For an Island Break in Canada, Montreal is a Great Choice
Montreal has a really unique appeal. It’s the largest city in Quebec Province, and yet if it was 45 miles further south, it would be in the USA. Then again, it is 30 miles long but only just qualifies for its island status as it is easily linked across the river to the mainland by 15 bridges and a tunnel. In this city of conundrums, here is another one: the only other city with more French language speakers is … Paris!
Montreal Accommodates Some Really Varied Bed and Breakfast Choices
There is no shortage of niche places to stay in this city where happening areas include the Latin Quarter and Old Town districts. In addition to traditional bed and breakfast accommodation, you may or may not want to spread your wings and try one of their more bohemian establishments. Extending horizons further, there are some places where clothing is optional and where, if on the patio, everyone sits down at the same time, it sounds, they say, like a round of applause. There’s a mix of Victorian elegance and quirkiness in the Downtown area and many visitors applaud the special appeal of B&Bs in the nearby Gay Village district.
All these districts are within the environs of the city centre attractions and close to St. Helen’s Island. Travel just a little way from the centre and the popular area around Saint-Catherine Street is known for its budget-priced, good value accommodation.
If you are still confused as to what might be the best place for you, make an early online visit to trivago (and refine your search to include ‘BnB’) to find a quick and easy solution.
Suffering Sugar Shacks! This Weather is Either Hot or Numbingly Cold
It comes as no surprise to learn that the weather is as varied as other aspects of life in Montreal. It is either super hot or absolutely freezing. These locals love their city though and there inventiveness knows no bounds as they confront its climate to create the perfect setting for themselves and for their visitors.
Take for instance, The Underground City, and ask yourself where on Earth you would find an underground, 20-mile labyrinth of tunnels containing shops, hotels, and even metro stations. It makes sense though because, underground everyone is protected from the summer heat and the often extreme winter cold and snow. These Montrealers are very canny.
During those shudderingly cold months though, solace is taken and it’s all thanks to the emblematic Maple Tree. Those on a diet should look away now in the face of the comfort food offered in Montreal’s sugar shacks. Here, savoury and sweet dishes have one common ingredient; maple syrup. They do serve other things as well though, and a Quebec Province favourite is the meat pie known as Tourtière and of course poutine. Poutine is a mound of perfectly crisp French fries topped with cheese curds and drenched in a rich, brown gravy. Just watch that weight pile on!
In This Quebec Province, Montreal Is the City for All Seasons
If you hate snow then you need to plan very carefully, when to visit Montreal because the only months when you can be confident of being free of the white stuff are between May and September. The winter months have special appeal though when almost everyone goes ice skating at places such as Bonsecours Basin in the old town district. You can rent skates and even beginners have great fun. If you get the hang of it, you can enjoy year-round skating at places such as Atrium Le 1000.
La Ronde is another city centre fun area. This amusement park occupies nearly 1.000 acres on St. Helen’s Island which, itself, is man made using around 15 million tons of rock. Then there is the peaceful Botanical Garden and in the same area, you can experience a range of eco systems, all under one magical roof, at the Montreal Biodome.
There is plenty for culture vultures too, starting with a visit to the magnificent 1656, Notre-Dame Basilica. Neither should you miss out on another inspiring building, St. Joseph’s Oratory, which is dedicated to Canada’s patron saint.
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