NEXT year Montreal is celebrating its 375th anniversary, and they have a ton of events planned for it. No matter what year it is though, these are 11 essentials to have the full Montreal experience.

1. Eat at Schwartz’s Deli.

Schwartz’s Deli

Montréal, Canada

A Montreal staple. Schwartz deli takes smoked meats seriously. A local favorite for generations. Loved by Celine Dion, who recently became one of the owners of this fine establishment. Get the smoked meat sandwich. Poutine is also offered, but their sandwiches are legendary. #cheap-eats #history

2. Stroll along Avenue du Mont-Royal.

Avenue du Mont-Royal

Montréal, Canada

Stroll along Mount Royal Avenue, the main street in the borough of The Plateau, the “Greenwhich Village” of Montreal. You’ll see the real Montreal and find vintage and artisan boutiques, indie musicians and artists, cute brunch places, café terraces, and colorful street art. Admire the residential streets lined with colorful houses, spiral staircases and beautiful trees. #urban #creative

3. Take in the Old Port of Montreal.

Old Port of Montreal

Montréal, Canada

Piers, cobblestone roads, historical buildings, shops, restaurants, clubs, bars, a pirate ship, zipline, and more… please go here if you visit Montreal!

4. Admire the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Montréal, Canada

A visually stunning masterpiece in the heart of Old Montreal. Admire the outside that’s reminiscent of a nineteenth-century gothic cathedral, then go inside to get taken away by the tens of thousands of 24K gold stars on a vibrant blue ceiling. #history #architecture #art

5. Walk through “Le Village”.

The Village

Montréal, Canada

Walk through “Le Village” or Montreal’s Gay Village, one of the largest and proudest gay neighborhoods in North America. It’s a vibrant neighborhood that’s home to some of the city’s most lively restaurants, bars and clubs. Every summer this area turns into a big party for the Montreal Pride Festival.

6. Explore the Underground City.

The Underground City

Montréal, Canada

The “underground city” consists of buildings and walkways that are connected below ground level. You can get to most major shopping malls, metro stations, hotels, office buildings and train stations in downtown Montreal via this vast underground network.

7. Visit Olympic Stadium.

Olympic Stadium

Montréal, Canada

Take a funicular up the Montreal Tower, the tallest inclined tower in the world and enjoy the views of Montreal and the St.Lawrence River Valley. The tower is part of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics. It is now a state-of-the-art sports centre, and there are sports and cultural events at the base of the stadium all year long.

8. Eat poutine at La Banquise.

La Banquise

Montréal, Canada

Trying poutine is a must in Montreal, and any Montrealer will tell you that this 24h diner located on the Plateau serves the best in the city. Poutine is a Canadian dish that originated here in Quebec. It’s basically fries topped with hot gravy and cheese curds. La Banquise serves over 30 variations of it. You’ll most likely have to wait in line to get in, but it’s worth it.

9. Hike around Mont Royal.

Mont Royal

Montréal, Canada

Mont Royal, or “The Mountain” as many call it, is home to many Montreal landmarks. The Mont Royal cross, which lights up at night, sits on the mountain’s highest point. Hike up of the many easy trails and explore the belvedere lookout platforms and the best views of Montreal. It is home to Parc du Mont Royal, one of the largest green spaces in the city. You’ll find Beaver Lake, a man-made “lake” in the middle of it. #hiking #landmark

10. Enjoy a Montreal bagel at St-Viateur Bagel & Café.

St-Viateur Bagel & Café

Montréal, Canada

Try a Montreal bagel. It isn’t like a traditional “New York bagel.” It’s sweeter, more dense and baked in a wood-fired oven. St.Viateur is world-famous for their honey water-boiled bagels that they hand roll individually and bake on-the-spot.

11. Shop at North America’s largest open-air market.

Jean Talon Market

Montréal, Canada

The largest open air market in North America. Check out all the farm fresh produce and local meats and cheeses from around Quebec. There are even stands selling solely foraged foods from around the state. #history #cheap-eats

Featured image: jimmythepope