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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Montreal

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Montreal each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday)

Monday before May 25 : National Patriots' Day (public holiday in Quebec)

Officially instated in 2003 on the same day as Victoria Day in the rest of Canada to highlight the importance of the patriots' struggle in 1837 and 1838 against British colonial rule for the national recognition of the Quebec people. Commemorations include parades in Montreal and throughout Quebec.

June 24 : Quebec National Holiday (public holiday in Quebec)

In 1977, Saint-Jean-Baptiste's feast day was officially established as Quebec's national holiday. Celebrated each year with more than 100 parades, thousands of performances, and 360 bonfires across Quebec.

July 1 : Canada Day (public holiday in Quebec)

In 1977, Saint-Jean-Baptiste's feast day was officially established as Quebec's national holiday. Celebrated each year with more than 100 parades, thousands of performances, and 360 bonfires across Quebec.

First Monday in September : Labour Day (national holiday)

Second Monday in October: Thanksgiving (national holiday)

Originally a Christian religious observance, for many years Thanksgiving has been a secular holiday in Canada, as it is in the United States, celebrated by Canadians of all faiths. Families come together to prepare and enjoy a large feast at home. The meal typically includes roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce as well as various side dishes and ends with an assortment of pies (pumpkin, pecan, apple).

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

December 26: Boxing Day (national holiday)

Boxing Day and the entire week following Christmas are an opportunity for stores to clear out their leftover inventories by running sales.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Montreal

An inland city built upon a 30-mile-long island, Montreal has a humid continental climate and thus experiences a characteristically wide range of temperatures. Given that temperatures in January can be as low as −30°C (−22°F), while those in July can exceed 30°C (86°F), there are stark contrasts between the seasons each year. In the winter, temperatures tend to remain below freezing and for about five months the city is often blanketed in snow. However, the mercury rises quite easily in the summer.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -17/1 -5/23 77/3.0 Not the best period to go
February -14/7 -3/27 63/2.5 Not the best period to go
March -9/16 2/36 69/2.7 Not the best period to go
April 1/34 12/54 82/3.2 Not the best period to go
May 8/46 19/66 81/3.2 Not the best period to go
June 13/55 24/75 87/3.5 Not the best period to go
July 16/61 26/79 89/3.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 15/59 25/77 94/3.7 Good period to go Good period to go
September 10/50 21/70 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
October 4/39 13/55 91/3.6 Good period to go Good period to go
November -2/28 2/36 96/3.8 Not the best period to go
December -13/9 -1/30 87/3.4 Not the best period to go
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Montreal Trudeau International Airport

Montreal Trudeau International Airport is located about 25 kilometres (16 miles) south-west of central Montreal.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Montreal and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via Highway 20 and Highway 520.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the centre of the short-term parking lot (ground floor level).
  • By rail
    • A free minibus service is available between the airport and the VIA Rail Canada station in Dorval, where intercity connections are available to Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec City.
  • By bus
    • Société de transport de Montréal (STM) operates the 747 bus line, with express service between the airport and the city centre, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The trip between Montreal Trudeau Airport and the central bus station (Gare d'autocars de Montréal) above Berri-UQAM metro station may take from 45 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The fare is CAD 10 and includes unlimited travel throughout the STM bus and metro network for 24 consecutive hours.
  • By shuttle to Mont-Tremblant
    • Service provided by Skyport between December and April, with four departures every day.
    • Round-trip tickets cost CAD 157 for adults and CAD 108 for children aged 5 to 11.
  • By taxi
    • The fixed fare between the airport and the city centre is CAD 40. Fares are by meter for all other destinations, with a minimum of CAD 17.
  • By limousine
    • Allow about CAD 60 per ride.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : : +1 800 465 1213
  • Website : http://www.admtl.com

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GETTING AROUND Montreal

Getting around Montreal by car is often not ideal. The streets are fairly narrow, the climate is challenging in winter, and parking is difficult to find and expensive. It is therefore advisable, depending on the season and the weather, to make use of the various public transport options to discover the city, although cycling and walking are also recommended.

By rail and bus

Montreal's metro system and buses are operated by Société de transport de Montréal (STM). Regardless of the distance travelled, the fare is the same. Tickets may be purchased individually for CAD 3.25 or in a book of 10 for CAD 26.50.

The metro operates from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights). Special bus lines offer all-night service, covering the city's main thoroughfares and routes. Bicycles may be transported by metro, except during rush hours.

Special passes

STM offers several types of passes, which may be of interest for longer stays. You will need to purchase a reloadable OPUS card, to which you can then add the fare corresponding to the unlimited travel pass that suits your needs (from 24 hours to 1 month). To use the card, you just need to swipe it at the metro turnstile or bus fare validator.

Prices for passes :

  • CAD 10.00 for 24 hours
  • CAD 18.00 for 3 days
  • CAD 25.50 for 1 week

Reduced fares are available for children aged 6 to 17 and senior citizens (aged 65 and over). For these passengers, a single ticket costs CAD 2.25, the book of 10 tickets is CAD 16.00, and the charge for the weekly pass is CAD 15.50.

By taxis

Plus de 4 000 taxis opèrent dans l'agglomération de Montréal. Et avec plus de 450 points d'attente pour taxi, impossible de les manquer !

Tarifs :

  • 3,45 $ au départ
  • 3,45 $ par kilomètre avec le client
  • 0,63 $ par minute d'attente

More than 4,000 taxis operate in the Montreal metropolitan area. And with 450 taxi stands located throughout the city, they are pretty hard to miss!

By bicycle

Montreal has more than 450 kilometres (280 miles) of cycling paths, a portion of which are even accessible in the winter. Like many other cities around the world, Montreal has a public bike-sharing system. Called BIXI, the system's bikes are accessible to everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For USD 5 per day, you can use BIXI bikes for short trips around the city.
For your safety, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended. To protect the bike you are using from theft, make sure that you lock it up securely if you have to stop between stations.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Montreal, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Infotouriste Centre (Montreal's main tourist office)

Provides tourist information and expert advice on all destinations throughout Quebec and can help with accommodations, car rentals, currency exchange, guided tours, etc.

  • Address : 1255, rue Peel, bureau 100, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3B 2T9
  • Telephone : +1 877 266 5687 (sans frais depuis le Québec)
  • E-mail : info@quebecoriginal.com
  • Website : info@bonjourquebec.com

Tourist Welcome Office in Old Montreal

Offers practical information, maps and brochures for tourists on Montreal and its surrounding area (activities, events, accommodations, restaurants, guided tours, etc.).

  • Address : 174, rue Notre-Dame E., Montréal, Québec, Canada, H2Y 1C2
  • Telephone : +1 514 844 5400 ou +1 800 230 0001 (freephone number within Canada)
  • Website : http://www.tourisme-montreal.org

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Canada is the canadian dollar ($).

1 CHF = 1,28 CAD

1 CAD = 0,78 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Medical care and hospital stays are expensive in Canada. Before leaving for Montreal, you should therefore take out travel health insurance covering the period of your visit. In the event of a hospital stay, expenses must be paid before leaving the hospital.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Canada.

The following vaccines are recommended for travel to Canada:

  • booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio
  • typhoid, hepatitis A and B, rabies

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Montreal.

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Administrative formalities

Until March 16, 2016, citizens of the European Union do not need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. However, acceptable travel documents and identification must be presented at the border.

Neither visas nor Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA) are required for U.S. citizens.

For foreign nationals from other countries, see the information on the Citizen and Immigration Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca

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Essential phrases

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Good to know

00 1
phone number (calls to Montreal)
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in November

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
120 V / 60 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Canada, tipping is expected and is sometimes included in the bill. Before leaving a gratuity, check to be sure that it has not already been included. For waiting staff and taxi drivers, you should tip between 15 and 20 percent of the bill before tax. Tip hotel porters CAD 2 per large bag. In a bar, you can leave at least CAD 1 for a drink.

Air France reveals...