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Montreal, located in the southeastern Canadian province of Quebec, is the second largest city in the country. The city is found at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, giving rise to a large inland port which has become a very popular tourist site. Montreal celebrates its historic past, with some 3.6 million metro residents maintaining French culture and speaking English as well. The economy of Montreal continues to grow and its culture remains intact at the same time.
Montreal Trudeau Airport (YUL) welcomes many visitors to the city, as does VIA Rail. Once arrived, the STM offers metro subway and city bus to get around. Indeed, the public artwork displaye in the Metro stations makes visiting them worthwhile! Of course, the highway system is modern and many people choose to drive while visiting.
Begin your exploration of the city on historic Old Montreal's cobblestone streets, southeast of downtown and home to much history and many popular attractions. This city center boasts the Quays of the Old Port of Montreal, dating from the early 17th century. Walk, bicycle or hop aboard a Segway or horse-drawn carriage to see this area. Popular sites here include Pointe-a-Calliere, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, the Montreal Science Center's interactive exhibits and IMAX TELUS theatre, as well as Bonsecours Market's wonderfully unique shops and restaurants. A tour of the Notre Dame Basilica to see priceless treasures and incredible architecture is in order as well. Old Montreal hosts annual events including the Montreal en Lumiere, a ten day festival held every February which culminates in the popular Nuit Blanche fest which offers scores of activities, many free.
No worries if the weather is inclement, as Montreal is well-known for having the largest complex of tunnels connecting downtown Montreal hotels, businesses, metro stations, restaurants and the like in the world. Be sure to spend some time in Place Ville Marie where you will find the most current fashion, shoes and jewelry, plus a selection of trendy restaurants and cafes.
Sports are popular in this city, especially hockey! Downtown's Centre Bell hosts the NHL Montreal Canadiens. The CFL Montreal Alouettes play at Molson Stadium, found on McGill University's campus. Thousands of students study at this university, with many more attending the University of Montreal.
Jean-Drapeau Park, a combination of Saint Helen’s Island and Ile Notre-Dame Island in the St. Lawrence River, features a beach, the Floralies Gardens, walking and skating paths, popular annual events and concerts, and Casino Montreal for trying your luck. Also found at this park is Montreal Biosphere, where the entire family can enjoy exploring interactive exhibits. For unparalleled views, look no further than Mount Royal Park.
During the summer the mild weather is perfect for the International Jazz Festival. You can choose from a thousand concerts held at 15 concert halls and ten outdoor stages – performers from all over the world make this festival a blast! In September, try POP Montreal, an international music fest attracting more than six hundred artists to the city.
Explore a tropical rainforest at the Montreal Biodome or browse plants you've never seen before at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Ride 175 foot high roller coaster, Goliath, at Six Flags La Ronde; the world-famous Montreal Fireworks Festival competition is held at the park every July.
Head to the top of the tower at Olympic Park for amazing city views. For culture Canadian-style, the Place Des Arts is the place to see the the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Opera de Montreal and Compagnie Jean-Duceppe theatre company.
Montreal, Quebec is a multi-cultural city which beckons visitors to explore her history, her customs and her charm. Put her on your list of “must-see's” today!