There’s an undeniable austerity to the city of Montreal, especially come wintertime — a season when cold, gray facades contrast a thick blanket of snow. But the city’s vibrancy shines through any time of year with its myriad murals, vibrant light shows, electric party scene, festival atmosphere, and creative community. Come spring and summer, the city is abuzz with outdoor pubs, street-side musicians, river strolls, and plentiful outdoor activities.
This is a city where the legacy of Montreal’s first people — the Saint Lawrence River Iroquoians — lives on amid archaeological and artistic representation. It is a place that welcomed immigrants far and wide, and where over 200 cultures continue to live in close quarters, creating cross-cultural communities and inspirational enclaves.
It may sound like magic, but you can find it all in this Quebecois city.
Welcome to Montreal.
Planning Your Trip
One of the easy things about planning a trip to Montreal is that there’s really not a bad time of year to visit. With a climate and geography comparable to that of northern New England, the city fully experiences all four seasons, its ever-changing tableau a source of beauty and inspiration for travelers and local creatives.
Montreal is known across the globe as a city that breathes creativity. In fact, it has been referred to as one of North America’s most creative cities — on more than one occasion — and was even named a UNESCO City of Design.
A man in a baseball cap and sunglasses, recounting how he immigrated from Portugal as a teenager. A woman bundled up against the lightly falling snow, explaining how she became the first person from the Americas to cross the North Atlantic in a rowboat. These are just a few of the people that Thibault Carron and Mikaël Theimer have met in recent months.
Often referred to as the cultural capital of Canada, Montreal is a breeding ground for creatives, having nurtured and inspired countless writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists over the years. With that in mind, we put together an entertainment bucket list of sorts for the city.
A city of great architectural austerity, impressive cultural contributions, and burgeoning creativity, Montreal can also be pretty darn (but delightfully) weird.
Though France was the first country to settle in Montreal, the city (now home to more than 200 ethnicities) has made quite the name for itself in the international culinary scene, crafting unique, fusion-based menus and a thriving cocktail culture.
For Creative Travelers
Montreal is one of the largest French-speaking cities on Earth — however, most of its residents are bi- (or even tri-) lingual.
Initially dubbed “Hochelaga,” early Montreal was settled by the Saint Lawrence Iroquoians in the 14th century.
During the 17th century, Montreal was the epicenter of the global fur trading industry, thanks to the abundance of beavers in the Saint Lawrence River.
Montreal has an Underground City of tunnels that connects over 20 miles of shopping centers, universities, banks, offices, and metro stations.
Where to Stay
With 11 unique brands including Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Westin and W Hotels, and properties located in downtown Montreal, Saint-Hyacinthe and Dorval, Marriott International hotels allow for guests to immerse themselves in Montreal culture from the minute they wake each morning.