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Montréal
Montréal

Located on one of the islands of the St. Lawrence River, Montréal is a dynamic, modern and environmentally-friendly city of culture and the arts.

Montréal in short

Montreal is Quebec's largest city.

It is also the meeting point of different cultures that have learned to live together. In fact, every day is different, and there are as many things to do in Montreal as there are restaurants serving poutine.

On the street, you'll find museums, thrift shops, designer boutiques and lush parks. You can hear French and English mingling without a moment's hesitation.

Nature museums

"Espace pour la vie" is a unique concept in North America. Nature takes centre stage at 5 different sites. It is observed, protected and presented with kindness. In Parc de la Maisonneuve, in the centre of Montreal, 4 of these spaces for life are grouped together: the botanical garden, the insectarium, the biodome and the Rio Tinto Alcan planetarium.

On the other side of the St. Lawrence River, on Saint-Hélène Island, the last of these spaces for life is a transparent bubble offering a panoramic view of the city of Quebec: the Montreal Biosphere.

A cultural destination

Montreal is first and foremost a melting pot of cultures. You can eat all the cuisines of the world in small, authentic local restaurants. Culture, meanwhile, is showcased through a variety of festivals. There's the Jazz Festival, a free event that takes place every summer right in the heart of the city. In winter, the IglooFest brings electronic music fans together under the blizzard in January. The city's museums are numerous and renowned. Discover the Musée des Beaux-Arts or the legendary Barbie doll exhibition at Cours Mont-Royal.

Holidays in Montreal, 3 examples of trips

City trip for two: Montreal is a romantic and charming city. As a couple, discover the city's old centre, or the old port, which has been turned into a trendy district where food trucks and markets can be found all year round. For an afternoon, cross the Jacques Cartier bridge to visit the islands of Saint-Hélène and Notre Dame, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In the evening, you'll discover fantastic restaurants and unknown cuisines. You'll spend your time between boutiques and small cafés, and maybe you'll even succumb to a day on the barge converted into a spa, the Bota Bota.

Montreal for kids: your children's curiosity knows no bounds? Montreal is a fabulous destination for young visitors. With its incredible museums, botanical gardens, insectarium, theme parks and underground city, little travellers won't know where to turn...

A trip through history in Montreal: it's true that Montreal and the rest of Quebec aren't as old as Europe, for example. Yet the history is just as dense and fascinating. In Montreal, you can discover the cultures of the so-called First Nations. These aboriginal peoples inhabited Canadian lands before the colonists, and include the Inuit, the Indians and the Métis.

The latest theme garden at the Montréal Botanical Garden is dedicated to the First Nations, and the city's monuments are breathtaking. Discover the moving story of the oratory dedicated to Saint Joseph, on the hillside of the park that dominates the city: Mount Royal Park. In the heart of the city, churches and even basilicas beg to be visited.

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The must-sees

All the must-sees

How to get there?

Montreal is easily accessible by plane.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport receives flights from all over the world every day. Some travellers decide to visit Quebec City and then come to Montreal by road. The journey takes less than 3 hours. Others come from Boston in the United States, which is only a few hours away by bus.

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Where to stay?

Montreal is one of Quebec's most popular tourist destinations. What's more, it's a student city, which welcomes families on holiday as well as backpackers. So finding accommodation is no problem at all. There's choice, variety and, above all, quality. As we'll see later, you should expect to pay at least $75 for a room in downtown Montreal.

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Practical information

The weather

Let's be clear: temperatures in Montreal are often negative. In summer, they are pleasant, but the nights are cold and swimming is sometimes difficult to envisage. Be that as it may, this is a city that thrives in winter.

In winter: if you're not used to winters in the far north, one word of advice: cover up! Temperatures rarely rise above 10°C, even on the sunniest days. Montreal's network of underground tunnels exists because temperatures can reach -20°C. The coldest month is January. It's also a month characterised by superb sunny days.

Summer: between the hills of Mount Royal and the Jazz Festival, summer in Montreal is a real pleasure. The high season can be very sunny and sometimes even relatively warm. Temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Be warned, though, that even during the summer months, nights can still be chilly.

When should you leave for Montreal?

Some people will tell you that the city of Montreal is most authentic when it's dressed in its white coat. Others say that the only time to visit Canada is during the high season, otherwise it's too cold to fully appreciate the country. Unlike them, we believe that every season is a different experience in Montreal. Spring is a euphoric time, when Montrealers start to come out of their hibernation and enjoy the best of the city again. On the other hand, the east coast of North America, from New York to Quebec City, is known for its colourful autumns.

Administrative formalities to go to Quebec

To go to Quebec, you need an electronic travel authorisation (AVE) or a visa. If you have a valid European passport and your stay does not exceed 6 months, you can simply apply for a travel authorisation to enter Canada. The cost of this procedure is 7 Canadian dollars. You can apply online via the Canadian government website. You will need your passport and your online payment method.

Visa

To study, work, etc., you must contact the Canadian embassy in your country to apply for a visa. You can find more information about the process on the Canadian government website.

How much does a holiday in Montreal cost?

We have calculated a budget for a week in Montreal for a couple with one child.

Accommodation

On average, you'll need a minimum of $75 for a room in the centre of Montreal, close to the city's attractions. The hotel budget for 6 nights is therefore around $450.

Restaurants in Montreal

Montreal's restaurants are very different. It's hard to come up with an average, as a main course costs between $10 and $35. Assuming a family of 3, you're looking at an average meal budget of $70. So, if you go to the restaurant twice a day for 7 days, the restaurant budget is around $980.

Daily activities for a stay in Montreal

In addition of free activities, there are many paid admissions to attractions such as museums and children's parks. We reckon on a daily budget of $60 to indulge yourself during your holiday in Montreal. For 7 days, the budget is therefore $420.

Total for a week in Montreal for 3, including accommodation, meals and activities

The total for a family of 3 on holiday in Montreal for a week is therefore $1,850. This budget includes daily activities, two restaurants a day and 6 nights' accommodation in a hotel in downtown Montreal.

COVID situation

The Canadian government has announced the end of measures linked to COVID-19 as of 1 October 2022.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Plan to go to the Montreal biosphere to admire the sunset. On the island of Saint-Hélène, it's one of the most beautiful spots in Quebec's largest city.

Useful links
The Canadian government website
The official website of Montréal

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