Discover everything you need to know about how to get to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Since its debut in 1988 the Canadian Grand Prix has found its spiritual home at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Sitting on the man-made Notre Dame Island in Montreal, the circuit is named after legendary former Formula 1 driver and hometown hero Gilles Villeneuve. 

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has developed a reputation down the years for producing thrilling and unpredictable races. If you’re thinking of attending this year, we’ve put together a guide to outline the different ways of travelling to the famous circuit.

Where is Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? 

The circuit resides on Notre Dame Island which is next to Saint Helen’s Island and east of downtown Montreal. The island was built in the 1960s using rock excavated during the construction of the Montreal Metro system. After being used in the Expo 67 World Fair and the Summer Olympics of 1976, the industrious local authorities decided to build a race track on the island, and two years later the first Formula 1 Grand Prix was held. The winner? Gilles Villeneuve of course!

The circuit is superbly located and can be easily accessed from most areas of Montreal with via bus, car and train. Montreal’s bustling downtown Ville Marie borough just six kilometres from the circuit with a journey on public transport taking around 25 minutes. 

Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal

What is the nearest airport to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? 

Montréal-Trudeau (YUL) is the closest airport to the circuit, and Montreal’s primary airport for international travellers. It is just 26km (16 miles) from the circuit and 19km (12 miles) from downtown Montreal. As a major international airport it has flights from the USA, Africa, Asia and Europe, including direct flights from London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome. 

Montreal’s second, smaller airport is Montreal Metropolitan Airport (formally known as Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport), and will be reopened to predominantly domestic travellers in 2025. 

How to get from the airport to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 

Currently there is no direct transport link from the airport to the circuit, a metro line is in development, but it won’t be ready for 2024’s race. The 747 airport express bus runs 24/7 to downtown Montreal which takes around 45 minutes. The fare is $11 for unlimited travel throughout the bus and metro network and is valid for 24 hours.  

From downtown Montreal the number 4 metro line (yellow) can be taken to St Helen’s Island (adjacent to the Notre Dame Island) and then a walkway exists to complete the journey between the islands. The walk takes about 25 minutes depending on which part of the circuit you are trying to reach. 

A taxi from the airport to the track will cost approximately $80 with most drivers fluent in both English and French. Note: it’s customary to tip taxi drivers in Canada – 10-20% of the fare is common. 

Lance Stroll at the Canadian Grand Prix Gilles Villeneuve Circuit

How to get to Montreal from the UK 

Both London Gatwick and London Heathrow provide regular direct flights to Montréal-Trudeau across airlines including British Airways, Air Canada and Lufthansa. Flight times are approximately 7.5 hours. 

How to get to Montreal from the rest of Europe 

Direct flights to Montréal-Trudeau are available across most major capitals and business hubs. Direct flights might not always be the cheapest and it can be worth checking flights into New York, Chicago or Toronto before connecting to Montreal from there. 

Getting to the Grand Prix from the city centre 

The circuit’s close proximity to the city centre makes travelling to the track fairly simple and Montreal’s downtown Ville Marie borough is a popular choice for weekend accommodation. The simplest means of getting to the circuit is the city’s metro system followed by a short walk or via taxi. 

Which metro station is closest to the Montreal Grand Prix? 

Montreal’s efficient and simple metro line makes travelling around the city easy. The closest station to the track is the Jean-Drapeau station on St Helen’s Island, about a 20-minute walk from the circuit. It should take between 10-40 minutes to reach Jean-Drapeau station depending on where you are staying in Montreal. Extra travel time across the Grand Prix weekend is advisable as the metro system is likely to get extremely busy. 

From Montreal’s downtown Ville Marie district the nearest station is Berri-UQAM which connects lines 1 (green), 2 (orange) and 4 (yellow). The Jean-Drapeau station can be reached using line 4 (yellow) in a one-stop journey taking about three minutes. 

There are various different ticket types for the metro, an unlimited weekend ticket covers all routes from 4pm on Friday to 5am on Monday and costs just $11. Alternatively, a two-trip ticket works out slightly cheaper than buying individual tickets at $7.00. See the full list of ticket options here.

Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal

The metro runs seven days a week from 5:30 am to 1am (1:30am on Saturdays) with trains arriving on average every eight minutes or every three minutes during rush hours. 

Tickets for the metro can be purchased in various ways. Authorised sellers across Montreal sell metro tickets, a list of then can be found here. Alternatively tickets are sold inside the metro stations at STM (STM Société de Transport de Montréal) fare vending machines. These machines can also be found at Montréal-Trudeau (YUL) airport. 

The current OPUS pre-payment card is soon to be replaced by a smartphone payment solution. This is due to arrive in 2024, though whether this will be ready in time for the Grand Prix is unclear. 

Montreal to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve by taxi 

Travel by taxi is another form of popular transport by race goers. The approximate cost of a one-way taxi trip from downtown Montreal to the circuit is $20-$30. The jounrey will take about 15 minutes depending on traffic. Note: travelling during peak times during the race weekend will likely result in a higher fee. Uber also operated in Montreal. And don’t forget that customary tip!  

Taxis can be hailed in the street and outside hotels and main attractions are places where cabs can be easily found. OnCabs Montreal, Atlas Taxi and Taxi Coop are some of the popular companies. 

Taking the river shuttle to the Grand Prix 

Arguably the most scenic way to get to the circuit is using Montreal’s river shuttle. A special ‘Grand Prix’ route usually exists across the race weekend. It runs from the Old Port to St Helen’s Island next to Notre Dame.  

Shuttles run every 30 minutes from 8am to 9:25pm and tickets cost $5.50 each way. Full schedules can be found and tickets can be booked online here

Driving and parking at Gilles Villeneuve Circuit 

Whilst possible, driving to the circuit is not overly advisable across the Grand Prix weekend due to traffic and a lack of parking at the circuit. A far simpler means is by utilising the city’s fantastic metro system.  

Book tickets for the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix 

You’re now a fully-fledged expert on travelling to and around Montreal! So put those skills to good use by booking your tickets to the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix today! Limited tickets remain, so secure yours while you can!