On the edge of Anglophone Canada lies the city of Montreal – an inspiration and mystery to many. And while it always manages to escape blending with the rest of the nation, things to do in Montreal become even more exciting and unique. The dual cultural identity gives the place the best of both worlds, and when you add Canadian to the mix, you get this utterly special Quebecois spot where people never run out of ideas for their leisure time.
Montréal is home to more people than any other spot in Quebec, and the interesting thing about it is that it’s the largest French-speaking city on the continent and the second-largest in the world. But, the language is not the only factor that adds to its uniqueness. It’s one of the rare places in the world where everybody can feel at home and find something appealing to do. Regardless of whether you’re moving to Montreal with children, or you’re single, you’re a history aficionado, or a foodie, MTL won’t let you down. Read on to find out what are the top things to do in Montreal.
Visit the Old City
Travel back to France a few centuries ago and wander down the charming cobbled streets of the Old City. Sit down for the finest cup of coffee at one of the cozy cafes or admire the eclectic architecture that is its well-known signature. If you’re learning a language abroad, this is just the spot because you’ll hear a lot of French and feel like you traveled all the way to the city of light. And, if you’re moving to another country for love, you can have a memorable date with your significant other here.
Go Shopping at Bonsecours Market Close to the Old City
A short walk from the Old MTL, the Bonsecours Market is the oldest market, which has served as the central one until recently. Built in the Renaissance Renewal style, it’s a haven of fine dining, boutiques, and niche stores where you can enjoy your visit to your heart’s content.
The Museum World
The largest spot in Quebec is the cultural capital of the continent, according to many, and the museum offer here won’t leave you hanging. If you’re searching for the best places to live abroad with family, you’re coming to the right spot. If you like science, visit the Science Center to find out how technology shapes our existence and prepare for interactive exhibitions. Don’t miss out on the McCord Museum, where you can hear about Canada’s history and peek into some ancient artifacts revealing the ancient way of life. Finish off your tour with a visit to MTL’s Biodome, a spectacular recreation of the continent’s ecosystems and their climate. With all the interesting land and water animals, it’s guaranteed to charm your kids.
Fine Arts Museum
One of the continent’s most popular museums is at the heart of downtown. From ancient Egyptian and old civilizations’ artifacts to classical and modern Canadian, prepare for everything here and dedicate at least a day to exploring the Museum’s five pavilions. There are tours in both English and French, so you needn’t worry if you’re still not ready for breaking the language barrier. The greatest thing is that admission to the permanent collection is free at all times.
Explore MTL Through Tours
Northern Paris is accessible on foot for the most part, and on a fine day, you can stroll through it and find much inspiration. If you’d like a local to share exciting stories with you and tell you more about Montréal’s secrets, check out some of the free tours that may serve as an excellent intro and leave you hungry for more anecdotes. Take a foodie tour and try out some of the delicious local specialties and learn more about their history and how they are made, or join a beer tour where you can discover the finest craft beer in town.
One of the Best Things You Can Do Is to Join a Walking Tour
If you want to learn how to live in another country, make sure you check out the numerous walking tours that can help you get the idea of what sets different quarters apart. Start off by visiting Mont-Royal and catching a mesmerizing view from a famous hill that served as inspiration for MTL’s name. Continue to the best neighborhoods in Montreal, and feel the spirit of each place. Though it sounds touristy, it’s actually great for locals, too. Head to the Old City Historical tour, or learn about Mile End in the hip quarters walk. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, go on the Ghost Tour, and learn about the darker parts of MTL’s history, crime, and witchcraft. The fun part is that you’ll get to burn off all the calories you spent reveling in Montréal’s delicacies while listening to the most riveting stories.
Places to See Culture
If you are wondering how to live abroad, discovering culture is a great starting point. When you wake up on a fine morning in Montréal and start wondering what is there to do in Montreal right now, consider some of the following suggestions:
- Cirque du Soleil – MTL is home to one of the most sought after attractions worldwide, so this is the best chance you’ll have to see them play on their own premises.
- Visit a festival – Northern Paris is famous for its festival scene, which is the most active in summer, but there are great events all year round. World-famous artists come to MTL to perform and tour. And if you’re more into education, you’ll still be satisfied and find events for you and your kids since Montréal is one of the most progressive ones in this aspect.
- McGill University – Explore one of Canada’s most prestigious Unis and view its stunning gardens.
Food Glorious Food
One of the biggest unmissable here is the food scene, and Montréal is gourmand’s paradise. It’s in the top five most amazing cities to eat in the continent by all of the influential gastronomical magazines, and it was the favorite eating spot of the culinary legend Anthony Bourdain. You’ll be at a loss where to start here, but we can help.
Poutine Is a Must
International moving to Canada isn’t complete without poutine. The signatory Canadian national dish composed of crispy fries and cheese custards all dipped in yummy gravy sauce is a must-try around here. You’ll find the original recipe but also numerous interesting twists and variations on the theme. From food trucks to luxurious restaurants, almost everyone sells it.
If you were wondering how to move across the world with no sweets, we are on your side. Thus, make sure you eat dragon beard in MTL’s Chinatown since, apart from China, this is the only spot in the world where you’ll be able to buy it. This ancient Chinese recipe is a twist on the cotton candy and is certain to win over even the fussiest of eaters. Another sweet you should by no means avoid here is bagel! Unlike NYC bagels, the MTL’s bagel is hand-rolled and baked in a wood-burning oven. You can get the best ones at St-Viateur, not far from the Mont-Royal Park, where people stand in long lines to get these, and they don’t ask for the price. Bagels are so popular here that they sell 12K a day.
Smoked Meat and the Jewish Heritage
If you still got some space left, don’t miss out on the meat specialties. Apart from the divine meat pie (tourtiere), you can get them almost everywhere; MTL is also home to the most popular Jewish dish – smoked meat. Placed in two slices of bread and topped with beautiful sauces – the tradition of smoking meat, which dates centuries back, will make you feel wholesome. The most popular deli to try these out is Schwartz’s, which is also quite near the Mont-Royal. If you need inspiration on what to eat apart from these, take a look at the following video.
The Best Things to Do in Montreal in Winter
Canada is notorious for its weather and cold winters, but MTL is as great in winter as it is in the summer. The weather is cold, but if you dress up accordingly and keep up the pace, you can get warm in no-time. MTL is where you can feel the winter magic and the holiday spirit while still keeping active. It’s actually amazing to be in winter, and here’s why.
Christmas Markets in Montreal Are a Must-See
Markets are unmissable all year round, but in winter, if you’re wondering how can I have fun in Montreal, nothing really beats them. These are almost in all parts of MTL, and they offer music, ice-skating, and shopping. Make sure you visit the famous Jean-Talon market and find the perfect gift for your family, friends, and yourself or recharge with a cup of aromatic mulled wine, hot tea, or chocolate. You’ll find handmade crafts and all kinds of things to the most royal delicious treats here. And if you’re worried about how to keep in touch with friends, here, you can find presents galore to send them.
You’ll find these all over the town. You can learn how sap collected from the trees is boiled into delicious maple syrup. And they offer the feel of the real traditional Canadian Christmas. Be ready to eat a bunch of homemade winter delights and revel in real hospitality while your children will be entertained with numerous games and fun in the snow.
Spend Your Day in the Snow
MTL is a winter wonderland, and you can practice different winter sports here. From skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, snow scootering to well, you name it, it probably exists here. Our recommendation is Parc-Nature Du Cap-Saint-Jacques, though it is a bit far from the center, you can travel there by free shuttle departing a few times a day. And here you’ll also find a cabine a sucre if you feel peckish after all the snow action.
Is Montreal Worth Visiting?
With all it’s got to offer, MTL is one of the most amusing cities on the continent. Whether you’re moving to Canada with pets, or you’re looking for opportunities to paint the town red or simply enjoy the city’s amazing culinary scene, it won’t disappoint you in any of these. It is easy to reduce your moving stress in a spot like this, and you’ll soon discover firsthand why this is the center of one of the friendliest countries in the world.
With tons of fun-packed activities for families and singles alike, one of the best places to live abroad in the heart of Quebec offers fun galore no matter what your idea of it is. Living overseas is always a challenge, but you’ll breeze through it here due to the rich opportunities the city offers that can light up your day. The expert tip for international moving to Montreal is to find expat communities to share suggestions with or make your own list of answers to the question of what to do in Montreal, Canada.
Ready to Move?
If you’re ready to get your documents needed to travel abroad and hire a reliable overseas moving company for moving to Canada, you’re on the right track to fulfilling your dream. Don’t worry about is Montreal safe because it is. Check out the cost of living in Montreal and think about the right relocation questions to ask the employer, and your moving overseas adventure can begin. Make sure you arrange reliable moving overseas services such as packing service, boxes, and moving supplies, custom crating for your valuables, and your international moving will be a breeze.