Montreal is the multicultural epicentre of Quebec, and one of the most diverse cities in the world. You can walk from one neighborhood to another and feel like you’re in a different city. Go from the Parisian-influenced Old Port to Chinatown in minutes. Explore neighborhoods, restaurants, and parks dedicated to the many cultural groups who have left their native countries and brought a taste of it to Montreal. Stroll through the Italian and Portuguese quarters; venture outside of the city centre and admire sites devoted to the Jewish, Romanian, Ukrainian, Greek, Indian and other communities. Montreal also hosts about a hundred festivals and activities year-round, many of which are cultural ones. There are too many activities and spots to capture in a single list, but head to these ones to experience being immersed in a different culture for a while.
Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.
Old Port of Montreal
Nil BleuMontréal, CanadaOne of the most cultural experiences you can have in Montreal. Head to this Ethiopian restaurant decorated with eye-catching African decor and art. Eat like you’re in Ethiopia – with your hands!
Festival Nuits D’AfriqueMontréal, CanadaThe African Nights festival is biggest multicultural event in Montreal. Every summer, it brings together and showcases hundreds of musicians and dancers from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, as well as local ones. #international #music #dance #festival
La Sala RossaMontréal, CanadaSpanish eatery located in a historic hispanic-style building. Order some amazing tapas or paella and you’ll feel like you’re in Spain. It’s also a live music venue where you can catch local bands, spoken word, jazz musicians, and flamenco shows. #spanishculture #livemusic #musicvenue
Rue Saint-PaulMontréal, CanadaThe oldest street in the city, a narrow, cobblestone road in old Montreal. This area is known as the “Paris of the North.” Stroll along this Street and find local art stores, street artists, upbeat bars, hotels, and a mix of local and international restaurants.
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal
Notre-Dame Basilica of MontrealMontréal, CanadaThe Notre-Dame basilica is a visually stunning masterpiece in the heart of Old Montreal. Admire the outside that’s modelled after the one in Paris and 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
World Trade Centre Montréal
World Trade Centre MontréalMontréal, CanadaWalk through this business complex/shopping gallery and you’ll feel like you’re strolling outdoors in Europe. Admire a piece of the Berlin Wall, given to Montreal for its 350th anniversary. Be taken in by a beautiful 18th-century French fountain which features a statue of Amphitrite, the Greek goddess of the sea and a 200-square-metre black granite pool, on which you can see the sky reflected on a thin layer of running water.
Photo credit: Laoska Guadamuz – https://www.flickr.com/people/39444139@N07 #gallery #history #european
ChinatownMontréal, CanadaMontreal’s Chinatown dates back to the 1860s, when Chinese immigrants first settled there. Today, the narrow streets are filled with restaurants, and stores where you can find traditional Chinese herbs, Chinese products, art, jewelry, clothing and more.
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission Santa CruzMontréal, CanadaAmazing to walk by shops and restaurants in the Plateau and suddenly arrive at this architectural masterpiece. During holiday/religious seasons, this Portuguese church is decorated with lots of lights and colorful ornaments.
Parc du Portugal
Parc du PortugalMontréal, CanadaA park dedicated to Montreal’s Portuguese community. In it, you’ll find cobblestone paths that are designed to imitate those found in Portugal. Colorful glazed tiles decorate the gates, a water fountain, and a gazebo. This park is right in Little Portugal, a small neighborhood filled with Portuguese rotisseries, cafes, bakeries, and other businesses.
Little ItalyMontréal, CanadaThe first Italian immigrants in Montreal settled in this neighborhood. Today, Montreal is home to the second highest Italian population in Canada. Walk through Little Italy and enjoy the culture and some of the best Italian restaurants and cafes in Montreal.
Photo credit: Alain Rouiller, via Wikimedia Commons
Église Notre-Dame-de-la-DéfenseMontréal, CanadaThe Church of Madonna della Difesa was built by Italian immigrants in the early 1900s. Its interior features stunning frescoes like those in most churches in Italy.
Photo credit: Tango7174 via Wikimedia Commons
Rue Saint-DenisMontréal, CanadaThe main street in Montreal’s Latin Quarter. In the 1800s, the Latin Quarter was where some of the richest Francophones and Anglophones lived. Today, their victorian-style mansions have turned into eateries and entertainment venues. On the lower part of St.Denis street, you’ll find fast food places, specialty stores, theatres and a variety to restaurants including Italian, Japanese, Lebanese and Mexican ones.
Photo credit: Jeangagnon via Wikimedia Commons