Any trip to Montreal will leave your head reeling like being spun from a top – there’s so much architectural beauty to gawk at. And if architecture is your thing (or museums or environmental conservation, for that matter), you’ll want to head out to St. Helen’s Island and spend the day strolling around the lush park gardens of Parc Jean-Drapeau and visiting the architectural wonder that is Montreal’s Biosphere.
Highland games and related festivities are held all over the world to honor traditional music, food, and competition—specifically, strongman contests—from the Highlands of Scotland.
The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, founded thirty years ago, is an annual July event that is now one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world (with thousands of performers and millions of attendees). Many now-famous comedians have appeared on stage here, at the epicenter of jovial summer fun.
Considered to be “Canada’s Cultural Capital” and one of the world’s most livable cities, Montreal isn’t your typical North American city. With a huge French-Canadian population, a devotion to good food and drink, and a busy arts scene, Montreal is often considered to be very European. What you’ll find, however, is that Montreal is uniquely itself: no labels can be placed, because Montreal is purely Montreal.
Montreal, like all multicultural cities, is not short on places to dine, drink, or munch; especially in the downtown area, you’ll find as many Asian and European cuisine choices as you would in New York City or San Francisco. Even after you’ve eaten, it can be hard to say no to the smell of pastries or the idea of sipping another glass of red wine on a patio.
In June 2012, the 33rd Montreal International Jazz Festival (Festival International de Jazz de Montréal) – the largest Jazz Fest in the world, by most standards – will host thousands of artists performing to millions of people. Roads are blocked off, tourists flock, outdoor stages are set up, and crowds go nuts accordingly. Here are just a few reasons why visitors to Montreal shouldn’t count out this summer activity during their visit, if they happen to be there around the right time.