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City Travel Guide - Montreal
Old Montreal Big city lights in downtown Montreal Shopping in downtown Montreal

"A potent mix of old and modern, French and English, natural beauty and urban wonder; Montréal has so much to offer, it will keep you coming back for more!"

Montréal Tourism

Combining old-world charm, a distinctly French way of living and a modern style all its own, Montréal offers a taste of Europe, right here in North America. Situated on a large island in the St. Lawrence River, Montréal has long been one of the most important cities in Canada.

Built around the foot of Mount Royal, from which the city derives its name, this sophisticated, safe metropolis will seduce and enchant even the most discerning of travelers. The beautiful Vieux-Montréal, or 'Old Montréal' is a major tourist draw. A carefully preserved piece of history, with its cobblestone streets and charming architecture, its oldest buildings date back to the 1600's. Filled with shops and boutiques, Old Montréal is a perfect place to go on a shopping spree along Saint-Paul and Notre-Dame, taking in sights such as the stately Montréal City Hall and sombre Notre-Dame Basilica.

Downtown Montréal is a place where people live, work and play. The streets are lined with stores, with funky vintage boutiques competing alongside name-brand retail outlets. Montréal is also famous for its underground city, known the RESO. Comprising over 32 kilometres of tunnels spread over the downtown core, the RESO is home to shopping malls, hotels, banks offices and museums, and access to seven Metro stations. It even connects with the Bell Centre Hockey Arena, the home of the Montréal Canadiens.

Summer is the unofficial beginning of Montréal's festival season, which is so full and varied a complete list would be impossible. Annual highlights include the "Just for Laughs" comedy festival featuring the best of stand-up comedy, the Montréal International Jazz Festival which draws performers from all over the world, and the Canadian Grand Prix, a must-see event for all fans of Formula One racing.