Cheap flights to Montreal
Montréal is the economic and cultural capital of Quebec and a place where French influence runs deeply through its gastronomy, arts and the sheer joy of life. The city lies on an island in the St Lawrence River, a location that gave it a strategic advantage to the Iroquois long before Europeans arrived in Canada. French explorer Jacques Cartier stumbled upon it in 1535 but it was another hundred years before Ville-Marie was founded as a mission and fur-trading town. Despite being captured by the English in 1762, Montréal has always kept its French heritage.
Rapid growth came during the 1920s and 1930s when drinkers seeking an escape from American Prohibition crossed the borders while both Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics added to the urban landscape. Today, Montréal is an important Canadian hub for IT, biotech, aerospace and media industries. To the visitor, however, it feels like a piece of old Europe has landed in a modern city.
Things to do in Montreal
Spend a day in Montréal taking in elegant 18th-century architecture and the magnificent Basilique Notre-Dame before enjoying a stroll along the banks of Canal de Lachine and a relaxing drink in the cafes of Plateau Mont-Royal. The cobblestoned streets in the heart of the city are where you'll find a wealth of museums as well as excellent restaurants and charming boutique
The Old Port: Dating back to 1830, the Old Port has always been at the centre of city life but today it is a revitalized area of waterfront walks, summer river cruises and winter ice-skating as well as being home to several museums such as the Montréal Science Centre. Other attractions include the Montréal Clock Tower and Clock Beach.
Basilique Notre Dame: The Basilique is a highlight of any Montréal visit. Dating from 1829, its interior has beautifully intricate woodwork, gilded sculptures, a gold-covered altar and stained glass windows. Look out for the famous Casavant Frères organ and the Gros Bourdon Bell, said to be the biggest in North America. Visit in the evening and enjoy the AURA light show.
Museum of Fine Arts: This museum with its world-famous collections is housed in five impressive pavilions that mix historic and contemporary architecture. Inside are artworks and sculptures as well as examples of furniture, decorative arts and photography going back several centuries. European artists highlighted are Rembrandt, Picasso and Monet but the examples of Canadian and Inuit art and artifacts are also exceptional.
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Events in Montreal
Although Montréal's festivals and events take place mainly in the summer and autumn, there is rarely a week in the year without something exciting taking place. There are one-day craft and artisan fairs to international festivals and exhibitions that last for two weeks or more. Many are held in the Quartier des Spectacles and the Parc Jean Drapeau, built for Expo 67.
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal: Summer gets off to a good start in June with this street party of a festival. Listen to music performed by over 50 bands while relaxing in pop-up beer gardens and then browse street stalls selling everything from food to beachwear.
Montréal International Fireworks Competition: Held on Saturdays and Wednesdays throughout June and July, this festival brings firework extravaganzas together with orchestral music. National teams from a dozen or so countries come to the city to show off their pyrotechnic expertise. Get tickets for La Ronde theme park for a ringside view or stand on the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Wherever you are in the city, however, you should be able to see the show.
Montréal World Film Festival: One of the last events of the summer, this brings film stars, screenwriters, directors and producers to town as well as nearly half a million movie fans who come to see screenings that feature films from over 70 countries.
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Practical information about Montreal
July and August are hot and humid in Montréal but if you want to enjoy the outdoor life of parks, waterfronts and beer gardens this is the best time to visit. In October, temperatures are pleasantly mild while autumn foliage is at its most striking. Temperatures are sub zero in winter, but wrap up warm because Christmas in the city is magical. With common sense, Montréal is a safe city both day and night. Should problems arise, the emergency number is 911. The currency in Montréal is the Canadian dollar (CAD). ATMs are widely available and a tip of 15% is the norm for restaurant staff and taxi drivers.
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Where to stay in Montreal
The locals in Montréal are proud of their European heritage. This spills over into the architecture and furnishings of many hotels, which evoke the finest accommodation in Paris. In some cases, they may even eclipse their European cousins, with a cluster of gorgeous old hotels in Old Montreal for visitors to explore.
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From Canada you have the options to fly from Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to Montréal.
Flights to Montreal
Looking for great deals for flights to Montréal? BudgetAir Canada offers you the best fares and an unparalleled booking experience. Book from your laptop, tablet or smartphone and be assured of the best deals and a easy booking process. Did you know you can save some money by traveling on different days or fly from other airports? Use the filters on the search result page to find the best deals.
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