Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. Originally called Ville-Marie the city had come to be known as Montral, a name derived from Mont Royal, the name of the three-head hill at the heart of the city. Montreal is also the second largest French-speaking city in the western world after Paris.
The "joie de vivre" very present and easy to get caught by in this vibrant, culturally diverse and cosmopolitan city of two million inhabitants. Whether sipping coffee at an outdoor caf, gambling at the huge Casino de Montreal complex or exploring historic Old Montreal, you can't escape the excitement and energy that pervade the entire city. The truly international flavour here is evident in the numerous restaurants, with cuisine from around the world, and in the self-contained ethnic communities.

Montreal is world famous for its nightlife, and therefore has a full range of options to choose from, from the most upscale to the most low budget bars. No matter what your scene, there is something for you. Head out to one of the most popular areas for bars and nightlife in Rue St. Laurent , which is especially filled with dance clubs and upscale bars. The Rue Crescent area is also very active and popular at night. Many visitors tend also to end up on Rue Ste-Catherine , the infamous bar and nightlife district that never sleeps and which boasts more than a few seedy characters and its share of adult-oriented entertainment places. One fun bar near St. Catherine's is an Irish pub called Hurley's, while Churchill's and Electric Ave are also popular spots for those graving for dancing. Also try St-Elizabeth's on the corner of Rue Ste-Elisabeth and Rue Ste-Catherine. it's a little hard to find but worth it cause it's a local favourite, especially among university students.

Montreal has a notoriously arctic winter that makes it great for winter sports if you can take the cold that is. Thankfully, Montreal gets around the problem with its 'Underground City', this unique climate-controlled labyrinth has some 2000 shops and kilometres of corridors. This makes the city an alluring year-round tourist destination - a winter wonderland during the cold season and warm, long, relaxing nights in the summer. Late May to early September is peak tourist time and the many festivals, including the legendary Jazz Festival and the Grand Prix, takes over the town.

What to see
Notre-Dame Basilica
Montreal's oldest Catholic church, built in 1656, is known for its intricately designed interior, which includes stained glass chronicling the history of the city.

Old Montreal
Stroll, bicycle or take a horse-drawn carriage through the narrow cobblestone streets of Montreal's famous Parisian-style historic district, filled with cultural landmarks, museums, boutiques, sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

Montreal museum of Fine Arts
One of Canada's most famous museums, this popular institution houses a wide collection of international contemporary and Canadian exhibits, and straddles two buildings, the 1912 original and its 1991 across-the-street annex with underground galleries that connect the two sites.

Biodome de Montreal
Housed in a former stadium used in the 1976 Olympics, the educational and entertaining Biodome consists of four different ecological habitats - rain forest, polar, marine and forest - where visitors can see the plants and animals native to each ecosystem. The polar penguins and puffins and the tropical monkeys and parrots will enthral children and adults alike.

Casino de Montreal
Lit up like a jewel at night, this casino on the Ile Notre-Dame is the largest in Quebec and one of the ten largest in the world in terms of the amount of gaming equipment. The excellent live entertainment draws gamblers and non gamblers alike.

Underground city
Montreal's answer to the region's harsh winters, Underground City refers to the extensive web of train stations, restaurants, department stores and hotels all connected underground.

Montreal Botanical gardens
Located near Olympic Park, Montreal's huge botanical garden contains over 20,000 different plant species in 31 specialized gardens, including the largest Chinese Garden outside Asia and a Japanese Garden with a tearoom and fabulous bonsai collection. The Insectarium hosts an "Insect Tasting" in November and December.

Where to eat
Boris Bistro
Very popular place with great and innovative dishes

Buona Notte
Italian style

Real talk of the town, with excellent chef and innovative menus

Wilenskys Light Lunch
Famous for its cheap sandwiches and burgers.

Where to party

Caf La Pharmacie Esperanza
Great caf with life performances and events, located in St.Laurent Bulevard

Cirque du Soleil
International phenomenon

Friendly neighbourhood bar in Rue roy est.

In Rue St.Catherine, this venue has the largest dance floor of Canada

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