Practical Information in Montreal

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Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and the second largest French speaking city in the world, only after Paris. The mixture of English and French speaking cultures, combined with the influx of African and South American immigrants, has created an eclectic atmosphere in the rich cultural setting that is the city of Montreal. Here are a couple of practical tips during your visit to Montreal.

Language


It's important to understand that the French used in Canada is different from the French used in France. Even if you're fluent in French, don't be surprised to hear unusual phrases or slang! The province of Quebec and its capital city, Montreal, have developed its own style of French throughout the years and the citizens of Montreal are very proud of it. A large majority of people are bilingual, however don't take it wrong if a local switches to English after hearing your French. Just keep smiling and be glad that they are willing to help you with directions or tips.

The Best Time To Visit


The best time to visit Montreal is, without a doubt, the summer. During the summer, the city of Montreal is full with cultural and social events, especially festivals. The city's biggest festival is the Just for Laughs comedy festival, gathering so many performing comics that it generates enough TV material for a whole year! Reruns of the Just for Laughs shows are available throughout the year at Canadian TV stations. Other important festivals are the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, the Francofolies (celebrates French speaking cultures), Vues D'Afriques Music Festival and the Montreal Fireworks Festival.

Hockey


Canada's favorite past time is a religion in Montreal. Montreal's official hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, is one of the original six teams of the National Hockey League (NHL) and has a record of 24 Stanley Cup championships. If you have the opportunity of watching a hockey game in Montreal, don't think it twice! It's a "religious" experience during your stay in Montreal!

Public Transportation

The evolution of the city of Montreal, particularly its off island suburbs, has made it very cumbersome to develop its road system. Therefore, traffic is a serious problem in the city. However, this problem has also worked as a mixed blessing because Montreal has been able to develop an extraordinary public transportation system that combines railways, metro lines, and buses. Montreal's metro system has 68 stations, each one designed by a different architect. Also, the metro system is one of the quietest one in the world because its trains run on rubber tires. Talk about a smooth ride! The Montreal public transportation system is so effective that just in 2007, it had about  15.7 million passengers!

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August 19, 2009 change by damiandavilarojas

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