The second largest city in Canada, and the largest one in the province of Quebec; Montreal is, in fact, an island of cultural diversity. Its distinct friendliness will make you feel at home as soon as you hit the streets. Due to its colorful nature and a versatile spirit, no matter how long you plan to stay, you will likely only be able to get a glimpse into the city’s ever-changing lifestyle. From nature-laden nooks (which is pretty much every corner of the city), foodie spots, museums and galleries, and all the way to incredible street architecture, these amazing Montreal sights will indeed teach you what love at first sight truly means.
Top 5 Amazing Montreal Sights
Visit Montreal’s own Notre-Dame
Dating back to 1824, this architectural masterpiece is so enchanting; that it is believed its architect, James O’Donnell was awe-struck and wished to convert to Catholicism. It might not cause the same level of religious revelation for you, but the Basilica is a famous sightseeing spot due to its Gothic Revival style of stunning woodwork, gold-laden sculptures and deep blue mosaics adorning the floors and the ceilings.
However, if possible, visit the Chapelle du Sacré Coeur as well; the favorite place for the locals who say “I do”. The bronze altarpiece dominates the space towering over the entire chapel and spanning from the floor to the ceiling.
The museum for culture-vultures
With an impressive collection that has been growing for over one hundred years, the museum alone will take you at least two hours (or an entire afternoon for avid art connoisseurs) to revel in the beauty of internationally-acclaimed Canadian artists’ works, as well as some of the most famous names in history.
Prepare to be dazzled by some of the finest pieces by Picasso, Cézanne and Rembrandt; as well as World War I artifacts and other temporary exhibitions sure to keep your imagination occupied. For those planning a trip next summer; an intriguing comparative collection named Face to Face with African and Oceanic Art through the eyes of Picasso will give you a new insight into the less known influences that shaped this genius.
Old Montreal and beyond
The very heart of what makes amazing Montreal sights, hides in the still cobbled streets and horse carriages among the timeless buildings; that didn’t allow the fast pace of urbanization to harm its European soul. Nestled between the harbor and the banking district, the charming cafes; Place Jacques-Cartier teeming with performers; Rue Bonsecours with its 17th-19th-century architecture; and delightful stores made for a shopping spree of the finest sort.
For those among you who prefer traveling outside the box, you can tailor your own incredible Canada holidays that include train tours through amazing Montreal sights, Quebec and Toronto, and visit all the main sights of each city. That way, you can experience Quebec through more than just Old Montreal; and enjoy the vast natural landscapes that bond these cities together.
The Botanical Gardens of Montreal are 185 acres of our planet condensed into what is known as one of the most biodiverse nooks you could possibly visit in a single day. Dispersed in the ten (yes, ten!) greenhouses and over twenty outdoor gardens on the premises are over 20,000 flora species, while a visit to the nearby Planetarium and Insectarium should also be on your must-see checklist.
The Biodôme can give you an insight into five different ecosystems. The largest and most populated Biodôme being the tropical rainforest, with multitudes of birds, insects and mammals, all native to the rainforests of South America.
The inspiration for the city’s name and one of its most prominent sightseeing spots, Mont-Royal rises over 200 meters above sea level. And due to its proximity to the city center; Mont-Royal serves as its lungs and provides the residents with clean, fresh air. The slopes, as well as the three peaks of the hill, are all covered with lush vegetation that gives a unique look to the city during the months of fall, in a palette of vivid oranges, yellows and reds.
The best way to experience Mont-Royal, just like the old town center is on foot; so that you can immerse yourself in the incredible beauty of the scenery. Visit Beaver Lake, and the two belvederes with a stunning view of the city.