Getting There & Around – Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

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The best ways to get to Montreal for the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix on June 7-9, plus advice on getting to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and around the city.

Montreal is a modern city with a well developed and efficient public transport network – it’s also a great walking and cycling city with abundant parks and green spaces. If you are staying in the downtown area like we recommend, the best way to get to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is to take the metro.

FLIGHTS TO MONTREAL

Montreal-Trudeau (airport code: YUL) is the main international airport serving Montreal and is 20km from the city centre. It’s a busy hub with a range of direct flight connections to North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

  • Domestic flights: A choice of discount and full-service airlines serve domestic routes within Canada, with frequent daily flights between Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Airlines worth considering for domestic flights in Canada include  Rouge (Air Canada’s discount carrier), Air Transat and WestJet.
  • Flights from the USA: hundreds of regular flights connect major hubs in the USA with Montreal. Popular airlines serving Montreal with direct flights include Air Canada, US Airways, American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, Air Transat and WestJet.
  • Flights from Europe: Montreal is well served by a range of direct flights (7-9 hours) from major European hubs. If you are looking for the cheapest deal, be sure to check flights into New York, Chicago or Toronto, from where you’ll easily be able to arrange an affordable onward connection to Montreal.
  • Other long-haul flights: The average cost of a flights from Australia to Montreal in June is around $1500-2500 AUD. All flights have at least 1-2 layovers (in cities such as LA, Dallas, New York, Vancouver and Toronto) and a total travelling time averaging in excess of 24 hours. There are few direct flights to Montreal from either Asia or The Middle East – flights normally transit in either Toronto or New York. The main flight legs to North America from both Asia and the Middle East are amongst the longest non-stop flights in the world, taking 14-16 hours.

Take the Adirondack train

Rated one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the daily “Adirondack” service from New York to Montreal passes through the beautiful wine country of the Hudson Valley and takes around 10 hours. On Grand Prix weekend, a seat on this train will set you back around $150 USD return. From New York’s Penn Station, onward connections are available to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC. More details on the Amtrak website.

MONTREAL AIRPORT TO THE CITY

  • Airport Taxis: Finding a taxi at the airport is as easy as walking out the door. Most drivers are fluent in English as well as French. Fares from the airport to the city centre are regulated by a maximum fare, which is currently set at $41 CAD. The regulations and minimum fare are posted and visible inside the taxi, as well as at the taxi rank. It is customary, though not mandatory, to tip taxi drivers. If you are happy with the service, be sure to add a few dollars to the final fare.
  • Uber: order a car once you’ve cleared customs and wait for your driver near Door 6 at the Departures level. Click here for more information and fare estimates.
  • Airport Bus: There is a 24 hour public shuttle bus from the airport. The 747 bus stops at Lionel Groulx Metro station and then regularly on Rene Levesque Boulevard West which runs through downtown Montreal. A one-way ticket costs $10 CAD. Click here to download more information.
  • Rental Cars: browse the best deals in Montreal with Rentalcars.com

Getting to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

  • Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is located within Parc Jean-Drapeau on a man-made island in the St Lawrence seaway called Île Notre-Dame. The best way to get to the circuit is to take the Metro or other forms of public transport.
  • The closest metro station, Jean Drapeau, is on neighboring St Helen’s Island near the Biosphere, accessible by bridge. It’s on the Yellow metro line and only one stop from Berri-UQAM station, which is the main interchange station in downtown Montreal. The metro can be pretty crowded on race weekend, but it is orderly and safe. Save queuing by buying your tickets in advance. (we recommend buying the special 3-day transit pass for $19 CAD)
  • There’s not much chance of getting lost getting on the way to the circuit – just follow the crowds, most of whom will also be headed to the track.  Be ready for a 15-30 minute walk from the Jean Drapeau metro station to the track, depending on where you will be sitting. The closest grandstands to the metro are located on the hairpin (number’s 15, 21, 24, 34). If you don’t feel like walking, look out for the 167 bus which travels from the metro station to the circuit.
  • A ferry service also operates from the old port to Isle  Ste. Helene, the island right next to the circuit where the metro is also located. It’s a quick trip and a one-way fare costs $4.25 CAD. The ferry is not widely used by F1 fans on Grand Prix weekend, so is less crowded than the metro. On the downside, the service only runs once an hour. Click here to find out more.

Grand Prix Parking

Although we do recommend leaving your car at home and taking the Metro to the circuit, it is possible to park at several locations near the circuit. All parking is located nearby Metro stops for easy access to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:

  • RV Parking: 950m from Longueuil metro station. Single day parking costs $42 CAD (3-day weekend parking is $122 CAD)
  • South Shore Parking: 800m from Longueuil metro station. Single day parking costs $12 CAD on Friday and $27 on Saturday and Sunday (3-day weekend parking is $62 CAD)
  • North Shore Parking: 100m from Montmorency metro station. Single day parking costs $15 CAD on Friday and $12 on Saturday and Sunday (3-day weekend parking is $35 CAD)
  • Downtown Parking: 150m from Berri-UQAM metro station. Single day parking costs $22 CAD (3-day weekend parking is $62 CAD)

MONTREAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Montreal has an efficient public transport network. For most visitors to the Grand Prix, getting the special 3-day public transport pass for $19 CAD will be the best option, as the circuit is most easily reached by metro anyway. Tickets and passes can be used on buses and the metro on the island of Montreal. Click here to access the website for Montreal’s public transport network (See the metro map opposite). If you are staying on the south shore, you will be able to access the metro, but buses are run by another public transport operator, RTL.

MONTREAL TAXIS

There’s plenty of taxis in downtown Montreal, and Uber is also popular. Taxis can be hailed on the street, taken from a cab rank, or ordered by phone. As there are many taxi companies and they service different parts of the city, it’s best to ask a local which company they recommend. Short journeys in the city center should cost around $10-20 CAD. Don’t forget to tip the driver.

MONTREAL BIKE SHARING

With its abundance of parks and green spaces, Montreal is an ideal cycling city. Hire a bike with the local rental service called BIXI. You can rent a bike for just $5 CAD per day or just take a bike from one location and leave it at another; one-way fares start from $2.95 and there are over 500 drop-off points around the city.

Been to the Canadian Grand Prix? Leave a comment with your travel tips!

July 3, 2019

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May 31, 2019

Getting There & Around – Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

The best ways to get to Montreal for the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix on June 7-9, plus advice on getting to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and around the city.

May 27, 2019

Need To Know: 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

F1 heads to Montreal for the 40th time as Circuit Gilles Villeneuve provides the action for Round 7 of the season. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend!

April 28, 2019

Trackside – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

Useful information to help you plan your weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, including the full on-track schedule. The 2019 Canadian Grand Prix takes place on June 6-9.

February 8, 2019

Budget Planner – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

Use our budget planner to help plan the cost of your trip to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

January 7, 2019

Off-Track Activities – Canadian Grand Prix

The best things to do in Montreal away from the track on Canadian GP weekend. This year’s race takes place on June 6-9, 2019.

December 14, 2018

Race Facts – Canadian Grand Prix

Learn about the history of the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

November 14, 2018

Travel Basics – Canadian Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 6-9, 2019.

August 21, 2018

Accommodation – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

From hostels to luxury hotels, we’ve chosen the best places to stay in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (16)

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  1. Roscoe Van Lare says:

    It’s a long walk from Jean Drapeau Metro station to Grandstand 1,2,11 & 12.

    Here’s a tip: From Jean Drapeau Metro station you can take the 777 bus to the Casino for free & save about 1 mile of walking. If you ask the staff about the 777 bus, they will give you a vague answer. Obviously they’ve been instructed to discourage race goers from taking the 777 bus.

  2. Gene says:

    I’ve been to Fi races on previous years and seen small ferries bringing fans to a dock close to the 11 / 12 series of stands. Are they coming from Old port area and if so, where?

    • Editor says:

      Read the post again, we mentioned the ferry service! Boats leave hourly from the quays of the old port. More info here.

      • Mike says:

        Sounds like Gene is asking about ferry service grandstand 11/12. The ferry service in the article is from old town to Jean Drapeau. It is no closer to 11/12 than the metro.

        Is there a ferry service on the interior lake? or outside the entrance in the back of grandstand 11/12?

        • Editor says:

          Hi Mike, I don’t know about any other ferry service

        • Peter says:

          There is an interior lake ferry service, however this is only for the grandstand 11/12 privilege members. I’m in the “normal” 12 this weekend so could look down on the fancy lounge-sets and bar-service you get there and these include the interior ferry service. Probably costs a small fortune though…

    • jeff says:

      Wondering the closest train station to circuit.. I would be coming from kitchener ontario

  3. Harry says:

    We will be traveling to Montreal this year on Wednesday for the race weekend, but must fly home on Sunday night. We are sitting in grandstand 12. Our plan is to take a taxi from the casino after the race to our downtown hotel and then to the airport for an 8pm flight. Does this seem workable? Are there other options?

    Great guides. Thanks

    And thank you Roscoe!

  4. SUE DESMOND says:

    What would be the fastest way to get to the track from the hotel Brossard?

  5. Dianna says:

    Which entrance is closest to Grand Stand 12?

  6. Laura says:

    We just returned from our first F1 Canadian Grand Prix weekend. We stayed near Berri-UQAM Metro station and bought the 3-day Metro pass for $19. Thank you for that tip! Once at Jean-Drapeau station we walked the first day to the track (Grandstand 1) and back. The second day we took the 777 bus from Jean-Drapeau station which goes to the Casino, so you walk from there. And then we knew where to catch it afterwards, going back to the Metro station. One of the advantages of taking the bus is that you bypass one of the security checkpoints on the bridge which had a super long line when we passed it. There is a bit of a wait for the bus though, it seems there was maybe 2 or at the most 3 of them running.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Laura, good to hear! I also took the metro the whole weekend, though I avoided the peak times where possible. The 777 Casino bus was also very handy! What a great circuit and fun city. I’ll definitely be back in Montreal!

  7. Ken says:

    staying south of the city what would be the best way to get to the circuit?

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