Montreal Travel Guide

p>Italian Canadians, Montreal’s largest ethnic group, originally settled in this far-north neighborhood after WWII. Italian is still spoken here, and you’ll find the Marché Jean-Talon, one of the best public food markets in the city.

This serene, four-floor luxury department store, housed in a beautifully restored Art Deco building within the mansion-lined block known as the Golden Square Mile, is a veritable candy store for fashionistas.

Stop in at this 2009-opened boutique to pick up cult clothing brands Supra and Elm, plus works by up-and-coming Montreal artists.

For a deeper look at Canadian art, don’t miss the Beaux-Arts museum in the heart of downtown’s Golden Square Mile.

The oldest public market in Montreal, the Lachine Market dates to the 1840’s. The farmers’ market became a permanent market in 1909, and the bulk of items on sale are still basics like local cheeses, fresh breads, and garden vegetables.

Evidence that Montreal designers can compete on the world’s stage: the glorious interior of Pullman, which merges mid-century modernism (polished wooden tables, stone floors, and a palette of gray, black, and cream) with a hint of 21st-century baroque (a multitiered wine-glass and champagne-flute

What Lies Beneath: At first glance Montreal does not appear to be overcrowded, but maybe that’s because everyone is underground.

For three weekends in late January and early February, Parc Jean-Drapeau becomes an outdoor celebration of winter with the Fête des Neiges, or snow festival. Family-friendly activities include snow tubing, ice hockey, zip lining, and outdoor skating along sections of the St. Lawrence River.

A sprawling central business district, downtown also encompasses the stately McGill University, gorgeous mansions along Rue Sherbrooke, and some of the city’s top museums (Musée des Beaux-Arts; Musée des Arts Décoratifs).

Site of the 1976 Summer Olympics, this complex of hulking concrete buildings—and former home of the Montreal Expos (now used for concerts and events)—is located a few miles east of downtown and also includes the city’s lovely botanic garden.

In May 2009, the city launched North America’s largest public bike-share program, rolling out 3,000 bikes at 400 docksa round the city available 24 hours a day for rent at $5 a day.

Dubuc made his name with his super-sleek men’s wear collections (in a palette that rarely strays far from black, gray, slate, or beige).

In recent years, Montreal’s music scene has given rise to a parade of innovative bands, including the Arcade Fire and the Stars. If you want to take the pulse of the scene, head to this intimate no-frills café and performance venue.

Explore the four biospheres here; the Atlantic puffin exhibit is a favorite.

Admission: Adults: $16 adults; Seniors: $12; Kids 5–7: $8; Kids 2–4: $2.50.