Located in the south west of the Canadian province of Quebec, Montreal is the largest city in the province and also the second largest in the country. The city got its name from Mount Royal, the three peaked hill which is located in the heart of the city. Although most of its more than 1.6 million residents speak English, French is the official language of the city. Montreal is also hailed as the Cultural Capital of Canada and was recently named a UNESCO City of Design. It also holds the distinction of being the number one host city for international association events in North America, making it a very popular destination for both local and foreign tourists and vacationers.
Montreal has four distinct seasons, with warm to humid summers, fabulous fall foiliage, mostly very cold and snowy winters and beautiful springs. The city gets a sufficient amount of sunlight all year round, making the place very conducive to fun and exciting outdoor sports, as well as promising guests who flock there year after year a wide array of different activities to participate in.
The city of Montreal is accessible to people from different parts of the globe through the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, which has many flights daily arriving from key destinations, making it very convenient for people to fly into Montreal. Those who are coming from the United States can access the city easily through flights from Plattsburgh International Airport or Burlington International Airport, both of which are just about a two hour flight away from Montreal. Those who prefer travelling by train can simply choose between Montreal Rail Station or Rail Canada. Visitors coming from neighboring cities of Ottawa and Toronto can also drive there, accessing Montreal through Highway 401 or Highway 417.
Montreal is a melting pot of different cultural and sports activities and there is a little bit of everthing provided here. Those who love the heart-stopping action of physical endeavors can participate in one of the many outdoor games and sports this city offers, for example biking, ice skating, cross country skiing, numerous water sports like kayaking and river surfing, or witness a number of exhilarating spectator sports played in the city, such as hockey, football, tennis, NASCAR Nationwide series, and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. To be in the centre of action, visitors can purchase tickets online at one of the many homes and condos available for rent or at box officies located around the city at the various venues.
Those who are more inclined to the cultural side of things will find loads of interesting things to do in this quaint French city, starting with one of the numerous festivals staged here annually. Some of the most recommended include the Shakespeare in the Park festival during the summer, the Montreal International Fireworks Competition, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the World Film Festival or the National Holiday of Fete de St-Jean-Baptiste on June 24th. One can also take a tour of Montreal and stop at a number of tourist attractions starting with Parc Jean Drapeau where the Le Ronde and the Montreal Biosphere are on display, and Parc du Mont-Royal. People might also like to drop by the Holchelaga-Maisonneuve that houses the Biodome, Insectarium and the Olympic Stadium.
A visit to Montreal will not be complete without visiting and shopping at the many shops that line the main thoroughfares, as well as sampling the many popular restaurants that offer authentic Montreal dishes and delicacies. Some places worthy of mention include the great sports bar menu at La Cage Aux Sports, and the famous chocolate drink at Juliette et chocolat. There is also a variety of bars and videoke joints to sample for those who love the night life.