Answers from Our Experts (2)
The Montreal metro system is downright simple compared to other major cities. Sure, it doesn't go everywhere you may want to go, but it will take you to most of the places worth going. It's pretty clean, pretty safe, pretty inexpensive and pretty pleasant. It's even pretty, with stations filled with public installations by major Montreal artists. Just keep it mind that the metro closes at least 2 hours earlier than most bars. So if you're staying out past midnight you'll need an alternate form of transportation.
There are four main metro lines: Orange, green, blue and yellow.
The orange line runs in a U-shape from Cote-Vertu to Montmorency. Vistors will most likely stick to the stops between Villa Maria and Jean-Talon. Use this line to get to the Jean-Talon Market, Old Montreal, St. Henri and Westmount. Switch to the yellow line at Berri-UQAM
The Yellow line takes you to Parc Jean-Drapeau where you'll find La Ronde, the Casino, the Grand Prix track and plenty of Montreal's summer festivals, including Osheaga.
The Green line runs from west to east along the bottom of the island, taking you from Angrgnon to Honoré Beaugrand.Visitors will find the stops between Atwater and Berri-Uqam most useful, running underneath the downtown strip and passing through both Concordia University and McGill, as well as the Université de Quebec a Montreal.
I've lived in Montreal for most of my life and I have to admit to never taking the Blue line, running from west to east, mid-island from Snowdon to Saint Michel. All I can tell you about it is that there's a great deli at the Snowdon stop (the Snowdon Deli) and this is the metro used by students at Université de Montreal. It stops at Parc, but a little higher than the main drag where you'll find shopping and dining.
Visitors can play metro roulette in the square bordered by Snowdon, Jean-Talon, Berri UQAM and Lionel Groulx. Just pick a stop at random and head up into the sunlight to see what's there. I promise you'll find something fun.
Montrealers are very proud of the Montreal Metro network. It is one of the safest and cleanest in the world. The trains are comfortable and not noisy at all because they run on electricity and are set on rubber tires instead of metal wheels, thanks to the rails being entirely indoors and underground.
I often recommend my adventurous guests to try it at least once during their stay just to experience it, even if they are used to taking taxis everywhere, because it is an integral part of the Montreal fabric. It is a link to many parts of the Underground City, a large network of tunnels that connects the downtown shopping malls, office buildings, cultural centers and concert venues.
It is also an economical and efficient way to access some of the major attractions of Montreal that are away from the downtown core, such as the Biodome, Olympic Stadium, Botanical Gardens, Notre-Dame and St-Helene Islands, which are the site of the Montreal Formula One Grand Prix race in June, the Snowfest (Fete des Neiges) and many outdoor activities in the winter and the Casino all year round, just to name a few!
The basic cost of a transfer is $3 for an adult but you can also purchase one day ($10), three days ($18) or weekend ($13) passes. All tickets allow you to transfer from the Metro to the city bus system. As an added value to travelers, note that the 24 hours, 3 days and Weekend passes include access to the #747 shuttle bus to and from the airport!
The arts and architecture buffs should know that the design of each station was done by a different architect and that pieces of art were integrated in most stations, making each Metro station unique and worth discovering.
Many luxury tourists want to see the city they visit as a local and are seeking off-the-beaten-paths experiences; Taking the Montreal Metro is a great way to see how the locals go about the city in their everyday life and making the travel as interesting as the destination.