Montreal is filled with a ton history, art, and culture. There is so much to know about this one place and I’ll be honest, I’m no expert. However, I did go on a two-day adventure jam-packed with food and activities, so I’m pretty confident on the things I learned throughout. Here you will find 5 super awesome facts about Montreal as well as some traveling tips and recommendations. Enjoy!
1. It’s the Second Largest City in Canada
This can seem kind of haunting if you are planning a two day trip like me. But trust me, it can be done! Although the city is huge, Old Montreal, Downtown, and Mount Royal can be seen in just a short period of time. I recommend hitting Old Montreal and Downtown on one day and Mount Royal (including the Mountain and Le Plateau) on the following.
2. It’s Filled with Street Art & Graffiti
The streets are filled with incredible pieces of art. You’ll find the best graffiti on Saint Lawrence Boulevard. You can also find incredible restaurants on this street, like Patati Patata (unbelievable poutine,) Fairmount Bagel (better than NYC’s bagels – no joke,) and Cafe Replika (great Turkish coffee and bagels!) They have incredible “indoor art” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, and several art galleries throughout the city. I recommend checking their exhibits before heading to a museum or gallery, as any of those can take up quite a lot of time.
3. Buildings Can’t Be Taller Than the Cross on Mount Royal
They made a law that buildings in the city can’t exceed 223 meters and buildings in Downtown can’t exceed 120 meters. There are a couple of buildings in Downtown that almost reach the height limit. The Place Ville Marie, in particular, is 188 meters tall and has an unbelievable 360-degree observatory. If it’s your first time in the city, then I highly suggest making this your first stop. They have their #MTLGO exhibit on the 45th floor, which gives you recommendations on places to visit based on your likes and preferences. You’ll be given a card at the beginning of your journey, which you’ll use to “tap” on the themes that interest you. Themes include anything from gastronomy to sports. At the end of the exhibit, you’ll “tap-out” and get a full itinerary or action plan based on your interest. (My action plan printed out in French, but that might have been a glitch from the computer I used.)
4. They Offer Free French Classes to Immigrants
I heard about this while doing the #MTLGO exhibit and for some reason, it just stuck in my memory. Montreal has immigrants from all over the world, which means they have food from all over the word. Definitely hit up cute little French restaurants like Les Deux Gamins while your there. But, don’t forget to try some of their other “local” spots, like the Mexican restaurant La Capital Tacos.
5. Mount Royal Has An Awesome View of the City
There are two main lookouts (or belvederes) on the mountain. If you’re going to Montreal in the summer, I would recommend walking up the mountain. (I saw plenty of families doing it during my visit, and that was when snow was still on the ground.) You’ll want to head to Kondiaronk Belvedere, which faces the Downtown area. The second one is Belvédère Camillien-Houde, but that faces the other side of the city and doesn’t really have that “iconic view.” Want to know more about the park? Click here to see 15 more cool facts!
Have you visited Montreal? If so, what are some cool facts you learned while visiting?