Out on the Town | Travel

First Time In Montreal? 5 Things You Should Do!

Montreal is a city full of life, glamor, and opportunity. Made famous by the French-speaking locals, their hockey team “The Habs” and the exuberant nightlife, you’re bound to have a good time no matter what you look for in a city. Filled with old buildings, beautiful gardens, and one of the top universities in the world, take a stroll in the French capital of Canada.

Montreal Botanical Gardens

Montreal Botanical Gardens

One of the cities’ crown jewels, the Montreal Botanical Garden, is recognized as one of the best botanical gardens in the world. With multiple events during the year, including Chinese New Year, and various insect exhibits, you’ll see 22,000 plant species and cultivars, ten greenhouses, and 20 gardens over 75 hectares all year round.

The perfect place to spend a warm afternoon, even if you’re playing on your phone at Casumo casino, you can expect a lot of great places to sit and enjoy the sunshine. The botanical gardens are also close to the Olympic Park and the biodome, two other great Montreal attractions.

Old Montreal

There are a lot of things to like about the Old Montreal section of the city, more importantly, the beautiful mix of shops and museums that are located close to the old city streets. As Montreal is famous for its landmarks, including the cathedrals and the former government building, you could spend hours here and still not see everything.

Take a stroll down to Tommy Cafe + Apero, then go to the cities best boutiques like Denis Gagnon and Rad Hourani. If you still have time to spare, take a bike tour, and stop by the Kyo Bar Japonais. Finally, catch a Cirque Du Soleil show and finish up the night with the cities staple dish – poutine. That’s just a taste of what’s located in Old Montreal, not just that, but this cultural epicenter often holds seasonal festivals.

Notre-Dame Basilica

notre-dame basilica of montreal

Montreal is covered in churches, specifically Catholic churches. When the French settlers came to Canada, many of them brought their religion with them. They also formed new faiths in North America, especially those they wouldn’t have been able to practice if they still lived in Europe.

One of the oldest churches in Montreal, the Notre-Dame Basilica, was named after the original Notre-Dame Cathedral and shared much of the same look. Created in 1658, it still stands today with much of it’s older architecture. The stained glass covering the windows chronicles the history of the city, as well as the Saints of the Catholic church.

Barbie Expo

Montreal has its fair share of museums, but none are quite like the Barbie Exposition that takes place in Les Cours Mont-Royal, Montreal’s most prestigious shopping mall. This display features a total of over 1000 dolls and also happens to be the biggest permanent Barbie expo in the whole world, and it also happens to be one of the best.

Not only are dolls on display here, but many of Barbies’ accessories, like her corvette and dreamhouse, are all featured. You don’t have to be a Barbie lover to get the most out of this exhibit, as many of the dolls are wearing items from significant designers like Carolina Herrera, Bob Mackie, Christian Louboutin, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, Ralph Laurent, Vera Wang, Armani, Ralph Laurent, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, among others.

McGill University

You’re probably wondering why seeing a university should be on the list of sights to see in Montreal, but the truth is, McGill is not just an educational establishment. McGill is ranked as one of the top universities in the world and is the second-best in Canada (next to the University of Toronto, which is the best) with amazing French only programs, as well as a fantastic french exchange program that takes place in France.

McGill has a shop where you can purchase one of their sweaters, so you can say you went there, even if you haven’t! The campus is full of amazing old buildings, and is home to almost 30,000 students. If you want to learn about the cultural epicenter of any city, go to its university.

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