As Montrealers, we know our city is a gem, but it’s still sweet to get global recognition. Lonely Planet, in its golden anniversary edition, has ranked Montreal as the third-best global hotspot to visit in 2024. Not that we’re counting, but this is the second time we’ve caught their eye since 2013. You’ll also notice Toronto isn’t on the list…
Factors for this year’s high ranking include its stellar food scene, many festivals, cultural events, attractions like Mount Royal and Parc Jean-Drapeau, and array of art and museum exhibitions.
People walk down the sculpture alley in front of the Montreal Musée des Beaux-Arts.Bakerjarvis | Dreamstime
In the words of Lonely Planet: “It has long been one of Canada’s coolest destinations. But this year, with new museums, revamped attractions, an ever-vibrant restaurant scene, and added transport options making it even easier to reach, this metropolitan region is ready for its close-up.”
Mentions of Montreal
One major reason Montréal secured its spot on Lonely Planet’s list is the city’s celebrated arts scene. The Musée des Beaux-Arts always has fresh exhibitions, ranging from classical pieces to the latest in contemporary art.
If you’re after views of the city, there’s no better spot than Mount Royal. It’s a favourite for both locals and tourists wanting to get a breathtaking look at the city’s skyline from its iconic “mountain”.
View of Mount Royal from downtown Montreal during the fall.Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime
On the culinary front, Montréal continues to innovate. Beyond the famed poutine, dining spots like the French-Moroccan Nili, the trendy 9 Tail Fox, and the local gem Anemone have received nods. Add to that the markets, from longstanding favourites like Marché Jean-Talon to fresh additions like Le Central, and it’s clear Montreal’s food scene is second to none.
As Chef Paul Toussaint of Kamúy Restaurant put it, “Montreal took me in, fed me. Montreal made me who I am.” The sentiment reflects the experience of many who have been touched by the city’s joie de vivre, which certainly played a part in Lonely Planet’s high praise.
Being listed by Lonely Planet is no small feat. The selection begins with a detailed survey reaching out to a network of travel experts and enthusiasts. They give their insights on trending travel destinations.
Montreal skyline at sunrise.Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime
“In a time marked by listicles and AI, what makes our selections unique is our people,” said Niya Chambers, Lonely Planet’s Executive Editor for Best in Travel 2024. “We have real human beings on the ground all over the world discovering what’s new and evaluating old favourites.”
Post-survey, a list is compiled and then reviewed by the travel guide’s expert panel. The team fine-tunes the choices, which are then vetted by a rotating group of travel specialists. Thee experts score destinations on their relevance, uniqueness, and overall appeal.
For its 50th year, Lonely Planet’s picks span five categories: country, region, city, sustainable, and value. Cities like Nairobi, Paris, and Philadelphia also feature on the list, showcasing a diverse global travel palette for 2024.
Here are the top 10 cities in the world, according to Lonely Planet:
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Paris, France
- Montréal, Canada
- Mostar, Bosnia
- Philadelphia, USA
- Manaus, Brazil
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Prague, Czech Republic
- İzmir, Turkey
- Kansas City, Missouri