By Stuart Forster
Multicultural and multifaceted, chic and sophisticated, Montréal has plenty to offer visitors taking a chance on one of Canada’s lesser-known cities.
Why sell it
Montréal is Canada’s second most populous city and one of the hubs by which air travellers from the UK can enter the country, making it ideal for a city break or as a destination to explore at the beginning or end of a Canada-wide holiday.
First-time visitors will enjoy the architecture and cultural attractions of the Downtown and Old Port districts. Highlights include the Neo-Gothic interior of Notre-Dame Basilica, Bonsecours Market’s shining dome and Montréal’s Second Empire style City Hall. The five themed pavilions and sculpture garden of Montréal Museum of Fine Arts offer plenty for art aficionados.
Cycle along the Lachine Canal and pause at the Art Deco Atwater Market.
Walls decorated with murals and the Bradley Ertaskiran Gallery house contemporary artworks. The MAC contemporary art museum, which will reopen late in 2021, and Place des Arts performance venue count among attractions connected by the Underground City’s 20.5 miles of shop-lined walkways. Guided walking and cycling tours offer insights into Montréal’s neighbourhoods.
Head up to Kondiaronk Belvedere on Mount Royal, Montréal’s largest green space and home to St Joseph’s Oratory, Canada’s largest church.
Oasis immersion is a new no-contact experience at the Paleis des congrès de Montréal, with more than 100 laser projectors and surround-sound speakers.
Featuring a spa, rooftop pool and bar plus the chic h3 restaurant, the 193-room Humaniti Hotel is a new boutique Autograph Collection property.
Also new in the city is the 157-room Hilton Garden Inn and 133-studio Homewood Suites, which share premises in the Westbury district.
The Griffintown Hotel, with 114 stylish apartments, also opened this summer.
Toronto is 335 miles southwest of Montréal. Road trips along the Saint Lawrence River bring opportunities to explore the Thousand Islands region and Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ottawa is a two-hour drive away. From there it’s a further six-hour drive to Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park.
Historic Québec City is a 155-mile drive northeast of Montréal. Walkers and nature lovers should continue to the national parks and coastline of the Gaspé Peninsula.
How to get there
Air Canada and British Airways operate direct flights between Heathrow and Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. The 747 express bus service runs between the airport and downtown Montréal 24 hours a day, a journey of about an hour. •
Book it with...
A five-night Montréal city break is priced from £601pp, based on two adults sharing, the package includes economy return flights and five nights in a Montreal hotel.