French-speaking Montreal is romantic and elegant, and those who choose to holiday in the city generally come for its music, art and joie de vivre. This charming metro has plenty to see and do with regards to culture, and those who plan to travel to Montreal can check out a full calendar of events and enjoy the many plays, ballets and concerts that spice up the entertainment scene year round. Montreal has also earned its reputation as a great destination for foodies, and boasts an extremely energetic nightlife.
Montreal was founded as a missionary village in 1642, a century after Jacques Cartier became the first European to discover the area. Despite some undeniably English architectural and cultural influences, Montreal is today one of the world's largest French-speaking cities on an overwhelmingly English-speaking continent. A metropolis of international repute, this large inland port is framed between Mont Royal and the St Lawrence River.
It's located in the south of Canada's Quebec province, only 37 miles (60km) from the United States border, and is an important hub of North American trade. It is a spacious and captivating city, characterised by a series of underground shopping and recreation complexes linked by walkways, and the metro. It contains more than 18.5 miles (30km) of office and apartment complexes, major stores, hotels, restaurants, metro stations, parking garages, movie theatres, concert halls and more, all snugly accessible during the snowy winters.
Its population is a multicultural mix that has fostered a vibrant cultural life, showcased in a number of world-class art galleries and museums. Like most Canadian cities, Montreal has interspersed urban development with green areas, the most celebrated of which is the spacious Parc du Mont-Royal, designed by Frederic Olmsted, the American landscape artist who also designed Central Park in New York. The city boasts countless other attractions to visitors all year round, but tourists do tend to avoid the freezing winter months.