European inspired, multicultural destination, & affordable exchange
The great white North: Montreal is one of the most international cities within Canada and North America. Perfect for students who want to study abroad and experience a new lifestyle, culture, and interesting people. With its very culturally diverse vibe and way of living. Montreal is a very attractive city to students but also travellers from all around the world.
Accommodation in Montréal
In general, Canada is a rather expensive country to live in. Considering the different currency, the exchange rate for the Euro is really good (around 66 cent per dollar). This makes things more affordable for Europeans. If you are looking for a low budget solution, a hostel is always a good option. With multiple hostels downtown ranging from 16-25€ per dorm room per night and more expensive options for private rooms, it is already a great start (Hostelworld.com).
For students looking for a longer solution for their semester abroad, it is possible to contact the university. They provide student accommodation websites like student.com, where rooms range from 620 dollars to around 800-900 dollars per month. Another option for rentals is to always look on Facebook marketplace. Under the real estate or rental section, 2 bedroom apartments can be found for around 1100 dollars per month.
1100 x 0.66 = 726€ divided by 2 people makes it 363€ per month.
For additional information, here are some helpful websites to find the best solution for you
Montréal’s Food and Entertainment
Montreal is well known for its international influenced culture and events. Imagine this as a small city tour to experience Montreal perfectly: Start in the “Quartier international de Montreal” where Downtown is easily accessible with several shops and cafés. From there, within walking distance, the Montréal underground city can be found. All of its malls and interconnected buildings not having an entrance fee makes this attraction a very low-cost activity. The Underground city is a series of interconnected shopping centers, hotels, and office towers. These are all reachable by tunnels underneath the city’s grounds. From the international quarter, the Old port can be reached also within several minutes by foot.
Above: Notre-Dame Basilica de Montréal (Vieux Port)
Above: Street art statue in Ville-Marie, Montréal
The old port offers a variety of cultural attractions such as the cirque du soleil. Thats the open market directly at the water that sells handmade jewelry, clothes, and other souvenirs at an affordable price. A must-view when being in the area of the old port is the Notre-Dame basilica de Montreal. It is an impressive, European inspired church and one of the city’s biggest attractions.
The entrance fee is below 10$ Canadian which makes it a fair price even for students. To round it all off, you can rent a local city bike for not more than 3$ to drive to the botanical garden. It is especially beautiful during spring and summer. From there, you can get bagels or poutine, two of the most popular Montréal based food options. You can choose either from Ville-Marie or Park la Fontaine.
As a recommendation for a day hike, it is a must to hike up the “Mount Royal”, the mountain and name giver of the city. Visit the observatory on top which gives an almost 360° view of downtown. With a small coffee shop, it is also possible to get a snack or coffee and at the end of the day make your way down again. If you’ve reached the bottom, every second Friday of the month there is a little festival located in the park with people making music everywhere, dancing, or doing some sort of creative activity.
The legal age in the province of Quebec is 18, which makes it rather special compared to the rest of Canada. Out of the existing 13 provinces, only three (Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec) provinces have the 18+ age limit. For the rest of Canada, the legal age is 19. This makes it especially for US citizens or students interesting as bars and clubs can be accessed from an earlier age on. The nightlife in Montreal in general is very diverse and international with many different types of music playing and dances being present
Transportation across Montréal
Transportation in Montreal is fairly easy compared to the rest of Canada. When staying closer to downtown, almost everything is in walking distance, which is really a zero-cost factor. Since walking is not always an option for everyone, it is possible to rent city bikes all over the city for a very cheap hourly price. Another option would be the Montreal Metro. With a very good public transportation system, Metro and Bus are always accessible from almost everywhere with rather low fares per ride. If you are staying in a more rural area, Uber and Lyft offer shared car rides or single car rides which are not that expensive either and very practical if the Metro is not in close distance.
If longer distance travel is necessary, Canada is sometimes difficult to get around in. One option is to take the VIA rail train which connects Montreal, Quebec, and Toronto, and some east coast cities in the neighbouring provinces like Moncton or Fredericton. Also, there are multiple car rental services in the city, the only con to that is the need of a valid driver’s license and for students under the age of 21, the prices per day can get really high.