Welcome to Montreal!
Montreal is one of the favorite destinations for world travelers in North America: around 14 million visitors come here every year. There is no other city like it in the world and we want to make sure that you will experience the best of it. No matter how much time you plan to spend in the city – just a day, a weekend, a week, or more – at this site you’ll find everything you need to make your trip as enjoyable and enlightening as possible. Our aim, however, is not to overwhelm you with information about tourist attractions, historical places, architecture, museums and so on: we will strive to introduce to you only the best of it all.
Montreal is Canada's most romantic metropolis, Quebec's largest city, and an important port and financial center. Its office towers are full of young Quebecois entrepreneurs ready and eager to take on the world. The city's four universities -- two English and two French -- and a host of junior colleges add to this youthful zest.
Montreal is the only French-speaking metropolis in North America and the second-largest French-speaking city in the world, but it's a tolerant place that over the years has made room for millions of immigrants who speak dozens of languages. Today about 15% of the 3.1 million people who live in the metropolitan area claim English as their mother tongue, and another 15% claim a language that's neither English nor French. The city's gentle acceptance has made it one of the world's most livable cities.
Montreal is comprised of a series of sections, indeed neighbourhoods, each with its own unique spirit and characteristics. The city sits on an island in the St. Lawrence River, roughly 40 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide. Its most distinctive natural feature is the mountain in the middle of the island, Mont-Royal, which provides a view of Montreal.
Montreal is easy to explore. Streets, subways, and bus lines are clearly marked. The city is divided by a grid of streets roughly aligned east-west and north-south. North-south street numbers begin at the St. Lawrence River and increase as you head north; east-west street numbers begin at boulevard St-Laurent, which divides Montreal into east and west halves.
The city is not so large that seasoned walkers can't see all the districts around the base of Mont-Royal on foot. Nearly everything else is easily accessible by the city's clean and quiet bus and Metro (subway) system. If you're planning to visit a number of museums, look into the city's museum pass (available at museums and Centre Info-Touriste de Montreal).