Tuesday, 4 July 2017

A Walking Itinerary With The Best Streets & Sights

If there is one thing Montreal is well-known for (besides the crazy food scene, of course), it's the mix of European and North American cultures. And the best place to experience this for yourself, well, it's in Old-Montreal. I could go on and on about what makes this district beautiful but the only way to truly understand what makes it so special is to roam its streets, admire its views, take in its old-world atmosphere. Take my word for it! To help you enjoy your time there as much as possible, I put together an Old-Montreal walking itinerary that I think will be helpful for first-timers in the city; it includes must-see stops as well as picturesque streets you don't want to miss. But let's start by making something very clear: I absolutely forbid you to visit Old-Montreal by car Not only is it terribly unpractical (try and find parking in these streets, see if you still think I lied), but it also ruins the whole Old-World experience (21st-century transportation doesn't exactly scream 17th-century charm). Instead, do like the locals: take the metro.
Things to Do in Old Montreal

Place d'Armes is one of the most beautiful and historical public squares in Montreal. It's the best spot to enjoy the view of the outstanding and rather striking facade of Notre-Dame Basilica. The square is also flanked by several of Montreal's most notable buildings, including the old Bank of Montreal on the northern side and the Aldred Building on the western side; this was the first skyscraper in the city which oddly resembles New York's Empire State Building, seeing as they were completed at the same time.

Gone are the days where Old Montreal was an absolute no-go for local foodies, who were not enthused by the touristy and overpriced offering; the district has gone through a culinary rebirth over the past decade and is now home to mouth-watering restaurants and markets. The Old Montreal Food Tour takes visitors around the historic cobblestone streets of North America's most European neighbourhood, with highlights like fancy poutine, gluten-free sweets, craft beers, and many other yummy things, in addition to several of the landmarks listed in this article.

Once inside, you can see the many unique traits of the church, starting with the unusual stained glass, which depicts scenes of the religious history of Montreal, instead of traditional biblical scenes. The organ is one of the most impressive of its kind and perfectly complements the magnificent ceiling. Oh, and most importantly, that's where Celine Dion got married in 1994 (with her questionable headpiece).

You will eventually end up on the beautiful Place Jacques Cartier, named after one of the discoverers of Canada, where you'll find several overpriced restaurants as well as buskers and ice cream vendors. Despite the tacky feel (touristy things are touristy for a reason, right?), it's definitely worth a visit - Place Jacques Cartier will definitely make you feel like you've stepped back in time. The architectural ensemble of New France buildings is well worth a visit.

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