As Canada's second largest-city and the centre of French speaking North America, Montreal has always warranted a lot of attention from culture vultures eager to find the next-best-thing. And while Montreal boasts its fair share of museums, theatres and renowned dance acts, it's arguably the city's rich, eclectic music and club-scene that draws visitors to the city in their hoards.
Music fans visiting Montreal should make the Place-des-Arts their first stop in the city. The cultural epicentre of classical music and art, as well as the heart of many of Montreal's summer festivals - the Place-des-Arts is a large open-space square in downtown Montreal, surrounded by a complex of different concert halls and theatres - including Montreal's Musee d'art contemporain and the headquarters of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO). Musical performances, operas and other forms of classical performance from around the world are held at the Place-des-Arts every day, so you'll likely have the opportunity to see the best that Montreal has to offer in classical music during your visit.
In recent years, Montreal has also become the focus of emerging bands in the popular music sphere, with the highly acclaimed alternative outfit Arcade Fire arguably leading the way. Artists like The Dears and Wolf Parade - grown from Montreal's hotbed of musical talent - have received much praise and developed devoted fans across the world. Montreal's dance music scene has also been pumping hard, with the influence of acts like Tiga and A-Trak felt far and wide.
And if you're hoping to go clubbing in Montreal, rest assured you won't be disappointed! The most active neighbourhoods when it comes to Montreal's vibrant nightlife are St-Laurent, Downtown, Plateau Mont-Royal and Quartier Latin. The city is also becoming increasingly known across the globe for its mainstream rave festivals - such as the Black and Blue Festival and Bal en Blanc, held every Easter.
The Bal en Blanc (http://www.balenblanc.com ) - also known as Montreal's White Party - is now in its thirteenth year, with over 15,000 ravers flocking to its festivities annually. Featuring DJs from all over the world, this mega party consists of two separate rooms - one for house music and the other for trance. It attracts both gay and straight clubbers and usually lasts for over 14 hours!
Montreal also hosts the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Montreal Francofolies - a festival of French-speaking musical artists; so whatever your musical tastes, Montreal is sure to cater for you. If you're keen to sample some of the best that the music world has to offer, you'll find frequent flights to Montreal from London offered by a variety of airlines, so there's no excuse not to go. Fly to Montreal on your next holiday - and get the party started!