Canada is without a doubt one of the top places for tourism not only in North America, but also in the world. Everyone should visit Canada at least once in their life but there’s just too many to explore in the country. That’s why we’re sticking to our mantra of visiting only the best places there are in each region. Of course, there’s a lot to choose from in Canada but we’ve set our sights on Montreal. This is the most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Aside from warm locals and historical sites, this city is easily one of the most popular places to take yourself and your family in.
- 1 How to Get to Montreal
- 2 Getting Around Montreal
- 3 Best Time to Visit
- 3.1 Montreal Activities at Night
- 3.2 Stroll Mount Royal
- 3.3 Get a good laugh at The Comedy Nest
- 3.4 Try air gun shooting at Tir du Soleil
- 3.5 Play classic arcade games at Amusement 2000 Plus
- 3.6 Play more arcade games at Arcade MTL
- 3.7 Pamper Yourself at Bota Bota Spa
- 3.8 Dine at Nouveau Palais
- 3.9 Learn the tango at Dance Conmigo
- 3.10 Go on a dinner cruise
- 3.11 Dine at the Tuck Shop
- 3.12 Visit the Dollar Cinema
- 3.13 Play laser tag at Laser Quest
How to Get to Montreal
Montreal, Canada is easily accessible from various parts of the world via the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. This airport is only 20 minutes away from Downtown Montreal which you can get to via taxi, shuttle service, or rental car straight from the doors of the airport. The Montreal Airport is one of the busiest there is in the world as it handles over 18 million passengers annually through over 150 international destinations globally.
The airport handles various airlines including Air Canada, Air China, Air France, American Airlines, Qatar Airways, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, United, Express, and many others more. These will get you to Montreal from major cities such as Paris, Chicago, California, Nevada, New York, Miami, Beijing, and more. Basically, Montreal is just a flight away regardless of where you are coming from.
Montreal is also reachable via the VIA Rail network which connects major cities in Canada to Montreal. If you are in Canada already, you can choose from 17 daily departures from the Gare central which gives you access to the Bonaventure Métro Station, taxi, car sharing, bus, BIXI bike rentals, and the Underground Pedestrian Network. If you are coming from south of the border from the US, Amtrak trips will get you directly to Downtown Montreal.
Getting Around Montreal
Montreal is, of course, a huge city that you will not be able to explore on feet within a day. Thus, we recommend that you rent a car so you can fully explore the city and get to have complete control of your time. But don’t worry, Car rentals in Montreal are relatively cheap and can cost you at around $16 a day. There are many car rental companies available right at the airport and you can book them in advance as well. Companies you should look for are Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo, and Globe Location Auto & Camion.
If you are on a limited budget and car rentals aren’t ideal, you don’t have to worry much too as since it is a major city in Canada, expect to see taxis around the city and the airport. You can also take ride-sharing services which are very active in Montreal.
In terms of public transportation, there are several cheap options you can take. The easiest and most convenient options are the metro system and the public transit network, both of which have access to the downtown center as well as major tourist sites, bus stops and, train stations. The Metro runs from 5:30 AM to 1 AM but trips run 30 minutes longer during Saturday. You’ll have to wait at least 3 to 8 minutes for a bus to arrive during rush hour.
If you are looking for a big adventure, you can take a bike through the city. Montreal has an ever-expanding bike system. In fact, the city has been named as one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America by the Copenhagen Index. The city has a total of 780 kilometers of bike paths. Other than that, there are high-quality bike rentals and tours to help you discover the neighborhood.
This is the best way to get around Montreal if you are up for biking around. You should definitely catch up on tours and bike festivals in Montreal.
Best Time to Visit Montreal
The sweet spot for tourism in Montreal is from March to May. During this time, the temperatures will begin to rise while hotel rates will begin to fall. It may be a bit chilly for those who aren’t used to Canada’s temperatures but it’s still bearable by most standards. Keep in mind that there might still be some snow on the pavement as well so be careful when you walk or bike around.
During this season, there are several key events that you can partake in. These events include the Montreal St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, the Festival Vue sur la Releve and Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival in April, and the Pouzza Fest and Montreal Museums Day in May.
Another great time to visit Montreal would be from September to November. During this season, you’ll see a rise in hotel availability and that means you’ll be able to see some amazing deals as well. However, keep in mind that hotel rates will begin to rise from November onwards so it would be wise to book your room in advance if you are visiting from that time frame.
There are also some amazing events to become a part of during this season. There’s the World Film Festival and POP Montreal from August to September, the Montreal Burlesque Festival and Black and Blue Festival in October.
The peak month for tourism in Montreal is from June to August or during the summer. While Montreal will be perfectly warm during this season, there will be an abundance of tourists as well. Furthermore, you’ll have to pay up to 25% more in certain rooms. Avoid the city during this season if you can. If it’s not possible, simply book your hotel in advance so that you can enjoy minor discounts.
1Montreal Activities at Night
Montreal is also one of the best cities in the world that every traveler needs to see. However, not many people know that it has a lot to offer even at night. And unlike any other city, this place isn’t just about clubs and bars. Apparently, there are plenty of things to do in Montreal at night aside from clubbing and many of these are more family-oriented. In case you want to explore what this city has to offer even after the sun has set, here are some of the best things to do in Montreal at night that we highly suggest. Some are even worth the try even if you’re traveling with the whole family.
2Stroll Mount Royal
It might sound weird at first as who would hike a mountain at night? While it is also nice to do this while the sun is still up, it is also nice to see the city lights as you are at the summit of Mount Royal at night. Don’t worry, it isn’t that high. Apparently, what makes this activity one of the best things to do in Montreal at night is that Mount Royals isn’t actually that high. In fact, it will only take you about 15-45 minutes to reach the top, depending on where you start and it also has a staircase to make it easier for you. And when you get to the summit, you’ll be treated with some of the best views of the city at night that are really worth the effort. And, of course, you will also be surrounded by a sprawling green space that will make the experience all the more enjoyable. The best part of it is that you can do it for free.
3Get a good laugh at The Comedy Nest
What’s even more fun than being at a comedy bar? Luckily, you can also get a good laugh at Montreal if you’ll head to The Comedy Nest and it’s one of the best things to do in Montreal at night if you’re not into clubbing. Here, aside from watching the city’s most popular comedy club’s comedians perform and help you smile away your blues in a 90-minute show, you can also get to fuel yourself up with some good snacks and drinks. It’s definitely a fun way to spend the night in the city. Enjoy a night full of laughs for as low as $5; it’s already a nice deal. That said, don’t forget to add this to your travel itinerary in case you’re traveling to Montreal.
4Try air gun shooting at Tir du Soleil
If you want some action, trying out the air gun shooting at Tir du Soleil is one of the best things to do in Montreal at night that we highly recommend. Here, you can get to choose from a variety of air guns and pistols that they have to shoot at moving targets. It’s really exciting, especially if you’re looking for some action and adventure. Don’t worry much if you have never done this before as Tir du Soleil has experts who can guide and train you with all the necessary pieces of equipment. Tir du Soleil also offers such activity in the afternoon but we recommend trying the activity at night if you want to avoid crowds. However, note that this place isn’t quite for kids as only those who are 9 years old and above are allowed.
5Play classic arcade games at Amusement 2000 Plus
Whether you are traveling with kids or you are a kid at heart, going to Amusement 2000 Plus is one of the best things to do in Montreal at night is also what we can highly recommend. Just looking at its name, you’ll definitely be amused as you enter this attraction as you have plenty of arcade games to play. Here, you can put your gaming skills to test, reminisce about your favorite childhood games, introduce your favorite classic arcade games to your kids, or even face-off with friends and/or your family, this place is surely filled with fun and excitement that will entertain you as you wait for the sun to rise to start a new adventure in the city. It’s definitely a must-visit attraction so don’t miss out on this too.
6Play more arcade games at Arcade MTL
Like Amusement 2000 Plus, Arcade MTL also offers some nice things to do in Montreal at night, especially for gamers. Here, you can also play classic arcade games with friends and family and is very popular with people of all ages, both locals and tourists alike. But what makes it different from the former is that this place hosts tournaments more often. On top of that, you, as well as other visitors can also get to enjoy different beers being offered at Arcade MTI as you play your favorite arcade games. And the best part of it is that it’s much cheaper than Amusement 2000 Plus as you can already enjoy the place for as low as $7.
However, Arcade MTL is closed on Mondays. That said, you might want to plan your visit ahead.
7Pamper Yourself at Bota Bota Spa
There sure is a lot of fun and exciting things to do in Montreal at night and day. And trying the activities that the city has to offer can get quite tiring. If you feel like you need to relax and recharge, you might want to consider pampering yourself at the Bota Bota Spa. Housed in a historic river ferry boat, this unique floating spa lets you enjoy a variety of rejuvenating spa treatments and relax at its sauna as you get the nicest views of the twinkling city lights. What’s even better is that that also offer dishes made from fresh organic produce that you will surely love as you dine in their elegant restaurant adjoining the spa. It’s one of the perfect things to do in Montreal to end the day be it with alone, with your friends, or family.
8Dine at Nouveau Palais
Of course, you need to fuel yourself up with good food so you’ll have more energy exploring the city And what better way to do that than have dinner at one of the best restaurants in town – and that is Nouveau Palais. This restaurant is the best place to be for some good Canadian-style comfort food. And we’re not just bluffing when we say it is one of the best as even the locals favor this place so much as well, especially for late-night eats. Here, you can choose from a range of soups, salads, and mains and specials for dinner. The best part is that they have a midnight menu that will satisfy your late-night cravings. One of our favorites is their sumptuous burger with cheesy fries as sides. From $3, you’ll definitely be filled with good food.
9Learn the tango at Dance Conmigo
While it’s not an activity that kids will really enjoy, still, it’s a nice activity for adults looking for the best unique things to do in Montreal at night if they want to skip the club. Here, you’ll definitely master tango right away with the top instructors that it has and even meet new friends and learn the tango together. If you’re a shy type, Dance Conmigo also offers private dance lessons so you can get over your fear of dancing in public. While tango dance lessons start at 12 PM, they also have night classes until 10 PM so you can avoid crowds. It’s a unique experience that you will surely enjoy as you will not just get to learn how to dance the tango but you will also meet some new friends.
10Go on a dinner cruise
Going on a dinner cruise is not just one of the best things to do in Montreal at night for friends and families but it is also a perfect activity for couples. This is because you will get to enjoy a nice romantic atmosphere on deck as you bask in the gorgeous views of the city at night. On top of that, you can also get to enjoy good food. And if you’re in Montreal look no further than Montreal Dinner Cruise. They will take you on a cruise St. Lawrence River and take in the stunning views of the city plus its neighboring islands as you savor your meal. Aside from that, if you want to dance the night away after a romantic dinner, you can also get to enjoy dancing on the cruise ship’s open terrace as its DJ plays all the latest music. It’s really something to consider, especially if you’re traveling with your partner.
11Dine at the Tuck Shop
If you are craving for some Italian cuisine, the Tuck Shop is also one of the best restaurants in town that we can recommend. Tucked into a small urban space in the charming neighborhood of St. Henri, this place can also talk big about its delicious dishes. What makes it different from the rest of the restaurants in the city is that it doesn’t have a set menu. Rather, the dishes, as well as its prices, are based around the daily market availability and seasonality. But don’t worry if you worry about the price or the menu items on the day of your visit as they use their social media accounts to update their guests with the evening’s upcoming dishes and wine list. It’s a unique dining experience and the place is cozy and relaxing too that makes it one of the restaurants that are not to be missed as well.
12Visit the Dollar Cinema
Another one of the best things to do in Montreal at night is to see what’s on the Dollar Cinema. Sure, it’s “just” a movie theater but what makes it different from the rest is that it lets you see a movie for just less than $3 and that more than half the price of a regular movie ticket in the US. Add a dollar and you can already enjoy the movie with popcorn or soda. Also, this place also hosts several events that will surely entertain you. If you’re lucky enough during your visit, you can also get to see live performances such as concerts and circus acts, to name a few. The Dollar Cinema opens at 1 PM so better plan your visit to catch good movies or live performances with popcorn and drinks for a low price. It’s definitely worth the drive.
13Play laser tag at Laser Quest
If you want to experience more exciting activity, visiting the Laser Quest and playing laser tag is one of the best things to do in Montreal at night too. This is because this is a perfect bonding experience for families and friends. While it is open from 10 AM, visiting this place with your friends or family, especially if most of you are adults, at night would be much better as in the day, you’ll likely encounter a kid’s birthday party or two. But if you were to visit this place in the evening, you’re likely to encounter like-minded adults who are also looking to have a good time. Feel like James Bond, enjoy running around under a black light, strengthen your teamwork, or whatnot, this place is really not to be missed.
However, note that Laser Quest is only open on Saturdays. That said, you might want to plan your trip ahead if you want to try this activity.
Who says Las Vegas is the only city that never sleeps? In Montreal, you can also do a lot of activities even until the sun rises again. What’s even better is that there are more things to do in Montreal at night that are also more wholesome and family-friendly compared to other cities. Hence, why not try adding Montreal to your list of travel destinations this year? It’s definitely worth the travel and money.