As Québec’s largest province, Montreal is a large city that sits amongst skyscrapers and the Saint Lawerence River. From cobblestoned neighbourhoods, to French colonial architecture, this city is home to many cultural influences that are reflected in its character.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 911
- Language: English, French
- Currency: Canadian Dollar
- Country Code: CA
- Travel Visa: eTA (click for more info)
- Population: 4,220,566
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
For the Emergency services just dial 911 from any phone.
Hospitals in Montreal
Montreal is a well connected city that offers many transport options. Cycling is a great way of getting around, with bike rental services like Bixi providing outlets for bikes with more than 500 stations. Cycling routes and paths are extensive in Montreal and bikes are allowed on 8 of the city’s bus lines. STM is the city’s bus and metro service. Running from 5:30am, they are an efficient way of getting around. There are 4 metro lunes and buses that cover all central parts of the city.
How do I keep up with the local news?
What are some safety tips I should know?
Travel with a friend, stay in the main areas, and keep your wallet in a vest pocket or money belt.
Use your common sense as petty crime such as pickpocketing is still a threat.
Don’t carry valuables and ensure that you use the safe at your hotel.
Winters can get extremely cold so make sure you come prepared with warm clothing and lots of it as you may need quite a few layers! Use a hat and a scarf to protect your face as well as warm, non slip boots are a must in winter too.
What are the common crimes?
Lately there has been also a bit of gang activity, and the main colors for these gangs are red and blue, so if you are in the St. Laurent or St. Denis Street area, it is worth avoiding those colors so they don’t think you are part of a rival gang.
Montreal is a low crime threat post. The crime trends tend to gravitate toward vehicles and other personal property.
Are there any areas to avoid?
Take care around rue St Catherine and east of Place des Arts during the nighttime as there are many homeless people.
Avoid the city parks after sunset and be vigilant if you are out late at night, especially near the bars and clubs.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
Week-ends du Monde
Celebrate the diverse world cultures that have found a home in Montreal at Week-ends du Monde held in Parc Jean-Drapeau. Over two weekends each July, the park hosts a cultural showcase of dance, music and food in celebration of the cultures and traditions of all Montrealers.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Montreal’s Fringe Festival
A performing arts event in which anyone is allowed to perform anything! An unusual event where artists are chosen by a lottery, and all money made goes directly to performers. Nearly 100 shows have been offered at recent festivals so audiences have a variety of theatre to choose from.
The Montreal Fireworks Festival
On the evenings of competition, tens of thousands of people watch the fireworks for free on their roofs or from locations nearby the competition. Wherever you are, make sure you get a good view as it’s certainly worth seeing.
Just For Laughs Festival
The city’s most popular festival, in terms of attendance, is the Just For Laughs Festival, held annually in July, is also the world’s largest comedy festival so make sure you go and have a laugh!
Where else is there to see?
As an amusement park, it is Canada’s second largest. Originally constructed in 1967, this park is open from Mid-May till October. If travelling as a family, this attraction is one to visit. Children two and under are free.
For an afternoon of exploring, this public market is a great one to visit. As one of the oldest public markets in the city, it has more than 300 vendors that offer amazing specialities. Open all year-round, goods are sources local or regionally. From meat, veg, to flowers, there are lots of things to purchase.
Home to the 1976 Summer Olympics, this stadium is an iconic monument in the city. It was also a host for Montreal’s Expos, their former baseball team. The stadium is now being used to host special events and concerts in the city.
Are there any notable museums?
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)
As Montreal’s largest museum, it is amongst the most prominent in Canada. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a member of the Bizot Group, a forum which allows the leaders of the largest museums in the world to exchange works and exhibitions so it’s worth a trip. The museum is located on the historic Golden Square Mile stretch of Sherbrooke Street and there is a ‘reading room’ that is the oldest library in Canada dedicated to art.
This is Quebec’s oldest private museum. Visitors can explore five centuries of history, learning from the French colonial influence, represented in the architecture and former use. Take a stroll around the gardens and explore the bend of Canadian-French culture.
Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History
Enjoy a showcase of history, recording of the settlements of indigenous people and the modern day living. Gain an understanding of Montreal’s vibrant culture by exploring its past. The museum offers a multimedia show and exhibitions annually.
What are the main attractions?
This 200-hectare park occupies part of the mountain that lies in the midst of Montreal island, and includes the highest spot in the city of 234m! The lookout facing over downtown provides views towards the river and a second lookout, a famous trysting spot, faces eastward toward the Olympic Stadium. A park that must be visited while amongst the city of Montreal.
Montreal Botanical Garden
Comprising 190 acres of thematic gardens and greenhouses, this attraction is spectacular. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008 as it is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world due to the extent of its collections and facilities so well worth a look and spending time relaxing in the beautiful grounds.
Situated in the historic district of Old Montreal, the church’s Gothic Revival architecture is among the most dramatic in the world. Its interior is grand and colourful, its ceiling is coloured deep blue and decorated with golden stars. It is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and several religious statues. Unusual for a church, the stained glass windows along the walls of the sanctuary do not depict biblical scenes, but rather scenes from the religious history of Montreal.