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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Canada > Quebec > Montreal

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Getting around Montreal

Public transport

Montreal is served by a métro system, an extensive bus network and commuter rail services. Public transport services for Montreal are run by the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) (tel: +1 514 786 4636; www.stm.info). Commuter rail and off-island bus services are co-ordinated by the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (tel: +1 514 287 8726; www.amt.qc.ca).

The Montreal métro is clean and efficient, and consists of four lines, with 10 stations linked to Underground City. The average wait time between trains is eight minutes and three minutes during rush hour. It is integrated with the STM bus routes that crisscross the island.

The métro and buses run approximately 0530-1230 and are supplemented by a limited system of night buses. You can transfer between the métro and bus at no extra cost, using the same magnetised ticket and within 120 minutes. Off-island buses have separate fare structures.

Ideal for tourists are the one-day and three-day fare cards, which provide unlimited use of bus and métro systems, including the 747 airport shuttle. Alternatively, you can load up fares on an OPUS smartcard.

Taxis

Hailing a taxi is never a problem in Montreal and there are obvious taxi ranks dotted about. Tipping is expected. Two recommended taxi companies are Taxi Diamond (tel: +1 514 273 6331) and Taxi Hochelaga (tel: +1 514 322 2121).

Driving

Montreal drivers have a bit of a reputation with the rest of Canada as being somewhat reckless. If you choose to drive, stay alert and don’t be afraid to use your horn. Parking can be pesky and pricey. Metered parking and off-street car parks are both available.

Car hire

In general, drivers must be at least 21 years old and possess a national driving licence, credit card and insurance. An International Driving Permit is not required.

Car hire firms in Montreal include Avis (tel: +1 514 866 2847; www.avis.com), Discount (tel: +1 514 798 7235; www.discountcar.com) and Hertz (tel: +1 514 938 1717; www.hertz.com).

Bicycle hire

Montreal has an extensive network of cycle routes and a popular bike hire scheme known as BIXI (tel: +1 877 820 2453; montreal.bixi.com). Cyclists (residents and tourists alike) can rent a bike for a fixed time from over 600 different bike docks in the city at a small fee between April and November.

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Featured Hotels

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Château Versailles

This Agatha Christie-esque hotel is ideal for anyone looking for a quiet Montreal hotel. Converted from posh townhouses, the interior features antique fixtures, delightful rooms and an overall classy atmosphere. You won’t be able to find a better location, right in the city’s heart and at the base of Mount Royal. Pampered pooches are welcome, as are well-behaved children. In addition to the usual services, the hotel also offers hourly baby-sitting.

Hotel Le Germain

This Montreal hotel has 101 designer rooms. Everything is eye pleasing from the minimalist furniture to the low-lit hallways. If you own an iPad and appreciate nice shoes this trendy hotel should tick your boxes. Rooms are loft style and have superior cotton sheets goose down duvets and – ladies will appreciate this - Aveda bathroom products.

Le Place D’Armes

Listed as a boutique hotel with 135 rooms, visitors often choose this hotel as it has lots of personality with its stylish interior design and Old Montreal location. Brick walls, walk-in rain showers, plush goose down duvets and pillows and contemporary decor make the rooms warm and interesting, plus the 3,000sq ft Rainspa featuring a traditional Middle Eastern hammam.

Le Relais Lyonnais

Clean, great location and with nicely decorated rooms, Le Relais is the perfect base for visitors looking for affordable accommodation. Rooms are simple and comfortable with modern interior design and reception staff are more than happy to hand out maps. The hotel is next to Berri-UQAM Metro station, which is extremely convenient for car-less tourists.

Hotel Quartier des Spectacles

Taking its name from the entertainment district where it's based, Hotel Quartier des Spectacles' exposed brickwork, hardwood floors and simple yet spaciously designed rooms makes it one of the most appealing budget options in the downtown area. Recently renovated, the four-story centennial building currently doesn't offer disabled access.

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Due to reopen in June 2017 following a C$140 million refurbishment project, this Montreal landmark has hosted a fair few celebrities, and was the headquarters of John and Yoko’s famous ‘bed in’. Its central location and métro link up is ideal for disoriented travellers. Services are top of the range with a beauty parlour, health club and indoor pool.