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In the 18th century, Montréal was a fortified town just like Québec City, complete with ramparts, gates and bastions. The foundations of these defensive walls can today be seen at Champ-de-Mars, right behind City Hall.


One of the world’s largest French-speaking cities, with some 1.7 million people (3.8 in the metropolitan region), Montréal is also a melting pot of cultures from the world over—as witnessed by its mosaic of ethnic neighbourhoods and the diversity of its restaurants. An island city that’s open to the world, Montréal is a lively town that’s always ready for a party!

The heart of MontréalLife in the 'hoodAn island in the river
Old Montréal

Basilique Notre-DamePlace Jacques-Cartier, next to City Hall, and Place d’Armes, right across from the Notre Dame Basilica and its breathtaking interiors, are the absolute must-see spots in Old Montréal. The nearby museum of Pointe-à-Callière is the best way to get acquainted with the city’s history. The quays of the Old Port, in turn, whose star attraction is the Montréal Science Centre, welcome the majestic cruise ships that stop in Montréal—and also offer an array of activities, including the highly popular river excursions.

 Must-see attractions

The city as seen through its parks

Jardin botanique de MontréalAnother must for visitors: the Olympic Park, which—in addition to its iconic stadium—features the Montréal Tower, the Biodôme and the planetarium. The nearby Botanical Garden, second largest in the world, unfurls its horticultural wealth and provides a lush green setting for the Insectarium. Mid-river, Parc Jean-Drapeau, home to famous amusement park La Ronde and the Casino, attracts visitors in droves in search of good times. It’s also the site of the yearly Formula 1 Grand Prix.

To be discovered

Festival international de jazz de MontréalWinter and summer alike, Montréalers like nothing more than a good festival! Topping the list are the Festival international de jazz, Just for Laughs, Les FrancoFolies, the International des feux Loto-Québec (fireworks competition) and the World Film Festival. But that’s not all—in fact, there are over 150 major events throughout the year!

Montréal is located in southern Québec on the largest island (nearly 500 km2/200 sq. mi.) of the Hochelaga archipelago in the St. Lawrence River. The city is 75 km (45 mi.) from the Ontario border (Rivière-Beaudette) and 200 km (125 mi.) east of Ottawa.
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