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If you are looking for a great vacation destination for you and your family, then you should definitely consider the Canadian city of Montreal.
Montreal has a huge range of attractions that are suitable for all ages, and it is a thriving city full of history, culture and cuisine that has plenty of things to do for free! A great day out can be had in Montreal just by exploring its streets, shops and restaurants.
There are many reasons to go to Montreal on vacation, and here are our nine favorite. After you read this quick guide, I guarantee you’ll be looking for flights to Montreal and searching for hotel rooms!
Montreal’s European Charms
Montreal is one of North America’s oldest cities, and is a part of French Canada. There is a lot of architecture and traditions still left over from Montreal’s days as part of the old French colony.
A visit to Old Montreal can be quite eye opening for visitors from the United States. Its old cobblestone streets are a historical artifact themselves, and give you the impression that you have travelled to Europe – or back in time. The Notre-Dame Basilica is also a structure more suited to Paris or Bruges than the streets of a North American city. Watch the kids’ eyes fill with wonder as they walk through Old Montreal.
The Underground City – RESO
If the weather isn’t co-operating with your vacation, don’t worry; Montreal has you covered – literally!
The ‘RESO’ or underground city is a collection of streets and walkways that exist below the surface streets of Montreal, and have just as much to offer. There are over twenty miles of these underground passageways to explore, and they are always a hit with tourists.
They connect many buildings, shops, museums and the city’s subway system. Even if the sun is out and the weather is great, make sure you explore the ‘hidden’ city of Montreal.
Find Outdoor Adventure in Montreal
Montreal is adjacent to the Saint Lawrence River, and this means there are plenty of water sports and outdoor adventures just a stone’s throw from the city. Do you like surfing? Well, you can surf in Montreal!
You can rent boats and kayaks if you want to explore the waterways, or join organized river excursions. You can even learn to surf on the shores of the river’s rapids. The city is also filled with parks and gardens that have activities to keep the children (and adults) entertained, and biking and hiking if you fancy something more physically challenging.
Montreal has Some of the Finest Cuisine in the World
If you like food, you will love Montreal. This city is filled with fantastic restaurants; it is hard to go wrong! The dining choices in this city seem endless, with every taste catered for whether you are looking for some Michelin starred fine dining, or some quick street food.
No trip to Canada would be complete without sampling some maple syrup, and there are plenty of ‘sugar shacks’ dotted throughout the city offering maple syrup doughnuts, sweet pastries and even bagels.
One of Canada’s signature dishes is Poutine, a dish of gravy, French fries and cheese that is similar to the New York dish ‘Disco Fries’. You will find authentic Poutine served all across Montreal.
Take a Ride Though the Streets and Explore Further
Montreal is an incredibly bike friendly city, and hiring some bikes and exploring the city is a great day out for the whole family.
There are over 400 miles of ‘cycle paths’ in Montreal, which are used exclusively by bicycles. This makes them very safe for users, giving parents extra peace of mind when cycling through Montreal. If you aren’t sure where to go, why not try a bike tour? These guided tours are a great way to explore the city and find out more about its culture and history.
Getting around Montreal when you get there couldn’t be easier, and thanks to Porter Airlines, getting to Montreal is easy too. They have flights to Montreal from a number of American and Canadian cities, and their flight crew are great at helping children on their first flight.
Montreal is a City Filled with Festivals
Montreal hosts nearly a hundred festivals a year, with many of them lasting two or more days. Whenever you decide to visit Montreal, you are almost guaranteed to find that there is a festival or two going on during your stay.
The Montreal Jazz Festival is one of the city’s, and jazz’s, biggest events. If that is not to your taste, don’t worry, there is plenty more on offer. One of the most popular festivals with tourists and locals alike is the Quartier des Spectacles. This event comprises multiple indoor and outdoor stages throughout the city, with performance art, circus acts and plays on display.
Take a Trip Though History at One of Montreal’s Many Museums
Just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t give the kids an excuse to miss out on some education, and Montreal is a city filled with museums.
The Musee d’Art Contemporain has a diverse mix of exhibits that should keep any modern art fan happy, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has an array of archaeological antiquities from across the world that offer a wealth of education for an inquisitive child.
If you want something more active and involving for the kids, try the Biosphere, Planetarium and Insectarium that are all connected together in one large complex.
The Architecture of Montreal is an Adventure Itself
Montreal is often thought of as the most European city in all of North America, and taking a trip here often feels a lot like a trip to Europe.
Montreal has a rich history. It was first colonized by the French, and then by the British before achieving independence as part of Canada. Since then, it has seen an influx of immigrants from across the world, helping to contribute to its diverse architectural styles.
Even the houses of Montreal have something to offer architecture fans. The rowhouses of Plateau Mont-Royal and the mansions of Westmount and Outremont are a sight to behold, and an important part of Montreal’s architectural history and legacy.
Experience the Beautiful Language and Accents of the People
With a diverse history comes a diverse language, and the people of Montreal have an interesting local dialect that is a mix of English and French, with words from dozens of other languages thrown in for extra fun.
If you are interested in languages, accents and culture, then Montreal could be your linguistic paradise. Legally, Montreal is a French speaking city, and you should expect to see many signs written in French, but often with an English translation beneath. Interestingly, Montreal is the second biggest French speaking city in the world after Paris.
In a city like Montreal, there is always something surprising waiting around the corner to delight you and your family. Whether you are looking for boutique shopping, interesting cuisine or an architectural masterpiece, Montreal has it waiting for you.
There is just as much to keep the kids entertained too, making it an increasingly popular vacation destination for families.
When you are planning your next trip away with the family, make sure you take a good look at the Canadian city of Montreal.