TRAVELLING TO MONTREAL

Useful tips about Montréal to help you plan your trip

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR CANADA

All visitors entering Canada must present a valid passport and, in certain cases, a visa. In 2016, Canada introduced new entry requirements known as the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. This regulation excludes U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid visa.

The eTA is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires. Applying for an eTA is a simple and inexpensive ($7 CAD) online process that will take just a few minutes. Most eTA-eligible applicants will get their authorization within minutes of submitting the on-line form.

For more information about entry requirements and to see if you need to obtain an eTA, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

WHAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN IN MONTRÉAL?

French is Québec's official language but English is widely spoken in Montréal.

The city has more than 120 cultural groups and over 20% of population speaks three languages. It is common that you will be addressed in French, but people will quickly speak English when asked.

CAN I USE MY CELL/MOBILE PHONE IN CANADA?

Your cellular phone will work in Canada, however, to avoid potentially expensive roaming charges, it is strongly recommended that you turn off your data before landing on Canadian soil. Montreal has hundreds of free Wi-Fi connections in the city, not to mention hotels, restaurants and cafés, so there is no reason for visitors to incur additional charges with their cell phone carrier.

ELECTRICITY

The electric current is 110 V and the plugs are the same as what is found in the U.S. If you come from a country that uses 220 V electricity, you will need an adapter (for computers, cell phones, tablets/iPads, cameras, etc.) or a converter (to transform voltage -for your hair dryer, electric shavers, etc.).

BANKS AND TAXES

Canadian currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills.

Taxes in Montréal are calculated as follows: a 5% Federal Goods & Services tax and a 9.975% Provincial Goods and Services tax. Only basic groceries (breads, dairy, fruits, vegetables etc.) are not taxed. Taxes that are paid by visitors are not reimbursable.

WHAT IS THE RULE FOR TIPPING IN MONTRÉAL?

Service is not included in restaurants, so it is customary to add at least a 15% tip to the total before taxes. For larger groups (6 or more people) some restaurants will automatically add the 15% service to the bill.

Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc. are also normally tipped at least 15%.

For bellhops, porters, doormen etc. between $1-$2 is considered standard. Housekeeping standards are between $1-$2 per day. Many people simply round up the amount; for example, if you are staying 4 nights, a $10 tip would be considered a good tip, but not excessive.

GETTING AROUND-FROM THE AIRPORT

747 SHUTTLE BUS

The 747 shuttle bus service is the most cost effective and efficient way to travel between the airport and the center of Montréal and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you exit baggage claim at the airport, follow the signs for shuttle bus/navettes just outside the terminal.

Travel time may vary between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Wi-Fi service is available on most 747 buses.

The fare is $10(CDN) for unlimited travel throughout the STM bus and metro networks for 24 hours consecutive.

The fare card can be purchased at the airport from the automated dispensers which accept cash, debit card, and credit cards. You can also pay directly on-board the bus however ONLY coins are accepted - NO BANK BILLS.

The automated dispensers are identified with the following STM logo:

For more information about schedules and multi-day passes please visit the official 747 Website.

BY TAXI

Taxi fares from the airport are fixed at $41(CDN), one-way. It is customary to tip the driver (see What is the rule about tipping in Montréal?). Cash is always accepted. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are often, although not always, accepted; therefore it is strongly suggested to advise the taxi driver of your desired method of payment prior to departure. Once you exit the baggage claim at the airport, follow the signs for Taxi/Limo just outside the terminal.

GETTING AROUND-IN THE CITY

ON FOOT

Montréal is a very walkable city and you will see many people out and about on the streets day and night. It is safe and enjoyable to walk around the downtown core, in Old Montréal and in the Old Port. However be warned, you must abide by the traffic rules; crossing the street on a red light or in the middle of the street can result in a 'jaywalking' fine.

BY BIKE

Montrealers are avid cyclists and are proud of it! The city has 350 kilometers of bike paths which criss-cross the territory including natural parks and the suburbs.

Didn't bring your bike? While in town you can use a Biki bike to get around. This public bike sharing system is a great way to get around the city. The cost is $5(CAD) for 24 hours. Users must be careful not to use the bike for more than 30 minutes at a time to avoid being charged for extra time. For more information visit their website at www.bixi.com. Be sure to abide all traffic signs to avoid any violations which can result in a fine.

BY METRO AND BUS

While most of Montréal can be travelled on foot, should you require to travel further distances, the public transportation is your best bet! The Metro, as we call it, is an underground subway system that is fast and convenient. The Metro typically operates between 5:30am - 1:00am. The cost is $3.25(CDN) per trip and tickets can be purchased at each Metro station. If you anticipate using the Metro often, multiple fare and even weekly passes are available.Ths bus route in Montréal is also very extensive and could be an option as well. For more information on the public transportation system, please visit www.stm.com

BY TAXI

Taxi's are available almost everywhere. You can easily flag one down on the street by waving your arm.

WISHING TO SEND A POSTCARD BACK TO YOUR LOVED ONES?

For regular mail/postcards (30 grams and less), stamps cost $1.15(CAD) within Canada, $1.38(CAD) to the United States and $2.88(CAD) for all other destinations. For more information visit www.canadapost.ca.

Consult your hotel concierge to find the closest Canada Post outlet. Some hotels will sell stamps and even mail letters for their guests. You might also find stamps at convenient stores and pharmacies.

SHOPPING IN MONTREAL

Most shops are open Monday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.p. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stores are usually closed on legal holidays but some establishments (grocery stores, SAQ outlets, etc. may still be open. For more information visit the Tourisme Montréal website.

DINING OUT

Montréal has the highest concentration of eateries on the continent with 92 restautants per square kilometer representing various types of cuisine inspired by 120 countries and regions. There is something for every palate and budget. Feel free to browse the Tourisme Montréal website for more information.

WHAT TO DO IN MONTRÉAL?

There is no shortage of activities and events taking place in and around the city. To find out what is happeneing while you are in town, consult Tourisme Montréal's calendar of events.

WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE IN MONTREAL IN MAY

As Montreal gets warmer during May, the average temperature is 14 degrees Celsius ranging from a minimum of 8 degrees Celsius to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius. Montreal experiences about 70 mm of rainfall in the month of May over a period of 18 days.

HAVE A GREAT STAY IN MONTRÉAL!