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Montréal is known not only as Canada’s second largest metropolis, but also one of the world’s largest French-speaking cities. Located in the middle of St Lawrence River and with Mount Royal (after which the city was named) as its backdrop, it is the cultural capital of Québec province.
Like the rest of Canada, Montréal is home to an ethnically diverse population, which adds to its je ne sais quoi. Although French is widely spoken, you can hear just about every other language, including Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Tagalog, Portuguese, English and Cantonese. This cultural diversity has also spiced up the city’s dining scene, giving you the option to eat your way around the world.
Well-maintained cycling trails, picturesque parks, year-round festivals, sporting events, and plenty of entertainment options, cafés and restaurants, mean there’s always something to do in Montréal.
Book a flight to Montréal with Qatar Airways and get to grips with the city’s French-Canadian heritage.
Admiring its architecture and exploring its history are two good reasons to book a trip to Montréal. Notre-Dame Basilica may not be as famous as its Parisian counterpart, but this 19th-century Gothic-Revival building has an elaborate interior that is truly breathtaking.
Olympic Stadium, inaugurated in 1957, is one of the city’s more modern facilities, with a seating capacity of 56,000. As the only covered amphitheatre in Québec, it has been the venue of choice not only for sporting events, but also concerts and trade shows.
Next to the stadium is another iconic structure, the 165-metre-high Montréal Tower. Inclined at a 45-degree angle, the tower has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest inclined tower. You can take a cable car to the building’s observation deck, and be treated to a panoramic view of the city.
Within the Olympic complex is a family-friendly attraction, Biodôme, originally the Olympic Velodrome, which was converted into a zoo and nature reserve. The facility has five areas, each replicating the different ecosystems found in the Americas.
Montréal benefits from a wide range of summer and winter leisure activities. In the summer, it has an almost Mediterranean climate, which is suited to biking, hiking and water-sports such as river surfing. Mount Royal is an excellent way to enjoy the city’s natural attractions. Climb to the top and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city, while taking some memorable holiday snaps.
Contrary to popular belief, Mount Royal is neither an extinct volcano nor a mountain. It is an underground rock formation and, at 233 metres above sea level, one of a network of hills that make up the Monteregian Hills. A national park, ideal for leisurely strolls, surrounds the area.
If you’re in to heart-pumping spectacle, visit the city in June and watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Other events to look out for are the International Jazz Festival and the Circus Festival.
If you’re travelling to Montreal during the winter months, you will see a whole new perspective of the city, after it has been transformed into a snowy playground. This offers a great opportunity for you to try your hand at ice skating or cross-country skiing.
If you prefer to view sports rather than take part in them, head to the Bell Centre to watch Canada’s favourite pastime, ice hockey.
Montréal is one of North America’s most respected culinary destinations, offering a wide range of options for all budgets.
If you want to sample some traditional Québécois cuisine, try tourtière (meat pie) or poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds). Classic French dishes are served in restaurants across the city, especially on Boulevard Saint-Laurent. However, there is also no shortage of eateries serving international cuisine, including Italian, African, Arabic, Chinese and Indian, so take your pick.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities that are worth a trip to Montreal and many of these are not as expensive as some other North American destinations. For well-known brands and department-store shopping, head to Rue Ste-Catherine. For specialty goods, Boulevard Saint Laurent and Rue St-Viateur are your best bets.
Marché Bonsecours is one of the most recognisable buildings in Old Montréal. A public market since 1859, this domed tower is home to artisan boutiques that sell products made by Québec’s native talent.
Essential facts about Montréal
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip