What to Do in Montreal Orient yourself. The streets in Montréal are laid out in the traditional east-west grid, parallel to the St. Lawrence River. The river takes a northwest swing at Montréal, though, resulting in the east-west streets actually running north-south.
Stop and catch a whiff of the roses and lilacs during spring and summer at the Montréal Botanical Garden (Jardin botanique de Montréal), 4101 rue Sherbrooke Est. Especially delightful are the Chinese Garden with its miniature trees, lake and pavilions, and the Japanese Garden and Pavilion, known for its koi ponds, bridges and bonsai collection.
Visit a tropical rain forest, the marine environment of the St. Lawrence, a Laurentian forest and the frigid polar world at the Montréal Biodôme (Biodôme de Montréal), 4777 av. Pierre-de-Coubertin. The combination zoo/aquarium/garden, part of Olympic Park (Parc Olympique), 4545 av. Pierre-de-Coubertin, is in the former velodrome from the 1976 Summer Games.
Try a smoked meat sandwich, available at many local restaurants, for a true taste of Montréal. Similar to a pastrami or corned beef sandwich, Montréal smoked meat is beef rubbed with spices, then marinated and smoked, sliced thin, piled between two slices of rye bread and typically served with fries, coleslaw and a pickle.
Inspired by his enormous neo-Gothic masterpiece, the architect of the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal (Basilique Notre-Dame du Montréal), 110 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, converted to Catholicism in order to be buried beneath it. The 1820s church interior was hand-carved in wood and is resplendent with gold leaf and stained-glass windows.
Discover the narrow, cobblestone streets of Old Montréal (Vieux-Montréal) in a horse-drawn carriage. Tours depart from Place d'Armes and Place Jacques-Cartier, among others, or they can be arranged by your hotel.
Escape from the rush of the city to the serenity and greenness of Mont-Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal), 1260 ch. Remembrance, whose signature mountain was climbed in 1535 by Jacques Cartier, the French explorer who searched in vain for a “northwest passage” from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
Stand on the site that was Montréal's birthplace at Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex (Pointe-à-Callière, Cité d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal), 350 Place Royale, where you'll see a multimedia presentation about the city's history in a theater overlooking archeological ruins.
Honor the life of St. André Bessette, a humble caretaker known for his ability to heal the infirm, at Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal (L'Oratoire St-Joseph du Mont-Royal), 3800 ch. Queen Mary. It was André's greatest wish to build a shrine to his patron saint, and his small wooden chapel grew to become a grand basilica crowned by a huge copper dome.
One of the most fun things to do with friends in Montréal is to explore the 33-kilometre (21-mi.) network of pedestrian walkways that constitutes Underground Montréal, 800 Rue de la Gauchetière O, a subterranean maze of shops, offices, theaters, restaurants and subway stations designed to help residents cope with the city's harsh winters.
Learn a few words or phrases in French and slip them into your conversations with locals. They'll appreciate your effort and you'll learn there's more to the language than cul de sac, croissant and bonjour.
Fans of adventure travel looking for a good time shouldn't miss Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours (Le voyage Saute-Moutons sur les Rapides de Lachine), which depart from the s. end of rue Berri at the Clock Tower Basin in the Old Port. Hold on tight and prepare to be soaked (despite the provided ponchos, hats and footwear) as your boat jumps waves and surges upstream through the rapids of the St. Lawrence River.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
15 m/49 ft.
Canada levies a 5 percent Goods and Service Tax. Québec's provincial sales tax is 9.975 percent on goods and services. The Montréal area hotel room occupancy tax is 3.5 percent per night.
Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont), (514) 252-3400; Montréal General Hospital (Hôpital général de Montréal), (514) 934-1934; St. Mary's Hospital Center (Centre hospitalier de St-Mary), (514) 345-3511. These can be reached at (514) 890-8000: Hôtel-Dieu, Notre-Dame Hospital (Hôpital Notre-Dame) and St. Luke's Hospital (Hôpital Saint-Luc).
1255 rue Peel Montréal, QC H3A 3L8. Phone:(514)844-5400 or (877)266-5687
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), formerly Montréal-Dorval Airport, 22 kilometres (14 mi.) west of downtown in Dorval, handles commercial flights.
Nearly all major rental-car companies serve Montréal, and desks are inside airline terminals at the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
Amtrak, (800) 872-7245, and VIA Rail Canada, (514) 989-2626, operate from Central Station, 895 de la Gauchetière beneath Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel. Part of the underground city, Central Station is connected to the Métro subway and to Windsor Station at rues Peel and de la Gauchetière.
Adirondacks Trailways runs to New York City. Orléans Express operates inner-city service within Québec. The Gare d’autocars de Montréal (Montréal Coach Terminal), 1717 rue Berri, serves Canada and the U.S. Megabus buses link several Ontario cities, and connect to Buffalo, N.Y.
Cabs are plentiful in Montréal; you should have no problem hailing one. Taxis are metered, and fares generally are fixed at $3.45 to start, plus $1.70 for each kilometre (.6 mi.) traveled as well as 63c for every waiting minute. Major companies are Diamond, (514) 273-6331; and Taxi Co-op, (514) 725-9885.
Société de transport de Montréal (STM) provides bus, Métro (subway) and commuter train service throughout greater Montréal.
Large vessels put in at Montréal's docks. Port d'escale du Vieux-Port de Montréal (Bassin Jacques Cartier), 333 rue de la Commune Ouest, charges $18 for a minimum 3-hour stay, plus $6 per additional hour for vessels less than 18 metres (59 ft.) in length, or $66 for a minimum 3-hour stay, plus $22 per hour for vessels measuring 18 to 24 metres (59 to 79 ft.). Overnight rates $2.30-$4.15 per .3 metre (1 ft.) per day, depending on the season. Rates may increase on weekends, and there are discounts for stays of 7 or more days; phone (514) 283-5414 to verify pricing.