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Double-decker City: Montreal PDF Print E-mail
2006-10-15 17:31:36
Ayşe Önal Zamboğlu
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You want to spend a weekend in Europe but you neither want to fly for ten hours, nor suffer from jetlag. Then, Montreal is your best bet. This charming, romantic, lively city of Quebec, Canada offers you everything you’ve been longing for. Montreal is a living city, you’ll feel it when you see the well-preserved historic architecture next to the modern buildings. The historic buildings of Old Montreal are remarkable, and when you head south from any street in the old town, it will take to the old port area where you’ll see some of the modern buildings (e.g. the IMAX theater) and the old buildings together.

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Notre-Dame Basilica in downtown area is the first building to catch your eye. The Roman-Catholic church is one of city’s landmarks. You have to make a donation to be able to go in, but it’s definitely worth it.

Many streets of Montreal have a lot to offer for a fun day or evening. Sainte-Catherine Street of downtown area showcases the diversity of Montreal, with restaurants from various cuisines, international name-brand stores, street cafes and always crowded night clubs and bars. If you are an art-lover be sure to visit the Sherbrooke Street where you’ll find the art galleries and the museums. Saint-Denise and Prince Arthur streets were other favorites of mine with the lively atmosphere of the restaurants and intimate cafes.

Montreal is sometimes referred as the “double-decker city”, because of its underground pedestrian network. Right underneath the downtown area lie the 20 miles long passageways, linking thousands of stores, restaurants, universities, dozens of office buildings and attractions.

If you get tired of the city, you have a lot of other options. Montreal’s nature is well-preserved. For instance, you’ll find many trails for hiking near Mount Royal. Botanical Garden (Jarden Botanique) was one of the best examples of its kind. It takes about 4 hours of quick walking to visit every garden and it has a café inside if you get tired. If you’re traveling with your kids, be sure to stop by Biodome, where you’ll experience four ecosystems under one roof. The arctic and tropical ecosystems were my favorites.   

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As if exploring this vibrant city itself is not enough fun, you’ll find something to do whenever you visit Montreal. City hosts a number of film festivals, art shows, jazz festivals, and significant organizations like the Grand Prix.  Just check out the events calendar at city’s tourism website: http://www.tourisme-montreal.org.

FACTS ABOUT MONTREAL
•    Montreal is the second largest city in Canada.
•    It's one of the biggest French-speaking cities in the world.
•    Many of its street names begin with "Saint".
•    The city is named after the geographical feature on the island, Mount Royal.
•    Jacques Cartier became the first European to reach the area now known as Montreal in 1535 while in search for gold.
•    Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1832.
* Source: wikipedia.com

(October 2006, 22nd Issue)
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