Creative, cosmopolitan, cutting-edge or chic—call it what you want, one thing’s for sure: Montréal is captivating. Few can resist the charm of this smart and spirited city, whose flair for cultivating one of the coolest lifestyles on the planet plays out daily.
Old in soul, but young at heart, Montréal has a storied past that includes First Nations settlement, French colony and a British stronghold. Its name comes from its centerpiece—the majestic Mont Royal, a gentle mountain that, throughout history, has been its backbone and backyard.
From small beginnings, Montréal has blossomed into of the world’s most modern and dynamic metropolises. You can see its European heritage shining though in the beautiful 18th-century buildings and cobblestone streets of Old Montréal. A few streets over, the buzz of its dynamic downtown reveals that it’s just as on-trend, cutting-edge and wildly creative.
Montréal lives in both French and English, but its multicultural population is really what shapes the cuisine, culture and conversation here. Food, from scrumptious patisseries to local pints and luscious produce to the ever-popular poutine, is enjoyed heartily and happily. Ideas are shared and debated, often passionately. And festivals are flocked to, with jazz, dance, comedy, film and fireworks some of the array of favourites. Cafés, bars, clubs, galleries, museums and boutiques crowd the streets. Summer through winter, people love to go out.
A gateway to North America that’s just an hour from the U.S. border, Montréal is easy to get to, with direct flights from most major international destinations. Getting around this safe and compact island city is easy, whatever means you choose, and BIXI bike or public transit, which includes bus and subway, are all great options.