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Travel tips

From Wikimania

Electrical systems

Plugs at the Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel in Montreal for Wikimania 2017
Ungrounded and grounded power plugs

Canada uses the same electrical system as the United States (NEMA connector), which means it is unlike most of the rest of the world - 110 volts (vs 220 volts for most everyone else) and two thin blades and a third round grounding prong. The conference hotel, and most everywhere, use the three pronged, grounded/earthed plug.

For solid state electronics, you probably just need to get a physical plug converter. Your power brick/adapter will accept 110v or 220v and do the right thing, but double check! Most computer/laptop adapters, USB chargers, etc. will work fine. THINGS THAT PROBABLY WILL NOT WORK: hair dryers and water boilers. The Sheraton hotel provides hair dryers for guests in every room.

By plane

Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (IATA: YUL) (formerly Dorval Airport) is west of the city centre on Expressway (Autoroute) 20. The airport is served by all major Canadian and U.S. airlines and is a major hub for Air Canada, Air Transat, and WestJet.

There are multiple daily trans-Atlantic flights to and from (among others) London, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Athens, Doha, Frankfurt, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, Munich, and Casablanca.

The taxi fare to and from downtown is a fixed price of CAD 40 (approx. USD 31 / € 29 / £ 25) (a sticker on the window behind the driver gives the boundaries of the zone where the flat fare applies; if you are going from or to places outside this zone, you will have to pay a metered fare).

STM Airport Express bus 747 offers service between the airport and downtown Montreal 24 hours a day. A single fare will cost CAD 10 (approx. USD 8 / € 8 / £ 7) (exact change in coins only when paid in the bus) and includes unlimited use of the STM bus and metro network for the following 24 hours. There is also a ticket booth in the airport where you can purchase fares (including a three day pass for CAD 18 (approx. USD 14 / € 13 / £ 11)). The bus will stop at Lionel-Groulx metro station and a number of downtown stops, including one at the venue.

747 bus from airport

You will want to take the 747 bus via the route "Destination Centre-ville (downtown)." Here are the stops, depending on your destination:

  • Grey Nuns/Concordia dormitory - get off at Guy / René-Lévesque. The dorm is on the other side of the street, halfway down the block of Rue Guy.
  • Le Centre Sheraton/Conference venue - get off at Drummond or Peel. Sheraton is on the other side of the street.

There is Wi-Fi on the bus, in case you don't have or want to use mobile data.

Plattsburgh International Airport and Burlington International Airport, both located in the US, are each about an hour's ride from Montreal. Adirondack Trailways offers a bus service between Plattsburgh International Airport and Montreal. Greyhound offers a bus service from Burlington International Airport and Montreal. For travellers from the US, these airports may offer a significant cost savings compared to Trudeau but at the added inconvenience of arranging ground transportation between the US and Canada.

By car

From New York City, take Interstate 87 north through Albany and the eastern half of New York State for about six hours. After the border crossing near Plattsburgh, the freeway becomes Autoroute 15, which leads directly into downtown Montreal over the Pont Champlain, the most beautiful approach to the city. The drive time from Plattsburgh to downtown Montreal is approximately one hour.

From Boston, take Interstate 93 to Interstate 89 after you cross into New Hampshire. Follow Interstate 89 north to and through Vermont to the border crossing, where it turns into Highway 133. This secondary road continues to Autoroute 10, which leads directly into downtown Montreal. The whole trip takes about 5 hours. Once you cross the border it is about 1 1/2 hours to Montreal.

By train

Montreal Central Station (Gare Centrale) is at 895 rue de la Gauchetière Ouest, one block west of rue University, and is served by the Bonaventure metro (subway) station.

Amtrak operates the "Adirondack" service to New York (11 hours, from USD 61 (approx. CAD 87 / € 57 / £ 42)) which departs daily, with connections in Schenectady to (but not from) Chicago (24 h, USD 114 (approx. CAD 161 / € 105 / £ 78)) and in New York to Philadelphia (14 h, USD 97 (approx. CAD 137 / € 90 / £ 66)) and Washington, DC (16 h, USD 120 (approx. CAD 170 / € 111 / £ 82)).

Train passengers leaving from Boston may take the Regional Service to Penn Station, New York, and transfer to the Adirondack line to Montreal, but this method requires significant layover times in New York.

See also Wikimania Takes Manhattan II, if you want to board the Adirondack Wiki-Train to Montreal! (a special pre-Wikimania trip from New York City to Montreal, departing on Tuesday August 8 in time for the Preconference.)

By bus

There are extensive services to Montreal from cities in Ontario, Quebec, New York, Vermont, and Maine. Buses arrive and depart from the Station Centrale d'autobus (not to be confused with the Gare Centrale or central train station) at 505 boulevard de Maisonneuve est, (directly above the Berri-UQAM metro station]. Call +1 514-842-2281 for schedules and prices.

Greyhound Lines offers three daily direct services and Adirondack Trailways offers two daily direct services, from New York, with additional trips operated on weekends and in summer (8 h, from USD 76 (approx. CAD 108 / € 70 / £ 52)). Greyhound Lines also offers four daily direct services from Boston (7 h, from USD 72 (approx. CAD 102 / € 67 / £ 49)). Note that there is no student discount on the Montreal-New York service.

For Montreal/US service, the train is slower but significantly cheaper; around CAD 62 (approx. USD 48 / € 45 / £ 38) compared to about CAD 75 (approx. USD 57 / € 54 / £ 46) for the bus. However, for about CAD 15 (approx. USD 12 / € 11 / £ 10) extra, the bus makes for a much quicker journey with a much quicker passage through customs; so for speed, the bus is far superior; but for comfort and scenery, the longer train journey is more pleasantly spent.