Looking for the best time to visit Montreal, Canada? I'll take you through weather, events, crowd levels, and prices for each month and season.
Montreal is becoming quite the tourist destination. The restaurant scene has an international reputation, the list of festivals throughout the year is one of the longest you will find, and the diversity in neighborhoods to explore will keep visitors busy for days on end.
If you’re thinking of visiting Canada’s second largest city, continue reading to discover the BEST time to visit Montreal. I’ll take you through the best months for weather, hotel prices, festivals, and more to make sure you visit at the right time.
Short and Sweet: the best time to visit Montreal is early summer and early fall
June and July are the best months to visit Montreal in summer. August starts to get pretty hot and the chance of rain increases this month.
September and early October are beautiful with the colorful fall foliage and crisp temperatures.
November will sometimes bring freezing rain and snow and the leaves are usually gone by then, leaving a cold dreary display.
Montreal in Summer: June - August
Summer is the best time to visit Montreal for lively patios, ideal (sometimes warm) sightseeing weather, and a calendar full of events
Summer is the best time to visit Montreal, Canada if you want warm weather to explore the city by foot or bike. This is also the time of year with the most festivals if you’d like to partake in the lively events and party atmosphere.
Enjoy free music shows at the world’s largest jazz fest, watch mind-blowing acrobatics during the Montreal CiRQUE Festival, laugh so hard you cry at the Just for Laughs festival, and watch jaw-dropping firework displays during L'International des Feux Loto-Québec!
The list goes on and on and makes for a season of non-stop fun and excitement.
Montreal in summer typically sees nice sightseeing weather with highs in the upper 70s and lows in the high 50s. It can get humid, so prepare for it to feel warmer than it actually is.
Make sure you always have an umbrella on you if you visit Montreal in summer. August brings the highest chance of rain. It usually comes in short bursts, so it's not a big deal as long as you're prepared.
Even though Montreal can get quite warm (and sometimes humid) in the summer, it's still a popular escape for those who live in really hot summer climates, like myself being from Texas. Expect higher crowd levels and hotel prices.
I usually try to visit cities during shoulder season so I can find a lower hotel rate. Montreal is one city where I throw that practice out the window. I will forgo a lower than average hotel rate in favor of sunny and warm weather.
One of my favorite things about Montreal in summer is taking advantage of the cheap city bikes, aka BIXI bikes, and riding all over the city. If you don’t mind a 15-20 minute bike ride, you can get to pretty much anywhere worth visiting.
Take a summer bike ride along the Lachine Canal all the way to the Saint Henri and Little Burgundy neighborhoods. The ride takes you away from the bustle of city life and offers great views of Montreal.
These two neighborhoods have a residential feel and a lot of great cafes and restaurants. If you like markets, Atwater market is between Little Burgundy and Saint Henri and right off the canal.
Another plus about visiting Montreal in summer are the sidewalk cafes. Cafes and restaurants take advantage of the perfect weather and set up temporary sidewalk seating areas or fill their permanent patios with locals and tourists.
If you can't already tell, summer is my personal favorite and absolutely the BEST time to visit Montreal, Canada.
Montreal in Fall: September - November
Fall is the best time to visit Montreal for lower hotel prices and cool weather
Autumn sees a drop in hotel prices and understandably so since the weather turns pretty chilly. If you're visiting Montreal in fall, aim for September and early October.
Once late October and November hit, you’ll see lows in the mid-30s and 20s…not ideal for sightseeing.
Early fall offers afternoons comfortable enough to explore the city by foot and crisp mornings that are perfect for enjoying hot pumpkin spice lattes in a cozy cafe.
September is the best time to visit Montreal if you’re a cycling enthusiast. You’ll have the chance to watch top cyclists from around the globe zoom by during the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal.
Visiting Montreal in fall will not only score you a better hotel price than summer, but the city will seem a bit quieter and it will be easier to get into popular restaurants and tourist attractions.
One major plus about early fall is the gorgeous autumn foliage. Walking up to Mont Royal is a must this time of year to fully appreciate the beautiful colors of the season.
The leaves are typically gone by November and it's not uncommon to experience snow and freezing rain.
As mentioned earlier, Montreal is a festival city and the events of summer don’t stop once the temperatures begin to dip.
You’ll still have plenty of festivals to choose from alongside the beginning of hockey season and Montreal’s version of restaurant week, MTLàTABLE.
Montreal in Winter: December - February
Winter is the best time to visit Montreal for those who LOVE snow and cold weather activities
This should go without saying, but if you don’t like the bitter cold then stay away from Montreal in winter. You'll see lows in the 10s and highs hover in the 20s and 30s.
If you’re brave enough to bear the bone-chilling cold, you'll get to experience some extremely fun winter activities. From ordinary winter sports like ice skating and skiing to more unique adventures like dog sledding.
Don't assume the entire city enters into a non-eventful calm during winter! Put on your most flattering snowsuit (oxymoron?) and attend Igloofest, a giant outdoor music festival in the snow.
Looking for some family winter fun? Attend Fête des Neiges de Montréal for family activities in the snow including shows, ice sculpting demonstrations, frosty slides, and dog sledding.
Montreal in December brings plenty of Christmas activities for families, couples, and solo travelers. This festive time of year is definitely the best time to visit Montreal for those who want to feel like they're in a winter wonderland complete with lots of snow and festive decorations.
Explore the outdoor interactive light installations, find unique gifts at pop-up holiday shops, feel like you’re in Europe as you browse the Christmas markets, and watch Santa slide by in the annual Santa Claus parade.
When you’ve had enough of the cold, sip hot cocoa in a cozy cafe as you watch the snow fall. If your schedule allows, stay for Canada’s biggest New Year’s Eve bash!
Spring in Montreal: March - May
Spring is NOT the best time to visit Montreal - the weather can be unpredictable
Montreal in spring can be hit or miss, which is why it's not the best time to visit Montreal (IMO). If you're OK with a gamble on the weather or plan to book your trip last minute after you investigate the weather, it could make for a fun springtime vacation.
Just have low expectations with weather and then you may get lucky and be pleasantly surprised.
The city comes alive after braving the harsh winter and there is a noticeable excitement in the air to finally enjoy the outdoors again.
By the end of spring, the festival calendar starts filling up and locals are back out on their bikes or walking the streets with a spring (pun intended) in their step.
Like fall, you'll see lower hotel prices and fewer crowds. Lows range from the 20s to 40s and highs are anywhere from the low 30s to mid 60s.
The main concern with spring in Montreal is how unpredictable it can be. You could find yourself in a t-shirt or donning a pair of snow boots in April.
Similar to cities like Chicago, the last snowfall of the season is hard to predict.
If you’re willing to take the chance (or book a last-minute trip after watching the weather) you may just be rewarded with a stunning cherry blossom display…otherwise…visit during summer and early fall for pleasant sightseeing weather.
The best time to visit Montreal would be summer. This is my personal favorite season to explore Montreal.
Next up would be early fall with the gorgeous autumn colors. Third place goes to winter, specifically the Christmas season.
Last in line for the best time to visit Montreal is spring since the weather can be unpredictable.