For Quebec read French-Canadian, and read a vast Francophone region of lakes and forests similar in size to the combined area of France, Germany and Spain! And yet, about half of those who live here cram onto the comparatively tiny Island of Montreal, near the US border, and into a city famous for its festivals, cosmopolitanism and gastronomic excellence. Known as the city of a hundred bell towers due to its number of churches, Montreal has a warm, friendly population which its utmost to welcome the large number of visitors who pass through each year.


Montreal's Old Town has benefited from a concerted renovation project which dates back to the Universal Exposition of 1967, and which sought to recreate the atmosphere of the 1800s when Montreal was a small, isolated fortified town. The old cobblestone streets are best explored on foot at leisure. Amongst its many attractions and sites, the Vieille Ville counts the Catholic Basilica of Notre Dame, a neo-gothic masterpiece which alone would make the visit to Montreal worthwhile, the Old Port and the lively Place Jacques Cartier which sports its very own Nelson's Column. The neo-classical Vieux Palais de Justice and the second empire Hotel de Ville clash and contrast with buildings such as the sleek Stock Exchange Tower or the World Trade Centres, but all testify to the city's fine sense of architecture spanning across the centuries.

Beyond the Old Town, Montreal's skyline becomes decidedly more modern. The IBM-Marathon and CIBC towers are choice examples of modern urbanism, while the Oratory of St Joseph is Canada's largest church and a must. Visitors should also peruse the excellent collection housed by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The effort for the 1967 Universal Exposition and the 1976 Olympics created a quite singular, new side to the city and which is well worth the time to explore. The structurally confounding Casino of Montreal and the avant-garde lifestyle residence of Habitat 67 are products of '67, the Biodome and amazing Olympic Stadium, from '76.

Finally, visitors would do well to bear in mind the variety of festivals put on in Montreal: Jazz, Comedy, African and French Music, world film, amongst others.


Montreal has good quality furs and skins and visitors will find themselves presented with plenty of opportunities to buy Amerindian craftwork. Most of the best shopping is to be had in the centres commercials, or malls, or in Montreal's 'city under the city,' the world's largest underground city complex with shops, museums, hotels etc.!

Nightlife and Eating Out

Montreal's restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Chefs from all over the world have set up shop amongst the Québequois and as a result the choice is very cosmopolitan.

Going out is also highly rated in Montreal with lots of bars, pubs and clubs vying for customers. Discos shut around 3am. Otherwise, there's a kicking jazz and rock scene, while the city's gay and lesbian community is well catered for.

Tourist Information

Tel: +44 (0)870 380


Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport is about a half hour drive west of the city centre. A regular public bus service runs there, as do a lot of hotel shuttle services. With a lot of domestic air traffic and many trans-Atlantic flights, destinations include London, Paris, Frankfurt and the US.

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