Montréal is a modern region with a solid worldwide reputation. It is famous for its quality of life, its openness, its cultural life, its cosmopolitan character, and its vitality. Every year students from Québec and elsewhere are welcomed by a number of its renowned universities.
Montréal attracts numerous international organizations and a large influx of tourists. Major events such as the Festival international de jazz, Juste pour rire (comedy festival), les FrancoFolies (French-language music festival) and the Formula One Grand Prix take place there each and every year. Montréal’s influential culture also enjoys great international prestige.
Montréal’s architectural heritage is characterized by contrasts between old and new. In the old town (Vieux-Montréal) and old port (Vieux-Port), museums and historical sites bearing witness to the early days and evolution of New France are a stone’s throw away from hotels and restaurants with a resolutely modern perspective.
Concerning recreational and tourist activities, natural parks such as Parc du Mont-Royal are ideal for activities such as walking, sliding, skating and cross-country skiing. A dozen or so marinas provide recreational boating enthusiasts with access to river waters.
The most frequently visited tourist sites are Saint-Joseph’s Oratory, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (fine arts museum), Notre-Dame Basilica, and Pointe-à-Callière (the city’s birthplace). Other main tourist attractions include the Biodôme, the Casino de Montréal, the Jardin botanique (botanical gardens), La Ronde (amusement park) and Parc olympique (Olympic site), including Stade olympique (Olympic stadium).