Spending a week in Montreal can get expensive. Luckily, I was prepared, but I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. Here are some tips to help you out before you plan your next trip there.
- Passeport MTL: You may be wondering how much I paid to get into some of the attractions listed in my “Exploring Montréal” blog. This is where Montréal’s tourism card comes in handy. My friend and I paid $100 each for the 3-day tourism card and it was worth every penny. It gets you into 27 attractions and includes everything I listed, except the Notre-Dame Basilica. It’s nearly impossible to get to all 27 attractions in three days, but you’ll spend much less on the card than you would if you paid for each activity individually. The “Passeport MTL” also covers public transportation. We chose to drive a rental car everywhere because we wanted to hit as many places as we could in the time that we had. Taking public transportation will force you to be on their time and not your own.
- Lodging: Traveling to Montréal during the summer is expensive! When I first started planning my trip in March, basic hotels were running around $100/night. By May, those same hotels had jumped to $150/night. Because of this, I highly suggest using Airbnb and booking early. The apartment we stayed in was about 30 minutes from the main attractions and 10 minutes from the airport. It ran us about $55/night and was very nice!
- Money: If you’re traveling from outside Canada, keep in mind that the cash is not the same. I chose to use my bank in the U.S. to exchange my money before my trip and that seemed to work great for me! If you use your U.S. credit card in Canada, you will be charged a small foreign transaction fee. Depending on how much you buy, that can add up quickly. I would suggest not using U.S. dollars because it isn’t valued the same and chances are, the person giving you change back isn’t calculating it correctly in their head. Instead, you could exchange the money before you leave and then exchange it back once you return. However, remember that the exchange rate can change daily. Your money may not be worth the same amount when you return.
- Parking: I live in the Kansas City metropolitan area, which is a mid-sized city. That means I pretty much never pay for parking and it’s not necessary to know how to parallel park. These two things are crucial once you start to explore Montréal. You will have to pay for parking almost everywhere and it’s much cheaper if you know how to parallel park. My friend and I actually found a few free parking spots around the Olympic Stadium, but if she didn’t know how to parallel park, we would’ve spent way more money to park in the lots.
- Plan ahead: Research what festivals and events are happening in the city before you go. This could be a good way to meet some locals and find out what they’re into. While I was there, they were having a Mural Festival and it was awesome! That’s where I met Lew & Jay and got to see some pretty cool art. (You can see more pics from the festival on my Instagram.)
- Schedule: Have a good idea of where you want to go and what you want to do before you arrive. I had my trip planned out so I didn’t waste time trying to figure out what there was to do when I got there. But, be willing to go with the flow! If something doesn’t work out, don’t stress out. Have fun.