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Here’s Everything You Need to Know before Going to Montreal

Here’s Everything You Need to Know before Going to Montreal

With Montreal’s fusion of French charm and urban sophistication, it’s no wonder why this Canadian city is a popular destination for travellers. And if you plan to make your way here, there are a few things that you should know before hopping on a plane.

You need to know that Montreal is a bilingual city and the majority of people speak English or French. Plus, getting around Montreal is relatively easy as there are plenty of public transport options available for tourists such as buses and metros (subway).

Aside from being known as the city that never sleeps, Montreal also has been called “the cultural capital of Canada” for its many festivals and sporting events.

But that’s not all! Read on as we’ll go through more of the things you must know (as well as some tips) before going to Montreal so you can get ready for an amazing visit!

Getting around Montreal is easy

Getting around Montreal is easy
Transportation Costs in Montreal
1-trip fare (all modes)$3.50
2-trip fare (all modes)$6.50
24-hour pass (all modes)$11.00
Evening pass (unlimited)$5.75
Data sourced from: STM Montreal

If you’re looking to get around quickly, Montreal has the perfect solution for you: the amazing public transport system! The metro and bus networks are extensive, easy to use and typically very reliable.

No matter where you want to go, getting there is usually a piece of cake. Oh yeah, and did I mention fares and tips?

Montreal has an integrated fare system which means that your ticket can be used as often as you like within a certain time window. 

Fares and passes range from single tickets all the way up to annual passes, so it’s up to you to decide what fits your needs best. Just don’t forget the golden rule of public transport: never forget to tip your driver!

Local Tips: If you’re going to be in town for a few days or more, consider buying an unlimited-ride day pass for $12. The pass allows unlimited travel on the metro, buses and commuter trains between 6am and midnight (1pm-10pm on Saturdays).

Fun festivals and events are a thing in Montreal

Fun festivals and events are a thing in Montreal

Even the name sounds like a Latin American salsa dance – once you’ve set foot in this vibrant city, you’ll know that it’s like a big party all year long. 

From art galas to musical performances, there is always some kind of fun (and loud!) event taking place in the streets of Montreal.

Take a peek on the calendar and you’ll find something cool for everyone: beer festivals for bar-goers, fireworks displays for pyromaniacs, jazz shows for music lovers…the list goes on and on! 

Oh, and let’s not forget about Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal – this event is quite a spectacle with concerts every night for an entire week! 

All we can say is grab your dancing shoes because these events are sure to fill up your nights with joy and culture.

Montreal International Jazz Festival

Montreal International Jazz Festival

The Montreal International Jazz Festival is one of the biggest and most prestigious jazz festivals in the world. It’s the second largest festival in North America after New Orleans’ Carnival. 

The festival lasts for two weeks from June 28th to July 7th and features numerous musicians from around the world including Stevie Wonder, Sting, Aretha Franklin and more! 

You can watch live performances at any number of venues across the city or catch a free outdoor show at Place des Festivals (Place Bonaventure metro). 

Just For Laughs Comedy Festival

Just For Laughs Comedy Festival

The Just For Laughs Comedy Festival is one of the most popular comedy events in North America, with thousands of people attending each year. It showcases some of the best comedians from around the world, as well as local talent. 

The festival runs from July 9th to 28th this year and features several venues around town including Club Soda and Metropolis, among others. There will be performances every day during the festival at various times, so make sure you check out their website for more details.

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

This three-day festival takes place here at Parc Jean-Drapeau every August, with headliners like Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead taking over the main stage each day. 

It hosts a wide variety of music genres including hip hop, indie rock and electronic music as well as contemporary art installations. 

Montreal is a bilingual city

Montreal is a bilingual city

Before rolling up your sleeves and immersing yourself in our city, it’s best to get a handle on the basics of language so that you don’t feel too out of your depth. 

First things first, let me clear one thing up: here in Montreal, French is the common language. Though a lot of people understand English (and some may even be native English-speakers), most of the signs and billboards are in French. 

Plus, many store owners will speak French with you before English. To make sure that your adventure goes off without a hitch, pick up a few key phrases—the locals will appreciate it more than you know! 

If all else fails, just smile and say, “je ne parle pas Français” (I don’t speak French). Knowing this basic phrase means that you can still walk through the city and take in all its beauty without being left totally confused by what’s going on around you!

Most Montréalers love biking everywhere

Most Montréalers love biking everywhere

It’s no secret—Montréalers love biking, and I’m about to join their ranks! Montreal has over 700 km of trails woven all through the city, and once you are here it won’t take you long to explore. 

After all, who can resist a scenic ride along the waterfront or an invigorating trip through the mountains? But before that, there are a few things you need to know. 

Montreal has bike safety regulations

Montreal has bike safety regulations

Montréal has its own set of rules when it comes to bikes, like wearing a helmet, following speed limits and staying on designated trails. It’s also important to remember that bicyclists must yield to pedestrians at all times.

This is particularly perfect for when you want to take a leisurely stroll and get to know the city better.

Biking etiquette is much appreciated

Biking etiquette is much appreciated

Other locals often use these trails too so it’s important for you to follow common courtesy. That means not riding too close behind someone else or cutting them off if they’re going slower. 

We’re all here for the same thing—to enjoy some fresh air—so it pays to be courteous and share the road!

Bring supplies when riding a bike

Last but not least, there are some items that are never amiss on any bike expedition. Make sure you bring along a spare tube (just in case!), some water (for hydration), sunscreen (for UV protection) and a lock (for those quick errands in between). 

They might seem like small items but trust me, you’ll thank me later when you have everything you need for your epic Montreal adventure!

Local Tips: Montreal has installed many cycling lanes and paths over the past decade, but it still has some work to do before it can claim to be a top cycling city. 

There are plenty of places where cyclists need to share the road with cars and pedestrians, so caution is key.

Montréal allows cannabis use

Montréal allows cannabis use

Before you head to Montréal, there’s another thing you need to know. It is that Montréal does allow cannabis use. 

Like other provinces in Canada, this means that adults are allowed to possess, consume, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis (150 grams at home and 30 grams in public). Although there are some places where it is not allowed like universities.

Simply put, you can do this in your own place (if you want to try) or when out in public as long as you follow the local laws. 

So if you find yourself wandering around Montréal and need a puff of something herbal, go ahead and light it up—just make sure you don’t break any other laws while doing it.

Local Tips: For starters, local food trucks now offer infused treats like brownies and cookies infused with THC oil (but don’t try driving after eating one). 

There are also several tour companies offering walking tours through downtown Montreal where you can learn more about cannabis culture while enjoying some snacks (again — don’t drive).

Know the basic requirements needed before entering Montreal

Know the basic requirements needed before entering Montreal

I’m sure you’ve been counting down to the day you can visit Montreal, but don’t forget that there are a few things that you must have before entering the city. 

It’s sort of like your passport to travelling in Canada—but with a few extra details.

Basic Requirements When Entering Montreal

Here’s everything you’ll need:

Valid identification – this includes passports or other proof of identity, as well as an immigration document or permit (if required).

Proof of health insurance – this is your proof that you’re prepared for any healthcare-related emergencies while in Canada.

Proof of travel insurance – this is important for any unexpected events that may occur during your travels like delayed flights or lost luggage.

Visa (if applicable) – if you’re from another country, make sure to get the correct visa before travelling to Canada and Montreal.

In addition, don’t forget to pack your patience. Montreal is a bustling city and you’ll definitely feel the hustle and bustle of people around you. 

And with all that taken care of, it’s time to start packing!

Don’t forget to follow Montreal’s health protocols

Don't forget to follow Montreal’s health protocols

If you’re planning a trip to Montreal, here’s a heads-up: you need to know what the health protocols are for visitors. 

Although the good news is COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in Montreal, there are still some establishments that require using a face mask or social distancing.

Fortunately for you, our city is pretty good about issuing clear instructions for both residents and visitors. After all, nobody likes getting sick on vacation!

Health Protocols in Montreal

Here are a few tips for staying safe on your trip:

  1. Make sure you have proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the province.
  2. Wear face masks in public indoor spaces (if required) and when physical distancing is not possible outdoors.
  3. Respect the COVID-19 security measures taken by the business owners and follow the instructions given by their employees.
  4. Wash your hands regularly with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  5. Refrain from gathering in large groups and maintain physical distancing of at least two metres (six feet) apart from other people at all times while visiting Montreal.
  6. Stay informed of the latest advice from government authorities, such as travel restrictions, quarantine requirements and other health measures in place throughout the province.

You can also check out Canada’s official travel website for up-to-date information relating to entry requirements, safety protocols and more prior to your visit.

By following these health protocols, you can ensure that you enjoy your time safely in Montreal!

Traveling in Montreal is pretty affordable when planned right

Traveling in Montreal is pretty affordable when planned right

The estimated costs are what most travellers first think about. And as to travelling in Montreal, the answer is dependent on a number of variables, including your travel budget and plans. 

You can find a wide range of responses by conducting a quick Google search, ranging from $100 to $200 CAD each day for two people. But the total amount still depends on whether you want to stay in the popular tourist destinations or venture outside of them.

How much should you budget for your Montreal trip?

Average Prices in Montreal
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant20.00 C$ 
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course100.00 C$ 
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)14.00 C$
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)3.50 C$
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.75 C$
Data sourced from: Numbeo

If you want to experience all that Montreal has to offer, including some of its most popular meals and beverages, we advise that you budget at least $220 CAD each day.

If you’re going solo, we advise setting aside about $160 CAD every day. This will pay for all travel expenses (which includes public transportation), restaurant hopping, and some enjoyable activities like a night out or a day tour to Quebec City.

What are the possible costs for accommodations in Montreal?

What are the possible costs for accommodations in Montreal's Homepage

While accommodations can range from shared hostel rooms ($30/night) to luxurious boutique hotels ($200+/night). Luckily, there are plenty of mid-range options that can give you the best of both worlds (starting around $75/night). 

AirBnb is also an option if you’re looking for extra space during your stay.

The Best (Cheapest) AirBnbs in Montreal
Entire loft by GaétanLocation: 950 Roy Street Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
Rates from: $92.30 per night
Accommodates: 2 guests
Entire rental unit by JosephLocation: Rachel Street Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
Rates from: $37.34 per night
Accommodates: 2 guests
Entire rental unit by MTLocation: Rue Fleet Rd. Montreal
Rates from: $41.09 per night
Accommodates: 3 guests
What are the possible costs for accommodations in Montreal

Helpful Tips When Traveling to Montreal

Let’s be honest—we all have expectations when we travel. It’s only natural to feel a little overwhelmed when you’re travelling to a new place, especially if you don’t know what to expect.

Well, if Montreal is on your list of must-visit destinations, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip:

1. Be prepared for extreme weather

Montreal is known for its rather extreme weather. Summers can be hot and humid while winters can be bitterly cold and snowy. So, make sure to plan your trips with the seasons in mind.

2. Greet people with a ‘bonjour’ first

If you’re expecting Montreal to be an English-speaking city, prepare for a bit of surprise! You’ll hear French everywhere and even some of the signs around town will only feature French language.

While English speakers are common, don’t expect everyone in town will understand if you jump right into English without saying “bonjour” first.

3. Wear appropriate clothing

Don’t forget that due to Montreal’s weather extremes, dressing appropriately is key! Summers may require light clothing while winter snowstorms necessitate jackets and thermals in order to stay warm and dry.

Moreover, no matter what season it is, dressing with respect for the general atmosphere is key—while Montrealers are anything but stuffy, there are certain clothing items that should remain at home or at least packed away during your visit.

possible costs for accommodations in Montreal

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