Image by Guylain Doyle Getty Images
Opened in 1931, Montréal's Botanical Garden is the world's third largest after those in London and Berlin. Approximately 22,000 species of plants grow in 30 outdoor gardens, including the tranquil Japanese Garden, a symphony of stone and water sprinkled with rhododendrons, water lilies and bonsai trees. Other highlights include the First Nations Garden, the Chinese Garden and the Rose Garden, as well as 10 greenhouses that are filled with cacti, banana trees, orchids and other magnificent tropical flowers.
Tickets also include a visit to the Insectarium with its intriguing collection of creepy crawlies, most of them dead and mounted, but there are also living species, including tarantulas, bees and scorpions. Not to be missed is the Butterfly House.
The best way to get around this huge place is by the hop-on, hop-off trolley that makes its rounds every 35 minutes or so (summer only). Free guided tours leave at 10:30am and 1:30pm daily (except Monday from November to May) from the reception center. All facilities are accessible to people in wheelchairs.