Accommodation & places to visit in Montreal

Visiting Montreal, located along the St. Lawrence River in Canada's Quebec Province, is like taking a trip to France. The dominant language is French, sidewalk cafes and pastry shops line the narrow streets in the Old Town, and stone buildings with mansard roofs evoke the look and feel of Paris. In fact, Montreal is often referred to as the "Paris of Canada." Home to more than 1.5 million residents, Montreal offers fascinating vistas, exciting museums and delicious food. There's something for most every taste.

  • When to visit
    Montreal is a great place to escape the heat of the summer in the east coast cities of the United States. The temperature in the city rarely exceeds 80 F (26 C) during June, July and August, and the sun shines most days. However, summer is tourist season, and hotels and attractions can be crowded. For that reason, many prefer to visit during the spring and autumn months.
  • Weather
    Montreal has four distinct seasons. The summers can be slightly humid, although the temperatures are milder than is found in most of the United States during that season. Winters are cold, but not too snowy, with much of Quebec Province's snows falling east of the city in the Laurentian Mountains and the City of Quebec.
    Average high temperature F/C, average low temperature F/C, average daily precipitation:

    • January -- 19/-7, 1/-17, 3.9 in.

    • March -- 35/2, 17/-8, 2.81 in.

    • May -- 66/19, 43/6, 3.14 in.July -- 78/26, 57/14, 3.81 in.

    • September -- 66/19, 45/7, 3.72 in.

    • November -- 40/5, 26/-4, 3.94 in.

  • To Do
    Strolling along the cobblestone streets of Montreal's Old Town is a must for any visitor. The waterfront is crisp and clear, the cafes and shops have a European flair and the Notre Dame Basilica. Parc Jean Drapeau, located on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, was the site of the 1967 World's Fair and some of the fair buildings, such as the biosphere, are still standing. The park is also the home to the city's casino.
    In the winter, the city boasts a number of cross country ski trails as well as free, outdoor ice skating rinks. During the summer, bike rentals are popular and plentiful and make a great way to explore the city.
  • To See
    Montreal offers a number of attractions. Among the favorites are the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, located just outside of the McGill University campus; the Montreal Botanical Garden, with its more than 22,000 different species of plants; and the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum, with its many exhibits about Montreal culture.
    The Rue St. Catherine, a pedestrian street with dozens of restaurants lining both sides of the street, is also an attraction not to be missed.
  • Tips & Recommendations

    • Montreal offers a number of food specialties. Be sure to try the smoked meat sandwich and poutine (french fries with thick, brown gravy.)

    • French is the official language in Montreal and Quebec Province. Most of the street signs, store marquees and menus will be in French. Although English is widely spoken, it's a good idea to learn a few words before you travel.

    • A valid passport is required to enter Canada. Citizens of countries outside of the United States, the United Kingdom and the EEC countries may also need to obtain a visa at a Canadian embassy or consulate before arriving in Montreal.

    • Stores in Montreal are generally closed on Sundays. During the week, stores are open between around 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM, often with a hour's lunch break in the middle of the day.

    • Montreal's subway system is clean, affordable and efficient. It's the easiest way to navigate the city.

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