Montreal – The Paris of the West
One of our favorite places in Canada has to be Montreal. Not only is it home to the second biggest population of French-speaking locals after Paris, it also looks like a city that has popped straight out of a fairytale.
The city is filled with public transport options, but why catch a train when you can cycle everywhere? In fact, Montreal has 350km of cycling paths in total, so most locals just cycle to work and everywhere else in the city.
Montreal has become a foodies dream, holding the title of second place when it comes to the amount of restaurants per capita (just after New York City). Somehow, even though the city celebrates food, everybody knows that Canadians love maple syrup above all else. 85% of maple syrup production comes from Quebec and the maple sap is used to make everything from butter, to candy, marinade and baked goods.
If you are looking for an incredible view over the city, there is no other place to go than Mount Royal. The park was designed by the same architect that co-created Central Park in New York City and is characterized by plenty of lush vegetation and an artificial lake.
If you enjoy the serenity of Mount Royal, then we suggest the Botanical Gardens. Trust us when we say that this is so much more than your run of the mill landscaped garden. The gardens have been designed to take the shape of people, birds and animals, and if that was not impressive enough, some of the vegetation grow over and inside man-made items like classic cars.
We suggest you spend a fair amount of time taking in the gardens before visiting the Biodome. Here, there are 4 ecosystems perfectly reconstructed in the old Olympic building, including the exotic tropical forest which is a replica of the South American rainforest and the polar area that is divided into Arctic and Antarctic.
Canadians love their ice hockey and Montreal is no exception. Catch a game at the Bell Centre where fans support their teams every season. If hockey isn’t your thing, there are many concerts with global artists that take the stage monthly including Madonna and Kelly Clarkson. Kids can enjoy Disney on Ice, which just proves that this is a centre for all ages and interests.
People love to visit the city in the summer months for some of the best festivals including the Jazz Festival, Fireworks Festival and the Just For Laughs comedy festival (which you may also recognize as a TV show) Famously, Montreal is also the base of Cirque du Soleil, which for those that don’t know, is a celebrated circus that involves trapeze artists and other fascinating acts and has travelled to every single content except Antarctica.
Montreal offers so much, so brush up on your French skills and take a trip to the fairytale city!