Montreal is a bilingual city. While most of the population speaks French, downtown everyone speaks English. Oren has been living in Montreal for over 9 years now and does not speak French, so you will be fine.
Can I use US cash in Montreal?
The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (duh). US dollars are generally accepted everywhere. The exchange rate has been 1:1 the past few years. Some places may charge you an exchange rate of 2-5%.
When the exchange rate is close to par it is best not to convert your cash to Canadian. If you did not bring cash, ATM’s will give you the best exchange rate, airports and exchange kiosks close to the border give the worst.
US credit cards and ATM cards work almost everywhere. Most will charge you a small “international exchange rate” (check with your bank). It is also best to inform your bank of your travels so they don’t accidentally put a hold on your card.
Montreal is a walking city. Most of the events we will plan for you will be in walking distance of your hotel. Other events will be a short ($8-15) cab ride away. There is an underground subway (The Metro) which is $3 per trip, but a cab is easier and cheaper if you are not alone.
If you want to explore during the day, try using Bixi, a city-wide bike rental service. There is a stand on almost every corner, and you can rent and return a bike to any of the locations. The city also has plenty of bike lanes downtown if you’re worried about safety.
The legal drinking age in Montreal is 18. If you don’t look 16 you will never get carded.
There is one, government-run, casino in Montreal. The Montreal Casino is located on its own island about 15 min. away from downtown. It is open 24 hours and has all the standard games you would expect to find at any major casino, including Texas hold ‘em. The biggest difference at the Montreal Casino is that they do not offer free alcoholic drinks, nor are you allowed to drink at the tables.
For the real gamblers we are able to book private tables at the high roller lounge. Call for details.
All bars, clubs and strip clubs in Montreal close at 3am.