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Canada

Welcome to Montreal

City description  

Cosmopolitan and welcoming, Montreal has managed to hold on to the charm of a small village while also being able to offer all of the appeal of a large city. The water and Mount Royal have shaped its identity, the latter even giving the city its name. Montreal is characterised by its wonderfully bustling way of life, in the midst of all the charms that nature has to offer.

Between the splendour of the St Lawrence River and the extravagance of the skyscrapers that grace the horizon, Old Montreal, the historic centre once surrounded by city walls, reminds visitors of the city’s European past. The labyrinthine streets and alleyways charmingly take you from one historical period to another. There are elegant art galleries, lovely modern outdoor cafes and tempting restaurants. Cross the river via the Jacques Cartier Bridge, with its complex structure that cuts through the clear blue sky; this is the pretty starting point for the exhilarating Montreal Marathon, which takes place every year in late summer. Here, on Saint Helen’s Island, you’ll find a beautiful green oasis: Parc Jean-Drapeau, with its tree-lined paths, is the perfect place for a fascinating walk. Also worth a visit is the Montreal Biosphère, a museum dedicated to the environment, with its stunning geodesic dome dreamt up by avant-garde inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller.

The Place d’Armes is like a history book in its own right, where you can marvel at the Neo-Classical temple of the Bank of Montréal and discover the secrets of the imposing Notre-Dame Basilica. Step inside and enjoy the stunning gallery of religious art set off in a symphony of colours and some gorgeous sculptures. In this erudite land of culture, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts houses an internationally renowned encyclopaedic collection – from delicate Italian originals to famous contemporary artists – putting on lots of inspirational and impressive exhibitions. Just as fascinating is the McCord Museum, near the prestigious McGill University, which celebrates the city’s social history in a modern, interactive environment, with a whole host of different activities to choose from.
After feeding your soul, you’ll need to feed your body with local or more exotic flavours and organic ingredients from land and sea snapped up at Atwater and Jean-Talon markets; two wonderful destinations for epicurean discoveries or discussions.
When winter kicks in, Montreal continues to surprise, revealing an amazing underground city, to protect inhabitants from the bitter cold. The light-filled heated corridors of the Underground City are packed with chic boutiques to please any self-respecting shopaholic. Here, the snow is no excuse for shutting yourself up at home, and at Christmas in particular, Montreal is a magical place, with plenty of festive cheer, covered by a blanket of white that reflects the Christmas lights. On the ice, the Montreal Canadiens fight it out in the National Hockey League, the other highlight of the winter.
When the winds of spring sweep across the St Lawrence estuary, feet start to tap to the captivating sounds of the Montreal Salsa Convention, where incredibly talented dancers take over the dance floor and celebrate Latin culture. Well-known around the world, the amazing Montreal International Jazz Festival kicks off the summer. The irresistible, frenetic rhythms remind you that the city boasts with an impressive selection of venues and cafes in which to enjoy one of the many concerts put on throughout the year.
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Top things to do in Montreal

Enjoy our selection of finest attractions

  • All
  • Highlight
  • Art & design
  • Shopping

Where to Eat

  • Café
  • Restaurants

Bouillon Bilk

Bouillon Bilk offers more than a meal: a true culinary experience. In this chic dining space, enjoy trout accompanied by fennel and clementines, followed by a chestnut eclair served with rum, raisins, apricot and hazelnut. A delight!

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New City Gas

The New City Gas focuses on the electro scene. Housed within a former factory, this is one of the best Montréal nightspots for fans of electronic music, between a live music space and a nightclub.

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Laloux

In a refined French setting, Laloux draws upon organic or sustainably sourced products within its menu. Savour flavours such as herring tempura or beef tartare with mushrooms.

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Le Mousso

Situated in the heart of Montreal’s Village, a rapidly changing neighborhood, Le Mousso opened late 2015. Located in a former printing press, the restaurant serves creative and colorful dishes, imagined by Le Mousso’s talented chef.

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Au Pied de Cochon

One of Montreal’s mythic restaurant addresses, Au Pied de Cochon is a warm and friendly dining institution which welcomes its guests with a delicious menu including pork specialties and foie gras.

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Les 400 coups

Located in the heart of Old Montreal, Les 400 coups combines an industrial design with refined, delicate and innovative cuisine. All accompanied by a fantastic wine list.

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Lab

The Lab offers a cocktail menu both classic and innovative prepared by master mixologists, in a warm and understated atmosphere.

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CAF MTL

<span style="font-size:11.0pt; font-family:;">Situated in the heart of Old Montreal, CAF MTL enjoys a historic location on Place d’Youville. Perch at the grey marble-topped bar and enjoy an espresso made with coffee beans sourced from Central and South America with honey notes, or try a signature <i>affogato</i> with a scoop of homemade gelato topped with a shot of espresso.</span>

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Café Myriade

Owned by top baristas Anthony Benda (the finalist in the Canadian National Barista Championship) and Scott Rao (author of The Professional Barista’s Handbook), Café Myriade has earned a reputation as one of the leading coffee spots in Montreal. Settle in on the outdoor patio and enjoy the superb daily blend at this bustling neighbourhood cafe. 

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Café Tommy

Situated within the historic British Empire Building in the Old Montreal district, Café Tommy boasts elegant interiors with original moulded ceilings, lofty arched windows and funky, mismatched furnishings. Start the morning with a delicious pastry, an expertly-crafted coffee and fresh fruit juice at this vibrant local cafe. 

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Practical information

  • where to stay
  • when to go
  • Travel transportation
  • event calendar

Montreal • Canada

Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile

Located at the foot of lush Mount Royal Park and next to the renowned McGill Uni...

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When to go

Montreal has a semi-continental climate with hot and humid summers, including average temperature of 22°C in July, and very cold and snowy, sometimes icy, winters with average temperature that can drop below -10°C. The wind chill gives the impression that the temperature is even below -20°C.
Since spring and autumn can have unpredictable and changeable temperature changes, summer stays the best time of the year to visit Montreal.

Montreal annual calendar

  • Jan

    Market and Christmas in Shanghai, December 2016

  • Fev

    Festival Montréal en Lumière, Arts & Gastronomy, 18 – 27 February 2016

  • Mar

    Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Montreal, 20 March 2016

  • Apr

    Blue Metropolis Montreal, Literary Festival, 11 – 17 April 2016

  • May

    Montreal Salsa Convention, 19 – 23 May 2016

  • Jun

    Montreal International Jazz Festival, 29 June – 9 July 2016

  • Jul

    Festival Juste Pour Rire, Just for Laughs stand-up festival, 18 – 24 July 2016

  • Aug

    FestiBlues Montreal, International Blues Festival, 11 – 14 August 2016

  • Sep

    Pop Montreal, International Music Festival, 21 – 25 September 2016

  • Oct

    Starting of the NHL Season, National Hockey League, October 2016

  • Nov

    Cinemania, Leading Francophone Film Festival, 10 – 15 November 201

  • Dec

    Montreal Christmas Market and celebrations, all of December 2016

Travel transportation

Transportation

Transportation in Montreal includes many options: local cabs, private drivers, rental car, metro, buses and even horse and carriages. The public transportation system is well developed and represents an affordable and easy way to get around the city.
The STM (Societé de Transport de Montréal – Montreal Transport Company) operates the buse and metro networks in the city which run between 5.30am and midnight (1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays). Montreal has 4 different metro lines based on colour: green, orange, yellow and blue. Numerous bus lines cover the city. Buses 10 to 249 run every 10 minutes or less, all buses numbered in the 400s are express services, while those numbered in the 300s are nightlines. Tickets can be purchased directly in the bus where you’ll require the exact money ( no change will be given) or from a vending machine (a single bus or metro ticket costs $3.35).
Keep in mind that when driving in Montreal, you must drive on the right side of the road.

Taxis

There are approximately 4,500 ​licensed taxis that ​operate in ​Montreal at different times of the day and night. You can hail them in the street, find them at a taxi rank or book them through one of Montreal’s taxi firms.
The flag fall is a standard $3.45 and each additional kilometre is $1.70 and 63¢ per minute spent waiting in traffic. Tip is not included.​

getting to & from the airport

Montreal International Airport (Aéroport Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau) is​ located on the Island of Montreal about 20 km from Downtown Montreal. The journey by taxi to Montreal city center takes approximately​ 30​ minutes according to the traffic​ and cost a fixed rate of $40 + charge and tips.​ Private transfers and rental cars can be arranged at the airport.
Five buses run by the Montreal Society of Transports connect the airport to downtown Montreal (Numbers 204, 209, 747 and night buses 356 and 378). The journey takes 45-60 minutes and the fare is $10.

Getting around

Other destinations

* Prices start from. Offer subject to the hotel's conditions and availability. See the sales conditions for the rate. Depending on the country, these prices may not include taxes, may include VAT only or may include all taxes (VAT and city tax). When prices do not include all taxes, the relevant taxes (VAT and/or city tax) will be stated in the following stages of the reservation process. The price is only guaranteed at the time of reservation.

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