The beautiful city of Montreal will provide any visitor with a memorable and educational experience. And thanks to the Montreal travel guide, you will discover all that the city of Montreal has to offer. Visitors can tour the world-famous Underground City for shopping and entertainment, or take an urban walk up Mount Royal for fantastic views of Montreal. Visit one of the over 30 museums to expand your knowledge, or dine and enjoy the nightlife along Crescent Street and Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.
Montréal is a city of international stature. Its summer festivals, restaurants and night life make it a popular destination for travellers from around the world. As a transport hub, Montreal has many direct flights to and from Europe, the United States, Latin America and other Canadian cities, and easy connections to many other flights originating from Toronto. Montreal is served by train and bus service from the United States and the rest of Canada and is an obvious starting point for international travellers who wish to visit other parts of North America.
Planning Your Trip to Montreal
Before visiting Montreal, it is recommended to contact Tourisme Montreal, which is the official website of Montreal Tourism. The site provides a wealth of information about the city of Montreal. They provide targeted itineraries, neighborhood highlights, a calendar of events, coupons and information about hotels, transportation, sightseeing, cultural attractions, night-life, shopping, sports and services.
Safety Tips in Montreal
Montreal is a relatively safe city with very little crime compared to other large cities. Montreal has a relatively low crime rate. However, it is a large city and you should remain vigilant about your possessions and your person. There are a few sketchy parts of town but none that are categorically dangerous.
Smoking and Drinking in Montreal
Smoking is prohibited in all office buildings, public areas, taxis, bars, restaurants and stores. It is also prohibited on all public transportations. You must be 18 years or older to buy tobacco in Montreal and the province of Quebec. The minimum legal age to buy or drink alcoholic beverages is 18. Beer and wine can be sold in stores until 11 p.m. and bars must stop selling alcohol at 3 a.m.
Tipping in Montreal
The tip for services rendered is usually 15%. Bartenders, waitresses and waiters usually get 15% tips. Tipping in Montreal vary depending on the services provided. In bars, the tip tends to be offered as you pay for each drink or round. Taxi drivers also normally get a tip of 10 to 15%.
If visiting from another country other than the U.S.A, visitors should obtain an international driving permit. Drivers are required to carry a vehicle registration card or rental contracts and proof of photo insurance at all times. You are not permitted to turn right on red lights in Montreal, although it is permitted in surrounding areas.
Montreal’s official language is French but many Montreal residents speak both French and English. Montreal, and the rest of Quebec’s language laws impose restrictions on outdoor signs in languages other than French. So, you will see very few signs in English. However, in popular tourist areas, where most travellers go, services are available in English as well as in French.
Money & Currency
The Canadian dollar is the main currency used in Montreal. The “$” symbol is the symbol used to denote the Canadian Dollar. Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents, and $1 (a large gold-colored coin) and $2 (a large bimetallic coin). Bills in $5 (blue), $10 (purple) and $20 (green) are in common circulation and you can get $50s (red) and $100s (brown)
Most goods and services in Quebec are subject to two taxes, a federal Goods and Services Tax of 5% (usually listed as TPS on receipts – Taxe sur les produits et services) and a provincial sales tax of 8.5% (TVQ on receipts – Taxe de vente du Québec). A tax of 3% per night of hotel stay is also charged.
Essential Travel Information
The following are essential travel information about New York City:
Passports & Visas|
A valid passport is required for anybody entering Canada by air travel.|
Weights and Measures|
Officially, Montreal and Canada uses the metric system. Temperatures are given in Celsius and distances and speed limits are in kilometres.|
Voltage in Montreal, as well as the rest of Canada is 120 V AC at 60 Hz.|
For any emergency (police, fire or ambulance), dial 911. It is a toll-free number from any phone. For directory assistance, dial 411. For all non-emergency government agencies, dial 311.|
The island of Montreal uses the 514 area code. A new area code of 438 has also been introduced in Montreal. Laval, the North Shore, the South Shore, the Laurentians, Upper Richelieu, Lanaudière, Montérégie, Eastern Townships and the surrounding area use the area code 450. Some calls from 514 to 450 are local, some are not.|
Montreal has one of the best public transit systems in the world. The STM (Société des Transports de Montréal) operates the Metro subway system along with various bus routes throughout the city.|
Newspapers in Montreal|
Montreal has one major Anglophone daily newspaper: The Gazette along with various Francophone daily newspapers which include: La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal.|
Wheelchair Accessibility in Montreal|
In Montreal, most public buildings, attractions, hotels and restaurants have wheelchair access. Montreal’s public transit system also provides wheelchair access.|
Montreal is on Eastern Standard Time (EST), which corresponds to GMT -5 hr. From the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is observed. During Daylight Saving Time, clocks are moved one hour ahead of standard time.|
Montreal is one of the most diverse cities in the World.|
Montreal’s climate varies a lot over the year. The city is known for its cold winters, but its summers are hot and generally sunny, with occasional muggy days.|
Montreal observes the following holidays. During these holidays, most government builings, banks and many stores are closed. Some stores open on holidays, although Christmas is all but universally a closing day. Boxing Day, Dec. 26, is commonly given as a holiday.
Holiday and Date|
New Year’s Day – January 1|
Good Friday – The third Friday in April|
Victoria Day/Journée nationale des Patriotes – May 23|
St-Jean-Baptiste/Fête de la Saint-Jean/Fête Nationale – June 24|
Canada Day – July 1|
Labor Day – The first Monday in September|
Thanksgiving Day – The second Monday in October|
Christmas – December 25|
Other Montreal Tourism Websites
The following are some of the most important websites that you should visit before planning your visit to Montreal. These sites contain valuable information about Montreal: