Montreal has so much more than initially meets the eye: not only is it the capital of Canada's French speaking province of Quebec, but is the host city of many international events such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the largest comedy festival in the world 'Just For Laughs', as well as the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One. Make the most of this thriving international city by booking one of the many holiday homes, apartments and b&bs on offer through sites such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb.
Find and book the perfect apartment or holiday home in the Québec capital of Montreal
A taste of Europe in North America, Montreal has a very distinct, unique character, making it a really exciting place to visit. Its rich French heritage means you can have a taste of continental culture with French language, food and history all around you, whilst actually being in North America. One of Canada's most populous cities, you'll never be short of something to do in Montreal.
When to go
Montreal generally has a fairly cold climate. If you want to avoid this, the summer is usually fairly mild with temperatures in the early 20s Celsius. On the other hand, you could embrace the cold and enjoy a snowy trip to Montreal during the winter. If you choose this option, be sure to wrap up warm, as temperatures are often in the negative numbers. The most popular time to visit Montreal is springtime, when the snow has melted but cold weather remains: it will be really cold up until May, but snow melts by around April making it much easier to see the city by foot.
How to get to Montreal
From the US and the rest of Canada, there are train and bus routes to Montreal. If you're coming from further afield, it's easier to fly. Montreal has an international airport, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, which many major airlines fly to and from. From the airport, you'll need to either get the 747 Express Aeroport Bus or a taxi to the city centre. The bus costs $10 one way, and cab fares downtown are a fixed rate of $40.
How to get around
Montreal has an extensive and reliable public transport system, with an affordable and fast metro system. There are only four lines, so it's relatively easy to get your head around even if you're only in Montreal for a short time. The trains run from 5:30am to 1:00am (and 1:30am on Saturdays), so you'll never be stuck without a way home. The city is also compact enough to walk around lots of the time. Even when the weather is very cold and snowy, it's possible to walk around comfortably with the Montreal Underground Pedestrian Network. In the spring, summer and autumn, try out the city bike rental system, Bixi. This is the perfect way to get some exercise and get around in a more environmentally friendly way!
Where to stay in Montreal
For an authentic insight into Montreal's rich history, book a holiday apartment rental in Old Montreal (or Vieux Montreal in French). This is undoubtedly the city's most picturesque area, with cobbled streets, 17th-century buildings and famous sights such as the Notre Dame Basilica and the Bonsecours Market. There are so many things to do in this area, you could easily spend your whole time in Montreal here. But it's not all historic: there are lots of trendy new things such as art galleries, street food and festivals.
This is the place to be if you're a big city lover. Book a luxury apartment rental in Downtown Montreal to have everything on your doorstop. There are lots of museums, restaurants, bars and theatres in this area, so you won't be at a loss for something to do. This is a great area to spend your stay in Montreal if you want to explore the city as a whole, because of its great transport links to other areas of the city.
The even cooler little brother of famous hipster neighbourhood, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mile End is fast becoming a haven for young people and artistic types. There is a wealth of culture here, with lots of multicultural influences and a fantastic music scene that has spawned the likes of Arcade Fire and Grimes. Book a holiday apartment rental or b&b here to truly feel like a local in Montreal – and don't forget to check out the brilliant street food, especially Montreal's famous bagels!
What activities to do
Notre Dame Basilica
This church dates from 1824 and is famous for having some of the most dramatic interior décor in the world. It has beautiful colours all throughout and fascinating stained glass windows which, unusually, portray scenes from Montreal's history instead of Biblical stories. This is certainly a gem of Vieux Montreal, and one of the most iconic monuments of the whole city: Notre Dame is one of the most visited tourist attractions in North America.
The Biosphere Museum is dedicated to the environment and is housed in a beautiful transparent geometric dome. Not only is this museum incredibly beautiful, it's a great way to learn something new! It's the perfect day out for families, because it's both fun and educational.
The three-peaked mountain that gives Montreal its name, this is the standout landmark of the city. It has a park and lookout so you can pass a few relaxing hours here if you visit during the summer, with the added benefit of incredible views across the whole city of Montreal. A fascinating place for anyone interested in geography, the mountain is an extinct volcano and has a rich history tied to First Nations people, the Olympic Games and snow sports, amongst many other things.