Whether you are planning to stay just for the day, or for longer, through this guide, we will cover the following topics in order to help you have a much smoother experience in our beloved city. This guide was put together with the help of locals.
- Park layout
- Areas to avoid
- Network Reception
- What to pack
- What else to do while you’re in Montreal
- Tips and tricks
Some ‘good to know’ facts about Montreal
- It is an island with multiple points of entry, so do not worry if you are flying in. There even is a shuttle that can take you downtown Montreal from the YUL Airport;
- Yes, Montreal is technically in a French province in Canada, but most, if not all citizens speak very good English, no need to worry about that;
- Poutine is something you MUST try while you’re in Montreal. It is a classic in Quebec, Canada. Fries, Gravy, and REAL cheese curds! Any place will offer great poutine, just don’t go for franchises like McDonald, A&W, etc.;
- Public Transportation is provided by the STM (Services de Transport de Montréal).;
- Montreal generally is a very safe city. You should not be worried about pickpockets or muggers. Of course, we recommend caution at all times nonetheless;
- Air Transit Discount – Air Canada is pleased to offer Trainers attending Pokémon GO Safari Zone Montréal exclusive discounts on flights to and from Montréal. To book, head over to Air Canada and use code CG9YFJ61.
- $1 USD = $1.33 CAD, so it is really to your advantage to come!
From the airport
If you are flying into Montreal, getting to the downtown Montreal (i.e. just a couple minutes away from the venue, and basically where all the hotels we recommend are), simply take ‘747 P-E-Trudeau Airport/Downtown – 204 – 209‘ towards Terminus Berri-UQAM . It is a bus shuttle that is available 24/7. For 24 hours access to public transportation in Montreal (bus and subway/métro), the cost is $10 CAD, and for 72 hours, the cost is $19.50 CAD.
Click here for more information as to how you can purchase your access pass for public transportation.
Transportation around the city and to the venue
First and foremost, it is important to note that there will be the Oasis Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon taking place on September 21-22, expecting over 10,000 runners, which means some detours and road closures are to be expected. Make sure to plan your travels according to the courses’ maps here.
Therefore, we very strongly recommend that you do NOT rent a car consideration that Montreal is consistently undergoing renovations, which makes it famous for its many detours. Moving around in Montreal is extremely easy using public transportation, BIXI (bike renting system) or simply by walking. Uber is also an option, but not the cheapest by any mean.
BIXI is our top recommendation. For only $15 CAD you get rent a bike for the entire three days, or as low as $5.25 CAD for a single day. There are five stations where you can leave the bike at the venue, and many more on the island. Click here for more information as to how to rent a BIXI.
Uber JUMP, electric bike rental system, also is a great option, perhaps even simpler as rented bikes can simply be dropped off anywhere, as long as it is within the service area, which the venue is part of. It only costs $.30 CAD per minute, and you are charged directly through your Uber app. Click here for more details about Uber JUMP’s bike rental system in Montreal.
Renting a bike to go to the Safari Zone venue is a great option, perhaps a bit more adventurous, but certainly accessible to anyone. The venue has five BIXI drop-off locations as indicated by the green dots on the map below, and for Uber JUMP, bikes can be dropped off anywhere (ish). If you do use BIXI, make sure to have a backpack that can carry all your gear!
Using the public transportation to get to the venue is also easy. The yellow subway/métro line has a stop at the venue.
- Click hereto easily plan your travels in the city depending on where you will be staying;
- Click herefor rates;
- Click herefor a map of the métro routes.
Niantic also included hotel discounts with over 10 selected hotels. Click here to see the full list and how to apply the discounts.
There aren’t any hotels on the small islands where event is being held, but there are many many options ranging between $200-500 CAD per night on the Montreal island. We recommend finding a hotel in one of the two following neighborhoods:
- Gay Village;
- Ville-Marie (our personal favorite, and closer to the venue).
Airbnb offers much more affordable options, and it’s always great to book something through a local who can offer some tips on what else to do around the city. Prices vary from $50-200 CAD per night, which is much more affordable and often convenient that hotels.
What you absolutely do NOT want to miss out on are the followings:
- Maple Syrup delicacies
- Maple Syrup itself
- Maple Syrup candies
In terms of restaurants, Montreal is a place where there are so many that recommending any wouldn’t do justice to the other restaurants. You will find various restaurants near the Montreal Old Port, which will have some cheaper options as well. A few recommendations from locals include:
- Schwartz’s Deli (Best Smoked Meat in Montreal)
- La Banquise (One of the best Poutine in Montreal)
- Beauty’s Luncheonette (Excellent brunch place, but lines are to be expected)
- Ma Poule Mouillée (Cheap Portuguese style chicken)
- Wilensky’s Light Lunch (Go back in time and grab yourself a tasty baloney sandwich)
- Pho Tay Ho (For some amazing Pho)
- Taco Trunp (Great spot for some delicious tacos)
- Pâtisserie Kouign Amann (Stop there for tasty croissants)
- Boulangerie Guillaume (Locals’ favorite bakery)
If you are interested in a larger selection of restaurants, either cheaper or fancier options, you will certainly want to go to the Plateau. The Plateau is not that far from the venue, but it does involve either using public transportation or walking a bit. People should NOT be scared to venture off to the Plateau, it is certainly worth the while!
For more tips on Restaurants, we strongly recommend that you check out either:
Or to ask some of the locals at the venue. They are sure to be able to recommend something that fits your budget and tastes!
If you end up renting a car, which as stated above, we do not recommend, you can certainly park at your hotel or Airbnb. Otherwise, you can also decide to park at the venu, Parc Jean-Drapeau. Rates vary up to $35 CAD per day, more information here.
More to come when Niantic announces more details.
Areas to Avoid
Montreal is usually a very safe place to be in. Canadians are often to nice, so in terms of areas to avoid, use your best judgement. Do not go into dark alleys at night, and make sure to always be with someone.
Network reception around the venue is reported by locals to be strong and reliable, as it is around Montreal in general. If you are looking to purchase a prepaid SIM card for the duration of your stay, we recommend looking into Rogers/Bell/Telus, or Videotron (for a cheaper option, which uses Rogers’ network).
What to Pack
In Montreal, in September, it should be around 55/70 Farenheit (around 13-21 Celcius) and potentially rainy. There are always possibilities of storms but for the most part, the weather should be partly cloudy. Here’s what you should pack!
- Pants with a short sleeves top with a sweater or jacket (our recommendation);
- A small umbrella OR poncho OR light rain jacket;
- A light jacket for the cooler nights;
- Shoes suitable for walking;
- Battery Packs and extra chargers (just in case that good ol’ cable dies);
- A hat (time to rock your Pokémon hats!);
- A reusable water bottle (it is VERY easy to refill your bottle around the venue or at the water stations at the venue);
- Sunscreen (no aerosol containers);
- Tissues (just in case);
For more details about what you can or cannot pack, check out the official website here.
What else to do while you’re in Montreal
If you’re looking for something thrilling and exciting, La Ronde is an amusement park with all types of attractions! It is located on the same smaller islands where the Safari Zone is actually taking place. Fun for people of all ages is guaranteed! Plus, it’s a great place for Pokémon hunting!
Montreal Old Port
The Montreal Old Port is full of life and various small activities for people of all ages. The Montreal Old Port is located right across the Safari Zone Venue (on the other side of the St. Lawrence River). Activities at the Montreal Old Port include:
Montreal Science Centre
This place is a whole lot of fun for people of all ages! Kids and adults will find and discover a lot about the things that surround us while having loads of fun! We strongly recommend making a stop there, plus it’s at the Montreal Old Port. More details can be found here.
While not comparable to Europe, Montreal does have its share of historical pieces. A few things you might be interested if you enjoy walking, sight-seeing and hiking include:
- Mount Royal
- Montreal Botanical Garden
- Notre-Dame Basilica
- Plateau Mount Royal
- Olympic Stadium
- Saint Joseph’s Oratory
Tips and Tricks
If you are coming from out of the country, make sure to get a working sim card or plan for Canada. At this time, there is no indication if Niantic will use a particular service provider for the event.
Make sure to connect with the Pokémon GO community of Montréal. They have a very full and active Discord community. This way, you can plan trading ahead of time or even get tips from many locals!
Be sure to check out the official website for more FAQs and general information on the event.