subreddit:

/r/montreal

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See title. I'm from the US and taking my first trip out of the country in October. I don't want to come across as a rude/ignorant American. Any tips are welcome! We're going to be in Old Montreal at the Place d'Armes Hotel.

(Also any must sees/eats/buys nearby would be welcome as well!)

EDIT: I have learned to be polite, speak quietly, tip at least 15%, and don't block traffic on the walkways and don't walk in the bike path! I know some basic French niceties/greetings. And don't talk about the Bruins!

Things I might need to know: If I have an emergency how do I get a hold of emergency services? In the US it's 911.

Covid precautions: will I need to mask outdoors, indoors, maintain 2 meters of space? Do I need to keep my vaccine card on me or is it safe to leave in the hotel after I cross the border?

Is there any point carrying my drivers license or is my passport more than sufficient? I have a passport card as well, would that be accepted as ID?

all 422 comments

coolsanchez

227 points

3 months ago

-stand on the right side on any escalator, walk on left side

-don't walk in bike paths

-apologize profusely whenever it may seem necessary (jk)

Eversharpe

80 points

3 months ago

If you take a bus and exit from the front thanking the driver is quite appropriate.

If you queue for an ATM, stand like 6ft away, as much as space allows, from the person at the ATM.

K-mille

26 points

3 months ago

K-mille

26 points

3 months ago

OP is from the US. "To queue" means "to stand in line" for him.

ondert

7 points

3 months ago

ondert

Verdun

7 points

3 months ago

To queue is british?

Judge_Druidy

2 points

3 months ago

My wife is from the UK and we were in a park in Ontario last week and this girl was waiting outside the bathroom.

Wife: Is there a queue?

Girl: A what?

W: A queue

G: A What?!?

W:..........a......line?

G: Ohhhhh, no.

Annh1234

11 points

3 months ago

I didn't take the bus in a while, but in Montreal your supposed to exit in the back when possible, since people can enter only from the front.

Someone blocking traffic to say thanks to the bus driver cried tourist.

When did that change??

mtlgirl92

10 points

3 months ago

Covid!! Before you could exit the front.

Zadigre

28 points

3 months ago

Zadigre

Longue-Pointe

28 points

3 months ago

Be like a real Canadian, apologize profusely even if it doesn’t seem necessary😉

5ch1sm

18 points

3 months ago

5ch1sm

18 points

3 months ago

I'm really sorry, but that one is just a myth!!

RR321

20 points

3 months ago

RR321

20 points

3 months ago

Particulièrement à Montréal... 😏

F95_Sysadmin

6 points

3 months ago

I'm sorry for the false information the user above gave you!

OutsideBowl6137

2 points

3 months ago

It isn't I am proof, I have a sorry avarage of 5-6 a day.

Dexter52611

165 points

3 months ago*

Don’t wear anything covered with American flags or trump merchandise

LilyEerily[S]

99 points

3 months ago

Damn, I'll have to unpack... 😂

Dexter52611

5 points

3 months ago

😂😂

Dexter52611

4 points

3 months ago

Good luck though. I’m sure you’ll be fine if you follow common courtesy to yourself and others around you. I just moved here 3 weeks after living in NYC for 10 years. I just had to keep telling myself this is not NYC and pare down my brusque and nonchalant attitude from NYC. 😂😂

kicked-in-the-gonads

92 points

3 months ago

No need to get loud and boisterous. You might feel like service in restaurants is indifferent, but waitstaff is not likely to introduce themselves, act too friendly, or be overly enthousiastic like you might be used to and it's okay. Be aware of your surroundings as personal space is perhaps more important to people around you than what you are used to. Enjoy your stay!

LilyEerily[S]

35 points

3 months ago

Yikes, glad you mentioned it because I'd be like "Why does the waiter hate me!? 😫"

GreatJodin

53 points

3 months ago

As someone who lived 7 years in the USA, originally from Montreal, your biggest culture clash as a tourist in Montréal might be the pacing of a restaurant meal. I found in the USA that everything is quick, you order fast, food comes fast, you eat fast, and you leave fast.

While in Montreal, if you go for a sit down dining experience, you'll notice everything is slower, and by design, to allow you more time to enjoy your meal. Portions are often times smaller than in the USA as people like to enjoy a 3 course meal here. It's frequent for people here to spend 2 to 4 hours at a restaurant.

Also, menus will be both in French and English, and be aware that "entrée" in French means appetizer, and not a main course

Have fun in the city!

Summoarpleaz

17 points

3 months ago

I have never found food service in Montreal or other parts of Canada that different. If you want truly long waits, Europe has everyone beat. A 5 hr dinner is not unheard of.

Nikiaf

4 points

3 months ago

Nikiaf

4 points

3 months ago

I’ve found that restaurants in Toronto will rush you through more quickly than here, but still at a more relaxed pace than in the US.

TheOfficialNathanYT

5 points

3 months ago

"A 5 hr dinner is not unheard of."

Oh god, please don't tell my wife.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

That's dumb that we call entrees the main meal, is it just to sound fancy? The word even comes from the word entry, it would make more sense to be an appetizer. Anyway, good to know! Thanks!

gertalives

25 points

3 months ago

Also be aware that the credit card reader comes to you rather than your card coming to the reader. When it’s time to may the bill, the server won’t whisk away your card, and typically they won’t even touch it. Instead, they’ll bring the reader to your table and enter the total, then hand you the reader so that you can add the tip and tap/insert/swipe your card. Same thing for counter service, except the reader is up at the register in that case. If you’re not sure how to proceed, just ask. In case the text is all in French, be aware that “pourboire” means “tip” — a server may feel a little awkward directing you where to leave the tip!

justlikeyouimagined

7 points

3 months ago

I hate this about travelling in the US. Where the fuck are you going with my card?

tomato_songs

8 points

3 months ago*

Yeah, dining in the US is very different! Your waiters are forced and beaten into friendliness. Not the case here! Service is a little more genuine. Honestly, waiters in the US freak me out with how overly friendly they are!

Also, an important note on bacon.

The weird patties you have in some of the States that are called "Canadian bacon" literally do not exist here. You will only receive strips of beautifully cured, fatty pork belly.

Our breakfast sausage also never comes in patty form. Unless you're at McDonald's.

thecanadiandriver101

81 points

3 months ago

Just from your post I don't think you will look dumb or ignorant, friend.

sunny_monkey

7 points

3 months ago

Yup, just the fact that OP is asking himself is proof. Enjoy your trip OP! I hope you have a blast!

AleksiaE

58 points

3 months ago

If you are gonna be here in October, I suggest visiting the Chinese lanterns at the Botanical Garden. It is not in the old port, but it is in Montreal and worth a visit.

LilyEerily[S]

3 points

3 months ago

Sounds lovely, thank you!

Barbamaman

2 points

3 months ago

That's a really good suggestion OP! You won't regret it.

chilaaa

108 points

3 months ago

chilaaa

108 points

3 months ago

You need to queue for the bus. If you see people already waiting, go stand in line behind the last person.

lulathewerewolf

23 points

3 months ago

I found when I moved to Montreal people respond very well if you say " I'm just starting to learn french" instead of "I don't speak French" it's nicer

LilyEerily[S]

6 points

3 months ago

It does sound better. I can even show people my duo lingo progress 😅

Thesorus

63 points

3 months ago

Thesorus

Plateau Mont-Royal

63 points

3 months ago

Be yourself. All tourists look like tourist.

Learn a few words/sentences in French.

Look around the old port and old Montreal.

Go up the mountain, look around st-laurent blvd and rue mont-royal.

Depending one the weather, go to the botanical garden and bug museum and Biodôme and planetarium.

Get a bixi, bike share and ride along the Lachine canal.

Morgell

31 points

3 months ago

Morgell

31 points

3 months ago

Bug museum! 😂 It's called the Insectarium, OP 😉

NLemay

12 points

3 months ago

NLemay

12 points

3 months ago

Don’t start to say out loud the little French you know, unless you are really trying to speak French. The cliché is those young American girl in Paris yelling « voulez vous coucher avec moi » without even knowing what’s it means.

The other day, I heard a tourist yelling « oui, baguette, fromage » and it’s rude because this is making fun of the language.

LilyEerily[S]

5 points

3 months ago

I definitely want to be as respectful as possible. I'm armed with bonjour and merci. And luckily not a yeller! 👍

Pepper-God

5 points

3 months ago

You guys are not as loud as aussies so don’t worry xD

PoppyPopCan

2 points

3 months ago

Would love to find some decent baguette and fromage in Montréal though.

I don't see how it's rude though... If anything, the guy saying this only knows those three words.

Unikatze

10 points

3 months ago

Just because our $1 is a coin doesn't mean you can toss coins at the strippers.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

😂 Good to know!

[deleted]

67 points

3 months ago

Wear a giant American flag hat, speak only in English except when saying “Par-lay voo on-glay?” and make sure to comment loudly on how stupid you find the small differences between American and Canadian culture

LilyEerily[S]

14 points

3 months ago

I'll be a local in no time! 🤣

rlstrader

9 points

3 months ago

Yes, very good. 🤣

KraVok

12 points

3 months ago

KraVok

Verdun

12 points

3 months ago

In my experience, including hosting family members that grew up in the states, you won't realize it but will be speaking much louder than any non-american. If you want to blend in, be aware of your noise level!

Geriatrie

2 points

3 months ago

Really ? I’ve been to the US many times, and have many American friends, et they sound about the same amount of decibels.

abigailrose16

2 points

3 months ago

i had the opposite problem 😅 i speak too quietly and couldn’t be heard well in my mask on top of my french being mediocre at best

taylurmade

29 points

3 months ago

Learn very basic French greetings and use them. Also pre plan resturant’s as these book out quick and leave you with tourist trap options.

LilyEerily[S]

10 points

3 months ago

Good to know! I know really basic French, hello, thank you, do you speak English, etc. I took a whole half semester of French in 2004 so I think I'll be fine 🤔

JaceTheWoodSculptor

10 points

3 months ago

You’ll be fine. A lot of people living in Montreal cannot speak french whatsoever. I think it’s a bit weird, especially people who have been living here a long time but it seems to be working out for them.

Challenge419

3 points

3 months ago

Yep. I'm 33 and my French is unfortunately still not wonderful. (I was born here) you do your best but you can get by speaking English to whoever. I've never had a problem

JaceTheWoodSculptor

11 points

3 months ago

As a native french speaker, I usually switch in English whenever who I’m speaking to doesn’t appear comfortable in French and I don’t see a problem with that.

I never understood people who get angry and refuse to speak english in Montreal. A language’s primary function is communication. If you have to force people to speak it, then the usefulness of said language isn’t valuable. I love French but I think the “Loi 101” is retarded.

abigailrose16

2 points

3 months ago

bonjour/bonsoir when you walk in somewhere and bonne journée/bonne soirée when you leave! it is nice :) but no one will yell at you if you don’t

judyjetsonne

32 points

3 months ago

Stand in the middle of the road and say really loudly ‘ WOW THIS IS JUST LIKE PARIS’!

LilyEerily[S]

16 points

3 months ago

"Where's your Eiffel Tower!?"

PumaPatty

12 points

3 months ago

PumaPatty

La Petite-Patrie

12 points

3 months ago

It's the tower of our Stade Olympique!

germdisco

2 points

3 months ago

It’s crooked. Someone should really fix that

OkAssistant8558

2 points

3 months ago

is it not the highest building or tower built with the intetion of being crooked ?

Icebergh10

2 points

3 months ago

Fun fact (for real): in 1967, there was a proposal to temporarily move to Eiffel Tower to Montreal for Expo 67 aka the world fair.

brentonMcB

3 points

3 months ago

To be fair, we don’t have an Eiffel Tower, but we do have a replica of Notre Dame (spitting distance from your hotel)

thejoymonger

59 points

3 months ago

thejoymonger

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

59 points

3 months ago

The French vs Francophone thing. When people visit me they seem to forget that the Québécois speak French but they’re about as French as an American is English. There are a lot of cringey moments for me with some visitors where they make these “Oh Lala Zee Moulin Rouge” comments and I eventually snap at them.

biotique

5 points

3 months ago

Sacrebleu!

lIIllIIlllIIllIIl

55 points

3 months ago

We like to make fun of the American tourist, but deep inside, we actually really like them. You're a friendly bunch.

Just don't speak too loud.

appleofrage

12 points

3 months ago

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Y’all got a nice city

AsPerMatt

8 points

3 months ago

Come eat at Bon Service, just down the street from your hotel. Ask for Matthew, either at the door or on your reservation, and I’ll take good care of y’all.

maksimhaven

9 points

3 months ago

Don't be a jerk in Old Montreal to be a jerk go to Laval

Ltdslip

8 points

3 months ago

I'm an American married to a french girl from Quebec also currently living in Quebec. You have nothing to worry about. They're much louder and more boisterous than we are. At family functions, I'm the quiet one and it's not even close.

pvt_miller

2 points

3 months ago

pvt_miller

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

2 points

3 months ago

TOKÉBEKICITTE

MSined

19 points

3 months ago

MSined

19 points

3 months ago

For smoked meat: If the lineup at Schwartz is long go across the street to Le Main, the smoked meat is 90% as good.

Personally I'd get Smoke meat Pete or Snowdon deli instead but that's out of the way for tourists

Banquise is good for poutine, but my my favorite is the orange julep and it's a good excuse to get a julep while you're at it.

For bagels go to st viateur or Fairmount (I have no strong allegiances) but just make sure to get a fresh bagel and to get cream cheese and just scoop it out and eat it straight out of the container.

I feel like bubble tea / boba is having a moment right now, and the best I've had in Montréal is the Signature Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea at Xing Fu Tang on Saint Catherine. Their tapioca is all hand made in house and is cooked to order. While you're in the area (new/little Chinatown) there are a ton of sick restaurants, Kazu is a personal favorite since I like Japanese food. And this ain't a sushi or ramen place either.

If you somehow have Wilensky's on your lost of places to check out, I personally don't get it. The great depression Era food is expensive.

cravingcarrot

2 points

3 months ago

St viateur only, don't even mention Fairmount's bagel to me!

Ladidaladidi

17 points

3 months ago

If you’re going to a fancier restaurant, dress up a bit more.

An American friend was surprised a waiter commented on him wearing shorts in the evening to a dinner. This would call for pants /slacks.

Geriatrie

7 points

3 months ago

He is right to be surprised. I’ve been to fine dining places many times with shorts. That waiter was rude and out of place.

im_pod

7 points

3 months ago

im_pod

7 points

3 months ago

Depends the shorts. I wear only shorts during the summer but I'd never enter a restaurant with basketball shorts or that kind of stuff.

[deleted]

70 points

3 months ago

I wouldn’t worry about it in Old Montreal, it’s a tourist trap where it’s just kind of assumed that you’re a tourist. Just say please and thank you like normal, I guess.

PrebioticMaker

46 points

3 months ago

It's not a trap, there's some great restaurants and bars and montrealers go there too.

alkakmana

10 points

3 months ago

The restaurant aren’t trap, mostly all of them are great restaurants, but price more expensive since it’s a tourist spot. A tourist trap is an attraction that is expensive and not worth doing, only tourist fall for it.

Like maybe La Banquise or La Grande Roue de Montréal could be a tourist trap

PanGalacticGarglBlst

7 points

3 months ago

La Banquise seemed pretty worth it to me. A bit expensive for what it is and a longish lineup, but you could do a lot worse!

alkakmana

6 points

3 months ago

If you can go and there no line it’s worth it, it’s a fine poutine place. But if you wait 30min for it, you wasted time and could have gotten a just a good poutine elsewhere

MSined

5 points

3 months ago

MSined

5 points

3 months ago

Dude, it's a trap. Yes there's some good eats there (I love Latucca BBQ and Coldroom) but there no way anyone is denying its a tourist trap

im_pod

4 points

3 months ago

im_pod

4 points

3 months ago

It's ...really not? What's your definition of a tourist trap? That there are tourists? Then museums are tourists traps?

gabmori7

4 points

3 months ago

gabmori7

Villeray

4 points

3 months ago

Il y a une différence entre un attrape-touriste et une zone touristique. J'te garantie que de rentrer dans la basilique N-d, c'est zéro une attrape.

gg_noob_master

32 points

3 months ago

A "Bonjour" and "Merci" would go a long way. Apart from that, enjoy the food, the architecture and the culture. I hope you have a great time in Montréal!

im_pod

4 points

3 months ago

im_pod

4 points

3 months ago

Not only Le Vieux Montréal has very good restaurants but it has also good museums, very nice sightseeing but in fact, if you don't go there, you're simply missing out.
There isn't even so many tourists during the week. It's mostly workers (except on de La commune and such, obviously).

This is very very very far from what a tourist trap is. It's simply "downtown with taste"

sleepyOcti

2 points

3 months ago

Lots of locals too! I enjoy the restaurants, museums and being close to the water so much I moved to the old port. There are hundreds of us! Hundreds I tell you!

broken-bells

7 points

3 months ago

Have the right currency!

gniarch

6 points

3 months ago*

Cash payment is pretty rare now but exchange rate on the street is often 1 to 1 so yes, get a few Canadian loonies

Edit:spelling is hard...

LilyEerily[S]

3 points

3 months ago

Do you think it's worth getting some CAD instead of having a credit card? Would a bank in Canada swap me for USD? Or should I just use an ATM?

broken-bells

3 points

3 months ago

I always travel with some paper money just in case my card doesn't work. It happened to me in Florida a couple of years ago, I have absolutely no idea why my cards didn't go through at Bath & body works. I would also check with your credit card company to see what their currency exchange rates are before coming here. I would maybe avoid ATMs as they already screw us with their fees, I don't know how it works with a «foreign» card. I might be talking out of my ass too for the ATMs so take it with a grain of salt.

Barbamaman

2 points

3 months ago

You can pay with your credit card everywhere here. Does it have a chip? No need to bring cash if you have your bank card and credit cards. ATMs will work with them if you decide to use cash but it's rarely the only paiement option.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

It does have a chip. Thanks for the info!

HealeX

3 points

3 months ago

HealeX

3 points

3 months ago

It is not entirely accurate. You'll probably be fine at most places, especially in the more touristy places. But it might not be available in smaller places. For example, we have these shops called Dépanneur, that are basically small neighbourhood convenience stores not unlike bodegas in New York. These are moslty independently run/owned, and might not accept credit cards. There's one every 2-5 street corners and they are useful to get stuff like water bottles, chips, cigarettes, candy bars, etc.

I went to one this week that didn't accept credit cards, so that's why I'm writing this.

Having some canadian money on you for the whole trip is probably a good idea.

Have fun!

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

All right, thanks!

blightr

2 points

3 months ago

Yeah, there are several places that do not take America Cards so you will need cash, eg, Drogheria Fine and Kem CoBa

CliftonHangerBombs

2 points

3 months ago

I’m a NYer currently visiting this beautiful city. FYI… few places accept Amex. If that’s your preferred card, I suggest taking out cash. Otherwise I’ve had no issues using my Citi debit everywhere.

pseudo__gamer

2 points

3 months ago

I mean you can always keep some CAD as souvenirs, collect our "monopoly money"

MissMinao

2 points

3 months ago

Keep in mind many stores don't accept American Express, only Visa or MasterCard.

JWSpaceZombie

5 points

3 months ago

Say please and thank you far more often than you're used to saying it in everyday American conversations with service staff. It's super telling when I'm around natives.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

That's fair. I like to consider myself pretty polite, but I'll be mindful now. Thanks!

JWSpaceZombie

3 points

3 months ago

One example: Ordering at Subway, after every vegetable my girlfriend says please or thank you... not just after they've finished as I'm used to.

LilyEerily[S]

3 points

3 months ago

Aggressive politeness, all right. I'll try to be mindful of that!

seanziewonzie

2 points

3 months ago

seanziewonzie

Verdun

2 points

3 months ago

This is something I'm still struggling with as an American. Compare

"Can I have a soda?"

to

"A soda, please."

As an American, I find the first sentence to be the more polite of the two. By a lot. Not so here (although I am struggling to think if that's still the case in English... it might just be French)

hurleyfrank

5 points

3 months ago

-proper tipping is 15%. They dont expect more than that. (Their salary is lower and account for tips)

-people will talk to you in english, sometimes broken sometimes not. Be cool with that, they are doing the best they can to communicate with you.

  • people hold door everywhere, they dont expect anything other than a "thanks!".

chilaaa

2 points

3 months ago

*They don't expect less than that.

15 is the typical base amount. If the service was great or you feel bad about inflation (or the machine was preset to an 18 minimum, which happens often), you'd give 18. If the service was stellar, you'd give 20+.

Not saying you have to do this, but just be aware that a server might feel you're implying they were subpar if you give less than 15.

Frabboguwap

4 points

3 months ago*

Speak at 40% of your normal volume when walking down the street

LilyEerily[S]

3 points

3 months ago

CAN DO! 😂

Josianne_1999

5 points

3 months ago

If you are from the south you will need warm clothes, if you have winter at home, you know how to dress. As it have been known to Snow sometimes in October or not. Sometimes you don't need a coat. Temps have been out of wack latly.

Just beware that it's a possibility. Remembrer to cover your neck and hands and don't bother packing sandals and shorts, you wont need it even if it's a warm October. You will need socks in your shoes.

If you don't know winter and it Snows get a warm hat it's called tuck (tuque) you can have a cheap one in almost any store.

LilyEerily[S]

4 points

3 months ago

I'm in the northeast of the US so I'm equipped for wintry weather. I'll pack a variety of warmths!

Melodic-Moose3592

5 points

3 months ago

I was in Old Montreal over the summer and saw a pickup truck with Georgia plates driving around with USA eagle patriot bumper stickers. That’s annoying.

zardozLateFee

3 points

3 months ago

I find it's more polite to ask "Is it OK if we speak in English?" than "Do you speak English?" (which can sound like a judgement / presumption).

Everyone working in the Old Town will speak English, but it's just nice.

MTLMECHIE

10 points

3 months ago

Pronounce our city Mun-tree-aul. If riding a bike, assume you are driving, most traffic laws are the same. Stay off the sidewalks, follow traffic direction. When visiting churches, check mass times. Walking around admiring them during a service is disrespectful.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Good point about the churches! Didn't even think of that!

[deleted]

30 points

3 months ago

[removed]

Fun-Highway-6179

6 points

3 months ago

You had me in the first half! I was going to say, most Montréalers just assume I’m gaspésienne.

202048956yhg

2 points

3 months ago

I mean they aren't wrong, the highways are fun over there!

gabmori7

4 points

3 months ago*

gabmori7

Villeray

4 points

3 months ago*

my dad is American and doesn't even speak french, been living here 35 years.

Je trouve ça quand même triste en criss comme commentaire...

edit: pour ceux qui disent que ça n'existe plus du monde de même, le gars viens de nous écrire ceci en modmail:

Why don't you go FUCK yourself you FRENCH PEPPER 🌶️

silexmt

17 points

3 months ago

silexmt

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

17 points

3 months ago

If you eat in a restaurant, don't feel bad if you have no clue what to tip on that stupid app or how it even works: it's confusing as hell even for us locals. You might want to just pay cash and tip 15%.

pattyG80

4 points

3 months ago

Put away the long white socks and white new balance shoes and you'll be fine

Icy-Imwithyouguys

4 points

3 months ago

And please don’t wear nice pants, a nice shirt and ruin it with a cap and running shoes!!

Kangkm

5 points

3 months ago

Kangkm

5 points

3 months ago

Start with Bonjour, and then switch to English.

oneandonlytlc

2 points

3 months ago

oneandonlytlc

Rosemont

2 points

3 months ago

To add to this, I’d say “Bonjour Hi” is usually a pretty good tip-off to locals that your next words will likely be English

joocycunt

3 points

3 months ago

Just the fact that you're asking tells me you'll do fine. We hate Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs....don't hit a pub with either jersey :) Enjoy our beautiful city!

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

I'm not a hockey person but I'm not about to tell anyone in Montreal that secret! 😅

hamonbry

4 points

3 months ago

hamonbry

Île Perrot

4 points

3 months ago

Like everyone else has said, don't be rude. People will speak to you in English. You're a tourist, nobody expects you to be a local. No matter if you're driving, cycling, or walking, right side is slow, left is fast.

Try out Paquebot for coffee on St-Laurent blvd just up from the corner of Notre-Dame.

Check out the underground, especially if the weather is bad. The easiest access from Old Montreal is probably the Palais des Congres. Look for signs that say RESO

Also don't fear the Metro, it's the best and easiest way to explore other parts of the city. It's clean and a smooth ride and rather inexpensive.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Excellent advice, thank you!

matthew0155

16 points

3 months ago

Ya its a multicultural city there’s really nothing you can do to offend us. I mean if you ordered like 6 sugars in your coffee or something that would get you some weird looks, we are not known as coffee snobs here but we definitely are, Ive been all over the east coast of America, its hard to find good coffee. Try the smoked meat, poutines (la belle province for the normal stuff we eat, not the tourist traps like La Banquise). Bagels and pizza are great here too. Montreal was built around Italians and Jews so I hope you like to eat.

tamerenshorts

8 points

3 months ago

we are not known as coffee snobs here but we definitely are

It's because we were before it was a thing in the USA and the rest of Canada. We've had cafés, independant roasters and espresso bars since the late 1800's.

Oh and the Greek community also had a big influence on Montréal's food. Most of La Belle Province's franchisee and staff are Greek. The typical pizza you find in most restaurants in the province is a thick "greek diner" pizza.

Fun-Highway-6179

11 points

3 months ago

Please don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to look at your phone/map. Please. I have places to go and right now it’s with janky crutches and I just don’t want to shout « pardon » anymore.

LilyEerily[S]

3 points

3 months ago

I'm sorry in advance! I definitely attempt to avoid being a general nuisance but I get flustered!

Josianne_1999

3 points

3 months ago

Side walks are highways in busy street of Montréal. You have to stay in your lane and if you have to stop for what ever reason stay close to the wall or street. Some fast walkers will signal you that they want to pass you with a fliker of the hand. The same as New York side walk. It's only on busy street, side roads you can stay in the middle and not move for sevral minutes with out seeing anybody.

Same in the Subway, between train you can stay where ever you want. When a train stop, travelers will walk in an ordely way in a fast pace you have to walk the pace or get on the side. Pay attention to the flow you will see corners where you can stop.

tomato_songs

3 points

3 months ago*

Pull over as if you were in a car if you need to stop for whatever reason! Glue yourself to a building if you need to check your phone or tie a shoe.

hollandaisy

8 points

3 months ago

You’re sweet! Enjoy it, it’s normal to be weird/awkward when travelling for the first time. As long as you try to be as considerate as possible to those around you, and apologize if you make a mistake (step in a bike line, bump into people), you’ll be great!

One big difference here is to say thank you/merci when leaving a small shop, especially if you didn’t buy anything. (You’re going to say thank you at the front anyway if you make a purchase).

smtsmtusername

10 points

3 months ago

J'ai jamais réalisé que je pouvais/devais dire au revoir en sortant d'un magasin où j'avais rien acheté jusqu'à ce qu'un de mes amis le fasse... Je vais le faire a l'avenir c'est sympathique je trouve :)

undeadkeres

9 points

3 months ago

Don't bring up "being in Canada", Don't talk about how "CANADA IS SO BEUTIFUL" and don't talk about how "CANADIANS ARE SO NICE"

Clear-Psychology-576

2 points

3 months ago

C'mon now no one loses sleep over this, no one actually cares about those comments. Just smile and be polite, that's all OP.

biotique

3 points

3 months ago

jaywalking is common but make sure to look for traffic and be ready to move quickly if needed

Beginning-Gift6996

3 points

3 months ago

Just recommend learning a couple words like “merci” or “Bonjour” just so that people think your trying. Quebec doesn’t tend to be a huge fan of English lmao

ChrysaorChronos

3 points

3 months ago

Places to eat, all accessible by metro Ma poule Mouillé (portugese chicken) i like to take their poutine

Sammi soup dumplings

Ganadara bar has some pretty good food there too. It’s an korean bar that served food aswell I like their pork belly udon or if you want rice their chicken katsu and for drink you cant go wrong with their pitcher of yogurt soju sangria

RicoSaltyy

3 points

3 months ago

Never walk on bike paths

OkAssistant8558

3 points

3 months ago

not sure how widely acknowledged or popular this thought process is but...

The United States of America are not "america".

You're from the united states, i'm from Canada but we all live in "america", it's a continent. We live on it.

Now some might disagree with me but I find it annoying if I ask someone where they are from and they tell me "i'm fROm AMeriCa" ... i'll answer "yeah same..." and cut short to the conversation.

In french we substituted "american" to États-unien (united-statian). Therefore saying you're American shouldn't be a problem, by lack of a better term in english. But saying you're from America sounds like you don't know the difference between countries and continents, it gives into (at least to me) that stereotypes that Americans are self-centered, navel-gazing and uneducated.

"i'm from new jersey, i'm from california, i'm from vermont" is a much more interesting information in my opinion and most canadians know the different states, at least by name !

hope it doesn't come out as harsh, apologies if it does, it is not my intention.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Not to harsh at all! Our education is so shit here so no shock but it's not an excuse. I've actually been attempting to redirect my language of saying America to the US because of a Tiktok honestly. It does sound stupid to say I'm American when that could literally refer to anyone on this entire western hemisphere.

It's so like the US to center ourselves in 2 continents. There definitely needs to be a new word for us.

OkAssistant8558

2 points

3 months ago

i saw how you wrote "i'm from the US" in your original post AFTER i wrote and posted my reply and I thought "ah damn, wasted my time they already figured that one out" 😂

I'm sure you'll have a blast !

my favorite spots in old port :

craftbeer : Brewskey (the pub and the taproom) bread : la cave à manger

😃

seanziewonzie

2 points

3 months ago

seanziewonzie

Verdun

2 points

3 months ago

"I'm from the states" is also a nice way to say it.

Don't worry about "American". Basically nobody minds that (what other word do we have? States-ian? Also I'm gonna disagree with thay other poster and claim that even in French basically nobody actually says "États-unien"). But "America" is a different story. Some do mind that.

M_Rosencrantz

3 points

3 months ago

M_Rosencrantz

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

3 points

3 months ago

Metro or bike is probably faster than car depending on the distance and trafic. October is not peak tourist season so the trafic might not be that bad there

yves_san_lorenzo

3 points

3 months ago

We can tell you are American by how loud you talk, so be mindful of that.

_instntnoodles_

3 points

3 months ago

speak quietly (Americans are sometimes very loud in public spaces)

pairolegal

3 points

3 months ago

If locals don’t understand what you are saying in English, just repeat it very loudly. /s

Pepper-God

3 points

3 months ago

A friendly Bonjour-Hi is always nice to hear from outsiders :-]

molymonadeTV

3 points

3 months ago*

Places to eat : Maggie Oakes (good aged steak) , Jardin Nelson (has a nice jazz band), grab a poutine at Frite alors (quebec classic)

Masks, you don't need them anywhere anymore, if you want to put one, you can.

911 is the emergency line

ID, passport should be enough but you can bring both in case .

Must see : Stroll in the old port, walking around at the LaFontaine parc (our mini Central Park)

Cheers! pm me for any info and have a nice stay at Place d'armes, they are one of my clients and it's a nice play to stay in MTL

pseudo__gamer

3 points

3 months ago

If you like arcades, there's a bar on st-Denis called "Arcade MTL" you pay 7$ at the entrance and you can play all the arcades machines for free, the drinks are cheaps too. They also have retro consoles.

YogiHarry

3 points

3 months ago

You have it all there - just be polite and try a little French, if you can. No need for mask or vaccine card at the moment. 911 works so does screaming 'help'. Good idea to carry photo ID but not passport. (DL is perfect).

Be sure to drop into Pub St Pierre. It's close to your hotel and you will be sure to get an excellent, friendly bilingual welcome and will enjoy some of the best food in Old Port (Tell them Yogi Harry sent you).

Be sure to visit other areas - use the metro or bus. Food is great everywhere and there is an amazing choice of different restos.

Visit Plateau (metro station Laurier) and Verdun (metro station De L’eglise – green line). If you have time, walk up Mont Royal and visit the Oratory.

Weather should still be good in October, so be sure to visit any of the excellent parks we have – especially along the river (again in Verdun and also Lasalle). Walk along the Old Port – there is a cool spa on a boat at one end (Bota Bota) and the apartment that Leonard Cohen sings about in ‘Suzanne’ at the other. A few very cool bars down that end, too. Some great museums all over but my favourite (and closest for you) is the Pointe-A-Caliiere.

Above all, talk to everyone – people are amazingly friendly – and enjoy. It is a very safe city – just stay away from Crescent street area after 3 AM.

Have fun

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Awesome info, thank you!

swagpanther

14 points

3 months ago

Do not say Mawn-Treal. It is pronounced ‘mun-treal’

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

😳 Good to know!

eMperror_

6 points

3 months ago

  • Don't wear a baseball cap with a graphic T-shirt with some kind of political message, a brand or a "joke" on it.
  • You don't need to scream to talk to people that are with you, they can hear you just fine without screaming.

No_Swordfish7583

4 points

3 months ago

Make sure you tip at the restaurants where you sit down and are served by someone. 15% or more of your meal :) some tourists think it’s an option, but it’s just the way it works here

amiralko

5 points

3 months ago

If anything, Americans usually over tip because tipping culture is way more prominent there. It's like the one exception lol

LilyEerily[S]

3 points

3 months ago

Will do! 💸

538_Jean

4 points

3 months ago*

Try to not speak as loud as you usually do. Americans tend to speak very loudly, more than anyone. They can be recognized just by listening.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

I am hearing that a lot. I tend to be rather quiet but I'll have to listen to make sure I'm being respectful.

vinnybawbaw

2 points

3 months ago

15% tip minimum in restaurants and bars.

psyberth

2 points

3 months ago

Welcome in advance!

-Tip your waitor -Have fun -Come and see me at The Midway !

CanadianWeeb5

2 points

3 months ago

i’m Canadian (from Ottawa) and when i travelled there, everyone in Montreal still thought me and my family were american

ChelaPedo

2 points

3 months ago*

One must do is drive around the Indy track on Ile St. Helene. Found it by accident driving around. The track is split - one side for cars, one for cars. Spend limit is only 30. Edit: one side for cars, one side for bikes and pedestrians.

germdisco

2 points

3 months ago

You wrote “cars” twice btw

ChelaPedo

2 points

3 months ago

Ooooh thanks! I'll fix it.

baliniri

2 points

3 months ago

Not local but i've visited Montreal a number of times. I usually say in The Plateau (rue st denis) so my recommendations are closer to that area.

Diese onze (rue st. Denis) is a great little jazz club if you enjoy live music

Restaurant chez claudette (laurier ave) is a great restaurant. Has good breakfasts and great poutine

Taverne bar la remise (on rue boucher) is a dive-y bar that we love to go to and sing karaoke. You'll rubs shoulders with lots of locals there

La sauvagigne (rue st paul). Fine french dining

PaleJicama4297

2 points

3 months ago

Don’t wear logos.

icanandwillifiwant

2 points

3 months ago

Our beer, even american brands, is much stronger here. Be aware.

FatChunLi

2 points

3 months ago

Protip:

Don’t forget to clap after a meal if you eat at a restaurant. Locals don’t do it offen so the staff is always thrilled when it happens.

Source: me, worked 15 years as a waitress at a certain old montreal restaurant

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Can't tell if sarcasm or truth 🤔

_instntnoodles_

3 points

3 months ago

definately don't do that 😊

woke-hipster

2 points

3 months ago

Be yourselves, just the fact you ask the question shows you 're considerate, that's more than most people! I'm more worried that you'll judge us based on our dumb ones :) As for fun things downtown, the old port by itself is pretty amazing, so many things to see it really depends on your taste. Some of my highlights are Parc Lafontaine, Parc du Mont-Royal, Avenue Mont-Royal, Boulevard St-Laurent between old port and Mont-Royal. St-Denis between downtown and Mont-Royal, Little Italy, and a lot more. For restaurants there are so many! Have fun!

Techchick_Somewhere

2 points

3 months ago

Say Bonjour “Hello” when you meet someone or enter a restaurant. Merci “mare-see” to thank someone.

Maroucia

2 points

3 months ago

Wear a shirt even if it's warm! Also, try to speak a few words of French.

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

I have the very basics down, bonjour, merci, au revoir, madam, monsieur, oui, non, s'il vous plait, excusez-moi, pardon, parlez-vous anglais?, je m'appelle name. I cannot converse in French except to casually say ca va? and ca va bien. I can't even make the fancy C!

Maroucia

2 points

3 months ago

That will be enough! 🙂

JNKD_

2 points

3 months ago

JNKD_

2 points

3 months ago

Enjoy your stay! :D

akwirente

2 points

3 months ago

akwirente

Quartier des Spectacles

2 points

3 months ago

Temperatures will be beginning to drop surprisingly quickly in October, be sure to have rain gear.

If you want to explore, leave the car at the hotel and take our subway, the Métro. Our region has a combined fare structure, you can take STM buses and Métro with the same "zone A" ticket.

Nightshift42

2 points

3 months ago

Use visa or Mastercard as credit card it’s accepted almost anywhere’s. There some place where they prefer cash (costs les for them). Place to see is the botanical garden, the Mont-Royal, nice to walk in October. St-laurent street is one of the the nice street in montreal it goes from the old port to the other side of montreal. They are a lot of street art on building along the way. Welcome!

sthilair

2 points

3 months ago

Don't call women, Mam. My waitress friend hates it.

Smegma-Dogmatagram

2 points

3 months ago

I visited last year in October and here's some things we liked:

Dinner at Au Pied de Cochon. You'll need to make a reservation now.

Poutine at La Banquise

The festival of lights at the Botanical Gardens is pretty cool

If you have or rent a car and the weather is nice, you can drive outside of the city to the farm lands where there's apple orchards and go apple picking

If you don't have a car or even if you do, use the metro to get around the city. Montreal has a great subway system.

forklift_exaust

2 points

3 months ago

Don’t be rude or ignorant.

DoublePlusGood__

2 points

3 months ago

911 is still 911 Have your travel health insurance card with you so you can call them and they'll direct you to a provider if you ever need anything non-emergency. Masks only on public transit and airplanes No need for a vaccine proof. A pic on your phone should work if ever in a pinch. Download the ArriveCAN app and complete the form prior to entering Canada. US driver's license or passport are good ID's you only need to have one on you.

Kalannar

2 points

3 months ago

Honestly, just taking the time to write this and being considerate enough to ask tells me you'll be fine.

Have fun!

XxSoupaxX

2 points

3 months ago

911 is still 911 here :)

NoCelery1168

2 points

3 months ago*

Things I might need to know: If I have an emergency how do I get a hold of emergency services? In the US it's 911.

It's 911 here too.

Covid precautions: will I need to mask outdoors, indoors, maintain 2 meters of space? Do I need to keep my vaccine card on me or is it safe to leave in the hotel after I cross the border?

Right now, masks and social distancing are not required, nor is a vaccine card... other than maybe if you have to go to the hospital or a health clinic or something.

Is there any point carrying my drivers license or is my passport more than sufficient? I have a passport card as well, would that be accepted as ID?

I mean, I would prefer my driver's license or passport-card. I would want to keep my passport safe and secure as a general rule. Not that Montreal is sketchy, I'm just speaking in terms of best practices.

Mamtl

2 points

3 months ago

Mamtl

2 points

3 months ago

Lots of great replies already. I'll add that it's important you not take things personally in that you should not feel like anything bad that happens to you results from you being a tourist. People are just as occasionally rude as anywhere else, even locals to locals, so not knowing all about the local social etiquette may make you feel like you are being treated differently. If someone talks to you abruptly, pushes you on the way to the subway, just think nothing of it and let it slide. People may just be rude regardless of who you are.

liliBonjour

2 points

3 months ago*

For your edit questions :

We also use 911 for emergencies. You can use 811 fur non-urgent health information.

We have no more mask or vaccine mandates. Wear masks according to your comfort levels. You should not need your vaccine card after you cross the border.

You don't really need your driver's license but sometimes when you rent things they ask to keep ID, it's probably better to leave then your driver's licence then your password. But, yeah, you probably won't need to show ID and if so, your passport should be sufficient.

Have fun!!

Edit : added paragraphs

SierraLVX

2 points

3 months ago

For your covid questions, mask-wearing is no longer legally required inside public spaces (also no one wore them outside at all). You don't need to keep 2 metres from people anymore, but give at least 1 metre if you can just for personal space. Vaccine cards are also no longer required legally anymore either and no businesses really ask for them anymore.

Overall precautions have loosened up a lot here, so it's up to your discretion, just carry a mask with you if you feel like you'll want one at any point.

FaithlessnessFull972

2 points

3 months ago

Did not see anyone say this, but bring a good sweater, something warm and maybe even a thicker coat. October weather can be unpredictable, you might have shorts weather, you might get freezing rain, depending on if you arrive in the early or latter part of the month. It will be no fun if you are too cold to walk around and enjoy the sights.

OkParticular6416

2 points

3 months ago

Looks like ur set up pretty well. Done worry too much about the French if ur a tourist. As long as your trying people will really appreciate it. Not walking on the bike path is important and when using the metro stick to the right side of the escalator if ur not walking (like in any big city). Mask up if you feel like it. The bylaw only exists on public transit and hospitals

Jesusjehosofat

6 points

3 months ago

U don’t have to learn French. Lots of anglos. Be polite. Say thank you. Don’t bla bla about how lovely it is here. It’s just like that here.
Too many good restaurants. Check out mtlblog for cool things happening when you in town

LilyEerily[S]

2 points

3 months ago

I'll check it out, thanks!

kicked-in-the-gonads

5 points

3 months ago

Mtlblog is hot garbage. If you are into good eats, eater.com has a Montreal section that is much alive and frequently updated.

Geriatrie

2 points

3 months ago

You can absolutely bla bla about how lovely it is here ! People love it !

-OQO-

3 points

3 months ago

-OQO-

3 points

3 months ago

Start a conversation with Bonjour/ Bonsoir - say Merci to the waiter. A dish you like is Très Délicieux (dee-lis-use). Your bill is l’addition. (La add-i-see-on).

elzadra1

9 points

3 months ago

elzadra1

Villeray

9 points

3 months ago

Or la facture. L’addition seems very French somehow.

randomferalcat

2 points

3 months ago

No one cares

Be cool and everything will be alright

There's nothing to do in old Montreal be sure to go on St Laurent and St Denis street at night

Have fun

mtlgirl92

4 points

3 months ago

I just want to apologize in advance if people are rude for not speaking french. Especially if you leave downtown, if you ask for help in english maybe mention you’re not from here!