There are tons of great activities to do in Montreal, but getting around can be tricky if you don’t keep one key thing in mind. Montreal is known as the only city in the world where the sun rises in the south. That’s because residents of the city use the river and the mountain as cardinal points. If you’re downtown, the river is “south” and the mountain is “north.” This can be confusing for many visitors, especially when you consider that the East End is actually north and the West Island is south. However, using Montreal’s system of orientation, these locations are named correctly.
Things to Do in Montreal
The city is very easy to get around in, and walking is the preferred method of travel for many. Winter shoes are essential if you plan to do this during a winter visit as sidewalks tend to get icy after snowfall. If you wish to avoid the cold, you can walk down the stairs to Montreal’s underground city. This large network of pedestrian walkways connects to the metro stations, and some fun shopping. You’ll also find many footpaths and pedestrian areas throughout the city.
You can find taxis on most busy streets. Many taxi drivers do not speak fluent English though they are able to understand street addresses in English. They accept cash only, though many will accept US currency if you don’t happen to have Canadian money on hand.
Driving is also an option, however many North Americans find it difficult due to different laws, dense traffic, and difficult parkin
Montreal’s metro is also a great way to get around, offering stops in central parts of the city. You can purchase a ticket for $3.00 which allows unlimited use of both the metro and the buses for 90 minutes. Announcements and most signs are only in French. The only transit workers who are guaranteed to speak English are the customer service representatives, though you may find many others who do as well. The metro system is one of the easiest ways to get around the city.
The city has lots of great things to offer in winter and year round. A walk through Montreal’s Old City will take you to many museums, shops and beautiful views, especially in the snow. The Sir George-Etienne National Historic Site will allow you to explore a gorgeously preserved Victorian home and experience what life was like for the wealthiest residents of Montreal in the 19th century. The Montreal Science Centre is a fabulous place for children and adults to learn about the world around us through a scientific lens, as well as check out a movie in an IMAX theater. The Pointe-a-Calliere explores Canadian history spanning from the Native Americans to present day. It displays many of the most important archaeological discoveries pertaining to Canada.
Old Port also has an ice fishing village, providing 300,000 feet of ice, heated shelters, and great fishing! Ice skating is also available, allowing people to skate long the pristine ice while surrounded by the beautiful city.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your evenings, check out the Casino or head to Bell Center and catch a Canadiens game.
Other fun things to do throughout the day include Amazing Race Montreal, which takes you on a tour of the city’s most important and interesting destinations. Follow a series of clues that will take you around the city! Join a race, or take a tour with this format.