ROL Cruise recommends...
1. View the Vieux-Montréal
Old Montréal is within walking distance of the city’s new port and its attractive surroundings are sure to enchant. The original seventeenth century home of the first European settlers, this historic hub boasts cobblestone pathways enlivened by street performers and horse-drawn carriages showing tourists the sights. Browse the quaint boutiques of Place Jacques-Cartier, explore the Bonsecours Market or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on offer.
2. Explore the quays
Despite its name, Vieux Port (the old port) offers a variety of contemporary delights for inquisitive visitors. It was transformed in the 1990s from being a former port to an inviting and vibrant neighbourhood that stretches beside the St. Lawrence River. Stroll along the water’s edge, catch a scenic boat tour, laze on the urban beach or seek out some adventure. Climb the clock tower for views of the city or while away a couple of hours in the IMAX theatre or science centre.
3. Be amazed by architecture
The dramatic Notre-Dame Basilica can be found just beyond the old port, its Gothic Revival edifice concealing an even more impressive interior. Take a moment to admire its symmetrical twin towers and nineteenth century stonework before stepping through the grand doors. Inside you’ll be greeted by a rich palette of deep blues, red and gold, as well as intricate wood carvings and religious statues. The colourful stained glass windows and haunting sounds of a magnificent pipe organ enhance this atmospheric masterpiece.
4. Discover nature’s best
For a tranquil wander amongst some of the planet’s most spectacular flora, head inland to Montréal’s vast Botanical Garden. Within 30 themed spaces and 10 greenhouses you’ll find an array of beautiful blooms, exotic cacti, verdant trees and tropical plant life. The adjacent insectarium displays a fascinating collection of creepy crawlies, including a delightful butterfly house, while the nearby Biodome zoo and environmental museum, Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium and Montréal Space for Life offer further immersion.
5. Head to new heights
Rising above the city is Royal Mount, a mountain hotspot frequented by both locals and tourists. Making the most of its lush landscape, Mount Royal Park is a retreat from urban life and was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted who also created Central Park in New York. Walk along winding paths, enjoy a picnic on its slopes or simply take in the spectacular views. Don’t miss St. Joseph's Oratory, a domed shrine dedicated to Canada’s patron saint.