French and English, European and North American, Montreal is an exciting place to be, a city that overcame its traditional cultural clashes to form something new and different. Montreal is more about atmosphere and is full of fun traditions than sights, but there are places worth wandering along. Try climbing Mount Royal as the sun goes down to watch the city sparkle to life, or explore the elegant neo-gothic architecture of the Notre Dame Basilica in Vieux-Montreal. One of the other attractions that will draw your attention is ‘The Underground City, a huge linked network of malls and boutique fashion stores.
Best Time to Visit Montreal
The best times to visit are from March to May and from September to November. However, when the weather is milder, and hotel rates are reasonable, it isn’t a bad time to vacation there. Actually, based on your travel interests, priorities, and budget, you need to choose the best time to visit Montreal. Summer attracts the most visitors, and hotels are usually expensive. However, fall is not a bad option if you are not a fan of crowds. Between September and November, the weather remains pretty warm, the city becomes colorful, and the hotel stays within budget.
How To Get Around
Metro and Bus: The easiest way to get around the city is by metro and bus. They are inexpensive, and STM provides bus and metro services to locals and tourists alike. There are different STM fare cards available like 1 trip: $3.25, 2 trips : $6, 1 day: $10, 3 days: $18
Shuttle Bus Service Between Airport and Downtown: The 747 shuttle provides bus service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, between Montréal-Trudeau Airport and Gare d’autocars de Montréal (bus terminal at Berri-UQAM station). The trip takes between 45 and 70 minutes, depending on traffic.
Things To See And Do
Montreal is the largest city in Canada’s Quebec province. There are plenty of fun things to do depending on when you are visiting. I visited this city in the fall, and it was an excellent experience. So my recommendation below is based on what I have enjoyed most during my Montreal visit.
Go up the Mont-Royal for a Perfect View of the City
Mount Royal is a huge hill in the middle of the city, also well known as a famous natural landmark of Montreal. Once you reach the summit at about 234 meters, you will enjoy stunning city views year-round. The Camilien-Houde lookout and Kondiaronk Chalet lookout is the perfect place for photo ops. If you are visiting Montreal, this should be on your list.
The viewpoint overlooking Eastern Montreal is known as The Camilien-Houde lookout. From this viewpoint, you can see famous attractions such as the Olympic Stadium, the Jacques-Cartier bridge, the St. Lawrence River, as well as the Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile-End districts. This is the spot where most of the stunning pictures of Montreal are taken.
The other viewpoint is known as The Kondiaronk Chalet lookout. From this viewpoint, you have a terrific view of Montreal’s downtown buildings, the St. Lawrence River, the Montérégie region, and, on a clear sunny day, a part of Vermont in the United States.
Walk on Historical St-Paul Street
A stroll through Old Montreal is still probably the most authentic way to experience Europe in North America. It is a good idea to visit early in the morning before the streets of this overly commercialized area get flooded with tourists.
Guided Sightseeing Cruise From Alexandra Pier
A cruise in the Saint-Lawrence River is the best way to enjoy the view of Montreal, and the onboard commentary will help you discover the City of Montreal from the river. Try not to miss it during your visit.
Cruising the St. Lawrence River provides a different perspective of the city. The majority of riverboat cruises depart from the historical port in Old Montreal, Alexandra Pier, to be exact.
Old Port of Montreal
The Old Port of Montreal is a historic port in an old town; it stretches over two kilometers along the St-Lawrence River. It is perfect for dining, relaxing, shopping, and enjoying sunny days at Clock Tower Beach. The area is also home to the city’s Science Centre and the IMAX TELUS.
Visit China Town
Montreal, China Town is relatively much smaller than Toronto but still a bustling area with restaurants and souvenir shops servicing tourists and locals alike and has become a major tourist attraction.
Take a Cruise in Lachine Canal
The journey from Old Port’s Jacques-Cartier Quay (Place-d’Armes Metro Station) to Atwater Market through the Lachine Canal is a must-do in Montreal. The canal tour is fascinating – about 2 hours of cruise navigating through 3 locks and exploring Lachine Canal’s 150 years of history is definitely a different and unique experience. You can also take a Bixi bike on the paved trail that runs along the canal for a different experience.
Visit Botanical Garden
There are plenty of things to do in Montreal in the Summer, but a trip to the Botanical Garden will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
Explore The City Healthy Way
BIXI is Montréal’s public bike system; take one when you need one, and leave it at any station when you arrive at your destination. Bikes are accessible to everyone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, three seasons of the year, from April to November. It’s a great way to explore the city if the weather permits.
Where to stay in Montreal, Canada
Hotel Travelodge Montreal Centre features an on-site restaurant and free Wi-Fi in downtown Montreal. It is a short walk from the Place-d’Armes subway station and just over a quarter mile from Old Montreal and Chinatown. The hotel is centrally located only 3 miles from Mont-Royal Park, 4 miles from Montreal Casino, and just over half a mile from Bell Centre. The Olympic Stadium is 3.5 miles from Hotel Travelodge.
Apartment Hotel is 2 blocks from McGill University and a 10-minute walk from the Place des Arts Performing Arts Center, this hotel features a rooftop sundeck with views of the Montreal skyline. In addition, the McGill Subway Station is just 5 minutes away on foot. Each classic suite at the apartment is equipped with a kitchenette, complete with a stove, refrigerator, and microwave.
My Opinion and Last Word
Have you been to Montreal, Canada? Any cool tips to share?
I loved being in Montreal Canada, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Canada.
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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