Montreal

Montreal

History

Montreal is a metropolis but not the capital of the province of Quebec. It is an amazing city where the “Joie de vivre” is tangible. Because of its past diverse immigration this city nowadays possesses a rich progressive culture. It has now a population of almost 2 million souls which turns out being almost 4 million when including the metropolitan area.

When Jacques Cartier discovered the island in 1535 it was already inhabited by the Iroquois Native American tribe who were holding a village called Hochelaga. Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec City, laid out a strategic gathering site between Algonquins, Hurons and French merchants for them to trade furs and European products at Pointe-à-Callière in 1611 before any city would be founded. It was not until 1642 that was founded the first French town in Montreal named Ville-Marie. However the city owes its present name to the Mont-Royal Mountain which is located in the southwest.

The British conquest of the city in 1760 changed the course of history. It became a British stronghold which has now resulted in the city’s bilingualism.

Location

The city of Montreal is located on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. It occupies most part of the island which is actually divided into different districts. The city also occupies the Bizard Island, Nuns’ Island, Saint Helen’s Island and Notre-Dame Island. It is interesting to note that Ontario, Ottawa and the United States as well are only a few hours away from Montreal city. In addition you may be surprised to learn how Montreal is vertically aligned north of New York City which is about 6 hours away.

Montreal weather

Montreal has a humid climate with high thermal amplitude. You’re probably not surprised! Despite an average annual temperature of 6 ° C the lowest temperature ever recorded was -38 ° C in winter and the highest summer temperature was 38 ° C. Do not be discouraged however the city is well equipped to deal with the cold and the heat. The city is full of interesting activities and life in all seasons!

Click here here for Montreal forecast.

Did you know…

  • Montreal owes its name to Mount Royal which name was distorted to eventually become Montreal?
  • Montreal is considered Canada’s cultural capital?

Tip

A tip of 15% (applied before taxes) is expected for waiters, taxi drivers and hairdressers. It is also customary to offer $ 2 per bag to porters in hotels.

Emergency

Health-Info: 811

Emergency: 911

How to get around Montreal

From Montreal’s airport

Downtown is only 20 minutes away from Montreal’s Pierre-Elliot Trudeau International Airport. The many modes of transportation to get there are:

  • Airport Shuttle: line 747 from Montreal’s public transport will get you downtown anytime of the day or night for 10$. The interesting thing about this option is its validity for 24 consecutive hours on all buses and subway of Montreal’s public transport system
  • Taxi: the taxi fare is fixed at $38 to get downtown.
  • Car Rental: ca search tool allows you to compare the proposal from different rental companies offering the service from the airport.
  • Limousine: Phénix Limousine and Mont-Royal Limousine offer limousine service or other luxury vehicle that can carry up to 57 passengers.

Public transport

The Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) allows you to move through the city by bus and metro. Their website includes a handy tool that allows you to plot the optimal route which will take you to your destination. The transportation service is offered from the following pricing options:

  • 1 pass for $ 3
  • Unlimited evening (6pm to 5am) for $ 5
  • 1 day ( 24 hours) for $ 10*
  • Unlimited Weekend (Friday 6pm to Monday 5am) for  $ 13
  • 3 consecutive days for $ 18*
  • Weekly (Monday 5am to Sunday midnight) for $ 24.50* **
  • Monthly for $ 79,50* **

*These passes are accepted on board the airport shuttle towards downtown. Plan accordingly and you’ll save the cost of the airport shuttle!

**You will need to purchase the Opus card at a cost of $ 6 to enjoy these titles.

Regarding families, please note that:

  • Children 5 and under travel for free when accompanied by an adult (with the exception of the 747 airport shuttle).
  • The Family Outings Program allows a maximum of five children aged 6 to 11 year to travel for free when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. This offer is valid from Friday 6pm to Sunday midnight, on holidays and December 19th, 2014 to January 4th, 2015.

Montreal’s Metro – Plan and Schedule

Green and Orange lines

Sunday to Friday from 5:30 to 0:38

Saturday from 5:30 to 1:30

Yellow line

Sunday to Friday from 5:30 to 1am

Saturday from 5:30 to 1:30

Blue line

Every day from 5:30 to 1:15

Montreal Taxis

The following taxi fare estimator is an interesting tool to get an approximate cost of your trip. It should be noted that the cost of traveling from Pierre-Elliot Trudeau to downtown has a fixed price of $ 38. For all other trips the total cost will be calculated by adding $ 1.70 per kilometer and $ 0.63 per minute waiting to an initial cost of $ 3.45. Also note that all trips departing from the Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport have a minimal cost of $ 16.25.

Note that a taximeter indicating the fare should always be visible. In addition the taxi driver’s tip is customary, but not mandatory.

Taxi Coop Montréal : 514 725-9885

Taxi Diamond : 514 273-6331

Car Rental

The Expedia.ca research tool allows you to compare the proposal from different rental companies and find the rental car that fits your needs.

Bike Rental

Montreal has a bike rental service called Bixi. It’s the most extensive network of self-service bike rental stations in America. This service is accessible from April to November and allows you to borrow a bike from a station, make the trip and return the bike to any of the other 450 stations of the network.

Montreal’s Nightlife

Downtown Montreal by Night

Downtown Montreal by Night

Montreal’s nightlife is as diverse as it is legendary. The pavement of St. Paul Street in Old Montreal is filled with history that comes alive at night to the rhythm of many live singer bars and lounges from boutique-hotels. The Crescent Street downtown is famous for its terraces, pubs and nightclubs. However the Latin district is famous for its microbreweries and alternative music. Meanwhile Plateau Mont-Royal brings its bohemian touch with wine bars and colorful terraces. Finally the Village features Drag Queens performances in addition to many lounges, bars and nightclubs.

The legendary Club Soda has been offering its stage to young artists and producers of all artistic genres for 30 years. In addition to featuring famous internationally known artists, a majority of great Canadian artists known today where discovered on its stage.

Located in the heart of Montreal’s Old Port, Terrasses Bonsecours offers a bistro atmosphere, trendy DJs and the best gourmet tapas selection but it’s its four terraces and romantic area with breathtaking views of the city and the St. Lawrence River that sets it apart.

Plan B is a great place to get a drink from a wide selection of choices and delicious tapas while holding an interesting conversation between friends.  Enjoy its lovely verdant and heated backyard patio also very popular with smokers.

With its tropical atmosphere and exotic beauties Copacabana was named “the hottest cabaret North of Havana”. Do not miss its famous long weekend Sunday parties with Miss K and League-A which make its reputation.

The local and international DJs of Peopl nightclub features the best House and Techno music and also Live Jazz, Funk, Indie, R&B and Soul. Its decor is chic and comfortable whereas its progressive customers aged 25 to 50 are heterosexual as well as gay/lesbian.

It’s at the Lab that you’ll find the best cocktails in town thanks to the passion of its expert in alcoholic mixtures Fabien Robillard, who says “taking the science of cocktail very seriously”. The presentation is a work of art and the flavors are sure to amaze you.

Le Bistro à Jojo is a mythical place where high-caliber artists are featured on stage night after night to play great classics of Blues and Rock. Well-known personalities in Quebec are frequently found in the audience.

Imagine yourself walking on St. Paul Street admiring Old Montreal’s historic architecture, when suddenly you hear the music of 2 Pierrots’ live singers. You will be driven by its festive and electrifying atmosphere.

Quality beer lovers gather at the Dieux du ciel brewery. Their mission is to brew the best beers without any compromise! Regardless of the cost of production or work required. Their primary motivation is to always provide you with creative and satisfying beers.

SPORTS IN MONTREAL

In the past Montreal’s sport culture was centered on their passion for hockey. Even though hockey is still important to Quebecers, their interests have expanded to include many other exciting sports.

If you want to watch live events surrounded by other fans like yourself with a beer and good food, you can either choose between La cage aux sports, Windsor Hyper Bar & Grill, Brasserie Rachel Rachel or Chez Serge. Fans can follow the sports news via the Sports TV channel Network (RDS) or English radio station CKGM. Furthermore major newspapers have a section dedicated to sports.

The following is an overview of sports that Quebecers are nowadays passionate about:

Hockey

Montreal is known as the birthplace of the Montreal Canadians team. This National Hockey League team is currently the only of the city to be part of one the major professional sports leagues of Canada and the United States. Montreal is also home to the Montreal Stars, the women’s hockey league which won the Clarkson Cup in 2009 and 2011. Montreal Canadians matches take place in the famous Bell Centre.

Racing

Montreal hosts the annual Canadian Grand Prix F1 racing, the NAPA Auto Parts 200 NASCAR’s series and Montreal 200 a Rolex Sports Car Series Grand-AM event. These races attract many tourists to the city such as the 75,000 tourists flocking to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Notre-Dame Island to attend the Canadian Grand Prix racing F1 every year.

Canadian football

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League has been one of the best teams of the new millennium in terms of victory in the division championships and ticket sales. In fact, they won seven Grey Cups in their history, the most recent being in 2009 and 2010. The Montreal Alouettes matches take place at Molson Stadium.

Boxing

Montreal has become a boxing center. It is now the third largest event host in North America. Montreal is proud to house the world champions Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute as well as their close competitors Herman Ngoudjo, Joachim Alcine, Adrian Diaconu and Sebastien Demers.

Tennis

Montreal is proud host of the annual Rogers Cup tennis tournament. Montreal shares the male and female competition with the city of Toronto; one year Montreal will host the women’s competition, while Toronto will host the men’s competition, then reverse roles the following year. Competitions are held on a hard court at the Uniprix Stadium located in Jarry Park.

Soccer

Soccer is a sport with rising popularity in Quebec. Montreal has its own team called the Montreal Impact which joined the ranks of major soccer league in 2012. You can enjoy their game on a natural grass field at the Saputo stadium located in the heart of the Olympic Park. The women’s team Laval Comets from W-League play at the sports center Bois-de-Boulogne.

MONTREAL PARKS

Did you know?

The architect Frederick Law Olmsted who was the architect behind New York City’s Central Park is also responsible for the design of Montreal’s most famous park which is Mount Royal Park?

Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park is a must-visit tourist destination because of its rich pedestrian trails and fun activities but it’s the view of Montreal’s downtown from the top (233 meters high) which makes it a site to not be missed. This verdant area of 1.9 square kilometers is visited by nearly 5 million people every year and offers a host of affordable outdoor activities (often free!) for all ages and especially during the winter season. The activities you can do are the following:

  • Guided hikes in the forest
  • Bird watching
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Picnic
  • Pedal boat
  • Drum circle
  • Cemetery visit
  • Winter hiking in the forest
  • Skating
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Adapted cross-country skiing (sitting)
  • Snowshoeing (including guided walks at night)
  • Slide and toboggan
  • Downhill on tube

Cap-St-Jacques Nature Park

With its 3 square kilometers, the Cap-St-Jacques Nature Park is the largest park on the Montreal Island. The park is filled with birch and maple forests and features a beach as well. In winter visitors can explore its 32 km of cross-country ski trails. In summer visitors can explore the D-Trois-Pierres organic farm where you can buy delicious fresh products but also visit the farm animals including horses, goats, sheep and other typical farm animals for free. Make sure to enjoy the sugar shack’s products which are produced from late February to April. Other park activities include:

  • Walking in the forest
  • Bird watching
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Picnic
  • Pedal boat, canoe, kayak
  • Fishing
  • Swimming and sunbathing at the beach
  • Pony ride for children
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Winter slides

L’Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park

L’Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park is a beautiful 0.34 square kilometers verdant area along Rivière-des-Prairies River dividing Montreal’s north shore and Laval’s south shore. The park offers guided tours to inform visitors about the history of the Sault-au-Récollet site. In addition it is recommended to stop for a drink and something to eat at the charming Bistro des Moulins located just beside the Sault-au-Récollet site. Its beauty and the sound of the water rapids will have you daydreaming. Other park activities include:

  • Walking in the forest
  • Bird watching
  • Cycling
  • Picnic
  • Fishing
  • Electric train
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Winter slides

Lafontaine Park

Located in the heart of Plateau Mont-Royal, Lafontaine Park is certainly among the most popular parks in the city. Its charm makes up for its relative smallness of 0.34 square kilometers. There are two beautiful artificial lakes connected by a waterfall which turns in winter into one of the most popular places for skating. If cold come warm up with a hot chocolate at Espace La Fontaine restaurant two steps away from the lake. In summer there are musical performances and theater plays, courtesy of the park! Other park activities include:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Picnic
  • Swimming
  • Mini train for children
  • Dance
  • Summer tango
  • Cinema
  • replenish at the park’s bistro cafe

Jarry Park

Jarry Park is known for its Uniprix Stadium which annually holds the Rogers Cup, a major tennis tournament. A pretty artificial lake is found in the middle of its 0.35 square kilometers of verdant space. The park is the meeting place of many athletes who come to practise sports such as softball, baseball, soccer, beach volleyball, skateboard, basketball, swimming and even cricket! Another interesting thing about this park is its location just 10 minutes away by foot from the wonderful Jean-Talon Market. Other park activities include:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Picnic
  • Swimming pool
  • Skating
  • Skateboard and roller skater (with ramp and obstacles)
  • Winter slides and toboggan

Bois-de-l’île-Bizard Nature Park

The nature park of Bois-de-l’île-Bizard differs from other parks with its 2 square kilometers of wilderness. Walk through cattail marshes where visitors are likely to see beavers crossing the wetlands. The marshes eventually give way to a dense forest of maple sugar, beech and cedar trees. You can finally relax on the beach in Pointe-aux-Carrieres and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Other park activities include:

  • Walking in the forest
  • Bird watching
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Picnic and BBQ
  • Swimming and sunbathing at the beach
  • Boat
  • Ferry of Bois-de-l’île-Bizard and Laval-sur-le-Lac
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing

The only inconvenience of the park is to be located 40 minutes walk to the nearest public transit stop. If you don’t have a car it is recommended to use a taxi starting from the closest stop from the park.

MONTREAL SHOPPING

Montreal is filled with precious little boutiques. The quality and variety offered is noticed either in fashion houses, crafts stalls or Saint-Denis Street shops bringing the latest trends in fashion.

Plateau Mont Royal

Plateau Mont Royal

Eaton Centre

Located in the heart of Montreal on the largest commercial street of Canada and the presence of all the trendy stores make of Montreal’s Eaton Center an incredible place to shop. You will be delighted by its 175 retailers on five floors, the largest food court in North America and access to the famous underground network. The mall receives regular artistic and cultural events and offers visitors information to discover the city.

Underground Montreal

An interesting feature in Montreal is certainly its mysterious underground pedestrian network. It’s the result of the city’s cold weather. It covers a big portion of the city’s downtown with 32 km of pedestrian galleries making it one of the largest in the world! It is a small city in itself where you will find 2000 stores, restaurants and service areas, in addition to the access to nearly twenty museums and places of interest as well as many hotels.

Bonsecours Market

Bonsecours Market, headquarters of the Québec Crafts Council, is located in Montreal‘s Old Port in a beautiful heritage building that was once the site of the Canadian Parliament and Montreal city hall. It holds 15 luxurious high quality “made in Quebec” boutiques. You can admire crafts items, fashion, jewelry, accessories and antique furniture.

Bonsecours Market

Bonsecours Market

Vintage on St-Laurent

In Montreal, who says cool says vintage! Fashionistas looking for a good deal will be interested in this vintage paradise. Despite being a bit everywhere in the city, the best vintage shops are probably along the famous Saint-Laurent Boulevard between Bernard Street and Mont-Royal Avenue. You will find many vintage stores including Citizen Vintage featuring a unique clothing collection, accessories and sought-after local crafts.

MONTREAL RESTAURANTS

If you are picky and like to discover new flavors, Montreal is your destination of choice. You will discover an exceptional quality of food which origins are European. On the other hand, Montreal is distinguished because of its multi-ethnic cuisine. You are invited to visit the Resto-Montreal website to appreciate the myriad of choices that the city has to offer. You will find all types of cuisine from raw vegan and gluten-free cuisine to wild meats, African cuisine or gastronomy on a cruise.

Steakhouse

The Keg has the well-deserved reputation of being one of the best steakhouse in town. It serves only the best prime beef cuts well-aged to ensure a sublime tenderness. Afterwards they cook it until perfection, guaranteed!

Haute Cuisine

Toqué!’s Haute Cuisine seeks to highlight Quebec’s local products, what they call the market’s cuisine, as well as the work of their artisans suppliers. They are member of the prestigious Relais&Châteaux selection.

Wild Meat

Its decor filled with eclectic antiques, a vegetable garden in the courtyard in summer and a lively, masculine and friendly atmosphere, Joe Beef offers wild meats, steaks and seafood with authenticity and precise flavors.

Local cuisine

While not the fanciest of restaurants, Au pied de cochon’s chef Martin Picard has earned a reputation almost reaching cult status. You will discover the rich flavors of the local cuisine through an original and varied menu.

Laurie Raphael’s creative cuisine highlights the richness of the local cuisine while remaining open to the world. After its success in Quebec’s capital the renowned chef Daniel Vézina moved his art to Le Germain Hotel in Montreal.

Exotic

Thailande offers you the opportunity to experience authentic fine Thai cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. This exotic dining experience combines traditions and richness of flavors through a unique blend of herbs and exotic spices.

Rumi offers authentic exotic cuisine of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The vision and inspiration of its founders is based on a desire to return to the essential, the biologic, the authentic.

Vegetarian

Much more than a restaurant Crudessence offers to help you discover raw food in all its glory! Their raw vegan and organic food rich in nutrients and enzymes is known to revitalize and help the body regain and maintain health.

Aux Vivres’ mission is to dispel the myths surrounding vegan cuisine. They offer healthy vegan dishes; innovative, fresh, and especially delicious; made from the best products on the market. Take also advantage of its colorful takeout lunches!

Desserts

Be sure to put at least your eyes on the irresistible cakes from Rockaberry. They offer a variety of over 30 pies of more than adequate proportions that you can accompany with a specialty gourmet coffee until late at night.

MONTREAL HOTELS

As one might expect from a city as vibrant as Montreal, it offers a wide choice of accommodations ranging from the finest 5 stars to the colourful and lively youth hostels, the warm Bed & Breakfast and the ever so charming heritage hotels. You’ll even find comfortable apartment-hotels which are now a new trend. Accommodations are suitable for romantic, business or family trips; even allowing you to bring your pet along.

The rooms and suites of the luxurious Montreal Ritz-Carlton hotel combine elegance with classic and contemporary styles. Much of its decoration dates back from the early 20th century such as marble fireplaces which are found in suites or wing chairs present in very room. Their rooms are equipped with the latest technologies to make your stay memorable such as room temperature sensors remembering your preferences and light sensors to guide you in the darkness.

Ritz-Carlton Montreal

Ritz-Carlton Montreal

The beautiful historic building dating from 1870 of the St. James Hotel provides you with an ideal location in the heart of Old Montreal. The hotel is renowned for its warm and professional service and its well designed and avant-garde style. This grand hotel has become a model of excellence in Canada. In addition to its atmosphere worthy of great European tradition, each room and suite has a charm and a character of its own. Each room offers to its guests an accommodation with impeccable attention to detail.

le St-James hotel

le St-James hotel

Located in the middle of downtown and next to the magnificent park of Mount Royal, Sofitel Montreal is perfect for business travelers as well as art lovers due to its location near the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. This luxury hotel with a Victorian age touch belonged to William Cornelius Van Horne, American railways pioneer. Admire its masterful blend of minimalist design and warm sophistication. This hotel has 241 elegant rooms and 17 suites.

Sofitel Montreal

Sofitel Montreal

 

Wander Old Montreal’s cobblestone streets a few steps away from Westin Hotel. Enjoy its many restaurants, galleries, shops and heritage sites. This hotel is especially suited for business trips because of its location right next to the Convention Centre, the largest conference center in Montreal. You are guaranteed to enjoy your stay in one of their 455 luxurious rooms. They thought of everything to answer your needs whether a protein shake or a teddy bear.

Rare are the hotels which embody the most prestigious qualities of a world-class city. The Marriott Montreal Chateau Champlain Hotel offers nothing less. Beautiful, elegant and romantic are words to describe it. You’ll find the best of Montreal at your feet. When coming to Montreal, be sure to bring along your wish list because it’s in this city that you might accomplish some dreams.

Marriott Montreal Château Champlain

Marriott Montreal Château Champlain

 

The Auberge du Vieux-Port symbolises the richness of Montreal’s history. It is also the only hotel around to be facing the St. Lawrence River. The two buildings that house the 45 rooms are filled with more than a century and a half of history. Its preserved and embellished heritage architecture evokes an air of authenticity. Come and enjoy its breathtaking scenery while benefiting from the personalized and warm service of its staff.

Auberge du Vieux-Port

Auberge du Vieux-Port

 

Drop your bags at the St-Paul Hotel, the great start for an unforgettable stay in Montreal. Now converted into a boutique-hotel, the St-Paul has been renovated with elegance and modernity. Its decor is minimalist, graceful and contemporary. Each of its 120 rooms and suites offer unparalleled comfort and space, suitable for all types of holidays. Located in the heart of the picturesque Old Montreal; you will find yourself close to main interests points and attractions the city has to offer.

Hotel St-Paul

Hotel St-Paul

 

Located in the heart of Montreal’s effervescence (at the corner of Sherbrooke and Saint-Laurent Street), Hotel 10 Montreal offers a unique boutique experience. The fusion between contemporary design and a heritage touch represents very well Montreal. Its intimate 136 guest rooms combine sleek minimalism with luxurious comfort. It is an ideal place where to sleep, eat, drink, work, hold a meeting and socialize. Animals are welcomed!

Hotel 10 Montreal

Hotel 10 Montreal

 

The proximity of the luxurious Montreal Intercontinental Hotel to Montreal’s Convention Center, Notre-Dame Basilica as well as breathtaking views of Old Montreal and its port, makes it an ideal location for a business trip or leisure. Enjoy supreme cocktails offered by Sara B bar, relax in their salt water pool or enjoy a memorable meal at Osco! Then return to your luxurious room with peace of mind knowing that your needs are taken care of.

Montreal Loews Hotel allows you to stay in Montreal with elegance and style! This elegant hotel with a European style has a beautiful lobby, a lounge and a magnificent terrace making it a perfect place for a romantic getaway. It offers 142 spacious rooms including 16 suites in an ideal urban location. The staff is fluent in English and French. In addition no need to bring your electric adapters because the electrical current works as at home.

Loews Hotel Vogue

Loews Hotel Vogue

 

The Montreal Embassy Suites by Hilton is located just steps away from Montreal’s Port as well as numerous shops, restaurants, museums and Montreal’s nightlife. The elegant suites have everything you need for a comfortable stay. Relax on a sumptuous bed while watching the high definition TV screen or work at the desk with wireless internet. Enjoy a free breakfast prepared to your request or an appetizer cocktail also free.

Embassy Suites Montreal

Embassy Suites Montreal

 

Atmosphere lodging house offers the charm of Montreal’s most beautiful apartments in the form of a Bed&Breakfast with a great location. By booking one of its three rooms you will enjoy a personalized service which focus is on a three-course gourmet breakfast served under a flexible schedule. Every year they exhibit the work of a new emerging artist for the entire year in order to make known local creative talents. Notably it was awarded the Quebec Tourism prize in 2012.

The Montreal Downtown Espresso Hotel is located a few steps away from the trendy cafés and stylish boutiques of Crescent Street, Ste-Catherine Street and Old Montreal. The hotel is characterized by an harmonious concept and will charm you with its warm welcome and full range of services combining comfort and conviviality. It features a restaurant bar, a gift shop, a spa, an outdoor seasonal pool plus sauna and a business center for customers of one of their 205 rooms and suites.

Located in the sports, entertainment and parks district, Montreal Universal Hotel is strategically situated close to downtown; near the Olympic Park, Saputo Soccer Stadium, Biodome, Botanical Garden and Insectarium, Maisonneuve Park and the Planetarium. In addition it offers direct access to subway station or bus to all the different places of interest in the city. You will get a personalized service in one of their 230 rooms and suites.

Candlewood Suites is part of the new trend in tourist accommodation which is apartment-hotels. Its comfort and good taste offers to business travelers as well as vacationers a unique experience. Candlewood suites features a complete kitchen including a regular sized refrigerator, a conventional oven and microwave as well as dishes and cutlery. Located downtown, these suites are close to most cultural attractions giving the city its reputation.

The Gite youth hostel offers two locations with tidy and comfortable rooms where you can stay at affordable prices. The first located in front of Lafontaine Park is one of the oldest hostels in Montreal. The second one on the Plateau is a beautiful hostel located near the urban turmoil. Whether youth hostel you choose will be close to sites of interest or public transport services to whisk you away to any other site you want to visit.

Auberge de jeunesse HI-Montréal youth hostel offers to host you downtown at great price. You will be well situated close to the famous Ste-Catherine Street, the Museum of Fine Arts, several pubs, and so on. Because of its international clientele and its vibrant friendly atmosphere, those wishing to make new friendships will be fulfilled. Join their bar hopping, bike tours and city strolling or ask its staff for a suggestion of activity. No fear, they will sure find you something fun to do!

MONTREAL ORGANIZED TOURS & TRIPS

Discover the fascinating history of Montreal and its rich architecture with an experienced guide. The means to accomplish this are as varied as entertaining. You can choose between cycling, walking, carriage tour, bus, boat and even amphibious vehicle! We present here some of the most interesting.

Carriage Tour

Oh! The beautiful, romantic horse-drawn carriage tour… moreover combined to the charming and romantic Old Montreal’s architecture. No appointment needed. You cannot miss the sound of hooves on the old pavement. Every day from 9 am to 11 pm a guide coachmen awaits you at Place Jacques-Cartier, de la Commune Street, Place d’Armes and sometimes from the top of Mont Royal.

Gourmet Tour

Gastronomic tours from Tours de la table include not only the classic gourmet tour where you can taste fine products, you can also meet chefs and entrepreneurs who will have plenty of stories to share. You will discover through their different tours a selection of restaurants, specialized grocery stores, food production facilities and more.

Bike Tour

Fitz & Follwell’s guided bike tours allow you to explore historic sites, hidden places and even culinary specialties the city has to offer. Choose from different options of bike rides each as interesting as the other and offered from April 1 to October 31. Do not be sad because of winter, a visit to Mount Royal introducing you to skating, sledding and snowshoeing is offered during the cold season.

Walking Tour

Let the experienced guides from Guidatour help you discover the most interesting parts of the city by foot, including the historic Old Montreal and downtown. Other tours such as a culinary tour and the Christmas’ secrets of Old Montreal are also offered. If you dare they also offer tours in Old Montreal such as Legends and stories or Ghosts Hunting in which they narrate amazing tales which will haunt you. Chills guaranteed!

Boat Tour

Cruises AML offers a different perspective of the city with its cruise aboard the Cavalier Maxim. Their certified guide will make you relive fascinating pages of Montreal’s rich history through a tour lasting an hour and a half. Learn interesting facts about the city, go behind the scenes of Montreal’s Port and sail up to Bellerive Park. You can also eat at their restaurant on board.

WHAT TO SEE IN MONTREAL

Montreal Botanical Garden

Located alongside Maisonneuve Park and north of Plateau Mont-Royal, Montreal Botanical Garden provides a peaceful place to contrast with the effervescence metropolitan area. Let yourself be charmed by the beauty of its 75 hectares of remarkable floral diversity. You’ll find more than 26,000 plant species spread across 30 thematic gardens and 10 exhibition greenhouses. Take your time to admire its Japanese Zen garden’ bonsais or explore the principles of yin and yang in the Chinese garden inspired by the private gardens of the Ming period. Outdoor gardens include a beautiful rose garden and a superb alpine garden inviting you to discover the fascinating and diverse fauna and flora from the Himalayan Mountains to the Canadian Rockies.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

Biodome

Biodome which name means “House of Life” invites you to travel through four ecosystems of the American continent: the rainforest, the Laurentian Maple Forest, St. Lawrence Gulf and the sub Polar Regions which include the Labrador coasts and the sub Antarctic islands. You will find 4,500 animals and 500 plant species. Follow the guides on this journey across the Americas and meet (even feed!) friendly penguins.

Biodôme

Biodôme

St. Joseph’s Oratory

The magnificent St. Joseph’s Oratory dedicated in honor of St. Joseph, saint patron of Canada, is definitely a must for seculars as well as believers. The vastness and beauty of the structure will surely impress you as it already does for millions of visitors each year. Built in the Italian Renaissance style it features a beautiful copper dome. The interior is decorated with carved paintings and many candles leading to the crypt which give it a serene atmosphere. If you get the chance watch the sunset from the terrace. Is the site’s beauty simply related to its elevation and view over the city or the consequence of a divine touch?

Oratoire Saint- Joseph

Oratoire Saint- Joseph

Notre-Dame Basilica

It is said that architect James O’Donnell who built the Notre-Dame Basilica in 1824 was so moved by it that he converted to Catholicism. Admire its neo-gothic architecture, its statues and quiet chapels but make sure not to miss the dazzling light show “Et la lumière fut” which immerses you in the history of the city and the Basilica with the most modern multimedia technology. In addition to highlighting the historical, cultural, architectural and spiritual heritage of the basilica it illuminates its extraordinary works of art. Another feature of the Basilica to see is its starry ceiling containing more than 5,000 hand-painted stars.

Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica

Museums

Montreal Museum Pass

If you intend to take advantage of the many museums the city has to offer, it might be advantageous to get the Montreal Museum Pass which will save you money on 33 museum entry. You can choose from the following options:

  • Montreal Museum Pass – 3 days (without transport) which entitles you to 3 non consecutive days within 3 weeks starting from the first visit (one visit per museum) but within one year after the purchase date. Cost $ 75.
  • Montreal Museum Pass – 3 days (with transport) which entitles you to 3 consecutive days of free visits (1 visit per museum) starting from the first visit but within one year after purchase date. Transportation is unlimited for 3 days including bus, subway and airport shuttle line 747. Cost $ 80.

You can buy the Montreal Museum Pass online but keep in mind that the card’s delivery delay is 10 business days to Canada and United States and 25 business days to Europe.

Pointe-à-Callière Museum

Classified national archaeological and historical site, Pointe-à-Callière Museum is undoubtedly the best place to start exploring Montreal’s historical past since it covers several centuries, from the Native American period to the present day. Indeed it is located on the same ground where was found the remains of the first settlement in Montreal. However we find traces of human presence that reflect more than 1000 years of human activity. Great care was taken to showcase these remarkable architectural ruins in situ with the greatest respect of their integrity.

In summer the museum features many activities and festivals.

Museum of Fine Arts

Among the most important museums in Montreal is the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts which has been collecting works of art for over 100 years. Admire the impressive collection of Canadian and international works, including works by artists as famous as Rembrandt, El Greco, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso. The museum also incorporates a variety of items including a collection of English porcelain dating back from the 18th century, artifacts from the First World War, beautiful furniture designed by Frank Gehry and the famous Napoleon hat!

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts

Contemporary Art Museum

Montreal Contemporary Art Museum is located at Place-des-Arts, major cultural site of the city featuring five concert halls including Wilfred Pelletier’s hall which is the largest concert hall in the city and the renowned Maisonneuve Theater. It presents temporary contemporary art exhibitions as well as permanent ones, mainly featuring works by local artists. The permanent collection has more than 7,000 works including the largest collection of the renowned Quebec artist Paul-Émile Borduas. In addition to exhibiting works of art, the museum features contemporary dance events, experimental theater, contemporary music, films, paintings and sculptures.

WHAT TO DO IN MONTREAL

The list of fun activities that can be done in Montreal is very long, maybe even endless. Here we present some of the most popular suggestions.

Montreal Watersport

Montreal Watersport

La Ronde

La Ronde was originally built to entertain visitors of the 1967 International Expo, named “Expo ‘67”. It is the largest amusement park not only in Quebec but in Eastern Canada. The amusement park in constant renewal, now offers 40 rides and attractions including roller coasters that are among the highest and fastest in North America! La Ronde also has a family entertainment area and activities to suit all ages and interests. Many special events are held, the most popular definitely being L’International des Feux Loto-Québec which is an international pyromusical contest. The site is easily accessible by public transport even though it is located on the island of St. Helena.

La Ronde Six Flags

La Ronde Six Flags

Jean-Talon Market

Jean-Talon market is a popular market dear to montrealers. Many montrealers come shopping in the weekend to replenishing with fresh market produce. The magic of this place is to get closer to farmers and make believe they are in the countryside. Be warned that the variety of homemade products cause envy! You will find a lot of fresh, exotic and home-made products, including cheeses, Arabic pastries, olives, spices, teas, chocolates and, of course, maple syrup products.

Bateau-Mouche

Breathtaking views of the shoreline and the city will be revealed before your eyes aboard the Bateau-Mouche boat while you are lulled by the waves of the St. Lawrence River. It offers a variety of cruise options. Enjoy the chic terrace for unforgettable moments under the sun or the sunrise during the “Breakfast on the water” package. You’ll be impressed by the city’s beauty at night when enjoying your haute cuisine diner. Enjoy front row seats to watch the pyromusical show of L’International des Feux Loto-Québec. You’ll remember those precious moments for a long time.

Skating Rink

Atrium Le 1000, the only indoor skating rink, invites you to slide to the driving beat of the music in summer as well as in winter. Not even the rays of light coming through the huge glass dome overlooking the skating rink manages to melt the ice in summer. The skating rink is located on the ground floor of the tallest building in Montreal. Since it also houses lovely shops and restaurants you can take advantage of being there to shop and eat. They offer skate rental service.

Jet Boat Saute-mouton

The Jet Boat Saute-mouton offers a thrilling descent through the most turbulent areas of the only St. Lawrence River rapids, the majestic Lachine Rapids. Get ready for the craziest boat ride of your life! The adventure offers a good dose of thrill in an enchanting setting. Do not forget your bathing suit and towel because you will be as soaked as impressed.

Ask about packages including the Happy Hour at St-Paul Pub. The ride is available daily from May to October.

Spa

Let yourself be pampered on board the unique Bota Bota “Spa on Water”. Former ferry it was later converted into a theater boat and finally into an establishment providing the health benefits of a spa taking advantage of the natural rocking movement the St. Lawrence River. Facilities include two saunas with stunning views on the River and Old Montreal, an eucalyptus steam bath, outdoor hot tubs, showers and cold baths, relaxation areas, a restaurant, terraces and even a garden. They also offer massage treatments, manicures and pedicures, as well as yoga and Pilates.

Montreal Casino

Located on the Notre-Dame Island just in front of Montreal’s Old Port, the Montreal’s Casino is considered one of the largest casinos in the world. The casino takes care of your entertainment with five floors of gaming housing 3,000 slot machines and 100 table games. A section of the casino is restricted to 18 poker tables which hold regular Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. The casino offers a bonus to the highest hand of the day. Besides the games you can enjoy one of the four restaurants on site including the sumptuous Nuances and Via Fortuna. The casino is accessible by public transport.

Taste authentic poutine

When you come to visit the province of Quebec you have an obligation to taste the local dish which Quebecers are proud of. Well its not haute cuisine but it’s a guilty pleasure for many Quebecers. We speak of course of the famous poutine! This dish can be eaten in many restaurants and snack bars. We suggest you try one of the best poutine in Montreal at the restaurant La banquise which is on the corner of Lafontaine Park you can visit after to digest your meal. This restaurant offers its own home-made lager to complement your poutine.

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN MONTREAL

Montreal is knowned to be the Cultural Capital of Canada and you better believe it! What would Montreal be without its numerous festivals? This constant frenzy has probably something to do with the “Joie de vivre” of Montrealers. Come and join the festivities! With 110 festivals in 365 days you are sure to find one to get excited about.

February

Montréal en lumière is one of the largest winter festivals in the world where 1.3 million people enjoy shows and gastronomy. It ends with the Nuit blanche consisting of 200 night activities (mostly free) connected by a free shuttle service. These activities occur on stage or on canvas, outdoors or in bright light, with music or stories, in exhibitions or dance. The most thrilling night of the year in Montreal!

June

Montreal’s Francofolies is a tribute to French music. Every year Montrealers and tourists rush to the site of the festivities which are downtown to attend some 70 indoor shows and 180 free outdoor concerts lasting ten days! With 1000 authors, composers, musicians and performers from 13 countries covering the most diverse musical styles, it is an appointment with francophone and world music.

Montreal’s International Jazz Festival is undoubtedly the most important jazz festival in the world! The festival invites nearly 3,000 artists from 30 countries performing over 1000 concerts of which two-thirds of outdoors are free, over 10 outdoor stages and 15 concert halls for 2 million festival-goers of which 26% are tourists. You’ll understand the importance of the festival when you read the list of guest artists such as Ray Charles, Prince, Astor Piazzola, Norah Jones and Ibrahim Ferrer.

July

The Just for Laughs festival is now known throughout the world. It is a major comedy festival where the best comedians from around the world are invited for your entertainment. The shows are indoors but also through street theater at Place des Festival downtown, projections of humorous movies, television shows and touring. Come and have fun in a festive atmosphere!

August

The quality of artists walking the scene of the Osheaga festival makes it the most important music and visual arts festival in Canada! The outstanding three-day program features names like Coldplay, Eminem and Arctic Monkeys. In addition to its outdoor concerts at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Sainte-Hélène Island the festival has many shows and exhibitions throughout the city.

November

MTLàTABLE is a delicious food festival involving 140 restaurants. It offers people who want to discover gourmet food an opportunity to discover it at a reasonable price. A multitude of special events are offered in addition such as wine tasting. Participate in one of the culinary tours offered by choosing one of the four gourmet stands where you will be given a glass of French wine with an appetizer before you keep discovering the rest.

Montreal in one day

Optimize your day trip in Montreal at the lowest price by discovering the best within your budget! The best of Montreal all inclusive and cheap, what could be better? Ah yes, a whole weekend!

Start your day with some history lessons at the Pointe-à-Callière museum. Classified national archaeological and historical site, it covers several centuries of history. Then contemplate the beautiful historic heart of the city with your new knowledge. Take the opportunity to admire its architecture and wander around the shops.

For lunch we suggest you try the famous lobster poutine at Garde Manger.

After lunch, head over to the Bonsecours Market. Take time to look around Place Jacques-Cartier. Once at the Beausecours market you can wander its 15 luxurious design shops. Continue your way to Pierre du Calvet house, one of the most beautiful houses of the eighteenth century in Montreal. Then jump in a taxi and reach the top of Mount Royal Park to spend the rest of the afternoon there. It will reveal stunning downtown views.

Dine at the famous The Keg, one of the best steakhouse in town.

Finally end your day immersing yourself in authentic Quebecer live music at the 2 Pierrots bar. The singers, staff and even the whole crowd will have you living a journey through time via singing their best classics with great joy.

Weekend in Montreal

Planning a weekend in Montreal at the last minute? Optimize your time in Montreal at the lowest price within your budget while enjoying the best the city has to offer! Best of Montreal all inclusive and cheap!

Day 1

Start your day with some history lessons at the Pointe-à-Callière museum. Classified national archaeological and historical site, it covers several centuries of history. Then contemplate the beautiful historic heart of the city with your new knowledge. Take the opportunity to admire its architecture and wander around the shops.

For lunch we suggest you try the famous lobster poutine at Garde Manger.

After lunch, head over to the Bonsecours Market. Take time to look around Place Jacques-Cartier. Once at the Beausecours market you can wander its 15 luxurious design shops. Continue your way to Pierre du Calvet house, one of the most beautiful houses of the eighteenth century in Montreal. Thereafter you’ll find located nearby the Marguerite-Bourgeois museum and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours chapel, Montreal’s oldest, where you can climb the tower to admire spectacular views.

Take the opportunity to walk along the Old Port on the way back to The Keg restaurant, one of the best steakhouse in town.

Finally end your day immersing yourself in authentic Quebecer live music at the 2 Pierrots bar. The singers, staff and even the whole crowd will have you living a journey through time via singing their best classics with great joy.

Day 2

Go at the top of Mount Royal Park to spend the morning there. Take time to admire the breathtaking view of downtown Montreal from its lookout. Visit afterwards the Smith House’ permanent exhibition and walk to Beaver Lake.

When hunger comes, go to the Bottega restaurant in the Little Italy district. There you will enjoy an authentic Napolitano pizza. You will then be located near Jean-Talon market where you’ll find loads of fresh, exotic and hand-made products, including of course maple syrup products. Take the opportunity to bring home some delicious gifts!

Use the last half of your afternoon to discover the charming Saint-Denis Street known for its array of designer and art boutiques as well as restaurants with sunny terraces.

Leave the area in time to board the luxurious Bateau-Mouche for your dinner cruise. A stunning view of the shoreline and the city will be revealed before your eyes while enjoying your gourmet dinner. You’ll be impressed by the city’s beauty at night as the evening progresses.

A week in Montreal

Are you planning a week trip to Montreal at the last minute? Optimize your time in Montreal at the lowest price within your budget while enjoying the best this city has to offer! The best of Montreal all inclusive and cheap!

Day 1

Start your week in Montreal with some history lessons at the Pointe-à-Callière museum. Classified national archaeological and historical site, it covers several centuries of history. Then contemplate the beautiful historic heart of the city with your new knowledge. Take the opportunity to admire its architecture and wander around the shops.

For lunch we suggest you try the famous lobster poutine at Garde Manger.

After lunch, head over to the Bonsecours Market. Take time to look around Place Jacques-Cartier. Once at the Beausecours market you can wander its 15 luxurious design shops. Continue your way to Pierre du Calvet house, one of the most beautiful houses of the eighteenth century in Montreal. Thereafter you’ll find located nearby the Marguerite-Bourgeois museum and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours chapel, Montreal’s oldest, where you can climb the tower to admire spectacular views.

Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica

Take the opportunity to walk along the Old Port on the way back to The Keg restaurant, one of the best steakhouse in town.

Finally end your day immersing yourself in authentic Quebecer live music at the 2 Pierrots bar. The singers, staff and even the whole crowd will have you living a journey through time via singing their best classics with great joy.

Day 2

Spend your morning at the Mont Royal Park. But first start by grabbing something for a picnic lunch at Crudessence, a healthy raw vegan restaurant which exquisite flavors are sure to surprise you!

You will conveniently be located near the base of the Mount and will be able to walk up its beautiful trail by foot until the summit unless you prefer renting a Bixi bike or grabbing a cab. Once at the top, Mount Royal offers all kind of interesting (insert a link to my section about Mont-Royal Park at the word activities) activities. Take time to admire the breathtaking view of downtown Montreal from its lookout. Visit afterwards the Smith House’ permanent exhibition and walk to Beaver Lake to find a quiet place to enjoy your lunch.

After lunch, go visit the beautiful St. Joseph’s Oratory. The vastness and beauty of the place will not fail to impress.

Leave the area in time to board the luxurious Bateau-Mouche for your dinner cruise. A stunning view of the shoreline and the city will be revealed before your eyes while enjoying your gourmet dinner. You’ll be impressed by the city’s beauty at night as the evening progresses.

Day 3

Go to La Ronde, the largest amusement park in eastern Canada. Spend the day there and later set off to Montreal’s Casino in time for diner. Besides the games you can enjoy one of the four restaurants on site including the sumptuous Nuances and Via Fortuna.

Day 4

Start your day at the Montreal Botanical Garden. You’ll find more than 26,000 plant species spread across 30 thematic gardens and 10 exhibition greenhouses.

Jardin botanique de Montreal

Jardin botanique de Montreal

When time for lunch, go to Ngun Shing restaurant to enjoy great authentic Chinese food. A restaurant full of Chinese people in a neighborhood that is not is a very good sign! Make sure to order a Wonton soup (made with shrimps!), it’s the best in town!

Spend the afternoon exploring the Biodome’s flora and fauna.

Continue your journey in Africa at the Nil Bleu restaurant where you will be served fine Ethiopian cuisine at low price in a rich sleek exotic decor.

End your day by attending a show at the Planetarium.

Day 5

Spend your morning exploring quietly the products featured at the Jean-Talon Market. You will find loads of fresh, exotic and hand-made products, including of course maple syrup products. Take the opportunity to bring home some delicious gifts!

You could have lunch there but why not take advantage of the Bottega restaurant’s vicinity? There you will enjoy an authentic Napolitano pizza in the Little Italy district.

Your afternoon will then be spent wandering the charming Saint-Denis Street known for its array of designer and art boutiques as well as restaurants with sunny terraces. Choose one that appeals to you and enjoy its terrace having diner.

Spend the rest of the evening at Club Soda which offers its legendary stage to young talented artists and producers of all genres. You may see internationally renowned artists or some new talent that one day will be.

Day 6

Start your day with a visit to the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts. Admire the impressive collection of Canadian and international works of art.

Upon leaving the museum go down Crescent Street and admire its grand Victorian architecture until you reach Hurley’s Irish pub for lunch.

The first part of your afternoon will consist in a tour of the Notre-Dame Basilica. We then propose a thrilling descent of the Lachine Rapids with Jet Boat Saute-mouton. The adventure offers a good dose of adrenaline in an enchanting setting. Enjoy their Happy Hour package and dine at Pub St-Paul.

To end the evening, let Guidatour tell you about the Legends and Stories or Ghosts Hunting stories of Old Montreal. Chills guaranteed!

Day 7

Your last day in Montreal begins with the visit of Place-des-Arts and the entertainment district which is the cultural heart of the city. You will reach the Contemporary Art Museum where you can admire temporary and permanent exhibitions of contemporary art.

You will later have lunch at the Bota Bota “Spa on Water” where you will receive a royal treatment. Enjoy the spa and be relaxed for your return home!

Since it’s renowned to be the cultural capital of Canada you are sure to have a good time in Montreal with its overwhelming abundance of cool festivals to attend, interesting activities to do and great sites to explore! Also take advantage of its amazing culinary diversity to explore different cuisines.

All prices are subject to change

About This Guide
Article Name
Montreal city guide
Description
Montreal is a metropolis but not the capital of the province of Quebec. It is an amazing city where the “Joie de vivre” is tangible.
Author
Prev Top 5 Cities to Put on Your New Year’s Resolutions List
Next Packing Tips When Travelling with Kids

About Author

Expedia Canada

There are some who wonder and some who wander, and both are welcome here at Expedia Canada. Our travel blogs cover a range of locales, from salty nightclubs in Mexico, to sweet vegan chocolate shops in Belgium, to funky flavours in Thailand. Jump in. And find your next adventure within our pages.