So, you’re coming to Montréal for a meeting or convention. Congratulations! We’re confident that you’ll love our city. Why? Because so many travellers continue to visit us, year after year. Additionally, event professionals continue to choose Montréal as their preferred destination for conferences, meetings, and sporting events. For the fifth year in a row, Montréal has topped the Union of International Associations (UIA) annual list of top host cities for international conventions in the Americas. We love that we’re loved.
To help you prepare and to optimize your time on the ground, here’s a handy list of resources.
Before you arrive
- Weather: Montréal is a city of four distinct seasons. While most of the year is pleasant, there are sometimes extreme moments at the height of both summer and winter. Based on when you’re visiting, make sure to pack what you’ll need for the weather. Read more about what to do in each season!
- Language: The ability to speak French isn’t a necessity to feel comfortable in Montréal, but you’ll love the bonus points from locals when you attempt to speak en français. Virtually all Montréal locals are at least bilingual (if not trilingual — or beyond) and you’ll have no trouble finding service in English. Discover these fun French phrases to use in Montréal!
- Currency: American dollars are accepted at some stores, but you’ll need Canadian dollars for most business transactions. Bills start at $5 (the $1 coin with the Loon imprinted on its golden surface is called a Loonie, while the $2 coin is known by its nickname the Twoonie), and each denomination comes in a different colour of the rainbow. Credit cards — such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express — are accepted widely.
- Passports and visas: According to the Government of Canada, everyone needs a passport to enter Canada, and it’s well worth having one for all your travel. Along with a passport, some international travellers may require the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This is a quick and inexpensive online process. Learn more about entry requirements to Canada.
- Mobile phones: Avoid mobile bill surprises by checking roaming fees with your network provider. Once you’re on the ground in Montréal, getting free Wi-Fi is relatively easy. Here’s where to find Wi-Fi in Montréal.
- Customs for exhibitors: When shipping exhibition materials across the border, we’d suggest connecting with a customs broker to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed for smooth sailing.
- Health and safety. According to data by Statistics Canada and the FBI, Greater Montréal ranked No. 1 again for safest city among 20 of the largest metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States.
Choosing the right hotel
While events often link attendees with preferred rates at selected hotels, Montréal’s hotel scene offers a wealth of world-class choices and unforgettably unique accommodations to rest your head. Tourisme Montréal offers a full list — with options to suit any taste.
Things to do around the convention centre
The Palais de congrès is Montréal’s convention centre. It is located in the heart of Montréal, right at the crossroads between the modern high rises of downtown and Old Montréal’s classic beauty.
Nearby eats and drinks
Montréal’s culinary scene is unrivalled in North America. Some of city’s finest restaurants are near the convention centre.
When you need caffeine or retail therapy
Afterwards & downtime
There is no better way to experience a host city than arriving a few days before an event or staying a few days after. Montréal’s character and flair is unlike anywhere else with some unforgettable local “greatest hits.” No trip is complete without making the rounds to these ten must-dos for any first-time visitor. And once your wanderings have built up an appetite, Montréal’s world-famous food culture is ready to please. And don’t forget to nab some uniquely Montréal souvenirs.
A city of neighbourhoods
Montréal is always represented in lists of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods. Now’s your chance to get exploring quartier by quartier and see just what keeps Montrealers so happy to live here. Prefer to see things from the comfort of two wheels? You’ll love the freedom of Montréal’s bike-sharing program, BIXI. Or use one of our verified Montréal guided tours to walk (or wheel) through the city, including plenty of options for food tours.
Read this next: Unforgettable team building activities in Montréal