15 Things to do in Montreal if you're visiting for the first-time

Do you plan to travel to Montreal? Do you want to move to this beautiful tourist town? Move from Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa to Montreal! First time in Montreal and you do not know what to do in the biggest location and second most populated city in Quebec. Some recommendations can vary according to personal experience, but most tourists and city-connoisseurs, suggest the following fifteen activities among the priority to be done while visiting the city. Here they are: 


1. Go up the Mont Royal

To start a great visit to the city, there is not best place to do it that hike the place that gives the name of the metropolis. On the top of the Mont Royal, you can take a wonderful view of the entire place from the Belvedere observatory. It is a nice walk to get there or you can take the bus if you are not fond of walking. Catching the sunrise from the Mont it is an amazing thing.


2.   Take a Food Tour.

One of the main characteristics of the city of Montreal is that food is an important issue around the place. Take a trip around the diverse restaurants and food stores to try the diverse, although greasy, meals.


3.Eat Poutine, a smoked meat sandwich, and a bagel.

Being in the food area, a typical Montreal dish you have to try is Poutine. Although it does not look very appetizing, but the combination of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy at the top is an unforgettable pleasure and once you try it, you will never eat your French fries the usual way ever again.

And, also, it is highly recommended while touring for food, you must try a smoked meat sandwich. Nothing is better to have, after poutine, than eating a 4-inch thick smoked meat sandwich for a good snack.

And to close this food tour, a good bagel soaked in honey-infused water before baking them, make the Montreal bagel, according to connoisseurs, much more delicious their NYC counterparts.


  4. Walk on St-Paul Street.

Located on the Old Montreal Section, this European tribute section of the city is a nice place to take a good walk for your first visit to this metropolis. Along this road, there are several restaurants, bars, souvenirs shops, and art galleries for your gratification. And to top all that, prices are very even for this highly visited area.


5. Visit one of the City’s Markets

If you are a market lover, you must go to one of Montreal’s market to get and acquire many of the local products and give them a try. This activity should be scheduled to be done in summertime when most of the agricultural products are in season. If markets are your deal, it is advisable to save some money to get some locally-made delicacies such as preserves, ice wines and ciders, and the almost endless type of maple goods.


6.Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

With more than 13,000 square meters of exhibition space, you have to visit this world-wide recognized art center with a permanent display of more than 40,000 works. Check the museum calendar for some special activities that can be done at the moment of your visit. Nevertheless, if there is not any special activity to be done, the visit to the museum is still a must and you will not regret it.


7.Pay a visit to the Montreal Biodome.

It is necessary that you schedule a visit to this interesting place located in East Montreal. The educational activities taking place here are an excellent way to learn more about Canada’s ecosystem and to give a hand to the environmental issues the world is facing nowadays. Plus, dealing with adorable animals, such as penguins, while going around the Biodome is worth the while.


8.Go to the Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the construction has been used for several sports activities, including the celebration of Baseball matches with the Montreal Expos, way before the team was relocated in Washington DC changing its name to the Nationals. “The Big O” – named after its shape and also the money spent in its erection – has also served as a concert and live musical performances and its tower serves as a observation deck for the city. 


9.Ride a bicycle around the city.

One of the best alternatives to know this city is going around it riding a bicycle. There are several Bixi stations, a system for sharing over 3000 bikes and 300 stations, let you hire a bicycle for a few hours and you can return them at any station of the metropolis. Lanes dedicated to bikes can be found all over the city, so traffic will not become a problem if you decide to take this way to go around Montreal.


10.Visit Basilique Notre-Dame.

If you admire the religious buildings around the world – like the Taj Mahal in India – a visit to the Basilique Notre-Dame in Montreal must be of high interest in that case. The highly ornate gothic facades and the amazingly beautiful chapel at the back, join by the really impressive organ are topics that have been in people’s conversations through years. If you are not attending Mass, you will have to pay 5 dollars for admittance.


11. Look around the boutiques of the Mile End.

A visit pay to the clothing stores of the Mile End of Montreal is one of the activities to be done when visiting the city for the first time. Money should be saved for this part of the tour and time would be also saved due to the big amounts of boutiques found in the area.


12. Wander in Plateau Mont-Royal

Take your time to walk around the colorful neighbor to discover the beautiful architecture of the houses there, besides sitting at one of the many cafés and treat in some people-watching


13. Take the local craft beers.

One of the habits for local people is to have a beer at the end of the day; but not any sort of beer. Craft beer of good quality is the sort of beverage that Montreal people prefer to take, so for your first visit to the city it is highly advisable to pay a visit to one of the brewpubs in the town. If you need the help of an expert, you can look for it and even check the Montreal craft beer guided tour in Internet


14. Visit Habitat 67.

Designed by Moshie Safdie for the World Fair in 1967, this house complex has turned into one of the most interesting architectural landmark in the city. Besides its complex interconnecting structure, the place has also the privilege to be one of the 10 top ugliest buildings in North America.


15.Check out the Festivals taking place in the city in summer or winter.

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

  • Igloofest (from the middle of January to the beginning of February)
  • Port Symphonies (End of February to early March)
  • International Film Festival (At the end of March to beginning of April)
  • Croissant festival (At the beginning of May)
  • Montreal International Jazz Festival (End of 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 (At the beginning of August)
  • International tango festival (Beginning of August)

For other events and their schedule during the year, check the web to find out more details about them.

And do not forget, while touring around Montreal, one activity you should never rule out is taking a coffee break to get energy and continue visiting this amazing metropolis.

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