Montreal is a city that one could visit year-round, so finding that ideal travel time comes down to your travel budget and expectations. Peak tourist season is seen from June – September when North American schools are out on summer break and the Old Montreal festivals are going strong. The average temperatures during the summer months are humid and warm, boasting about 27 degrees Celsius. Winter gives you the city more to yourself, and also brings cheaper hotel accommodations as well as flight fares. Expect some snowfall during your wintry visit, and temperatures average -9 degrees Celsius. Overall, the best times of the year to visit are March – May or September – November when school is back in session and the weather is still favourable.
Travelling from the airport to city centre is quite easy, and there are plenty of options for the journey.
The 747 P-E Trudeau Airport/Downtown Express runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the airport to city centre. In Downtown Montreal, the bus stops at the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine at the metro station. Fare is $10 CAD for unlimited travel through the STM. You can purchase tickets ahead of time, at the metro station, or using the exact change when boarding the bus. The bus leaves every 15 – 30 minutes and the ride takes 20 – 40 minutes depending on traffic.
VIA Rail Canada
VIA Rail Canada serves more than 450 locations. You can ride from the train station at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport to city centre for $12 CAD one-way in both directions. You must purchase the ticket from a VIA Rail Ticket agent booth at the airport. The Dorval railway station is 10 minutes from the terminal. You can take Bus #204 Eastbound to the station too.
Taxis are found at the outside lower level and include Taxi Diamond, Taxi Champlain, Taxi Expert, and Co-Op Taxi. Fixed fare to Downtown Montreal is $40 CAD with a minimum rate of $17 CAD. Dispatchers are found at the ground level.
Private limo services are available from dispatchers on the ground level as well, with a fixed fare to Downtown for $55 – $60 CAD.
Rental cars could be the easiest way to get to Downtown Montreal and surrounding city attractions. At the airport you will find Alamo, AVIS, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. While it is recommended you book your rental ahead, you may be able to get a car at the airport. Be sure to look for affordable pricing on rentals cars with momondo.
Montreal is a city you could easily explore on foot. However, there is a plethora of Montreal transportation options for those who prefer to get around faster than walking.
The Metro is just 10 minutes from local museums and Old Montreal. It is also the more affordable option for getting around the city centre. It operates Monday – Friday and on Sundays from 5:30am – 1:00 am and on Saturday from 5:30 am – 1:30 am. Wait time between trains is 8 minutes, but only 3 minutes during rush hour. Fare for a one-way 120-minute trip is $3.25 CAD for adults, $2.25 CAD for children ages 6 – 17, and $2.25 CAD for ages 65 and older. A 1-day unlimited pass is best, and costs $10 CAD. A 3-day pass is $18 CAD for unlimited trips.
Taxis are easily flagged anywhere in Montreal, and taxi stands are located throughout downtown. Fare depends on the destination and travel time.
Bike stations are located in many areas of Montreal, and the city is cyclist-friendly. While the city does not provide a bike rental program, you can rent a bike from Ma Bicyclette, Fitz & Follwell, and Ca Roule Montreal.
Montreal is home to numerous festivals throughout the year, events, and more than enough attractions to let everyone in your group have a good time. No matter the time of year, you will have a full itinerary. Places to visit include:
This amusement park is a must-see for anyone new to Montreal. The rides are always thrilling, and you could easily spend an entire day here. If travelling with the family, La Ronde is the place to go.
The Montreal Biodome is in the former Olympic bicycle-racing stadium, and it features 4 breathtaking ecosystems, including polar bears.
Museums are plentiful in Montreal, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Archaeology and History.
Tour the majestic Notre-Dame Basilica created in 1824. Even if you are not drawn by the religious significance, you will definitely be in awe and admire the architectural beauty of this structure.
Enjoy Old Montreal
You cannot visit Montreal without going into Old Montreal. This is the original city and accessible by the metro. Here you will find quaint, cobblestone streets speckled with boutiques, eateries, and plenty of shops.
Montreal’s coordinates are based on the river as its reference point. So, you might find yourself a little confused to learn that north is west, and south is almost east! Using the city app will help you find your way around with ease. Montreal is home to some of the finest restaurants, and Schwartz’s is a must-see while you are enjoying the gastronomy of Montreal. Do not forget to see the “Underground City,” where you find clothing stores, metro stations, and plenty of unique sights while walking under the city.