As one of those people who recently moved to the city, there are a few things that I have come to realize about Quebec's largest metropolis.
Some of them may seem obvious, but some of them tend to catch people by surprise.
If you're planning on moving here, are new to the city or just want to see what newcomers notice first, here's a list of things to know before moving to Montreal.
Montrealers speak a different language — and I don't mean French.
There's a Montreal language here. They don't say "convenience store." It's a "depanneur." It's not a "snack bar." It's a "casse-croûte." And no one knows what the "subway" is. It's the "metro."
Don't worry, you'll get it soon enough.
You'll pick up French more easily than you think.
Speaking of language, yes, Montreal is a French city.
Whether you're coming in with no knowledge of the language, just a bit or even a pretty solid base, the longer you're here, you'll realize how you naturally pick it up.
5 à 7s hardly ever end at 7.
Another one of those slang words, "5 à 7" literally translates to "five to seven," but it really just means happy hour.
That said, don't surprised if drinks go until 9 p.m. ... or 3 a.m.
Orange cones are EVERYWHERE.
If you just moved into your new place and there's some construction at the corner of your street, you may be thinking "Oh, that's OK! I'm sure it'll be over soon."
Non, non, mon amie. It will not.
Not all of the streets are straight.
If you come from a city that's more of a grid, you'll know exactly what I mean. Because this city is built around the mountain, you sometimes see the streets turn.
So, yes, you can sometimes go north, south, east and west on the same road. But don't worry about getting lost because the streets are gorgeous.
You'll find yourself actually buying groceries at the market.
In some big cities, markets are often tourist attractions.
But in Montreal, they're great places to do your shopping.
Who doesn't love some local fresh produce, right?
Give yourself some extra time to park...
No matter how much time Google Maps tells you it'll take to get somewhere, give yourself an extra 20 minutes at leastfor parking.
Sometimes, the majority of the journey is literally looking for a vacant spot.
You can get booze almost anywhere.
SAQ will become one of your new favourite stores, but you don't necessarily have to go to get some alcohol. Here in Quebec, you can get alcohol at grocery stores and depanneurs.
So when you run in quickly for some milk, you can also get some wine.
If you're craving it, you can find it in Montreal.
Montreal is an absolute foodie paradise. With people from all over the world, there is just about every cuisine you can think of here in the city.
Whether it's sushi, gnocchi, jerk chicken, or, of course, poutine, not only can you get it, but you know it'll be delicious.
Now that you're a 514 expert, go enjoy the city!