Bienvenue! Montreal is both the second-largest French-speaking city in the world and the second-largest city in Canada. It's also the cultural heart of the nation. In this town there's always a festival to check out, a concert to go to, and a party to attend. There's also undoubtedly an ancient cathedral or unforgettable waterfront vista to see along the way. Today's Montreal has managed to seamlessly combine its historic and cultural heritage with its contemporary tilt towards style, entertainment and fun. Between the quiet alleys and cobblestone streets of the old harbor, the towering skyscrapers of the downtown area, and the convivial pubs and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhoods, you won't lack for entertainment during your sejour.
If you're an active traveler, you'll be even more pleased by the workout opportunities right outside your doorstep. There are three great running areas right in the heart of the city. Check out the Mont Royal route if you're looking to get some solid hill-climbing in, or stick to the path next to the Canal de Lachine to enjoy some extensive flats. If you're looking to combine these types of terrain and get a good escape from the city, the Îles Sainte Hélène and Notre Dame offer the perfect places to do so.
- Traffic: One of BTG's researchers put it this way: "In Montreal, pedestrians think they have the right of way. Rollerbladers also think they have the right of way. As do cyclists. But the drivers could all care less about who has the right of way. They just go." In short, it's a wild world on Montreal's roads. Watch your step, and watch the steps of everyone around you.
- Language: In the French-speaking part of Canada, people expect you to speak French. If you don't speak French, they expect you to at least try to speak the language. Make sure you check out BTG's phrasebook for some simple words and phrases that you can incorporate into your vocabulary while on your travels. Your efforts will be appreciated.
- Parking: It's hard to come by in the city center. If you see any, please let BTG know.