10 reasons to visit Montréal in 2018

Isa Tousignant

Montréal should be on any avid traveller’s list every year, but 2018 has got a special lot to offer. After a watershed year of celebrations for our 375th anniversary party, we’re a new and improved city filled with lasting, landscape-changing attractions. Come explore all the fun this city of festivals, food and culture has to offer!

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Brand new attractions

There’s a ton of brand new attractions in town: La Grande roue de Montréal is the highest observation wheel in Canada, right on the Old Port. Soak up the light show of Jacques Cartier-Bridge, illuminated for Living Connections, an interactive display that reflects the city’s rhythms. Take a walk from the shores of the St. Lawrence River to the Mount Royal on the new Promenade Fleuve-Montagne pedestrian link—and much more.

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An invitation to play

In Montréal, you need never grow up! Creativity knows no bounds in the city of festivals, where you can seesaw while making music in the middle of downtown, dance through the night in the snow, swing from the yard arm on the Old Port, and see live entertainment on the streets at festivals all year long. Our youthful spirit in infectious, whether you’re 9 or 99.

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The New Old Montréal

Old Montréal may be a historical marvel, but it’s constantly changing with new bars, restaurants, exhibitions and shopping experiences that keep it on the cutting edge. Start with a gourmet food tour, then build a shopping expedition around it to explore the city’s avant-garde fashion scene. Soak up the latest in electronic art, music and film and Phi Centre before taking in a world-class exhibition at DHC/ART—and you can’t leave before a drink at one of the new hot bars!

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Food, food, food

The restaurant scene here is in constant flux, with inventive festivals, exciting events, food trucks and a restaurant week that keep everyone’s breath bated year-round. And that’s not to mention the stunning restaurant options that pepper every neighbourhood of the city! Learn the scene with an organized tour of Old Montréal, Mile End, the Plateau, Little Italy and beyond, or use our well-researched recommendations to find exactly the feast of your dreams.

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Street life for every season

Despite an overarching spirit of unity, each one of Montréal distinct neighbourhoods carries its own mood, atmosphere and celebrations. The vibrant street life reaches from downtown to Griffintown, and you can soak it up with a simple spontaneous stroll. Whether it’s the Formula 1 celebrations in Little Italy, the India Day parade in Park Extension, the art fair in the Gay Village, the Saint-Jean festivities in Villeray or the many street fairs on the Plateau, in Montréal, there are amazing discoveries around every corner.

Smiling faces everywhere

The number one reason Montréal is so welcoming isn’t the fairs, the fests and the food: it’s the people. This multicultural metropolis attracts friendly, creative, cool people always doing new and out-of-the-ordinary things, and looking to share them with newcomers. To meet them, just walk around and say hi (or bonjour)—but here’s a series featuring a few personalities to start with!

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Affordable greatness

Despite the world-class quality of entertainment, Montréal remains one of Canada’s most affordable destinations, with great options in accommodations, food and activities for every budget—plus tons of free things to do. Classical music concerts, open-air parties, free museum days, parades in the street… the list never ends!

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A festival for everyone

Montréal is a festival city all year round, with over 100 festivals each year, every season. The winter comes alive with party-time Igloofest and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE; spring brings Francofolies; summer means Formula 1, Just for Laughs, the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Complètement Cirque; fall means MTLàTABLE, Journées de la Culture, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, and the list goes on. What’s your favourite?

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The perfect curated stay

Whatever type of travel you’re looking for, whether you’re travelling solo, with family, friends or your sweetheart, you can create the perfect getaway in Montréal. From accommodations to nighttime entertainment to how to fill your days and your stomachs, we’ve got the perfect recommendations.

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Exotic experiences right next door

Serviced by a progressive international airport, a great train station and dependable bus service, Montréal is easily accessible from near or far and offers an eclectic mix of Europe and North America. You can go from New France to new tech in one weekend, and eat cuisines from the entire globe as you go!

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant, blogger

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.