Photo by Cindy Baker via Trover.com
This article is part of Hipmunk’s City Love campaign.
Planning Your Trip to Montreal
Montreal is a special place for so many reasons. It’s the largest city in Quebec and the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Regardless of why you’re in Montreal, it’s the perfect city for you. After booking a cheap flight, you probably have no clue on where to start planning your trip to Montreal. With this guide, you’ll have no worries and will be ready for your visit to Montreal! Let’s get to answering your questions first.
When Should I Go?
Montreal claims to have four distinct seasons and that’s largely true. Winter is brutally cold and since it’s the city’s Low Season, you’ll be able to find the best flight and hotel deals then. If visiting during the summer, prepare for prices to shoot up and for tickets to sell out quickly.Book in advance if you travel to Montreal between May and October, and congratulate yourself after beating the crowds to one of the world’s hottest destinations.
I Arrived! What Now?
Once you’ve arrived at Trudeau, plenty of options can get you to and from the airport. You can get out of the airport most conveniently via the 747 Bus (C$9) or by taxi (C$38), if you prefer. If renting a car and driving into Montreal, prepare for French-language road signs that use international symbols. Get your mental calculators ready, as Montreal uses the metric system and might make driving a bit confusing at first.
Is it Expensive?
As a huge city full of history and activities for everyone, Montreal seems expensive if you don’t plan before visiting, but it is possible to find cheap hotels in Montreal and free things to do while you’re in town. Many of the city’s best attractions are free or cheap so budget travelers should have no worries when in Montreal.
Should I Learn French?
No. You don’t need to learn French to visit Montreal but studying up a bit will enhance your experience in the city, especially if you meet some locals. You don’t have to become absolutely fluent or constantly say “Merci” at every chance, but a few words here and there will help you look like a smart traveler. Open yourself up culturally and you’ll see why learning a little French will keep the locals happy.
What Else Should I Know?
Eat, and eat well. When entering Montreal, remember that you are setting foot in one of the world’s true food capitals. It’s not just poutine in this city, either, as food in Quebec ranges from bagels to smoked meats and lots more. Montreal takes them all and puts its own spin on them. Ask a local (using French of course!) where to eat in Montreal and you could get any sort of answer. Regardless of who tells you, it will probably be a good answer. Montreal’s food scene will have you wanting to go back but remember, you can always book a quick flight back to Montreal anytime. Just keep this guide handy and you’ll have a great time!