The Best of Montreal: All you need to know when visiting the city

Montreal is a city that is loved by its citizens as much as it is loved by those who only get to spend a few days. With its four distinctive seasons – hot summer, lovely fall, freezing winter, and invigorating spring, Montreal mixes European charm with a new-world feel. It is a city where you can enjoy a stroll through cobbled stones streets towards a meeting in a high-rise skyscraper. Like Paris and New York City, Montreal is a city that never sleeps; a city to immerse yourself in culture time and time again.

hotel-pierre-du-calvetStay
Like most international cities, Montreal has its share of luxury hotels to satisfy the most discerning traveler. One boutique hotel stands out from the rest – Hotel Pierre du Calvet (405 rue Bonsecour, +1-866-544-1725) , a historical boutique hotel in the heart of Old Montreal. Adorned in a Baroque and French Colonial inspired style and built within 300 years old stone walls, Hotel Pierre du Calvet is a mix of modern luxuries in an 18th-century decor. Hide in the secret chamber, read a book in the library, enjoy a sip of coffee in the Victorian greenhouse or the outdoor terrace, and then finish the evening with a sumptuous meal at the authentic restaurant Les Filles du Roy.

damas-montrealEat
Montreal is a paradise for foodies. With thousands of restaurants, one can easily spend a lifetime trying to find a favorite. As a city with a multicultural heritage, you can enjoy dumplings for breakfast, Ethiopian for lunch, and Tibetan for dinner. The following day why not indulge in a lavish French Canadian breakfast, followed by Spanish tapas, and a spicy Indian feast.

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A few of our favorites include Liverpool House (2501 rue Notre-Dame west, H3J 1N6, (514-313-6049) for gusty meat dishes; Damas (5210 avenue du Parc, +1-514-439-5435) for fine dining Syrian & Middle Eastern dishes; and Au Pied de Cochon (536 ave Duluth East, H2L 1A9, +1-514-281-1114) for a true Québecois experience.

st-catherine-streetShop
Montréal is by-far the fashion capital of Canada with dozens of independent designer creating avant-garde fashion pieces. Although you may be tempted to shop on St-Catherine’s street since it is lined with branded stores and shopping centers, may we suggest splurging on a few local creations?

Pick a few pieces from Denis Gagnon (170B, Saint-Paul W. St, H2Y 1Z7, +1-514-935-6360), a few more from Michel Brisson (1074 avenue Laurier west, +1-514-270-1012 or 384 rue Saint-Paul west, +1-514-285-1012); and a few Melissa Nepton at either Espace Pepin (350 Rue St-Paul Ouest, +1 514-844-0114) or Unicorn (5135 Boul St-Laurent, +1 514-544-2828)

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bota-botaPamper
Montréal is on an island, so it seems perfectly suited to host one of the most luxurious spas in town on a boat. Meet Bota Bota (Old Port of Montreal, Corner McGill and De La Commune West, + 1-855-284-0333), a Scandinavian inspired spa with a thermal circuit nestled on the shores of Old Montreal. Open year round, even throughout the coldest months of winter, Bota Bota is a haven for relaxation. Imagine walking on deck in nothing else than your bathing suit enjoying snowflakes falling on your skin; then dipping in a hot Jacuzzi to admire Montreal’s stunning skyline.

pointe-a-callierePlay
Montréal has a lot to offer whether you visit in winter, spring, summer or fall. No two seasons are alike. In winter, enjoy ice-skating in Old Montreal or shopping in Montreal’s underground city. In summer, take a kayak up Lachine Canal, a bike ride on the many bicycle paths or simply soak up the sun at the infamous Tam-Tam music gathering on Mont-Royal.

Montreal also boost awesome museums for those who seek a little more culture. Visit the Musée Pointe-à- Callière (350 Place Royale, +1-514-872-9150) to learn about archeology or the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (185 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest,+1 514-847-6226) to admire local and international artwork.