Our Montreal Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Canada. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

It’s all compiled in this Montreal Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Montreal, Canada.

  • When is the best time to travel to Montreal?

    When is the best time to travel to Montreal?

    Montreal has a humid continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from -9°C in winter to 21°C in summer.

    • The rainiest time of the year is between April and November, with an average of 12 rainy days per month.
    • Snowfall can be expected between November and April.
    • June-August is peak tourist season, with hotel and flight prices rising accordingly.
    • March-May and September-November are great times to visit, you’ll avoid the peak season’s throngs, and flight and hotel prices are more affordable. The weather is pleasant, but pack a jumper as temperatures can be brisk after dark.
  • Montreal basics

    Montreal basics
    • Languages: Primary: French; Secondary: English
    • Plug types: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: Canadian Dollar (C$)
    • International dialling codes: +1 514 and +1 438
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
  • How to get to my hotel in Montreal?

    How to get to my hotel in Montreal?

    Montreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

    Commonly called Montreal–Trudeau, Montreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is the primary airport serving the city. The busiest airport in the province of Québec and one of the busiest in Canada, it sits on the Island of Montreal, 15 km west southwest of the city centre. It has 1 passenger terminal split into 4 zones. You’ll find a great range of dining and shopping options, as well as banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Downtown Montreal:

    • A taxicab takes around 25-35 minutes. Taxi ranks can be found on the Arrivals level, near the central exit.
    • You can also use Uber at Montreal–Trudeau Airport. The pick-up area is at door 6 on the Departures level.
    • The 747 shuttle bus takes around 45-70 minutes. You can purchase your ticket directly on the bus or at the vending machines on the International Arrivals level. It’s the cheapest way to reach central Montreal.
    • Many Montreal hotels provide free shuttle buses. Ask your hotel to see if they offer this service.
    • Car rental agencies can be found in the Arrivals hall.

    If you come by train to Montreal

    Central Station is a major transportation hub in Montreal. Built in the mid-20th century, it’s served by Via Rail and Amtrak lines. Central Station is an important link in Montreal‘s Underground City. It’s home to Les Halles de la Gare, a popular dining and shopping complex. From here, you can get anywhere in the city by metro, bus, taxi or rental car.

    photo by abdallahh (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • How to get around Montreal?

    Travel tips

    How to get around Montreal?

    Downtown Montreal and the famous Underground City are fairly compact. They cover about 3 sq km, which you can easily explore on foot. You’ll find many landmarks and attractions within walking distance, such as Notre-Dame Basilica, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Old Port of Montreal, just to name a few. The city centre also hosts a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. For longer journeys, a good choice of public and private transport services is at hand.

  • STM – Public transportation networks in Montreal

    STM – Public transportation networks in Montreal

    STM (Société de transport de Montreal) is in charge of public transport in Montreal. It operates 4 metro lines and over 100 bus lines, which cover the entire city.

    • 1-Day and Weekly passes are available.
    • Public transport is free for children aged 5 and under.
    • Tickets and passes can be purchased in STM facilities and at over 250 authorized sellers throughout the city.
  • Taking a taxi

    Taking a taxi

    Taxis can be hailed down on the street in Montreal, unless there’s a stand within 60 metres. You can easily find cab stands outside hotels and near the main attractions and shopping areas.

    • You can directly call popular companies such as OnCabs Montreal (514-400-1005), Atlas Taxi (514-485-8585) or Taxi Coop (514-725-9885), just to name a few.
    • The flag-drop charge is regulated.
    • Most taxis accept payment of the fare by credit card, but it’s better to ask the driver before you get in.
    • It’s common to give a 10-20% tip to the taxi driver.
    • Uber, Lyft and local taxi apps such as Téo Taxi can also be used to hail a taxi in Montreal.
  • Cycling around Montreal with Bixi

    Cycling around Montreal with Bixi

    Bixi is the name of Montreal’s bike sharing scheme. It’s a great way to discover Montreal on clear, warm days.

    • There are over 500 docking stations across the city.
    • Download the Bixi app or just go to a station to purchase a ride.
    • Single 30-minute rides, 1-Day and 10-Ride passes are available.
    • Note that a credit card is necessary to register and that a C$100 refundable deposit is required.

    photo by Yanik Crépeau (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

  • What are the main annual events in Montreal?

    What are the main annual events in Montreal?


    • What: Canadian and international DJs warm up Montreal’s chilly winter with a series of concerts and performances. Electronic music lovers dance under the stars in this iced rave that attracts thousands of aficionados every year.
    • When: January
    • Where: Jacques-Cartier Pier, Old Port of Montreal

    Les FrancoFolies de Montreal

    • What: A celebration of Francophone and world music in the largest festival of this kind in the Americas. This event is a great way to discover other cultures, as well as famous French and Canadian artists.
    • When: June
    • Where: Quartier des spectacles, Downtown Montreal

    L'International des Feux Loto-Québec

    • What: Also known as the Montreal Fireworks Festival, L'International des Feux Loto-Québec is a firework competition that showcases the best pyrotechnic teams in the world. Expect to see around 30 firework shows during this extremely popular festival.
    • When: July
    • Where: La Ronde Amusement Park, over the Dolphins lake

    photo by Francis Bourgouin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified