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Montreal Travel Tips

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With ornate cathedrals and a Parisian flavor to the streets, Montreal cherry picks the best of Europe and Canada to create an entirely unique identity. Consistently named as one of the world’s best places to live, forward-thinking Montreal is a serene city break destination, with rich history and fine museums, not to mention stimulating festivals to get stuck into.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

Montreal’s a city of many colors, and whether it’s the orange and auburn booms of fall’s foliage, or the pristine white that comes after a hefty snowfall, the city’s always glowing one way or the other. Winter here can be a bit of a drag, but if a little snow doesn’t put you off, you’ll love experiencing the local friendliness and hospitality, which can warm up even the harshest winter night. You’ll also get a great chance to try winter pursuits like ice skating, skiing and sledging. Even so, it’s hard to argue against summer being the best time to visit, as the weather heats up and the festival season kicks off with a bang.

 

Not to Miss

 

The smooth saxophones and rippling pianos echo across the city as the Montreal Jazz Festival gets into full swing every June and July. You can’t help but get festival fever here, and whether it’s summer’s music and comedy events, or the Formula 1 bandwagon that’s speeding into town, there’s always something to celebrate. The Parisian influence comes to the fore, meanwhile, as you visit the historical center to walk along the cobbled streets of Old Montreal amid horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping by. Then there’s the Underground City - where sheltered shopping, restaurants, and subway stations form the world’s largest underground complex. As the name suggests, it’s like a city within itself.

 

Getting around

 

Montreal is a haven for cyclists, and the cheap rates, countless places to drop off and pick up new bikes, and wide, boulevard-like bike lanes mean that hopping on a bike is one of the simplest and most peaceful ways to get around Montreal. There’s a good bus and metro service if you need to get somewhere quickly, while getting to the city is also a doddle thanks to the airport which is located just a short drive from the urban center and handles a vast range of flights to major destinations across the world.

 

Cuisine

 

This part of Canada is famous for what is perhaps the ultimate comfort food - poutine. This slathering of crispy fries, thick gravy and fresh cheese curds is a Quebec classic, and insanely satisfying when done well - as it inevitably is in Montreal. The seeded bagel is another favorite, and the smell of flames baking dough is never far away. With influences from all over the world, Montreal’s many restaurants serve everything from spicy Lebanese lamb, to Greek fish drizzled in lemony, olive oil dressing.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Canadians are known for being refreshingly polite and friendly - so visitors should try to show similar respect and manners while in the country. Montreal is a largely French speaking city, although a healthy proportion of the population are English speakers as well. It’s worth checking your bill when eating out - some of the city’s restaurants include the gratuity but, generally, you’ll need to tip around 15% for meals. Most people will tip taxi drivers, hotel workers, and hairdressers around 10% extra.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 1.68 million

Spoken languages: French, English

Electrical: Canada runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 514911