When 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 vacations to Montreal during the fall when crowds have lessened and the weather is mild.
Montreal flight deals 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.
To call Montreal merely the Paris of North America is to sell it short. True, the island in the Saint Lawrence River has the architecture, the food and joie de vivre of the French capital, but it is a mix of more than 40 ethnic groups, a complicated history and a vibrant and edgy bohemian scene that confounds that description. Canadians taking trips to Montreal are truly escaping to another world for a weekend adventure or a much-need vacation.
Montreal isn’t a likely destination in the wintertime, when the city freezes and temperatures plummet to -30 degrees Celsius. But Montrealers make the most of it with Fête des Neiges de Montréal (January/February); shopping in Ville Souteraine, the underground city, with more than 30km of shopping, and its hearty fare (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 is human scale with Mont Royal of course, 1,000 parks, 350km of bicycle paths and 900 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.
Read our country guide to Canada.