Montreal is a safe city to walk around during the day and at night. In the day busy commuters flood the sidewalks on their way to work, lunch and the rush back home. In the evenings the downtown core is always a buzz with party goers, late eaters and those just out for leisurely strolls at night. The Old Port is the busiest during the summer months with most restaurants and businesses along Place Jacques Cartier open late at night (until 2am for some during weekends). In winter, most of the businesses in the area are closed until the next season.
A leisurely walk through the downtown core to the Old Port is possible in about a half hour to 45 minutes above ground depending on how far west you are. If you plan to explore the underground city, it will take a bit longer as the path isn’t as direct. Depending on the path you take to the Old Port via the underground city, you can either end up at the western most part of Old Montreal by the financial district (near Metro Square Victoria on the Orange line) or continue further to Chinatown where you are two blocks south of Old Montreal (near Metro Place D’Armes on the Orange line) and about a 10-15 minute walk from Notre-Dame Basilica (located in Old Montreal).
Unless it’s unbearably hot and humid at 45 C in the summer or Siberian temperatures of -35 C in the winter, a walk a few blocks outside is well worth your while.
Areas always a buzz regardless of season:
- Crescent street (discover clubs, bars and restaurants)
- Ste-Catherine street from Guy to St-Urbain (discover stores, restaurants, cafes)
- St-Laurent from Sherbrooke to Mont-Royal (discover stores, restaurants, cafes, bars)
- Amherst to Papineau (discover stores, restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars)
Tip(s): Like any city avoid using alleys.