly recommended. A small C$5 is charged to visitors although visiting for mass is free.
3. Mount Royal – This neighborhood includes the hill after which Montreal was named after. The view from the hill towards the city is beautiful and excellent for scenic photographs of the city.
4. Montreal Botanical Garden – Beautiful gardens in close proximity to the Olympic Stadium. There are numerous gardens including different styles including the Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, First Nations Garden and the Alpine Garden.
5. Cirque du Soleil – Montreal is the home of these global champions of the acrobatic world. A visit to Cirque du Soleil is a definite must especially considering that they are performing in their home turf. Please check for performances and book ahead of time since their shows are very popular and in high demand.
Montreal is a joy to visit with its Old World charm and fun atmosphere. As the home of Canada’s top universities such as McGill, there are many young people and the city is always full of energy. Do apply soon for your Canada eTA authorization so that you enjoy the wonderful sights, cuisine and friendly locals that will make your visit to Montreal a very enjoyable one.