Located on the St. Lawrence River in the Canadian Province of Québec, Montréal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Originally called Ville-Marie, or “City of Mary," it is now named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. Many of the city’s museums and arts venues are in the Centre-Ville (downtown) area, where you'll find Rue Sherbrooke, the elegant “spine of the city”. Rue Ste-Cathérine is Montréal's main shopping area, and is a busy street lined with many shops and restaurants.
Vieux-Montréal (Old Montréal) and its buildings make it the most picturesque neighborhood in the city. This is where you'll find most of the historic attractions, as well as the popular waterfront promenade along the Vieux-Port (Old Port). Fewer tourists spend time in The Plateau, but it is the heart of French-speaking Montréal. Strolling along Rue St. Denis often feels like being in Paris, with its boutiques, restaurants, and sidewalk cafes.
TOP-RATED TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN MONTRÉAL
- Mont-Real (Mount Royal)
- Vieux Montréal (Old Montréal)
- Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden)
- Notre-Dame Basilica
- Oratoire Saint-Joseph (St. Joseph's Oratory)
- Parc Jean Drapeau
- Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum)
- Place des Arts
- Atwater and Jean Talon Markets
Check it all out here: www.mtl.org/en
Download your Official Montréal City Guide here: www.mtl.org/en/plan/my-official-montréal-city-guide
Know Before You Go
To keep you prepared, here’s a handy list of helpful resources that will have you looking local from the moment you’ve stepped off the plane, train or automobile.
Passports and Visas: Not everyone needs a visa to enter, so it’s advisable to check in advance if you require one before your travel dates – some nationals may require the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), but it’s a quick and inexpensive online process. Canada’s entry rules have recently changed, and all participants, including those from Europe should check before traveling.
Language: French is the primary language in Montréal. The Montréal Tourisme has created a handy guide to help you out, but worry not – virtually all Montréal locals are at least bilingual and you’ll have no trouble finding service in English.
Currency: American dollars are accepted at a few places around town, but you’ll need Canadian dollars for the majority of business transactions. Bills start at $5.00 (the $1.00 coin with the Loon imprinted on its golden surface is called a Loonie, while the $2.00 coin is known by its nickname the Twoonie), and each denomination comes in a different colour of the rainbow.
Mobile phones: Double check with your provider for roaming charges beforehand.
Transportation to/from the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Taxis are readily available outside the airport and hotels. A trip from the airport to downtown Montréal (or vice versa) will cost you a flat rate of $40.00 CDN.
There is also an express bus that services the airport (747 Express Bus). A one-way fare card, which is valid for 24 hours costs $10.00 CDN. For more information, click here: http://www.stm.info/en/info/networks/bus/shuttle/747-p-e-trudeau-airport-downtown-shuttle