20 great reasons to visit Montréal in 2016

Posted on January 25th, 2016 by .

Because the food is fabulous

1. Get ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome Joël Robuchon, who starting in fall 2016 will be tickling our taste buds at Atelier, in the Montréal Casino on beautiful Île Notre-Dame. The famed French chef has 28 Michelin stars to his name—want to bet Atelier garners him more?

MTL a TABLE2. There are dozens upon dozens of award winning restaurants in La Belle Ville, including Joe Beef, Au Pied de Cochon, Park, Toqué, Laloux, Pastaga, Lawrence, Le Bremner, Le Serpent, Chez Lévêque, Foodlab… the city is your oyster. Find other suggestions here.

Dirty Dogs3. Montréal’s festivals are renowned, and some of them are tasty as heck. There’s a mouth-watering calendar of food fests, from Poutine Week in February to Happy November! in, well November, not to mention our very special restaurant week, MTL à TABLE, which brings flavour to the end of October every year by joining dozens of local restaurants together to offer prix-fixe menus that give everyone a chance to enjoy their out-of-sight delights. Come taste for yourself!

OsheagaBecause it never sleeps

4. With a promoter like Evenko, Montréal doesn’t miss a thing. Not only do they put on world-famous festivals Osheaga and Heavy Montréal, they bring in international acts like Céline Dion, Adele, Florence + The Machine, Muse, Andra Day and more, every week.

5. Montréal is at the epicenter of the global electro music scene: it’s where Mutek was founded, it’s where Igloofest was born (10 years ago!) and it’s where Piknik Électronic and Îlesoniq light up summer weekends every year. With venues like New City Gas and events like the Digital Spring, you’ll be wired all year long.

MTLENLUMIERE-2-625X4006. Who needs sleep? Nuit Blanche is a Montréal-founded, now-international event that sees galleries, museums and cultural spaces at large stay open—for free!—all night to party ‘til morning with thousands of festive culture vultures. One of its trippiest offshoots is Art Souterrain, a miles-long underground trajectory featuring contemporary art by groundbreaking artists. Find other incredible events here.

Petit_Campus7. Not into blockbusters? Like things more indie? Check out some of the hundreds of independent venues that put on music shows every day of the week. From Club Soda to Métropolis to Casa del Popolo, Café Campus and Cagibi, there’s sure to be a club—and a show—for you. More of a failm fan? Check out these independent cinemas… and make sure to grab a cup at one of these independent coffee shops after.

Parc_OlympiqueBecause it’s sports city

8. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Olympic Park, built for the 1976 Olympics, and that means celebrations: 40 events for 40 years. And even if you miss it, the Olympic Park is a constant source of fun: outdoor yoga, adventure parks, winter villages, the First Fridays food truck meets every first Friday of the warm months… it never stops.

Patinoire Vieux Port9. Montréal is a sports’ lover’s dream, perfect for winter sports from December to April, and summer fun from May to November. That means tons of stellar organized sports events, like Ski Tour Canada, the upcoming Triathlon World Cup, the Jeux du Québec and a ton of running events, including the Rock’n’Roll Oasis Montréal Marathon in September.

CentreBell-SusanMoss-625x40010. There’s always a game to see: the city’s pro sports teams and events range from hockey (the Montréal Canadiens) to football (Alouettes), soccer (Impact), tennis (Rogers Cup), racing (Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada) and more!

11. Like things extreme? Have we got something for you: the extreme sport events in Montreal run the gamut from BMX to skateboard to ski to parkour, and come in the form of Barbegazi in March, Shake Down in April, Jackalope in August, and Slide the City—all waterslides, all the time. Reserve your spot now.

Because it’s all in the family

12. Travelling with the kids is easy as pie in Montréal, where there are indoor and outdoor activities all year round. How about ice fishing on the Old Port, learning about the stars at the Planetarium or having butterflies land on you at the Botanical Gardens? Catch an Imax flick or play with giant foam cubes at the Science Centre, then take in a play at the Centaur Theatre. Check out other ideas here.

La ronde13. An incredible time awaits young and old at La Ronde, a Six Flags amusement park a mere metro ride from downtown Montréal that’s packed thick with daredevil rides, tasty fried treats and skill-testing games.

14. Family travel has never been easier than with Tourisme Montréal’s special Family Package, which affords you deals on hotels as well as tickets to shows and attractions around town. Fun is but a click away!

Because it’s a gay (and lesbian and trans and bi and queer) old time

15. Montréal welcomes difference of lifestyle and orientation with a big wet smooch and tons of amazing entertainment ideas. Don’t miss the annual Montréal Pride celebrations in August, i.e. the queer fiesta of the year: one week of parties, free outdoor shows, community get-togethers and the famous Pride Parade—always a good time.

Boules_roses16. The Gay Village lights up in pink for the entire summer, thanks to the much-lauded Pink Balls installation by artist Claude Cormier that acts as a canopy over the Gay Village’s kilometre-long stretch of Ste-Catherine Street every year. Find all sorts of awesome LGBTQ programming here.

Because it’s bursting with festivals and culture

17. Montréal is, more than anything, the city of festivals. From jazz to comedy to heavy metal to dance to light to food to circus to fashion, there’s one for absolutely everything, year-round, meaning you’ll NEVER be wanting for something to do. Ever.

La Basilique Notre-Dame18. Sure, avant-garde is the name of the game for Montréal’s electronic, fashion and dining scenes, but you can also travel back in time whenever you want. The city’s religious heritage is renowned (visit the Saint Joseph’s Oratory or Notre-Dame Basilica), plus it’s packed with history museums (including the McCord Museum, Redpath Museum and Château Ramezay) and it’s got history at its very core: one stroll through Old Montréal and you’ll think it’s still 1763.

Jardins_Gamelin19. 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Montréal’s classification as the City of Design by UNESCO, and you know what that means: tons of amazing design programming, from workshops to installations in Quartier des Spectacles. How about dressing for the part? Find Montréal designers here.

MAC20. Montréal has got an incredibly rich array of museums, running the gamut from the groundbreaking creative riches of the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal to the design and decorative arts of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts to the history and heritage of the McCord Museum, and much (much) more. Get easy access to the city’s coolest cultural events with Tourisme Montréal’s Cultural Passport, a special 24h or 72h pass that gets you deals on the very best in entertainment, including theatre, music, concerts, dance, museums, festivals and more. Book yours now!

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