Traveling to Montreal? Be sure to check out my trip tips!
-Taxis from Montreal’s airport to the city center (Old Montreal is included in this) and vice versa are set at a flat rate of $40 Canadian (a $7 tip is considered the norm). However, if you have time to spare and are not inundated with an excessive amount of luggage, you may want to consider taking the 747 bus line which runs from the airport and makes stops at various points in the downtown. Things to remember about the bus: Dollar bills are not accepted; however, coins are but exact change is required. (Canada has adopted the $1 and $2 coin like the Euro.) The $9 fare includes unlimited travel through the bus and metro networks during 24 consecutive hours so don’t throw away your card before the 24 hours is up! The 747 does NOT go into Old Montreal. It’s roughly a 10-15 minute walk (possibly more if you have little ones or burdensome luggage) from stops in the Chinatown area.
-Although many restaurants serve lunch Monday-Friday, this is not the case on weekends. Although tourist geared restaurants in Old Montreal serve all day, those that are popular with the local demographic do not. This became somewhat annoying, since every restaurant I wanted to dine at for lunch on Saturday was closed, resulting in me having to change our itinerary. In short, plan accordingly, especially if you’re visiting on a tight schedule.
-Montreal is in the province of Quebec which is the only French speaking province in Canada. So while you will certainly find English spoken there (English and French are Canada’s two official languages), French is the majority language in Quebec, and in Montreal, the native tongue for most residents is French, not English. So be a respectful traveler and know a few words and pleasantries in French when interacting with the locals.
-Take the metro (and buses too if need be). Montreal’s metro system is fast, efficient, and easy to navigate. While it’s simple to walk to sights and restaurants in Old Montreal, if you decide to venture further afield, transportation besides just your feet is needed. Save the money you would spend by taking a cab on something else. Signage and metro card machines are in both French and English.
-Montreal is deemed a worthy substitute to Paris (on a North American scale that is), so while the high rise buildings may make it seem like any other American city, be sure to seek out the Parisian vibes that are offered. Wander along the cobblestone streets in Old Montreal, go on a bateaux mouche ride on the St. Lawrence River, and take advantage of the French food, not just of the restaurant variety but also in local bakeries and cheese shops. Breakfast at the Premiere Moisson bakery (located in the Atwater Market) was a culinary highlight of my visit to Montreal.