The perfect luxury city break destination is one that offers something for everyone, regardless of their tastes. Montreal is one location that should be high on your travel wish list if this is what you're looking for - read our guide to find out why.
Montreal has long been a popular destination, both for those on tours of Canada and the eastern US and those looking to make their city getaway last longer than just a few days. Its French heritage, vibrant culture, excellent restaurant scene and diverse sights mean there are countless itineraries you can follow on your holiday, making it perfectly possible to have a completely different experience each time you visit Montreal.
Located on an island close to mainland Canada, the city's history as a European settlement goes all the way back to the 16th century. It endured a brief spell under American occupation in the 18th century and later enjoyed an influx of immigrants from countries around the world to create a melting pot of cultures that still exists today.
What to see
Culture vultures will be in their element in Montreal thanks to the wealth of museums, art galleries, concert venues, theatres and festivals that the city is home to. Attractions of note include the open air sculpture park at the Musee de Lachine, the Centre d'Histoire de Montreal for a fascinating insight into the destination's history and the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal for a look at the art being produced in Montreal today.
When it comes to venues for live events, Montreal has every base covered, especially if you head to the Quartier des Spectacles, an area that has more than 80 establishments to choose from. Elsewhere, the Bell Center hosts everything from low-key shows for small audiences to bigger stadium-style affairs depending on the act in question, while the Olympic Stadium also puts on a variety of huge events to suit all tastes.
Make sure you check the listings for the river island of Parc Jean-Drapeau in the summer, as the site regularly holds outdoor festivals and shows. Meanwhile, theatres to look out for include the Centaur Theatre Company, the Hector-Charland Theatre and the Monument-National.
If you want to sample Montreal's culture and history with a tour of the city, make sure your itinerary includes Atwater Market, the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Saint-Sulpice Seminary - Montreal's oldest building - and public spaces like Victoria Square and Place D'Youville, all of which will give you an idea of how the destination's architecture has changed over time.
Where to eat and drink
As you might expect from such a large city, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting bars and restaurants to visit during your stay in Montreal. Pretty much every cuisine you can think of is represented by its dining establishments, although French food is, unsurprisingly, pretty dominant. Top restaurants to consider include:
• Europea, 1227 de la Montagne Street - modern continental cuisine
• Le Local, 740 William Street - contemporary bistro food
• Ferreira Cafe, 1446 Peel Street - Portuguese cuisine
• Carte Blanche, 1159 Ontario East - high-end French food
You can also take your pick of laidback pubs and bars that require a little more dressing up, as well as a plethora of clubs for late-night entertainment - it's advisable to do a little research before you go, otherwise you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options on offer! Here are our picks of some of the best bars and clubs:
• L'Assommoir, 112 Ave Bernard O - for classy cocktails and elegant bar food
• Bond Lounge Grill, 101 Fairmount Avenue West - a James Bond-themed bar, complete with drinks named after Bond girls
• Stereo, 858 St Catherine Street East - a nightclub offering the very best dance music
• Ivy, 3556 St-Laurent - dance the night away to house, hip hop and more at this club
What to do
If you're itching to stretch your muscles on your city break, you'll be pleased to hear Montreal has a wealth of activities to choose from. Golf is one of the prime sports on offer here thanks to the profusion of courses located in and around the destination. The Metropolitan Anjou Golf Club is a top pick for golfers looking for a challenge, as it has not one, but two 18-hole courses perfect for honing your swing.
There are also facilities for indoor climbing and ice skating in Montreal, as well as several opportunities to take to the water; go kayaking along the Lachine Canal, or book on to an exhilarating jet boating tour through the Lachine Rapids for a unique (and wet) way to see the city.