June - September
Montréal bursts into color in the summer and holds nothing back. After the long months of cold, Montréalers cast off their multiple layers of clothing and celebrate. It’s an electrifying time to be in the city. Locals lounge on sidewalk café, bar and restaurant terraces soaking up the sun and watching the world walk by. As patios fill and visitors flock into town, the volume goes up on downtown streets. In the summer, city temperatures shoot up to the 80s. Reserve your hotel accommodation a few weeks ahead and book a week in advance for popular restaurants. In July and August expect higher prices and an exuberant atmosphere.
November - March
Don’t be deceived by those towering banks of snow, winter in Montréal can be cozy and romantic, plus there are no lines for attractions and you’ll feel like you have the whole city to yourself. The drawback, obviously, it's that it's cold—really cold. You certainly won’t be rafting or picnicking. Average January high temperatures teeter in the low 20 degrees F, and have plummeted as low as 36 below (be sure to layer up before you head outside). During the less-severe portions of the snowy months—March, April and November—a soothing quiet envelopes the city, people pirouette on polished park ice rinks, and hotels and bars serve hot cider and chocolate chaud by the fireside. Still, the 20 miles of Ville Souteraine underground shopping malls are bright and lively, exploring snow-dusted Old Montréal can be a treat this time of year, and the 95 runs of Mont-Tremblant ski area are less than two hours away.
April - June, October
Late spring and early fall temperatures are pleasantly warm, which means perfect weather for exploring the city without sweltering or freezing. Add to that spring’s palpable feeling of joy (everyone is pretty excited about winter ending) or the copper and crimson of fall foliage, and you’ll understand why we often choose to visit during these pretty seasons. It’s also a quieter time to visit the city—the hordes of tourists are firmly focused on July and August, so you’ll only be sharing the city with the locals and not quite as many of the city’s 17.6 million annual visitors. Hotels are a good bit quieter during these months, but book up to a month in advance in case a convention is on the horizon on your chosen weekend. It’s Montréal, so restaurants are as busy as ever. Night temperatures can get chilly, so pack a light jacket for evening excursions. The brisk weather is wonderful for a wander up St-Laurent to St-Viateur Bagel in search of the perfect bagel; a romantic stroll by the rapids; or a lengthy dinner at a cozy bistro.