The Best Time to Visit Montreal

when to go to montreal

 TripSavvy / Hilary Allison

The best time to visit Montreal is during October when the temperatures are mild—not muggy like summer or brutally cold like during the winter—and fall foliage is at its peak. However, this historic Canadian city charms travelers in almost any season, even when the weather is less than ideal.

Choosing the best time to visit Montreal also involves weighing your travel needs and wants with your travel budget and then finding what's available. Read on for more about the best times to visit Montreal.

The Weather in Montreal

Montreal temperatures get pretty steamy in summer: Think hot and humid. Temperatures in July and August typically average over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) though high humidity can make days feel even hotter. Nevertheless, evenings and waterside locations offer some respite from the heat.

In fall, temperatures drop considerably as the season progresses, but it's still warm enough to enjoy time outside. The average temperature in October is 48 degrees F (9 degrees C). The average high in October is 57 degrees F (14 degrees C), and the average low is 39 degrees F (4 degrees C).

In the winter, the weather is harsh, with temperatures reaching sub-zero consistently. Pack your gloves and parka! Most of Montreal's snowfall occurs from December through March, averaging between 13 and 20 inches per month. Snowstorms can be sudden and intense, affecting traffic and air travel so be prepared for delays and even canceled flights. Spring is a welcome respite from winter in the city, as temperatures begin to creep into the 40s. Pack a rain jacket though, as sudden rain (and yes, even snow) storms are not uncommon.

Popular Events and Festivals

Many of Montreal's most popular events and festivals take place in the summer months when temperatures are more amenable to spending time outdoors. Among the most popular are the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Canadian Grand Prix, Mondial de la Bière, and the French music fest Les FrancoFolies. 

Additionally, Montreal celebrates the following holidays: New Year's Day (Jan. 1), Family Day (the third Monday of February), Good Friday and Easter Monday (March or April), Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canada Day (July 1), La fête Nationale, also known as Bastille Day (July 14), Labour Day (the first Monday in September), Thanksgiving (the second Monday in October), Remembrance Day (Nov. 11), Christmas Day (Dec. 25), and Boxing Day (Dec. 26). If you're in town during one of these holidays, be sure to verify opening hours for the restaurants you hope to visit and activities you plan to enjoy.

Peak Season in Montreal

Summer by far sees the most visitors descending on this unique and historic city, which is best explored on foot. However, if you are not a fan of crowds or big festivals, aim to visit in late spring or June. Of course, with popularity and demand come inflated prices and limited availability. Book Montreal hotels early for summer stays, especially for weekend dates and during festivals. And make reservations well in advance if you're trying to visit any popular restaurants.


A lot of visitors are reluctant to go to Montreal in the winter because of the cold, snow, and ice. And it will be cold, snowy, and icy. However, you can still pack a lot of fun into a chilly Montreal vacation and enjoy its fine food, shopping, and culture. Not to mention outdoor activities, like ice skating, cross-country skiing, or Montreal winter festivals. Montreal is colder and gets more snow than Toronto or New York City. If you're not from a cold climate, the chill and snow of Montreal may be unlike anything you've experienced. Brace yourself but do not be afraid. Your reward for braving the brisk of Montreal? Hotel savings. Rates are cheaper in winter except over the Family Day weekend in February when demand increases. However, because the number of visitors drops off so sharply in winter, much of Old Montreal shuts down. 

Events to Check Out

  • Igloofest's iconic subzero raves are a must-visit in January.
  • During Christmas, visit the city's iconic Christmas markets and ice skating rinks.


Spring in Montreal can be dicey. Winter weather can linger into April, meaning temperatures can remain quite cold. But for the most part, you can expect warmer weather, gardens turning green, and a spring returning to Montrealers' steps.

Events to Check Out

  • April is the last month to hit the city's surrounding ski slopes.
  • Montreal really loves St. Patrick's Day and hosts a parade and other festivities in March each year.


Peak travel to Montreal occurs between June and September, especially during July and August, the months when most North American schools are out. July and August are also when  Old Montreal is bustling and the city's festival schedule is in full swing. Summer weather in Montreal is warm and sunny and perfect for strolling the streets, and tens of thousands of people descend on Montreal to shake their stuff for these festivals and others. If you visit Montreal between June and September, you will have no shortage of open-air activities, public programming, and neighborhood festivities—both big and small scale—to spice up your Montreal stay.

Events to Check Out


October—especially early October, but beware of the Thanksgiving holiday—is a beautiful time to visit Montreal. The fall colors are at their peak or just past it, and the weather is cold, but conditions are not bleak or mucky. Some of the best places around the city to see the colorful leaves include: Mount Royal Park, the Montreal Botanical Garden, the Morgan Arboretum, the nearly 400-acre Bois-de-Liesse Park, Parc Jean-Drapeau, Bois de l'Île Bizard, and Parc Angrignon. Old Montreal businesses are still open and comfortably meandering the cobblestone streets is still possible.

Events to Check Out

  • Montreal Botanical Garden hosts its Gardens of Light, an annual event featuring Chinese lanterns and light displays, every October.
  • November in Montreal marks the start of the holiday season, plus the city's most popular parade of the year, the Montreal Santa Claus Parade.  
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the best time to visit Montreal?

    The best time to visit Montreal is fall when the hot summer temperatures have gone down and the crowds have gone home. Late spring is usually pleasant in the city as well, but winter may linger on unexpectedly long.

  • When is peak season in Montreal?

    Summer is by far the busiest time in Montreal. Tourists flock to the city to take advantage of the warm temperatures and summer events, but hotels and flights are at their highest prices.

  • What is the off season in Montreal?

    If you want to avoid the crowds and score some travel deals, head to Montreal in the winter. The weather is intensely cold, but if you can handle the chill then there's a wintry charm to enjoy—not to mention cheap rates at local hotels.

Article Sources
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  1. Accuweather. "Montreal, Quebec, Canada Monthly Weather." Retrieved Jan. 29, 2021.

  2. Current Results. "Montreal QC Snowfall Totals & Snow Accumulation Averages." Retrieved Jan. 29, 2021.