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Do you need a car when visiting Montreal?

Do you need a car when visiting Montreal?

Old Sep 29th, 2002, 02:16 PM
  #1  
Kathy
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Do you need a car when visiting Montreal?

We are thinking of visiting Montreal in October (soon!). We will probably fly, though we live close enough to drive (in Boston). The old debate -- it takes a little less time to fly but then you don't have a car when you get there. If we fly, I'm wondering if we'll need to rent a car.

Is parking difficult? How is public transportation? I see mention of the metro on several posts.

Any advice and info on transportation would be appreciated.
 
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 02:21 PM
  #2  
kate
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We have driven to Montreal for about 6 years in a row now-we NEVER use the car once we arrive. It goes into the garage and gathers dust until we leave.
Last fall we did take it out one day to drive to Mt Tremblant.
They have plenty of city traffic, coming from NYC, we are used to that, but why do it on holiday? Metro is sooo easy to use, and we walk almost everywhere. It is a perfect city to get around in without a car.
This fall, we will be driving up again, and the car will rest for a few days in the garage
 
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 02:55 PM
  #3  
Gavin
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You certainly don't NEED a car in Montreal. I have used it to get to some slightly out of the way spots when there but it is not esential and I did not miss having a car on our last trip when we took the train for a change. The Metro is great but don't turn your nose up at the busses. Pick up a system map at a Metro station so you know where the busses go.
 
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 03:59 PM
  #4  
Donna
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We drive to Montreal several times a year. It's a scenic drive, especially I-89 in Vermont. Our favorite route is via the Plattsburgh ferry. We almost never use the car while in Montreal. Overnight parking in the hotel garage is only $10 (Canadian!). We walk, use the metro, and once in a while take a bus. Taxis are plentiful and very reasonable. Customs is much more of a hassle when flying, as is the GST refund. By the time you get to the airport hours early, pay to park, and drag your luggage all over, well, we just prefer driving (with the car, you can take all you like for the variable weather). But, if you fly, you will definitely not need to rent a car.
 
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 05:43 PM
  #5  
Dee
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We usually drive from Rochester, NY to Montreal. And we seldom use the car. However, with the airport hassle we are driving anywhere that takes 6 hours or less rather than fly. Public transportation is easy to use and convenient. We just returned from Montreal and purchased an all day transportation pass good on the bus as well as the metro for $7.00 CD. Of course there are charges for parking, but we like having the choice of car versus public transportation
 
Old Sep 30th, 2002, 02:15 PM
  #6  
JD
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You absolutely don't need a car in Montreal, but you might find yourself using it if you have one. Count on parking at your hotel (average $20 per night, CDN $ of course).On my past trips, I haven't had much trouble finding metered street parking except Friday and Saturday nights in the Old Port area--won't be trying that again! If you do find metered parking, make sure your French (even H.S. French) is up to par or check a guidebook. Every street seemed to have 2 or 3 diffrent signs with regulations for different parts of the block. There are also blocks that have days and times that only residents can park there. As I said, as long as you're diligent (and get your days of the week correct) you can find parking. But, as everyone here mentioned, the Metro is fast, clean efficient--it's just nice to know you can choose.

If you're going for more than a weekend, the driving time will probably seem worth it since by the time you get to and from the airports, etc, you'll probably spend 5 hours each way anyway. The cost factor probably comes into play too, no? On such short notice, airfares are likely to be quite high. And gas is still pretty cheap in the U.S....
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #7  
Kathy
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Thanks for all the info!

We'll be driving. I'm expecting it to take 6-7 hours from Boston to Montreal, and looking forward to the colors of turning leaves in Vermont and NH.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 08:24 AM
  #8  
Louis
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I make the Boston-Montreal drive regularly. The nicest route is via I-93, I-91, A-55 and A-10. Plus, the border crossing at Derby Line VT/Stanstead QC is always much less busy. Takes me 5 hours.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 10:30 AM
  #9  
njgirl
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It is only 6 hours from Northern NJ! I hope you make it in less than that from Boston.
Have a great time!
 
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