Montreal is a unique metropolis combining many cultures. The spoken language is French & English and although Montreal maybe French in Lifestyle & Cuisine, it has a big warm and friendly Canadian welcome for all visitors. The city is in the south of Canada's Quebec province, only 37 miles (60km) from the United States border and remains an important hub for North American trade.
City Breaks: Montreal is a cosmopolitan city that has an appealing mix of old European charm and modernism. The city is renowned for its scenic beauty, vibrant nightlife, cafe society & international Jazz festival. Montreal is a truly dynamic city, combining an abundance of culture, museums, the arts and street festivals aplenty, making Montreal the perfect destination for a city break adventure.
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Top Tip: Often regarded as the ‘Paris of Canada’ Montreal is one of the liveliest cities in North America. To help you get the most out of your holiday to Canada, the city of Montreal has established a friendly and efficient Visitor Information centre, which can help plan and make your visit to Montreal both memorable and enjoyable. Start by downloading the official tourist map and start planning your city break adventure now.
Introduction: Montreal is located along the almighty St. Lawrence River and is known as the city built around a mountain. Montreal is recognised as the world's second largest French-speaking city after Paris, it's also a city with a distinctive European feel, with its cobbled streets, craft stores, attractive public squares and restored 17th & 18th century buildings.
Montreal's Underground City: Montreal has a secrete to tell, it has a vast underground city comprising of 33 kilometres of tunnels linking to shopping malls, office buildings, 1600 shops, restaurants, bistros, bars, hotels and even a university. Located directly below the downtown area, the city was built to be used and enjoyed in all types of weather, including the very harsh and freezing cold Canadian winters. There's good transportation links to and from the underground city, it has 2 Metro stations, two commuter train stations and a bus terminal. Montreal's underground city is the largest underground complex in the world - making it a true shopper's paradise.
Old Town Montreal: Montreal is one of the most visited cities in Canada and offers something for everyone. Start your city adventure in the old town, located between the river and the city center where stunning 19th century buildings and by-gone eras are brought back to life. Rue Saint Paul is the the oldest and most iconic street in Montreal and dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Here you'll discover cobblestone streets and old warehouses that have been transformed into antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants.
Downtown Montreal: Downtown Montreal is situated on the southern slope of Mount Royal, here you'll find most of the city's skyscrapers and the business district. Downtown is also the main cultural hub of the city, including the 'Quartier des Spectacles' - area's of the city providing a hub for Montreal's world renowned festivals, such as the 'International Jazz Festival' and the 'Just for Laughs Festival'.
Events & Festivals: Montreal is well known for it's 'Festival & Event Caledar' - odds-on whenever you visit there'll be an interesting event or major festival taking pace.
LES FRANCO DE MONTRÉAL (held mid-september). Les Francos de Montréal is a large annual music and performance festival featuring over 1,000 artists. The festival attracts world renowned musicians as well as promising and rising unknown acts from all over the world. Many performances have free entry, with venues located throughout downtown Montreal (in and around the Place des Arts areas of city).
MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL (held mid September). The festival (Festival International de Jazz de Montréal) is regarded as the biggest, best and most important jazz festival on the planet. The festival takes place annually over a 10 day period with over 400 concerts attracting over 2 million festival goers. The festival attracts more than 3000 the world's greatest musicians from around 30 countries, and includes the true greats of the jazz world. The 10 day festival begins at noon and attempts to finish at midnight and includes free concerts at both indoor and outdoor venues throughout downtown Montreal.
L’INTERNATIONAL DES FEUX LOTO-QUÉBEC (held late July early August). One of the largest annual firework competitions in the world viewed by over 2.5 million spectators. A very impressive display is guaranteed from various advantage spots throughout Montreal's city limits. The competition consists of about eight teams from around the world competing to put on a spectacular and impressive pyromusical display for a 30 minute duration.
MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. The Montreal High Lights Festival is held over multiple days during the dark mid-winter months. It combines gastronomic, musical and artistic components designed to brighten and warm the local citizens during the cold months. The annual celebration registers 1,300,000 festival site visits from fans experiencing the joy of Montreal wintertime. The festival combines over 100 concerts various culinary and wine events plus shows and exhibitions.
OSHEAGA MUSIC FESTIVAL (held late July early August). Osheaga is a multi-day indie music and arts festival attracting international artists performing on several stages, the festival takes place in Jean-Drapeau Park.
Public Transport: Local transportation is reliable and affordable, the city is eco friendly and extremely bicycle-friendly. The most efficient mode of city transport is the underground train/metro system, the Metro is clean, safe and operates daily from 5:30am to 1am. There is also an extensive bus network and commuter rail service. The Metro is very efficient, it has four lines and 68 stations, ten of the stations are linked to the Underground City. Taxi services are safe and easy to use, they're available from taxi ranks, major hotels and airports, they can also be hailed on the street in downtown areas and near bars and restaurants etc.
Public Transport Tickets: The STM (Société de transport de Montréal) network operates a fixed fare per journey system, there is no fare zoning. Tickets for the Metro can be purchased at Metro stations from either manned kiosks or from automated ticket machines. Bus tickets can be paid for with the exact change using the onboard ticket machine when boarding the bus. Individual tickets are valid for two hours and can be used on other STM services, for example bus or metro.
Travel Card: The most convenient way to travel on Montreal's public transport network is to use the OPUS travel card system. The OPUS card is a reusable, travel smartcard that can be topped up with credit at STM authorised shops, pharmacies or any metro station. The OPUS card can be used in most transit authorities in the Greater Montréal area and in the Québec City area. To use your OPUS card hold it above the fare box on the bus or the card reader on the métro turnstile, after a few seconds the card will be validated, validation is confirmed by a green or yellow light and an audio signal.
Eating Out in Montreal: Excellent cuisine & atmosphere can be found in the terraced cafes and courtyards around Place Jacques Cartier. There are over 4,000 cafes & restaurants in Montreal with seafood and French cuisine very much in evidence.
Montreal's Nightlife: Montreal is the party capital of Canada and has a reputation of catering for every style and taste when it comes to partying hard, relax-drinking and having fun. Choose from a vast array of elegant cocktail and trendy wine bars, dance clubs and underground hideaways and don't forget a visit to one of Montreal's many traditional pubs and famous micro breweries.
Montreal has an established dance scene with many clubs repeatedly attracting the world's top D.J’s. - Live music runs deep through the veins of Montreal, with the city playing host to many of the world's top festivals, including The Jazz Festival, Osheaga and Black and Blue.
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) The airport is located three miles (5km) northwest of Montreal city centre.
Transfers from Montréal–Trudeau International Airport YUL to Montreal city centre is by Shuttle Bus, the service operates to the centre of Montreal and to major downtown hotels. The Shuttle Bus Service also transfers passengers on the 45 minute bus ride between Montréal-Mirabel and Montréal-Trudeau airports, Taxis are also readily available.
Cheap flight ticket prices on direct services from London Heathrow are provided by British Airways and Air Canada.
Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented at Montreal YUL airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.
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