Choosing A Hotel in Montreal
Quick Summary of Most Popular Areas
Downtown Montreal: the main business district and home to Saint Catherine Street, the most active commercial and retail area in Canada
Old Montreal: Montreal's most historic area, founded over 360 years ago
Mont Royal: one of Montreal's trendiest neighbourhoods, you'll find an excellent array of fashion boutiques and lounges
Quartier Latin: artistic murals can be seen throughout this area of numerous dining and shopping options along Saint Denis Street
Chinatown Montreal: the place to be when looking for authentic Chinese cuisine in Montreal
Quartier des Spectacles: the hub for cultural events and festivals
Dorval: home of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport
East - Place Versailles Montreal: shopping mall with over 225 stores to browse
Saint Laurent: known as the college town, home to Vanier College and Cegep de Saint-Laurent
Anjou: shopping malls and an industrial park, not the prettiest place but serves a purpose
If you don't have the time or are too cheap to fly to Europe, visiting Montreal is a great European substitute on a budget. Montreal has a unique European character about it that sets it apart from other major Canadian cities (and what the French might call a certain, "Je ne sais quoi"). Of course, if that French was Greek to you, don't worry you can get by with English nearly anywhere you go in Montreal.
Where to Stay in Montreal
One of the most popular areas to stay is Old Montreal, the city's romantic 360+ year historic centre and port area. Attractions in Old Montreal include charming old buildings, shops, galleries, museums, restaurants, and beautiful public spaces. But as typical as this place may seem for some returning visitors, it's definitely worth a stay here if you've never been. If after Old Montreal you're still craving more 'Old World' historic charm and your DeLorean's time-traveling flux capacitor is on the fritz, your next best bet before hopping over the pond is Quebec City - but save that for another trip.
Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles district is a 1 square kilometre culture and entertainment hub, at the core of Montreal's downtown. It encompasses streets like De Maisonneuve, Saint Catherine, and Saint Laurent. There's a lot to see and do in this district in the way of art, music, dining, and clubs. If you're looking for something very central, you won't go wrong finding a hotel in the Quartier des Spectacles district. Fully contained within the Quartier des Spectacles, and centered along lower Saint-Denis Street is Quartier Latin (the Latin Quarter). This artistic area is known for a couple of prominent educational institutions, namely the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and CEGEP de Vieux Montreal, as well as its boutique shops, street cafes, and theatres.
Montreal's Chinatown is also located quite centrally in the downtown district and is a good spot to get a fairly cheap meal and experience a culture within a culture. Although, if you are familiar with Chinatown in Vancouver or Toronto, be prepared to be extremely underwhelmed as Chinatown Montreal is tiny. Still, there are some very decent hotels in Chinatown.
Like a lot of urban areas, Montreal's airport is a fair distance from the downtown core, located 20km from downtown Montreal in a suburb called Dorval. If you're flying in and out of the Montreal area and looking for accommodations close to the airport, you'll want to check out our page of hotels near Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
Got some spare time while in the Montreal area?
If gambling or losing money sounds appealing then it might be worth your while to check out the Montreal Casino, located not too far from Montreal's downtown core. If you have time to venture out of the city, I would highly recommend taking the 2 hour drive to Mont Tremblant, an area famous for some of the best skiing east of British Columbia, and in the summer, its golf and scenic trails. With scenic, winding roads as you get closer to Mont Tremblant, the drive itself is worth the trip. Also, bring whatever money you have left over from your visit to the casino, this place isn't exactly cheap.