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Montreal delivers a lively mix of old European culture and a modern Canadian lifestyle. The city is home to fascinating architecture and museums, historic hotels, natural attractions, and a vast numbers of places to eat. Rent a car in Montreal and the nearby mountains as well as city centre attractions will be easily accessible. Additionally, with Montreal an hour's drive from the US border at the tip of Vermont, and Toronto a mere 338 miles away, visiting more than one destination on your Montreal holiday is also an option.

It's your choice: Where to go in Montreal?

What does your Montreal itinerary look like? For initial planning inspiration, start off with one of its most famous sights, the Notre-Dame Basilica. A 7,000 tube organ, beautiful wood carvings, stained glass, and religious artefacts make this an awe-inspiring place to visit. For something a little different visit La Ronde theme park or the exhilarating MTL Zipline. The ten best places to visit in Montreal also include the Montreal Botanical Garden and Insectarium as well as the Ecomuseum Zoo, home to native Canadian species. Other daytime activities could include shopping in boutiques on the Avenue du Mont Royal or hiking up Mont Royal. Montreal is also famous for its nightlife, so once evening falls, there is no shortage of options, from cabaret shows in the neighborhood The Village, to dance clubs and upscale bars on St Laurent Street.

What to do in Montreal

To witness Montreal at its liveliest and most colourful, visit during the International Jazz Festival in late June to early July. This eleven-day event includes 350 concerts taking place across music halls, jazz clubs, and free open air venues, and attracts a global line-up of talent. It's also well worth buying a two- or three-day MTL Passport, for access to 27 attractions, such as the Biosphere Environment Museum and the Place Ville Marie observation deck, which provides unbeatable views of the city. If you're a sport fan, head to the Olympic Park and take part in their regular events programme, or take a guided tour of the Olympic Stadium. Stow your Montreal rental car for a day and spend time exploring the city on foot, taking in the waterfront Promenade du Vieux Port, or the old town.

Important info about Montreal

Montreal is located by the St Lawrence River in Quebec, Eastern Canada. It's part river port, part old town charm and architecture, and part cosmopolitan city, known for being a religious centre. Outdoor living and sporting activities are a big part of local life, with the nearby Laurentian Mountains a draw for hikers, cyclists, and skiers. There is a strong French influence on the city's language, culture, and food, but with over 5,000 places to eat, a wide variety of cuisines are covered. Although Canadian summers are short, Montreal really comes alive when the sun is shining, with a lively program of street parties and festivals. The city's Downtown is just 20 minutes by car from Trudeau International Airport, so you could rent a car in Montreal upon arrival, and soon be within easy reach of all the fun things to do in the city and surrounding areas.

Weather in Montreal
Country Nova Scotia, Canada
Language French, English
Currency Canadian Dollar
Time-Zones EDT
Country Code +1

Good to know

You have to be 21 or over to rent a car in Montreal, and hold either a valid US driver's licence or an International Driver's Permit, on top of your existing licence. It's worth noting that speed limits are published in km/hr, and some road signs throughout Quebec may only be in French. Rules governing drinking and driving are strict, so be aware of the limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. It's also worth looking in to your different car rental options before you travel, to ensure all drivers are covered on your policy, the car hire is inclusive of charges and taxes, and if possible, purchase an excess waiver with the package. Once you've got your Montreal rental car squared away, however, you'll be ready to explore the city, the rest of Quebec, and even Toronto or Vermont, if you so choose.

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What to taste in Montreal

Foodies will feel right at home in Montreal, which is a city well-known for its fresh local produce, maple syrup production, and tasty speciality dishes. Little Italy is a great place to stop, with plenty of options for restaurants, artisan charcuteries, and craft breweries. The Jean Talon Market is also a must-do. Metered parking is available underneath the market, so don't miss the cooking demonstrations, samples, and tastings from local producers. Snacks are easy to come by throughout the city, and favourites include iconic Montreal bagels and smoked meat. You can also try Dragon's Beard Candy in the city's Chinatown district. For dinner, explore the Old Montreal, Downtown, or Le Plateau-Mont-Royal districts, with top rated eateries serving anything from French to Middle Eastern.

What to bring your friends from Montreal

After an amazing trip you'll want to get home and share your memories with family and friends, and maybe treat them to a souvenir or two. Montreal has a lot to offer alongside typical gifts emblazoned with famous city symbols or the maple leaf. The city is home to the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey team, and their merchandise includes replica jerseys, stationery, hockey pucks, glassware, and books. Find them at their Bell Centre store in Downtown Montreal, or the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Montreal is also a great place for those with a sweet tooth. Be sure to visit the city's local chocolatiers, like Divine Chocolatier, and stock up on Canadian maple syrup and maple syrup candy before you leave. There's also a thriving art scene, so look out for affordable contemporary art, particularly in the Old Montreal and Old Port area.