2. Old Montreal Oozes Cool
True, it’s a tad touristy, but Vieux Montreal is the authentic historic heart of the city with some of its buildings dating back to the 1600s. It like stepping back in time and across the pond to Old France, with its well-preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and clip-clopping calèches. Place Jacques-Cartier is the main public square where people gather to watch street performers and wile away the day at one of the many sidewalk cafes. There’s never a rush to turn tables here, one coffee or glass of wine entitles you to sit and chill for as long as you’d like. Poke down the alleys and side streets to discover funky galleries, curio shops and all manner of restaurants. The Old Port along the St. Lawrence riverbank has been restored and hosts a range of museums, attractions and recreational opportunities. Can’t forget Notre-Dame Basilica overlooking Place d’Armes – the pipe organ inside is particularly impressive.