Photo by Adrianna Calvo/CC0

Turn the Tables: Experience Montreal as a Tourist

Some tourists prefer to experience their destinations just like locals do, which means avoiding the “touristy” places like museums and “selfie-worth” hotspots.

While this makes complete sense, the opposite can be equally exciting—living in a city but exploring it as a visitor.

When you spend most of your life in a particular place, you lose interest in it as a destination because its magical places are always so easy to reach. It’s like with the old saying: “you don’t know what you have until you lose it.” It happens to the place that you call home too. You rarely appreciate all it has to offer until you move away.

Montreal truly has a lot to offer to both visitors and its citizens, and thanks to the Passeport MTL you won’t have to splurge a fortune to visit all of the city’s must-visits.

What is MTL Pass?

If you are a local to Montreal or have moved here for the long-term, it’s likely that you haven’t bothered to check what conveniences the city has to offer for visitors.

The Passeport MTL is a pass that gives holders a 48 or 72-hour unlimited public transportation along with access to 28 attractions around the city and other perks. The red card costs $93 (pre-tax) for a two-day use or $113 (pre-tax) for a three-day use and has a value of $500 according to the issuer.

You can order the pass online or buy it at the point of sale site, the locations of which you can see on the Passeport MTL’s website.

The organization that sits behind the Passeport MTL is Tourisme Montréal —a century-old entity that unites over 900 stakeholders in Quebec’s tourism industry.

Benefits of grabbing an MTL Pass

The Passeport MTL is much more than a travel pass. It gives you access to 28 of Montreal’s top attractions for every taste.

The Bateau-Mouche Cruises at the Old Port of Montréal, canoe-kayaking, and the MTL‌ Zipline are all included in the package. Also included are visits to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, and the Ecomuseum Zoo.

Naturally, you can use the pass to travel to and from your destinations of choice. Using the metro, bus, and airport shuttle bus is all included in the package.

Several locations also offer discounts to Passeport MTL holders. For example, you get 25%‌ off on armbands that film your “trip” on the zip line; the Museum of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal gives a 10% discount on its gift store; with the pass, you can also enjoy a 10% cheaper coffee at the Observatoire Place Ville Marie.

Another exciting offer comes from the Casino de Montreal, which gives a $25 credit for gambling to Passeport MTL holders. If you haven’t already done so, visiting the place is a must with its lush park, great performance shows, and high-end restaurants. The Casino organizes many exciting events like the “Streisand et Sinatra” show that will be performed throughout September and the free Jozzy performance that will happen on September 29. The casino’s current event schedule lists shows all until the beginning of April next year.

Of course, you can also enjoy the casino’s primary purpose and its rich variety of games. The venue features all casino staples, among them blackjack, poker, roulette, slots, and kenno. In fact, the Casino de Montreal is one of the best such venues in Canada and its amenities take up five floors.

The presence of such a colossal casino in Montreal might be surprising at first. That all changes considering that according to reports Quebec is the second highest-earning province after Ontario when it comes to gambling-related revenue. Another curious finding comes from the “Analyzing the Casinos & Gambling Industry in Canada 2018” report by Aruvian Research. According to its conclusion, consumer tastes within the country are shifting towards online casinos, which is consistent with global trends.

Another study on Canada’s preferences, but about travel, was published this year by travel search engine KAYAK. According to the report, Canadians are “more adventurous travellers” than neighbouring US, with Montreal residents being the country’s “sun-seekers” due to a prevalent taste for exotic destinations. Despite that, the KAYAK study made another important finding—”Canadians are also becoming increasingly keen on exploring their own backyard.”

Based on all of this, the Passeport MTL looks like a great deal. With it you get to affordably visit many of Montreal’s great attractions, you can have some fun at the casino, and will probably feel more culturally enriched knowing that you’ve discovered your home before exploring the tropical islands.

Change the Angle

Photo by Mac Mullins/CC0

Montreal regularly makes it to the top spots on lists of the best places to visit and live in. The breathtaking surroundings, vibrant cultural scene, and abundance of attractions are only a few of the reasons why it’s so, but you already now that, right?!

However, every place, despite how great it is, can start to feel a bit too familiar with time for which there is a simple cure—changing your perspective. Whatever it is that is keeping you or has brought you to Montreal, you can always get out of your familiar zone and explore the city from a different angle.

With that in mind, now that virtually everyone has an HQ camera on their phones, you can reinvent the place by looking at it through the camera lens. You’ll be amazed at how many new things you’ll notice once you slow down and treat the familiar streets not as roads but as a canvas.

And if you are set on seeking some exploration outside Montreal, you can check out our this itinerary of Tokyo.