The largest French speaking city outside France, Montréal is however a truly bilingual city. A cosmopolitan meeting place, Montréal will not disappoint visitors and is regarded by many a more fun place than its rival Toronto which lies a 5-6 hours drive west. Rue St. Dennis or rue St. Catherine is the core of tourism and there are plenty attraction within the city limit to fill up the time of a vesting tourist. The winters are however fairly cold and snowy so be prepared for that!

A good visiting combination must include Québec City as the two major French speaking cities of Canada are of a different character than your usual North American town.
Within driving distance from the US, Montréal is filled with festivals attracting a lot of international tourists as well as domestic.
The Montréal dialect of Québécois French is itself a linguistic treasure for French speaking tourists although English is spoken everywhere and there are areas of the city where English has taken over as communication tool.
Visiting Canada without seeing Montréal is like driving a car only through the parking lot!

OVERRATED (Be warned!):
-Montreal has a big traffic problem. The roads are famously poorly maintained and most of the streets in Montreal are one way. Parking is usually a big headache.
-It can get pretty hot in the Summer, up to 40C (105F) and very cold in the Winter with snow and ice removal being regarded by the local authorities a somewhat optional.
-If you only speak school French understanding the local variant of French might be a problem. Minor problem until you get used to it…

UNDERRATED (Cool unknown facts):
-Montreal has arguably more restaurants and bistros than any other city in Canada
-Some restaurants have a “bring your own wine” policy and will only charge you a corking fee ($3-5)
-There are a lot of interesting places to visit in Montreal
-Montreal has kept his old town style of architecture with relatively fewer skyscrapers than most of the North American cities.
-Night life is alive especially in the Old Town area.
-Hotels are of good quality and not expensive.
-The downtown indoor pathway which can keep you out of the weather’s harm in any season.

Go ahead and let us know your opinions about visiting Montréal and what do you think it’s overrated there!

Reader Rating769 Votes
  1. It’s great how you can still get around and enjoy yourself in Montreal with zero French. Beautiful city, lots to do, lots to see!

  2. I love Montreal. Probably the liveliest city in Canada. Parking and driving are indeed a problem but it seems it’s getting better.

  3. La Quebecoise it’s something else than the French we speak in France. Montreal is a very nice town. The underground gallery with shops is interesting.

  4. Oratoire St.Joseph is something I recommend visiting. And of course the mountain mont royal. Stunning views of the whole city and the st Lawrence river.

  5. Montreal is a nightmare for driving and parking is very hard to find. Some parts of the city are French speaking some are English. Don’t visit in the wintertime as snow removal consists mainly in pushing the snow aside making even more challenging to park a car.

  6. While Montreal must on anyone’s list if visiting Canada, I found it’s European “flavor” to be little overated. It’s definitely more “Europe-centric” than other cities in North America, but not close enough in my opinion.

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