Where to stay in Montreal without a car: 6 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Montreal and help you find the best places to stay in Montreal without a car

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Montreal without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Montreal and suggest the best hotels in Montreal for all budgets.

Montreal is the largest city in Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada, after Toronto. It is located on the Island of Montreal, which is at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. Montreal is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant arts scene.

Montreal is often described as a bilingual city, with both French and English as official languages. French is the predominant language, and it is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris.

The city boasts many iconic landmarks, including Old Montreal, the historic district with cobblestone streets and historic buildings; Mount Royal, a small mountain and park that provides panoramic views of the city; and the Notre-Dame Basilica, a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture.

Montreal is a vibrant and walkable city, so it’s entirely possible to explore it without a car. In fact, the best way to get around the city is on foot and by using public transportation. 

The Montreal Metro is a fast and efficient way to travel within the city. It has four lines that cover most of the city’s main areas. You can purchase single tickets or use an Opus card for multiple trips. The Metro operates from approximately 5:30 AM to 1:00 AM.

The city has an extensive bus network that complements the Metro system. Buses operate 24 hours a day, and night buses run when the Metro is closed.

To get from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Downtown Montreal, you can take  the 747 Express Bus, Taxi, or hotel’s shuttle services.

You can also explore the city on bicycle. Montreal is a bike-friendly city with dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing services. You can rent a BIXI bike and explore the city at your own pace. 

Montreal is a pedestrian-friendly city, and many neighborhoods, especially downtown, are best explored on foot. In the winter, you can get around downtown through the Underground City.

You can easily hail a taxi or use ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to get around the city. Taxis are readily available at designated stands, and ridesharing apps are widely used.

The city is well-connected by train, and you can use VIA Rail or Amtrak to travel to other cities in Canada and the United States.

If you want to visit nearby islands or enjoy a scenic cruise, consider taking a ferry. The Société des traversiers du Québec operates several ferry routes in the region.

Where to stay in Montreal without a car?

The best areas to stay in Montreal without a car are Old Montreal, Downtown, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mile End, The Village, and Quartier des Spectacles. These areas are very walkable and well-connected to the metro, so you’ll have easy access to attractions and amenities without a car. 

Old Montreal is known for its historic charm, cobblestone streets, and European feel. It’s a great choice if you want to be in the heart of the city’s history and culture. 

Downtown is the city’s central business district and offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and shopping options. It’s also a transportation hub with easy access to the metro system and buses, making it a convenient place to stay.

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal is a trendy and artistic neighborhood known for its unique boutiques, cafes, and artistic vibe. Great base for family. Mile End is known for its music, arts, and food scene.

The Village, also known as the Gay Village, is a vibrant and lively neighborhood with plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s a fun place to stay if you want to experience Montreal’s nightlife.

Quartier des Spectacles is known for its cultural events and festivals. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to entertainment venues and the arts scene.

During my trip to Montreal, I stayed in the Old Montreal area at the Hotel Place D’Armes, a great 4-star hotel conveniently located close to major sights, easy access to the metro, restaurants, and shops. It has family rooms and a great breakfast.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Montreal for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Montreal without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Montreal without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Montreal, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Montreal have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Best areas to stay in Montreal without a car:

1. Old Montreal

Old Montreal, also known as Vieux-Montréal in French, is one of the most popular areas to stay in Montreal, especially for first-timers and car-free travelers. It is a very walkable neighborhood, and many of its historic sites, museums, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance. 

Old Montreal is the historic district of the city and is one of North America’s oldest urban areas, with a rich history that dates back to the 17th century when it was established as a French fur trading post by Samuel de Champlain. 

The area is home to some of Montreal’s top cultural attractions, such as the Notre-Dame Basilica, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the Old Port of Montreal, Château Ramezay, a former governor’s residence, and the Old Custom House (Vieux bureau de poste).

Notre-Dame Basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in Old Montreal. Its interior is adorned with intricate woodwork and a grand organ.

The Old Port, or Vieux-Port de Montréal, is a waterfront area that has been revitalized and now features recreational activities, parks, and various events. It’s a great place for walking, biking, or taking a boat tour along the St. Lawrence River.

Place Jacques-Cartier is a lively public square surrounded by restaurants, shops, and outdoor cafes. It’s a popular spot for street performers and a central gathering place for visitors and locals.

History buffs can visit museums such as the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History and the Montreal Science Centre.

You’ll find numerous restaurants, cafes, and boutiques in Old Montreal. It’s a hub for dining and shopping, with a wide range of options to suit various tastes and budgets.

Best places to stay in Old Montreal without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Place D’Armes, great 4-star hotel located in the heart of Old Montreal, within walking distance to numerous attractions including Notre Dame cathedral, the river, and Place d’Armes metro to easily explore other parts of the city . It also has private parking for those who drive, as well as family rooms, and Good breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): InterContinental Montreal, an IHG Hotel, great 4-star hotel connected to the Montreal Convention Centre, a short walk from Old Montreal and the Central Station Montreal. Easy access The underground city, Old Port, Bell Centre, and St. Catherine Street.
  • Budget ($): Le Petit Hotel St Paul by Gray Collection, great 3-star hotel located one block from Notre-Dame Basilica, right in the historic old port and close to the metro.

2. Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal is a convenient and lively location for car-free travelers who want to be in the heart of the city’s business, entertainment, and shopping district. 

Downtown Montreal is highly accessible by the metro and buses. It is home to the city’s major transportation hub, Gare Centrale, making it easy to explore the rest of the city and beyond.

Downtown Montreal is home to numerous shops and boutiques, especially along Rue Sainte-Catherine, which is one of the city’s main shopping streets. The Underground City (La Ville Souterraine) is a vast network of interconnected shopping malls and corridors, providing shelter from winter weather.

Many of Montreal’s cultural institutions and museums are located in or near downtown, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, McCord Museum, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the Place des Arts.

Downtown Montreal is a hub for entertainment, with theaters, concert venues, and nightlife options. The Quartier des Spectacles, known for hosting numerous festivals and events, is adjacent to downtown.

If you’re in Montreal for business, downtown is the city’s primary business district, making it convenient for corporate travelers.

Although it’s a bustling urban area, you’ll find green spaces like Mount Royal Park not too far from downtown, offering a natural escape.

Best places to stay in Downtown Montreal without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hôtel Birks Montréal, great 5-star hotel in central Montreal, within walking distance from Eaton Centre Montreal and Museum of Contemporary Art. Numerous metro stations nearby such as McGill, Peel, Gare Centrale, and Square Victoria-OACI.
  • Mid-range ($$): Le Square Phillips Hôtel & Suites, 4-star hotel, centrally located in Downtown Montreal, easy access to major sights as well as public transportations such as the Metro, Airport bus, and 5 minute walk from the VIA Rail train station.
  • Budget ($): L’Appartement Hôtel, 3-star accommodation, located within walking distance from  McGill Subway Station, McGill University and Place des Arts, and 25 mins walk from Mont-Royal Park. It has a rooftop sundeck, indoor rooftop pool, 24-hour front desk, and Good breakfast.

3. Le Plateau-Mont-Royal

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal is a trendy and artistic neighborhood in Montreal that offers a quieter and more local atmosphere with plenty of restaurants and shops, and easy access to metro and bus.

The area is filled with unique boutiques, independent shops, and charming cafes. Exploring the neighborhood on foot is a delight, as you’ll discover street art and colorful houses.

Le Plateau is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants offering international cuisine, local specialties, and trendy brunch spots. The neighborhood is known for its bagel shops and poutine joints.

You’ll find several parks and green spaces, including Parc La Fontaine, which is a great place for picnics and outdoor relaxation. The neighborhood’s layout promotes outdoor activities and leisurely strolls.

Best places to stay in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Kutuma, great 4-star hotel located within walking distance from Sherbrooke Metro Station and the shopping of Ste-Catherine Street. Lots of restaurants, shops and parks nearby.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sonder Le Guerin, this accommodation located in a quiet location, close to lots of great restaurants and shops, a short walk from Mont Royal Metro station for easy access to other parts of the city.
  • Budget ($): Auberge de La Fontaine, 3-star hotel, located in Plateau Mont Royal, within a short walk from shops and restaurants. It offers views of Parc LaFontaine and comfortable bedrooms.

4. Mile End

Mile End is a vibrant neighborhood located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal. It’s known for its unique and diverse character, with a rich history and a thriving arts and cultural scene. 

The neighborhood is famous for its cafés, bakeries, and restaurants. You can find a wide range of cuisines, from traditional Jewish delis to trendy brunch spots. Fairmount Bagel and St-Viateur Bagel are two iconic places for Montreal bagels.

Mile End has a vibrant music scene, with numerous venues hosting live music performances, including indie bands and local artists.

You can enjoy green spaces like Parc Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier and Parc Outremont, which provide opportunities for picnics and outdoor activities.

Best places to stay in Montreal in Mile End without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): François-Denis Apartments, 4-star good value for money accommodation, within walking distance from lots of restaurants and cafes and two metro stations.
  • Mid-range ($$): Lofts du Parc LaHaie, this accommodation is set in a great location, easy to walk to good restaurants, shops, bakeries, and coffee shops. Also close to the Metro, the Plateau, and Little Italy.
  • Mid-range ($$): Stunning Condos On St Denis, family-friendly good value for money accommodation, located within a short walking distance or a short Metro/bus ride to many places.

5. The Village

The Village (aka the Gay Village) is a vibrant and inclusive neighborhood in Montreal that is known for its lively atmosphere, LGBTQ+ community, and diverse culture. 

The Village is easily accessible by public transportation, particularly the metro. The Beaudry station (on the Green Line) serves as the gateway to The Village. It’s also well-connected by bus routes.

The Village is famous for its nightlife, with a plethora of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. It’s the epicenter of Montreal’s LGBTQ+ scene, and you can find a wide range of LGBTQ+-friendly establishments.

You’ll find numerous shops and boutiques in the neighborhood, particularly on Rue Sainte-Catherine, where you can shop for clothing, accessories, and more.

The Village hosts the Montreal Pride Parade and Divers/Cité. These events are a great way to experience the neighborhood’s inclusive and celebratory spirit.

Best places to stay in Montreal in The Village without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Maison Des Jardins B & B, 4-star good value for money hotel situated in the Gay Village, a short walk from Beaudry Metro Station. Also close to the Latin Quarter and the University of Quebec in Montreal, UQAM.
  • Budget ($): La Loggia Art B&B, 3-star Bed and Breakfast located in the city center of Montreal within a short distance from Berri-Uqam Metro, as well as many restaurants, clubs and shops of The Village. 
  • Budget ($): Bed and Breakfast du Village BBV, 3-star accommodation located in the heart of Montreal’s gay village, easy access to public transportation, restaurants, shops and.

6. Quartier des Spectacles

Quartier des Spectacles is a lively and cultural hub, perfect for those who want to be at the center of Montreal’s arts and entertainment scene.

Quartier des Spectacles is served by several metro stations, including Place des Arts and Saint-Laurent, making it easy to explore the rest of the city. The area is also well-connected by buses.

This neighborhood is home to the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs comedy festival. Depending on the time of year, you might find ongoing performances and exhibitions.

The neighborhood hosts a number of art galleries, making it a great place to explore contemporary and traditional art.

Nearby, you’ll find the Parc Émilie-Gamelin, a lovely urban park with open spaces, gardens, and public art installations.

If you do have a car or plan to rent one, parking can be limited and expensive in this area. Be sure to check with your chosen accommodation for parking options, as some hotels may offer on-site parking. 

Best places to stay in Quartier des Spectacles without a car:

  • Budget ($):  Manoir Sherbrooke, 3-star hotel, short walk from Sherbrooke Metro Station and Place des Arts, close to lots of unique shops, restaurants and cafes on Prince Arthur and Saint-Laurent streets. 
  • Budget ($): Le Relais Lyonnais, 3-star hotel, located in Montreal’s Latin Quarter, 10 mins walk from the Berri-UQAM metro station. Easy access to Le Relais Lyonnais and la Place des Arts.
  • Mid-range ($$): HOTEL10, 4-star pet-friendly boutique hotel in Montreal’s city center, only 2 mins walk from Plateau Mont-Royal, 15 mins walk from Saint-Denis Theatre and Latin Quarter. 

In conclusion, Old Montreal, Downtown, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mile End, The Village, and Latin Quarter are the best places to stay in Montreal without a car. These are the city’s most popular tourist areas, offering easy access to attractions on foot, by public transit, or taxi/Uber.

If you are new to Montreal, you can continue reading this article: Best areas to stay in Montreal for first time. Other articles about Canada include:

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Montreal. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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