Yes. I am guilty of "acting like a tourist". And it’s cool sometimes, it feels good to have that jovial spirit in a new place. Sometimes, however, “acting like a tourist” can come off as obnoxious and rude to the country’s culture, especially in public situations.
On another hand, maybe you want to assimilate to truly experience the culture of a new country, and that can be exciting and help you learn about your own culture.
In either example, here are tips you can use when traveling around Montreal, Quebec, and more specifically on the STM “Société de transport de Montréal”, the Montreal Public Bus and Subway system.
The missing key to a great overall public transport experience on the Montreal Metro is a combination of their user-friendly system and the tips I provide below! If you want to see more Montreal Metro trips, go watch this short 10-second video!
These tips helped me use the Metro for 6 days (2 travel days) and I went to the mall, market, Mont Royal, The Contemporary Art Museum, Old Port/Montreal, and so many other places. I also used the system to get back to the airport after I learned the system more.
Tips On Using Montreal Metro System (STM) Like A Local
1. Purchase a Metro pass at the kiosk machines in any Metro Station.
I got a 3-day Pass for $23 CAD, 2 one-way passes for $7 CAD, and an airport transfer for $11 CAD. Total spend on transportation for 6 days: $41 CAD or $39 USD.
2. Let elderly passengers
have your seat.
It’s a European thing, too. A lot of people will get out of their seats if they see an older person standing on public transport.
3. Bring cash for the bus, just in case.
It’s always good to have cash. Sometimes prices change or people give you the wrong information.
4. Be swift getting on and off the buses/trains.
The doors open and close quickly once they pull up to the stop and I saw a few people collect by the door a few seconds before.
5. Bring a map or download one on your phone for easier navigation.
This will help you orient yourself and keep you moving in the right direction. It's easy to get confused here when you don’t speak French, all the street signs are in French.
6. If you’re confused, ask a Metro worker for help.
The Metro workers I met spoke both French and English, and you can tell they are used to guiding tourists.
Let me know if you try out these tip and leave a comment on your experience using STM!