Information for Travellers
Please use these convenient links to navigate this page:
Accessibility | Airport | Currency, Exchange and Banking Services | Electricity | Getting Around Montreal | Getting To Montreal | Language | Montreal Museums Pass | Passport | Postage | Restaurants | Smoking | Taxes | Telephone | Tips | Typical Prices | Weather | Wireless Internet Access
Establishments have been assessed accessible according to criteria set by Kéroul and approved by the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec. Kéroul provides information on tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability.
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport - YUL
Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, 22 km west of downtown, now serves all domestic, U.S. and international passenger flights. Local folks still sometimes call it "Dorval Airport."
Distance from the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain hotel:
14 miles / 22 kilometres (approximately 20-25 minutes in fluid traffic).
- Follow Hwy 20 East to Hwy 720 East.
- Take Exit #4 St. Jacques/De La Montagne.
- Follow St. Jacques Street; St. Jacques Street turn left.
- Next traffic light is Peel Street. Turn left.
- Drive all the way up the hill. Hotel will be on your right at the top.
The Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain hotel does not provide shuttle service.
- Sedan Limo fee: $66.00 CAD (one way), reservation required
- Bus service fee: $7.00 CAD (one way)
- Estimated taxi fare: $40.00 CAD (one way)
- Public airport shuttle, the 747, runs 24/7 from the downtown area to the airport. It is equipped with luggage racks and accepts regular STM (public transportation) tickets and passes although cash fare (coins only) is $8.
Currency, Exchange and Banking Services
Canadian currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are $5 (blue), $10 (purple), $20 (green), $50 (red), and $100 (brown) bills. One and 2 dollar bills have been replaced by coins. The $1 "Loonie" is a large gold-colored coin and the $2 "Toonie" is a large bimetallic coin. While 50 and 100 dollar bills are available, some stores are cautious about accepting bills larger than $20 because of counterfeits.
We suggest you convert funds into Canadian dollars before leaving home as you may obtain a better rate of exchange from your own banking institution.
There are many currency exchange centers throughout the downtown area. They either charge a fee or take a couple of percentage points off the exchange rate for their services. Banks can usually handle U.S. funds without any problem but may not be prepared to handle other currencies. Bank branches are commonly open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. during the week, often with extended hours on Thursday or Friday.
Banking services, ATMs, and currency exchange offices are available near the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain hotel; please ask the hotel concierge for directions.
Major travellers' cheques are accepted in places that accept credit cards, but are not universally accepted as cash. Most stores and restaurants accept Visa and MasterCard and some accept American Express. You usually get the most favourable exchange rate by using your credit card. Most ATMs are networked to Cirrus and Interac and accept major credit cards.
Electrical outlets in Canada provide the same current as in the United States, i.e., 120 volts (60 cycles). They are of two types: type A (2 pins) and type B (3 pins). If your appliances are designed for a different standard, you will need to use an adapter.
Getting Around Montreal
Public transportation – Société de transport de Montréal (STM)
Montreal has a subway system which allows one to get around quickly and easily. The four lines run Monday to Friday and Sunday from 05:30 (first departure) to 00:39 (final departure) as well as Saturday from 05:30 (first departure) to 01:09 (final departure). The average time between trains is 3 minutes during peak hours and 8 minutes at other times. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) bus network covers the entire Island of Montreal.
Several after-hours bus routes service night owls.
Not sure how to get somewhere? Consult the STM's online trip planner.
For more information on public transit consult the web site for the Société de transport de Montréal.
Ride with BIXI:
BIXI is Montreal's public bike system. It is accessible to everyone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, three seasons of the year, from April to November. Montreal has over 500 kilometres of bike lanes making it a safe, inviting city to explore on 2 wheels.
BIXI was created for short trips:
usage fees encourage frequent utilization for short periods of time. First, you have to subscribe or acquire a 24- ($5) or 72-hour ($12) access to use the service. Take out a bike as many times as you want for 30 minutes or less with no additional fees (up to 45 minutes for subscribers); usage fees for longer trips apply.
For more information, see https://montreal.bixi.com/ride-with-bixi/functioning.
The price of a fare, to which a rate per kilometre is added, is displayed on the taxi metre. Rates do not differ on evenings and weekends. Receipts are available upon request. Tipping is customary but not mandatory.
The client may request a taxi on the street. When the sign on the top of the cab is lit, the taxi is available for a client.
Road signs and speed limit:
Quebec uses the metric system, so speeds are indicated in kilometres and gas is sold in litres. Although road signs are in French, most of them use international symbols so you shouldn't have any difficulty.
Although turning right on a red light is authorized across the province of Quebec (except at intersections where a sign indicates otherwise), right-hand turns on a red light are strictly prohibited on the Island of Montreal.
Cell phone and driving:
Since April 1, 2008, the use of a hand-held cell phone that does not have a "hands-free" function is prohibited by law while driving.
Downtown you can find many parking lots as well as parking meters, which are not free of charge after business hours (Mind your meter: they're checked often!). Most parking meters have been replaced by automatic pay stations. Numbered blue and white signs indicate where parking spaces are available.
Simply park your automobile and take note of the number of the parking spot. Next, go to the nearest automated pay station to pay the desired parking duration and take your ticket with you. There is no need to leave it in your vehicle.
Getting To Montreal
An international destination, Montreal is easily accessed by land, water and air.
- Ottawa: 124 miles / 200 kilometres
- Quebec City: 157 miles / 253 kilometres
- Laurentians (e.g., Mont Tremblant): 91 miles / 147 kilometres
- Eastern Townships (e.g., Sherbrooke): 96 miles / 154 kilometres
- Burlington, VT: 96 miles / 154 kilometres
- Boston, MA: 309 miles / 497 kilometres
- New York, NY: 371 miles / 597 kilometres
For complete tourist information, please visit: www.tourisme-montreal.org
French is Quebec's official language but English is widely spoken in Montreal. The city has more than 80 cultural groups and over 20% of the population speaks three languages.
Montreal Museums Pass
Please note that since June 2009, American citizens require a passport to cross the border into Canada.
Don't forget to ensure you have a valid passport at all times, and in some cases, a visa. American citizens returning home should also be aware that there are new customs requirements in effect. For more information, visit: Citizenship and Immigration Canada and U.S. Department of State.
You can send packages and buy stamps at any Canada Post Office. There are also numerous postal outlets which are located within other businesses, such as pharmacies and convenience stores ("dépanneurs" in French). To find post offices near the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain hotel, consult the Canada Post web site or ask the hotel concierge for directions.
Downtown Montreal features several popular restaurant areas: Bishop and Crescent streets to the west, St-Denis St. and the Latin Quarter to the east.
In the adjacent Plateau Mont Royal you will find intellectuals and artists gathered in bars and cafés which serve foods of the world at affordable prices.
A bit further north, Little Italy, where the first Italian immigrants settled, is now one of the liveliest areas of the city, with espresso bars, boutiques, and authentic Italian cuisine.
The anti-tobacco law took effect on May 31, 2006. It prohibits smoking in all public establishments, including bars and restaurants.
There are two applicable taxes charged on goods and services in Quebec:
5% GST – a federal Goods and Services Tax (usually listed as TPS on receipts – Taxe sur les produits et services)
9.975% QST – Quebec provincial tax (TVQ on receipts – Taxe de vente du Québec).
Books are not provincially taxed, and most groceries are not taxed at all unless something counts as ready-to-eat. Almost everything else is taxable. No tax refund is granted to leisure travellers.
Prepaid phone cards are being offered in different denominations and are sold in most convenience stores (dépanneurs in French), newsstands, or pharmacies.
- Directory assistance: 411
- Operator: 0
- Emergency: 911
- Health hotline: 811
- Québec Poison Control Centre (Centre antipoison du Québec) : 1 800 463-5060
Service is generally not included in restaurants. It is customary to give restaurant waiters and waitresses a tip representing 15 to 20% of the total before taxes. In bars, the tip tends to be offered as you pay for each drink or round. Taxi drivers also normally get a tip of 15% as do those who render personal services such as haircuts. Hotel porters generally receive $2 per bag. Many counter service establishments have a tip jar: whether you drop in a bit of change is entirely up to you.
- Movie ticket: $13.00
- Public transportation: $3.00 (exact change required)
- Cup of coffee: $2.50
- Glass of beer: $7.00
- Glass of wine: $10.00
- Breakfast: $8.00
- Dinner (without alcohol): between $35.00 and $50.00
Average temperature in Montreal for the end of September is 16°C (60°F) to 19°C (66°F). Be sure to keep a warm sweater or jacket with you. To check weather conditions for Montreal, see The Meteorological Service of Canada or the Weather Network.
Montreal temperatures can get into the 90s and it is humid. Be sure to keep water bottles with you, especially important for older travellers and children.
Wireless Internet Access
Internet access is available for free at over 250 locations in Montreal through Île sans fil.