Counted as one of the world’s most active and vibrant cities, Montreal is a hot-favorite destination for tourists. You can do so much sightseeing and activities in this Canada’s “European” city that your long holidays would look small.
The province of Quebec in Canada, known for its distinctive mixture of French and English culture, abounds its largest city (Canada’s second-biggest) – Montreal. It is the financial, artistic, and commercial center of Quebec in particular and generally with respect to other Canadian cities. It locates on an island with a breath-taking landscape and is worth visiting once in your life. Just make sure you plan well.
Best Things To Do in Montreal
Get in: You can use a plane, train, car, or bus to reach Montreal. If you land at Pierre Trudeau Airport, you can use the 747 Airport Bus (costing C$15) or a taxi (about C$50) to reach downtown.
This bustling city of Canada links to New York through Amtrak’s Adirondack service and western metropolises by a VIA Rail service.
Those who want to access Montreal from Toronto can take Highway 401 and then Expressway 20. People from New York and cities in New England can use I-87 and then Expressway 15. A road tour to Montreal from New York requires about 6 hours.
Greyhound bus service offers travel to Montreal from New York, Ottawa, and some American cities in the west. Other bus operators you can use include Megabus, Adirondack Tramways, Voyageur, and Orleans Express. An airport rental car would be an excellent option, as well.
Get Around: Moving around Montreal will not be an issue thanks to the bus service that covers the whole city center and outskirts, taxis, bicycles, ridesharing, and car rentals. The bus will be one of the cheapest options starting at C$3.50 for one ride, and taxis charge a C$3.75 base rate plus C$1.3 per kilometer later. The bicycle rental at 10 cents to 25 cents per minute is another great option in this bike-friendly city. Ride sharing and car rentals at around C$40 per day might not be feasible, especially for those on a budget trip.
Places to Visit in Montreal Canada
- The first thing you should do when you reach Montreal is take a free walking tour. It is an ideal way to experience the main marvels of the city. Get in contact with a local guide who would love to answer your questions. You can opt for the Free Montreal Tours (both free and paid private tours are available). The operator offers a complete two-hour outing, including all the leading attractions. Do not forget to tip the guide for their endeavors latterly.
- The Montreal downtown located in the Centre Eaton de Montréal – presents a rich amalgam of contemporary buildings and historical sites. Downtown Montreal is home to many renowned museums, markets, cafes, hotels and airbnbs.
- The Underground City or RÉSO is also a famous tourist attraction. True to its name, the Underground City houses hotels, shops, eateries, theaters, and even banks. So, if you plan to visit Montreal while staying away from the freezing cold, you can choose to stay here.
- To get a taste of Asian culture and delicacies, you should move toward Chinatown. The typical cafes will delight you a lot when you savor your favorite Asian food here.
- Quarier du musse – French for Museum Quarter – welcomes you as the art and culture center of Montreal. You can easily hit fashion boutiques and art exhibitions in this place, one of which is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
- Pole Des Rapides is a fun place for you and your dear ones whom you have taken along. It not only offers cultural and historical places but also lets you enjoy several picnic spots along the way. You would also love the sweet bird-watching experience at this place.
- This country’s old capital features the second-biggest botanical garden in the world. Launched in 1931, Jardin Botanique offers ten indoor greenhouses comprising a Chinese garden, a Japanese orchard, a lily orchard, and a rose garden. You have to dish out C$21.50 for entry, but you can get a discount if you buy multiple tickets to visit the Biodome or any of the other galleries in the Espace Pour La Vie (Space for Life) center.
- The Jean-Talon Market is the biggest bazaar here, entertaining multitudes of stalls in the center of Little Italy. You might stumble upon Quebecois treats such as real maple syrup offered by expert grocers here. Do not forget to grab your food before leaving one of the most outdated markets in Montreal.
- Parc Jean-Drapeau is a huge green area consisting of a racetrack, some museums, the La Ronde entertainment park, and more. The 1967 World’s Fair was held at this park, and it still hosts major events like Osheaga, the Canadian Grand Prix, and the Fête des Neiges (a free winter festival). Piknic Électronik is a weekly electronic music event you shouldn’t miss every Sunday, costing around C$20.
- The Museum Quarter pulls tourists with its Victorian-era construction and the awesome Italian and Anglo-Saxon designs.
- Angrignon Park is also a must-visit site. You can have an exciting time playing water sports like rafting, kayaking, and canoeing here.
- Little Italy is perfect for satisfying your appetite for Italian cuisine. You can enjoy your food and visit magnificent churches and colors of Italian culture thrown around.
Shopping and Sports in Montreal
- Montreal has several shopping places, including Ste-Catherine Street, Sherbrook street – for buying traditional items – and Saint Laurent Street, thronged mostly by youngsters.
- The Bell Center welcomes sports fans, as it’s a popular and one of the busiest sports resorts in the world.
- Maurice Richard Arena is also a pretty unique experience with figure skating practice for tourists from September to April.
Nightlife in Montreal
Montreal is known for its alluring nightlife throughout the globe. The best place to locate bars and nightclubs is the Rue St. Laurent. The bar district, of course, offers you a lot of variety, known as the Rue Ste-Catherine.
Famous Festivals in Montreal
A lot of festivals are held throughout the year in Montreal, but the most awaited ones are the Just for Laughs festival (July), the Montreal International Firework competition, the festival for Beer and Cider tasting (June), and many music concerts.
You can visit Montreal anytime in the year; summer is the busiest, with festivals arranged every week. Do not visit in July and August if you want to avoid the crowd and the peak temperatures; instead, pick fall and late spring.
Budget hotels may cost you at least C$125 per night, while a private room through Airbnb will be available from C$45.
Do not forget to try poutine, smoked meat, bagels, and beaver tails during your Montreal tour.
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