Getting Around Montreal
The best ways to get around Montreal are on foot or by public transportation. Montreal is a very walkable city, but if your feet do grow weary, the Montreal Metro and bus are both cost-efficient and easy to use. There is also a public shuttle bus that runs between downtown and the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and costs CA$10 (roughly $8) per person. You can also take a cab from the airport to downtown, which will cost CA$40 (around $31).
|On Foot||Although the city itself is fairly large, Montreal's individual neighborhoods – particularly Vieux-Montréal – are easy to navigate on foot. Getting to and from major attractions can also be done using the heel-to-toe method of transport. Even if you're visiting during the winter, don't rule out walking; the Underground City makes getting around downtown both simple and warm.|
The city operates an extensive public transportation system that includes both underground rail (métro) and bus lines. Métro stations are marked clearly above ground by blue and white signs and are easily navigable. There are four lines with plottable routes. Above ground, public buses fill out areas that the métro doesn't cover. While buses are sometimes a little tricky to figure out, the Montreal Transport Society's website offers tools to help you plan your trip. Fares are charged by the ride, not by distance, and the price is the same as for the métro. Single fares cost CA$3.25 (around $2.50), and there are discounts for children, students and senior citizens. To save money, consider purchasing a one-day unlimited-ride card for CA$10 (around $8) or a three-day card for CA$18 (about $14). If you're visiting on the weekend, you can purchase an Unlimited Weekend pass – valid from 6 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday – for CA$13 ($10).
Cabs are great for when you're not sure where you're going but need to get there quickly. Here's a tip: It's always a good idea to write down the address of your destination (including the cross street) to avoid any difficulties in communication. Taxis are readily available throughout the city, and the Uber smartphone app also operates in Montreal.
|Car||Thanks to Montreal's public transportation system, there really is no need for a car. Parking is relatively cheap, but you might have difficulty finding a spot in the more touristy neighborhoods. Also, gas is expensive: You'll be charged by the liter rather than by the gallon. However, if you like the convenience of having your own set of wheels (or plan on taking daytrips), there are rental agencies located in town and at the airport. You can use a valid U.S. driver's license, but note there are a few different rules of the road. Speed limits are posted in kilometers rather than miles, and some signs along Quebec's autoroutes (limited-access expressways) are only in French. Also, if you're new to driving in Montreal, you may be confused by the traffic lights: When turning left, make sure to wait for the flashing green light (which means that oncoming traffic still has a red) rather than turning during the green arrow pointing straight ahead (which is meant to allow pedestrians to cross the intersection).|
If you're visiting during the warmer months, you may want to consider renting a bike. There are plenty of bike lanes and paths, and – just in case you run low on energy – bikes are also permitted on public transportation. BIXI is Montreal's bike-sharing program, and it's quite easy to use. To get a bike, simply pay for a one-way ride or a one- or three-day pass, ride the bike to your desired destination and drop it off at the closest location (there are more than 460 locations throughout the city).
Entry & Exit Requirements
A passport is required for citizens of the United States to travel to Montreal, and to re-enter the country. If you are planning to drive, you must produce a passport, passport card or NEXUS card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through Canadian and U.S. border controls. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department website.