Montreal, any advice? (1 Viewer)


Aug 13, 2013
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Harrisburg, PA
Anybody familiar with Montreal? I will be travelling to Montreal next week for world cup soccer. I will be driving so I will have a car. Wife and daughter will be with me so I won't be doing any poker related activities.

First time spending any time in Canada, we will arrive on Monday and leave on Wednesday. We will be staying near the airport and will be going to the Olympic stadium and would like to go to Old Montreal. Any advice on how to get around the city, where to park, things to do.

I tried researching last night and was not able to find a good resource for how to get around the city and best places to park.
Do they take US currency or do I need to covert my cash to Canadian currency?

My sister-in-law lives there, so I've been to the city several times. It's really beautiful and should be great weather this time of year. Lots of North American history there, as it was settled around 1600 by the French; English is spoken there as much as French so you won't have any language barrier problems. I suggest converting some US$ to Canadian$ at a bank.

They have a great subway system, so you can get around easily without a car. There's a casino and amusement/theme park (~Great America) at one of the subway stops; I'm sure there is a subway stop for the airport as well as Olympic Stadium. You should be able to use any MC or Visa credit cards at restaurants without problem. Too bad you'll only be there a couple of days; a side trip to Quebec City for a day should be in your itinerary next time to visit Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Plains of Abraham, Gulf of St. Lawrence, etc.

You'll know you're in Quebec when you start seeing blue and white flags with fleur de lis and your GPS starts going crazy. :) (I'm just kidding about the GPS)
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The most important thing about Montreal driving, is they don't give a shit, so be careful. Try your best to NOT be in any rush hour driving. Try to use the Metro for your travelling as much as possible. If you do get a chance, I highly recommend visiting Schwartz for their smoked meat sandwiches, I can not for the life of me remember the pub, but it is across the street from the CGI building on Boulevard Rene Levesque, but it has a 50+ page menu of all the beers that they carry from around the world.

Old Montreal is a nice place to visit if that is your thing, but don't get trapped into buying their trinkets. Go to a bigger named store like a Shopper Drug Mart, or the like to get them. The stores that sell you the trinkets in Old Montreal charge +20% - 25% MORE.

From the airport stay on the 520. Turn right and get on the 15. Take the 15 to the 720 and follow in to downtown.
A lot of good advice above. Definitely plan your route. I sometimes think they designed the highways by looking at a plate of spaghetti and saying "that looks good...". I'm not a fan of driving in Montreal.

Oh yeah, I don't think you can turn right on a red light on the island of Montreal. Watch out for that.

As far as currency goes, I suspect most stores will take USD, but they can set their own exchange rates. I doubt it will be in your favour.

I would recommend getting your money converted ahead of time.
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It looks like you will NOT be driving through Toronto. If you ever do, get there between noon and 2:00pm. Their afternoon and rush hour traffic is the busiest in the Solar System.

It's about a 5 hour drive from Toronto and Montreal. I always leave Montreal no later than 8:00am when heading back home.
+1 for Schwartz's Smoked Meat. Also Fairmount Bagels are amazing (and I'm from NYC!). In the Old Town, there is a fantastic restaurant called Garde Manger--inventive and delicious. And check with your cardiologist, but definitely go to Au Pied de Cochon. There is foie gras on everything there.

Yeah no right turn on red in Montreal. Fill up before you cross the border because gas in Montreal is crazy expensive, even for Canada, which is already about 2x as much as the US.

Def get a bag of these bagels fresh from the wood fired oven before you leave Montreal.

Get a Montreal smoked meat sandwich and some poutine too.

You can walk into any Canadian bank and they will gladly exchange your US for CDN. You will actually probably get the best rate at the casino though. But you won't get ripped off by the bank like you would at a store or restaurant.

For other places to eat, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the ones from this show:ébec
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The gas may be more expensive, but I got 28 mpg on the freeway out of it, whereas normally I get a maximum of 22 mpg in the US. I'm guessing there isn't any ethanol in Canadian fuel.
+1 Schwartz's Smoked Meat
+1 just park your car &take the Metro.
As for $ exchange, the stores will do it but you will get bent over a barrel. I always just use a local ATM. Make one larger withdrawal to last you the trip, and pay the fee only once.
Promise me you will try poutine at least once...(preferably at a greasy spoon dive joint...)
Have Fun!

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