If you’re looking for a unique European experience but can’t afford a flight from North America all the way to Europe, Montreal in Canada is just up your alley – a historical city and the second largest French speaking city in the world (after Paris), Montreal has a unique European influence unlike any other place in Northern America.
Montreal is North America’s Answer To Europe
With bombastic cathedrals, buildings dating back to the 1600’s, cobble stoned streets and a laid back attitude with emphasis on good food and wine.
One particular church that stands out is the Notre-Dame, a cathedral which resembles the one in Paris with the same name.
In some parts of the city there are buildings dating back to the 1600’s, and the cobble stoned streets and a laid back attitude with emphasis on good food and wine really enhances the European atmosphere.
What To Eat
But the architecture and French language aren’t the only things that make Montreal feel like a European city.
The food is also quite unique, and since Montreal is named the second best city to dine in North America, you’re in for a real treat!
Some typical foods for Montreal are the smoked meat sandwiches and small crusty bagels, both foods that were introduced by the rather large Jewish residents in the 19th century.
Little Italy is also a great area to explore for hungry travelers, where the streets are lined with high quality Italian restaurants and fresh, delicious Italian Gelato.
Best of Both Worlds
Some people even go to Montreal to get an idea of what Europe will be like to prepare themselves for their upcoming Europe trips, which is not at all a bad idea.
Keep in mind however, that while Montreal surely has many European influences, it’s not exactly like Europe, or like the rest of North America – rather it’s a city with its very own unique style, some would say the best of both worlds.
A good way to sum up Montreal is a city with fashionable locals who love their wine, cheese, bistros and brasseries, two cheek-kisses and beautiful French speaking people.
People’s impression of Montreal is seems to be split when it comes to being compared to life in France. Some claim that life in Montreal is quite similar to living in France, with all of the advantages and none of the inconveniences, while others don’t agree.
One thing is for sure, Montreal’s architecture was influenced by Classic European style, as you can see in the Old Port. In addition, Montreal has many modern buildings within the downtown core that have earned high praise, like the Palais des congrès, a world class convention center.
The best way to make up your own mind on the matter is to simply go there with an open mind and take it all in and make your own impression of Montreal afterwards.
(photo credit: 1)