The second largest French speaking city after Paris, Montreal has a European look and feel with centuries old architecture blended with modern and innovative designs. Old Montreal is the oldest section of the city, a warren of cobblestone lanes, intimate restaurants, galleries and boutiques. We recommend pre-booking a tour of the city, which may take in sights such as the Botanical Gardens, the second largest in the world, a cable ride to the top of the Olympic Tower, the Biodome of Montreal and Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal.
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Top things to do in Montreal
Day trip to the Laurentian mountains
Journey north from Montreal into the Laurentian mountains (Laurentides), a spectacular alpine area that includes the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park. This stunning landscape is dotted with freshwater lakes and picturesque villages. Take a cruise on Lac des Sables, and visit the charming mountain village of Saint Sauveur.
Discover Montreal's history
Discover the French colonial history of Montreal in the Old Montreal district, the Place d'Armes, Basilique Notre-Dame and Place Jacques-Cartier. Visit Mount Royal Park and the St Joseph Oratory for panoramic views of the downtown area and the river. This is contrasted with a visit to the Westmount district, an independent city that remains part of the urban agglomeration of Montreal and where some of Montreal's wealthiest families have built their homes.
The latest from Compass - our online travel magazine
"There were lots of high points - the Terracotta warriors, the pandas - but my wife's best moment was standing on the Great Wall, and reflecting on what had gone into building it. Mine was the spectacular scenery of the Goddess Stream during our Yangtse river trip.
Mr Andrew Slater"
"Seeing animals unique to Madagascar in their natural environment and able to photograph them as they fed and interacted with each other [was inspirational]. The tour guide, Tokey, had an amazing knowledge of all of the wildlife, plants - latin names included - and the history of the country and its people and customs.
Mr Ian Culley"
"The guide was the most impressive of all. She always responded to our individual needs and made the journey and tour very comfortable and enjoyable. She was a guide, a singer, a dancer, and above all a friend.
Dr Muhammad Rahman"
"Thanks for all your help in creating a truly memorable holiday.
"Go before the world realises what a amazing places it is!!
Ms Irene Gregory"
"The birdwatching at Ambua and Karawari was world class. They have Joseph and Stephen at Ambua, and Chris at Karawari, who are THE experts in PNG, and are mentioned in the new bird book.
Mr Anthony Ray"
"There were lots of highlights, but seeing the Hermitage Gallery in St Petersburg, with its room of paintings by Rembrandt, was magical.
Mr Charles Cox"
"[What was inspirational was ] the sheer range of experiences from the vibrant city of Cape Town to the vistas of the wineries around Franschhoek and Stellendosch and the drive through the mountains to Sanbona in the Little Karroo. Seeing white rhino and elephants at sunset and then the amazing fynbos at Grootbos near Walker Bay. Every day brought something new and fresh.
Mrs Lindsey Riley"
"Pretty much the whole holiday exceeded expections, but the Roman site of Volubilis was much better than anticipated. The mosque in Casablanca was also a great visit. We hd not expected to be able to go inside because of Friday prayers, but this is possible between 0.00 and 10.00 am.
Mr Roger Rumbold"
"Visiting the cemeteries for the Day of the Dead celebrations [was inspirational]. We also enjoyed the visits to the Mayan tombs which were brought to life by the excellent guides.
Mr Brian Walters"
"We had a marvellous time! Our driver Rarjed was brilliant at finding the animals and positioning the car just so. Seeing our first lion on the first day was so exciting. The view of the Masai Mara from Serena Mara lodge was an awe inspiring experience. Watching two male giraffes fighting was an unforgettable sight. As you can see it is impossible to pick the most inspirational moment, the whole trip was a dream come true."
"Early morning walks around the Blue mosque and Hagia Sophia, before the crowds. Meeting Father Ian Sherwood. In general, becoming aware of the tragedies affected the disenfranchised minorities in the Middle East & Central Asia, and how they are related to their shared religious and cultural histories.
Ms Pamela England"
"The tour guide Ra'ed was exceptional. He described all aspects of the sites and many interesting facts about his country, it's history, geography, religions and more. We couldn't have asked for a better guide.
Mrs Patricia Stonier"
"Truly the trip of a lifetime. From start to finish our itinerary worked like clockwork, which meant we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves very much. This is our second trip with Cox & Kings an we cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you all very much.