15 things to do in Montreal if you are visiting for the first time

Are you planning a trip to Montreal? You want to settle in this beautiful tourist city? Moving from Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa to Montreal! First time in Montreal and you don't know what to do in the largest and second most populated city in Quebec. Some recommendations may vary depending on personal experience, but most tourists and connoisseurs suggest the following fifteen activities among the priorities to do when visiting the city. Here they are:

1. Climb Mount Royal

There is no better place to start a beautiful visit of the city than the hike that gives the metropolis its name. At the top of Mount Royal, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the entire square from the Belvedere observatory. It's a nice walk to get there or you can take the bus if you're not a fan of walking. Catching the sunrise from the mount is an amazing thing.

2. Take a food tour.

One of the main characteristics of the city of Montreal is that food is a big problem around the place. Take a tour of the various restaurants and food outlets to try the varied, albeit greasy, dishes.

3. Eat poutine.

A smoked meat sandwich and a bagel. Being in the food zone, a typical Montreal dish you must try is Poutine. Although it doesn't look very appetizing, but the combination of fries, cheese curds and gravy on top is an unforgettable treat and once you try it, you'll never eat your fries the same again.

And, also, it is highly recommended when touring for food, you must try a smoked meat sandwich. There's nothing better after poutine than a 4 inch thick smoked meat sandwich for a great snack.
And to round out this culinary tour, a good bagel soaked in honey-infused water before baking makes Montreal bagels, according to connoisseurs, much more delicious than their New York counterparts.

4. Walk on St-Paul street.

Located in the Old Montreal section, this tribute to the city of Montreal is a nice place to take a stroll on your first visit to this metropolis. Along the way, you will find many restaurants, bars, souvenir stores and art galleries for your enjoyment. And to top it all off, the prices are very balanced for this very popular area.

5. Visit one of the city's markets

If you are a market lover, you must visit one of Montreal's markets to pick up and try many local products. This activity should be scheduled in the summer when most agricultural products are in season. If markets are your thing, it's a good idea to save money for local specialties such as preserves, ice wines and ciders, and the almost endless type of maple products.

6. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

With over 13,000 square feet of exhibition space, you must visit this world-renowned art center with a permanent exhibition of over 40,000 works. Check the museum calendar for special activities that can be done at the time of your visit. Nevertheless, if there is no special activity to do, a visit to the museum is always a must and you won't regret it.

7. Visit the Montreal Biodome.

You need to plan a visit to this interesting place located in the east end of Montreal. The educational activities that take place here are a great way to learn about Canada's ecosystem and lend a hand to the environmental issues facing the world today. Plus, getting up close and personal with adorable animals like penguins while touring the Biodome is well worth it.

8. Go to the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Built for the 1976 Olympics, the building was used for several sporting events, including the celebration of baseball games with the Montreal Expos, before the team moved to Washington DC to change its name to the Nationals. "The Big O" - named for its shape and also the money spent to erect it - has also been used for concerts and live music entertainment, and its tower serves as an observation deck for the city.

9. Take a bike ride around the city.

One of the best ways to get to know this city is by bike. There are several Bixi stations, a sharing system with more than 3000 bikes, and 300 stations, you can rent a bike for a few hours and you can return them to any station in the metropolis. There are dedicated bike lanes throughout the city, so traffic won't be a problem if you decide to take this route to get around Montreal.

10. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame.

If you admire religious buildings from around the world - like the Taj Mahal in India - a visit to the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal must be of great interest in this case. The ornate gothic facades and the wonderful chapel at the back, joined by the truly impressive organ, are topics that have been in people's conversations over the years. If you do not attend mass, you will have to pay 5 $ for admission.

11. Take a tour of the Mile End stores.

A paid visit to the clothing stores of Montreal's Mile End is one of the things to do when visiting the city for the first time. Money should be saved for this part of the tour and time would also be saved due to the large number of stores found in the area.

12. Stroll on the Plateau Mont-Royal

Take time to walk around the colorful neighborhood to see the beautiful architecture of the houses, as well as sit in one of the many cafes and watch the people go by.

13. Grab the local craft beers.

One of the habits of the local population is to drink a beer at the end of the day; but not just any beer. Good quality craft beer is the kind of drink Montrealers prefer, so for your first visit to the city, it is highly recommended to visit one of the city's craft breweries. If you need expert help, you can ask for it and even check out the Montreal Craft Beer Tour on the Internet.

14. Visit Habitat 67.

Designed by Moshie Safdie for the 1967 World's Fair, this housing complex has become one of the city's most interesting architectural monuments. In addition to its complex interconnected structure, the place also has the privilege of being one of the 10 ugliest buildings in North America.

15. Check out the festivals that take place in the city in summer or winter.

Throughout the year, several festivals take place in the city, whether it is the sunny summer or the cold winter. Some of the festivals and their occurrence are the following:

  • Igloofest (mid-January to early February)
  • Port Symphonies (late February to early March)
  • International Film Festival (late March to early April)
  • Croissant Festival (early May)
  • Montreal International Jazz Festival (late June to early July)
  • International Festival of Circus Arts (From the star to mid-July)
  • Just for Laughs (Almost all of July)
  • Rogers Cup Tennis Tournament (early August)
  • International Tango Festival (early August)

For other events and their schedules throughout the year, visit the website to learn more about them.

And don't forget, when you visit Montreal, one activity you should never leave out is to take a coffee break to have energy to continue visiting this incredible metropolis.

For information call Alex 514-569-4443

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