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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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