Best Time to Fly to Montreal
Although Montreal has a long and harsh winter it is still a year-round tourist destination thanks to its numerous festivals and underground city with more than 2,000 shops.
Summer, specifically late June to August, is the busiest and most expensive time to visit Montreal. The weather is warm and there are a number of festivals going on including: the ten-day Festival International de Jazz in late June, the International Fireworks Competition in late June and July, the World Film Festival and Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in August.
Frequent visitors book flights to Montreal during the fall when crowds have lessened and the weather is mild.
Cheap tickets to Montreal are commonly found during the spring when the rain threatens the weather forecast and the snow melts into mud. If you don't mind the fluctuating weather conditions, spring is the best time to find discounted hotels, car rentals and cheap flights to Montreal.
Montreal is known as the "Paris of the North" - the island in the Saint Lawrence River has the architecture, the food and joie de vivre of the French capital, but it also boasts a mix of more than 40 ethnic groups, a diverse history and a vibrant and hip bohemian scene that surpasses all expectations. Book a trip to Montreal and escape to another world for a weekend adventure or a much-need vacation.
Cheap flights to Montreal are likely in the wintertime, when the city freezes and temperatures plummet below freezing. But Montrealers make the most of it with Fête des Neiges de Montréal (January/February); shopping in Ville Souteraine, the underground city; and indulging in warm hearty meals (including poutine, a rib-sticking mix of fries, cheese curd and meat gravy).
The starting point for the Montreal tourist is Vieux Montreal. Here, you’ll find City Hall, Bonsecours Market, and the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel. In “new” Montreal, Le Plateau is the city’s creative heart, home to designers, writers and artists. Montreal boasts 1,000 parks, miles of bicycle paths and hundreds of outdoor skating rinks. Party-goers on Montreal flights head to Prince Arthur Street, Saint-Laurent and Les Eclusiers – bars stay open until 3 a.m. and some never close.
With predominantly wet, warm summers and cold, snowy winters, Montreal's climate varies based on seasons. Winter snowfall is abundant and the temperatures can drop significantly, but skiers will book cheap flights to Montreal during the winter time to take on the slopes. Montreal summers see sunshine and warmer temperatures, and this is when most travelers book flights to Montreal.
Getting around Montreal
Getting around Montreal is a piece of cake. Between the city’s smart layout and extremely efficient public transportation system, you’ll never worry about getting where you need to go. There are also plenty of bike paths all over the city if you want to get a little exercise. Public transportation consists of metro, bus and commuter rail and is run by STCUM. The metro is sparkling clean and has four different lines with dozens of stations. The bus routes are connected with the metro and both run between 5:30am and 1am. There are also a few night buses running after regular service ends. You can also get into the suburbs by connecting to the commuter rail. Check out the bus and metro tourist passes to save some money. Taxis are available by phone or by hailing one off of the street. If you really want to rent a car, there are plenty of companies in the city, but with congested traffic and all the easy transport options, it’s not recommended.
Montreal Travel Information
- Eat some poutine, the national dish, a warming dish of fries topped with fresh cheese curds and gravy. The smoked meat sandwich (served with potato chips, coleslaw and a pickle) is a Montreal tradition too. Go to Schwartz's to buy it, it has been a "Montreal Tradition Since 1928".
- Mark Twain once said that Montreal was the only city he was ever in where you couldn't throw a brick for breaking a church window. There are four Roman Catholic basilicas: Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, Notre-Dame Basilica, St. Patrick's Basilica, and Saint Joseph's Oratory, Canada's largest church. Its dome is the largest after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.
- The Underground city is an ingenious way of escaping the cold Montreal winters. There are more than 32km (20 miles) of tunnels with shopping malls, hotels, offices, museums and public transport systems.
- You can walk from the top of Peel Street to Mount Royal for a panoramic view of the city, the river and the Monteregian Hills in the distance. There is a park and two cemeteries at the top of Mount Royal - Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, which is Catholic, founded in 1854, and Mount Royal cemetery, a nondenominational resting place founded in 1853.
- The Old Town (Vieux Montréal) is charming and very, very old by North American standards. The oldest buildings date back to the 1600s. Architectural gems include Montreal City Hall, Bonsecours Market and the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel.
- The Latin Quarter is where the restaurants and bars are. The Museum Quarter is where you will find the Museum of Fine Arts and the McCord Museum of Canadian History.
- Montreal likes to laugh. Montreal Just for Laughs festival takes place in July. It also likes to listen to jazz music. The world-famous festival is on in late-June/July.
- The Montreal Biodome is a fascinating place, a zoo with four ecosystems: Tropical Forest, a replica of the South American rainforest; Laurentian Forest, a replica of North American wilderness; Saint Lawrence Marine Eco-system, modelled on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; and a polar area divided into Arctic and Antarctic.