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Can I Leave Montréal Airport During a Long Layover?

Are you planning a trip with a long layover at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport? If so, you might be wondering if it’s possible to leave the airport and explore the city during your layover. In this article, we will answer this question and provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your time in Montréal.

Understanding Your Layover

Before deciding whether you can leave the airport during your layover, it’s important to understand the dynamics of your specific situation. Layovers can range from a few hours to even a day or more, and the duration of your layover will determine whether leaving the airport is feasible.

Most layovers shorter than six hours may not allow enough time to comfortably leave the airport and explore the city. It’s always advisable to check with your airline and the airport’s website for any restrictions or guidelines specific to your layover.

Immigration and Customs Procedures

If you hold a passport that allows you to enter Canada without a visa or if you have obtained a valid Canadian visa, you may be able to leave the airport and explore Montréal during your layover. However, keep in mind that you will need to go through immigration and customs procedures upon arrival in Montréal.

Generally, it’s recommended to have at least a few hours between flights to ensure you have enough time to clear immigration and customs, as well as go through security on your way back to the airport. Additionally, factor in the time it takes to travel to and from the airport, to ensure you don’t miss your connecting flight.

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Transportation Options

Once you have assessed the duration of your layover and determined that you have enough time to leave the airport, you’ll need to explore transportation options to get into the city. Fortunately, Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is well-connected to downtown Montréal, making it easy to navigate and explore the city.

One popular option is to take a taxi or rideshare service from the airport. Taxis are readily available outside the arrivals area, and rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft also operate in Montréal. This is a convenient and hassle-free option, especially if you’re short on time and don’t want to navigate public transportation.

Another option is to take advantage of the Montréal Trudeau Airport Express bus, also known as the 747 bus. This service operates 24/7 and provides a direct link between the airport and downtown Montréal. The bus is reasonably priced and offers a comfortable and efficient way to reach the city center.

If you prefer public transportation, you can also consider taking the STM (Société de transport de Montréal) bus or the suburban train service, both of which provide connections to different parts of the city.

Exploring Montréal

Once you have arrived in Montréal, you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere. With a limited amount of time, it’s important to prioritize the attractions and experiences you most want to see and do.

Some popular attractions worth considering during a layover in Montréal include:

  1. Old Montréal: Explore the historic heart of the city, with its cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and lively cafés. Don’t miss visiting Notre-Dame Basilica, one of the most stunning churches in North America.
  2. Mount Royal: Venture up to the Mount Royal Park, located just west of downtown, for panoramic views of the city. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, rent a bike, or have a picnic in this vast urban park.
  3. Plateau Mont-Royal: Immerse yourself in the bohemian atmosphere of this trendy neighborhood. Discover colorful buildings, artistic street art, and browse through independent boutiques and local eateries.
  4. The Underground City: If you’re visiting during the winter months or prefer indoor activities, explore the vast network of underground tunnels that connect shops, restaurants, and landmarks throughout downtown Montréal.
  5. Museum Hopping: Montréal is home to numerous world-class museums, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée d’Art Contemporain, and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. Depending on your interests, you can choose to visit one or more of these cultural institutions.
  6. Food Tour: Montréal is renowned for its diverse culinary scene. Indulge in iconic dishes like poutine, smoked meat sandwiches, and bagels. Take a food tour to discover local specialties and hidden gems.
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Time Management and Safety Considerations

When leaving the airport during a layover, it’s crucial to manage your time effectively to ensure you don’t miss your connecting flight. Leave a buffer of at least a couple of hours before your departure to account for unexpected delays or traffic.

Additionally, keep safety in mind during your layover exploration. Stay aware of your surroundings, avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and be cautious with your belongings. Montréal is generally a safe city, but it’s always advisable to take necessary precautions, especially in crowded or tourist-heavy areas.

If you have any concerns or doubts about leaving the airport, consult the airport information desk or seek guidance from airport personnel.


In conclusion, leaving Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport during a long layover is possible, depending on the duration of your layover and your ability to meet immigration and customs requirements. With a well-planned itinerary, efficient transportation choices, and time management, you can enjoy a taste of Montréal’s unique charm and cultural offerings before continuing your journey. Remember to always check with your airline and the airport for any specific guidelines or restrictions to make the most of your layover experience. Montréal awaits you with its rich history, breathtaking attractions, and delicious cuisine.

Can I Leave Montréal Airport During a Long Layover?
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