Montreal is a popular destination for all kinds of travelers from all over the world. If you’re planning to visit the first time, there are some things you need to know, including customs and laws that you should be aware of when navigating the city. Be prepared for the revelations you wouldn’t expect to find during your first visit to the vibrant city of Montreal. 

Before we get started, Montreal is a bilingual city where residents and visitors can speak both English and French. So, don’t be surprised. Additionally, you’ll want to check out these resources to make your first-time visit much easier:

  1. Montreal – visitor Information
  2. Globe Car & Truck Rental – car rental Montreal
  3. Get Your Guide – Montreal top attractions
  4. Local Food Tours – Montreal’s #1 Walking Food Tours

Tips for first-time travelers to Montreal (Source: Pixabay

Now, let’s get started with some helpful tips you should know as a first-time visitor:

You Can’t Turn Right on a Red Light

Montreal is one of the only places in Canada where drivers are not permitted to make a right turn on a red light unless it’s clearly indicated to do so. It’s a rule that trips up first-time visitors who’re used to making right turns. It’s a traffic law that is in place to ensure the safety of pedestrians. 

However, turning right when driving on a red light is legal throughout the rest of Quebec. First-time visitors to Montreal who rent cars to explore what the city offers should be aware of this law and familiarize themselves with traffic rules. 

Don’t Miss the Numerous Festivals

Montreal is considered one of the most festive cities in Canada, which is one of the main reasons why people visit it. There are numerous fun and exciting events that happen all-year-round, especially during the warmer months of June to September. A walk through multiple neighborhoods in and around Montreal can leave you thinking there’s a long city-wide festival. 

From open-air market events to impromptu live music sessions on the streets, you can’t miss these events during your first visit. From jazz to poutine, comedy to signature performances, and Avant-garde dance festivals that happen every night of the week, you can’t miss these memorable Montreal festivals and events for everyone. 

Some Seasons Are Way Better Than Others

Yes, we all have our favorite time to travel, but if you’re a first-time traveler in Montreal, you’ll want to visit at a time when you can experience the best of what Montreal has to offer. Winter in Montreal, which is January and February, can make getting around slightly difficult. However, you can still find exciting events even during winter, including the popular outdoor Igloofest EDM concert. 

The warmer months, from June to September, are the best time to visit. During your stay, you can explore Old Montreal offerings, Mount Royal, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal Botanical Garden, Parc Jean Drapeau, and other attractions. You can walk, cycle, take a ride in a boat, or even rent a car to explore Montreal’s outer-city attractions

Public Transport is Great, So Use It

Wherever you want to go across Montreal, you’ll never have to walk more than a few minutes to reach a subway or bus station. There are multiple bus routes and subway lines, all color-coded for easy navigation, even for first-time visitors. Public transport across the city is fast and reliable. A ride costs $3.25, but it’s better to grab a day pass for $10 or a weekly pass for $25.50 if you plan to move around a lot. 

Visiting Montreal for the first time (Source: Pixabay

What matters most is checking the schedules in advance. As a first-time visitor, you don’t want to find yourself confused or delayed. There’s also a bus that runs to the airport every half an hour, in both directions with no stops. A day pass will get you a ride, and the trip takes only 40 minutes. 


When visiting Montreal for the first time, make to plan your daily itinerary so you can experience the best that the city offers. Alternatively, you can decide to go the off-the-beaten-path route and enjoy the random attractions and sightseeing in and around the city. Just make sure to keep in mind these tips and learn more from other first-time visitors.