Discover Montreal: A Guide to Local Culture & Traditions

Discover Montreal: A Guide to Local Culture & Traditions

Discover Montreal: A Guide to Local Culture & Traditions


Welcome to Montreal, a vibrant city located in the province of Quebec, Canada. Known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture, Montreal offers visitors a unique experience. This guide will take you on a journey through the city, introducing you to its local culture and traditions.


Montreal is a bilingual city, with both French and English widely spoken. French is the official language of Quebec, so you'll often hear locals conversing in French. However, most people in Montreal also speak English, so language won't be a major barrier during your visit.

Art and Architecture

Montreal is renowned for its stunning architecture and thriving art scene. From the historic Notre-Dame Basilica, with its intricate Gothic design, to the modernist Habitat 67, a unique housing complex, the city offers a blend of old and new architectural marvels.

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a must. With its vast collection of artworks from various periods and styles, the museum showcases both local and international artists. The Quartier des Spectacles is another art-centric neighborhood, hosting numerous art festivals and performances throughout the year.


Montreal is a paradise for food lovers, offering a wide range of culinary delights. The city is famous for its smoked meat sandwiches, poutine (a dish of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy), and bagels. Don't forget to try the authentic Montreal-style bagels, which are smaller, sweeter, and denser than their New York counterparts.

When it comes to dining, Montreal offers a diverse food scene. From upscale restaurants serving fine French cuisine to charming cafes tucked away in historic buildings, there's something to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try some traditional Quebecois dishes, such as tourtière (a meat pie) and sugar pie.

Festivals and Celebrations

Montreal is known for its lively festivals and celebrations throughout the year. The city hosts the world-famous Montreal Jazz Festival, which attracts music enthusiasts from all over the globe. The Just for Laughs Festival is another popular event, showcasing the best of comedy.

During the summer months, the International Fireworks Competition lights up the night sky with spectacular displays synchronized to music. The Fête nationale du Québec, also known as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, is a celebration of Quebec's culture and heritage, marked by parades and outdoor festivities.

Social Etiquette

Montrealers are generally polite and friendly. When greeting someone, a simple handshake is customary. It's important to respect the bilingual nature of the city, so a friendly "Bonjour/Hello" is a polite way to start a conversation. It's also polite to say "merci" (thank you) when someone helps you.

Quebecers love their coffee, so don't be surprised to see locals enjoying a cup of joe at a café. Taking your time to appreciate a meal is also valued, so don't rush through your dining experience.

Getting Around

Montreal has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and the metro, making it easy to navigate around the city. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) operates the public transit system. You can purchase tickets and passes at metro stations and authorized retailers.

If you prefer exploring on foot, the city is pedestrian-friendly, especially in the downtown area. Biking is also a popular mode of transportation, with many dedicated bike lanes throughout the city.


While exploring Montreal, consider taking a day trip to the nearby Laurentian Mountains. Located just a short drive from the city, this picturesque region offers opportunities for hiking, skiing, and immersing yourself in nature. Mont-Tremblant, a popular ski resort, is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

If you're interested in history, a visit to the historic city of Quebec is highly recommended. Just a few hours' drive from Montreal, Quebec City offers a glimpse into Canada's colonial past with its well-preserved architecture and charming old town.