Tucked away in the Canadian province of Quebec not too far from the state of New York is Montreal, a city brimming with endless festivities, great food and a creatively cool atmosphere.
It's no secret I love Montreal. I believe this city is the perfect place for a summer vacation, but even outside of summer, it offers plenty of things to do that will make your stay enjoyable no matter what time of year you visit.
For those wondering where to start when it comes to experiencing Montreal, here are several highlights curated in partnership with travel guide company Marco Polo:
- Wander around Old Montreal: Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and quaint storefronts will make you forget you're in North America.
- Hike to the top of Parc du Mont-Royal: Enjoy a leisurely walk to the top or climb the stairs straight up. Either way you'll enjoy panoramic views of the city.
- Experience North America's ecosystems at the Biodome: This eco-museum showcases North America's ecosystems, from the dry desert to the humid rainforest.
- Sample your way around Marché Jean Talon: The Marco Polo Canada East guide sums this popular market up well: "A real gourmet paradise with excellent regional produce."
- Ride Montreal's Bixi Bikes: The city's bike sharing system, used by both locals and tourists, offers an easy and fun way to get around Montreal.
- Notre-Dame Basilica: This stunning cathedral where Celine Dion got married is a must-see in Old Montreal.
- Montreal's murals: The street art scattered throughout the city is seriously impressive and a testament to Montreal's creativity.
- The underground city: Over 1,600 stores, museums, businesses, stations and tunnels make this the world's largest.
- St. Lawrence River: Whether it's from the Old Port, Ile Ste-Helene or a river cruise, the St. Lawrence looks beautiful from any angle.
- Mile-End: This neighborhood known for its artistic roots and beautiful architecture is also home to many of the city's best eating establishments.
- Schwartz's: As the Canada East guide states, Schwartz's is "almost an institution." This is the place to go for the best smoked meats.
- St-Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel: Try both and then choose which bagel tastes better. The battle has been going on for ages.
- L'Express: This popular French bistro in the Plateau neighborhood serves classic bistro fare in a laizzez-faire atmosphere.
- La Banquise: Montrealers' go-to spot for 24-hour delicious poutine. The poutine variations here are endless.
- Au Pied de Cochon: This restaurant and food truck embrace fois gras and pork with gusto, offering up delicious variations of both throughout their menus.
With these recommendations to get you started, you'll fall in love with Montreal as quickly as I did. Promise.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Marco Polo Travel Publishing. The Globe Getter retains full editorial control of what is published. All opinions are my own.