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Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

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Kernersville, North...
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Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

The last post I saw for a solo female traveler was in 2006 and I wanted updated replies. Plus it spent too much time on hotel issues. Anyway, I will be 52 and would like to experience one week in Montreal but would be traveling alone. Is the city safe for a solo female traveler? I enjoy staying by water where I can walk at the end of my day and like B & Bs but have no issues with a hotel. I'd like to keep it under $180 CC per night if possible. ({Please don't laugh but I haven't checked out price ranges yet.) I also would not be renting a car so I would be walking or using public transportation to see the sights and get around. Being near a grocery store would be great too. I love immersing myself in the local culture/lifestyle and my goal in another country (I'm American) is to be mistaken for a local at least once. This would be my fourth trip to Canada and any help in knowing it would be a safe experience would be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

Given the nature of the French & English hybrid culture, it's unlikely you'll be mistaken for a local in Montreal. However, it is a very safe city for solo travelers ... most Canadian cities tend to be safer than American cities of equal size. I, a similarly aged female, travel to Montreal solo regularly for business and have never felt concern about my safety. Public transit is easy, efficient, and safe to use. In terms of your budget, it is not out of line, but may be dependent on when you plan to visit the city... certain times of the year are of course more pricier and popular than others.

Like any major city in the world, there are areas to avoid ... and as always, using your street smarts is advised.

I'd only add that 7 days is a long time to be in the city proper ... you might consider taking an overnite trip to Quebec City.

Edited: 09 February 2014, 14:57
Kernersville, North...
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2. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

Thank you so much for your help and time. I thought with the French culture pulling off being "local" would be pretty hard. However, I did a few times in Halifax this past August and was thrilled. I will be going the middle to end of August. I did spend a week in Quebec City with friends two years ago and loved it. I'll look more into the sights and things to do, day tours, etc, to determine if I want to keep it a week's visit. Again, I appreciate your input. Have a great day.

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

How about Ottawa instead of Québec City? Easier to do a day tour as it takes only 2h15 by either train or bus and has a lot of interesting things to do. It would be better if you stay there overnight but a day trip can do and it is very easy with the bus as there are departures every hour from very early morning to late evening.

As per the safety issue just look for ‘Are there any unsafe neighborhoods I should avoid?” in the Top Question box (upper right of this page) to get an idea and also if you go to the search button just type safety and you will get a plethora of former posts, note that they are not in chronological order so just scroll down if you want to get those from 2013 if you like.

As per your budget you will be OK most of times when you avoid the big hotels in downtown and most of the designer / boutique hotels in Old Montréal.

Kernersville, North...
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4. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

Thanks so much for your help and suggestions. I've only used Trip Advisor for hotel/activities research. I'm new to this forum thing on any website! I will definitely check out your suggestions as well as look at Ottawa. I like to see as much of the area as I can while I'm there. I hadn't done any research yet for day trips or an overnighter so this really helps. I do love your country and have only good things to say about all my stays in Vancouver/Victoria, Halifax and Quebec City.

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

I have sent you a Private Message pertaining to your visit but since you are new you might not be familiar with that feature. So at the total top of this forum page you will see a space that says Hi (your name) so just click there and you will get it.

Montreal
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6. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

Yup, safe all over, even in the less stellar bits as described a lot in the unsafe neighbourhood posts.

I, too, understand the joys of taking a stroll in the evening along the river, and Old Montréal is very beautfiul (although not as pretty as Old Québec is), but if you like to blend in and pretend you live in a place while you travel, you might want to consider other neighbourhoods. Old Montréal is lovely, but it's also very touristy and while there are lots of people who do live there, it doesn't feel like a residential neighbourhood -- there are no grocery stores, cafés are more chains and filled with tourists, and while there are tons of restaurants, they tend to be either very good and expensive, or tourist traps with bad food and expensive. With a few exceptions of course...

You might want to look at a B&B in the Plateau neighbourhood -- and one close to Parc Lafontaine -- would be a nice compromise. There is a small lake in the Park which is as lovely to walk by in the evening, and there are tons of local restaurants and cafés and bakeries and such. I prefer the west and north side to the east and south side -- more convenient to the métro, say.

A little further away but absolutely beautiful is Saint-Louis Square which has a few B&B around. It has less of a neighbourhood feel than the plateau with more people wandering through, but it is just incredibly quaint, and shopping along Saint-Laurent up to La Vieille Europe is great.

Yet another possibility would be close to the Atwater Market, which solves your grocery shopping with a huge bang of wonderful stuff available, plus there's the canal right there for your water, although it's not quite as nice for strolling in the evening -- more of a daytime busy place with people biking and such.

Just a few ideas...

Kernersville, North...
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7. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

Thank you Tristou, for so much information and options to explore. While I do like to see/do the touristy things, I do want the native experience also. I'll have to look at everything on a map and see which I feel would be most convenient without a car.

Everyone has been so helpful. This is a great feature to help get the best experience from somewhere you have never been. I appreciate all the feedback.

Old Montreal
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8. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

People are probably helpful because, based on your posts, you are articulate, polite, and grateful: an increasingly difficult combination to find in this digital world. Rick will be the first to point out that the foregoing doesn't apply to me and my dry sense of humor (no dry humour in this post though). I hope you will enjoy your stay!

Edited: 09 February 2014, 20:49
Kernersville, North...
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9. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

I'm a bit different as I don't go on vacation to experience "home". Whether home, i.e. in the US, or abroad I want to experience that area's vibe and culture. I started to learn French for my trip to Quebec because I knew it would make the trip more enjoyable. Even though I didn't learn much before I left, I loved the fact that I could read the hours and days posted on stores and restaurants and tried to read what I could of the French postings in the museums and such. I just wish I had more confidence to try and speak it with natives. With no practice here, it's my weakest area (and scariest! :) ) since I'm not trained to think in French. Traveling alone I've met some wonderful people and in turn learned so much about the areas I'm visiting That's been one of the best parts and best memories of all my solo trips. A wonderfully fun and interesting couple I met on my Halifax food tour is the reason I've chosen Montreal this year. They are from Montreal and recommended a visit. So, I'm going to give it a go! Oh, PEI came highly recommended also but I'll save that for another time.

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10. Re: Is Montreal a safe vacation spot for solo female traveler?

Well thinking in another language without translating is a weird thing. Personally it happened while I was living in NYC and had been there for a few months. One day I got up and realized that I had dreamed in English! My vocabulary and grammar were still low but hey I might have to look for the proper words but at least I didn't have to translate in my head anymore. Seems that this is a big indicator as the teachers of young kids coming from the immigrant communites will inquire about the dreams of their students to see if they cross the treshold. In othe words it is very difficult to reach that point if you are not immersed in the language.

Just a last note about Ottawa if you might want to visit. The bus is way better the train for that location with hourly departures and arrival in Ottawa in downtown and then the close by bus terminal while the train is really in the boondocks and has only a few departures per day..