Montreal is a world-class city, one that everyone has heard of and most dream to see. From the European flavour of this North American city, the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle, or the unique fashion scene, there’s something for everyone in this popular tourist destination.
Another reason that it’s so popular with visitors is its proximity to other North American urban centers, both within Canada and across the border. You can get a taste of something so different, so European, without having to deal with long flights, visas, and jetlag. It’s an opportunity to save some money while still having a trip of a lifetime, or at least one that you will look fondly on for years.
Get a Great Hotel
Montreal is a major city, and thanks to the number of visitors it gets a year has many options for overnight accommodations. From small, quaint bed and breakfasts in the Old Port to chain hotels near the airport, there’s something for every budget and preference. If you want to make the most of your time, find one of the best hotels in downtown Montreal. That way, you are close to most of the major attractions and well connected by transit. You might spend a little more here per night than at a hotel on the peripheries, but you will spend less on transport within the city and have a more valuable experience in general.
Ditch the Rental Car
Thanks to the great location of your hotel, you can forget about having to reserve a rental car. Though Montreal is a large city, it’s also very walkable and well connected by alternative methods of transportation, like subway, bus, and city bikes. Even in the winter, you’ll see city dwellers commuting to work on bicycle, making good use of the bike lanes. Though you can definitely use a car if you are coming with one, you might find that finding parking and always having to venture back to your car can be a waste of time otherwise spent exploring.
Experience the Culture
Even if you come in the winter, there’s lots to see both outside and indoors. Montreal has a wealth of museums, galleries, and other attractions like aquariums, beautiful churches and more. Put on comfortable shoes and hike up Mount Royal, see the grounds of the Montreal Olympics, or just admire the architecture in the little neighbourhoods. If you don’t know where to start, there are multiple tourist information kiosks throughout the city, and a few companies that offer walking tours. There are often a good starting point and will put the rest of your trip into context.
Yes, Montreal is famous for its food, and indulging in it doesn’t have to be expensive. Try the gravy and curd covered fries known as poutine, go to a Jewish deli for a Montreal Smoked meat sandwich or get the freshest bagel from the Mile End and eat it on the curb while it’s still warm. Experiencing the culinary scene here doesn’t have to be expensive, and though you might want to try one of the more high-end dining establishments as a treat, you can delightfully fill yourself on amazing local food without breaking the bank.
A successful trip is one where you had fun, learned something new, and felt comfortable in your surroundings. Coming up with an affordable strategy to experience Montreal will make you fall in love with it even more as you gain an authentic experience similar to what a local might have. So, book your hotel, start putting together that game plan, and come see some of the best that North America has to offer!