Montreal On a Budget

Downtown hotel stays, museum visits and Montreal’s iconic food scene for free or on the cheap.
 

Photo by Ian Dagnall/Alamy

Canada’s second-largest city doesn’t have to come with big-city prices. From its European architecture and charm to its foodie delights and free museums, Montreal is perfect for a budget-conscious trip. Here’s how to do the city pas cher.

Stay at Hôtel Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville

Located right in downtown Montreal, Hôtel Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville has 114 rooms that start at only $148 a night. Each one is furnished with king- or queen-sized beds, mini-fridges, iMacs, wooden floors and even rocking chairs. Other touches include free continental breakfast and Wi-Fi, as well as stellar city views. The hotel is just a short jaunt from the Place-d’Armes metro station.

See a show at The Comedy Nest

Check out The Comedy Nest on rue Sainte-Catherine on Wednesday nights to see up-and-coming comedians test out new jokes for $5. Visitors get to vote for their favourite acts and get a free ticket to a Thursday or Friday night show featuring pros like The Kids in the Hall member Scott Thompson.

Eat classic treats like bagels and poutine

Montreal has no shortage of cheap, delicious food. The city’s classics, such as Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwiches and a dozen St-Viateur bagels, are less than $10 a pop. To save even more, try an everything-for-$5 joint like L’Entrepot in Mont-Royal where everything on the menu, including maple bacon poutine and Quebec apple turnovers, is only $4.95.

Get cultured at the Redpath Museum

Hosted in an 1882 Greek Revival building on McGill University’s campus, the Redpath Museum offers free admission with a donation. The natural history museum has a collection of close to three million items, including three Egyptian mummies, Charles Darwin memorabilia and a full-sized skeleton of the meat-eating gorgosaurus dinosaur. It also hosts documentary screenings, lectures and workshops, which are also by-donation.

Eat haute cuisine at Leméac

Leméac in Outremont has a late-night menu, offering its gourmet food for less. After 10 p.m., the French bistro offers a combo of an appetizer and a main for $27 (saving you around $20). Try the pork rillettes to start, then dig into the truffle oil salmon tartare or blood pudding with celery root purée and cider sauce. Dessert runs you about $10 extra, but it’s worth it for the chocolate profiteroles.

Experience history at Cité Mémoire

New this year, Cité Mémoire’s Grand Tableau celebrates the city’s 375-year history with music and images projected on the 242-foot facade of the Montreal Courthouse. The free, 35-minute show runs in Old Montreal on the hour at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. and depicts the founding of the city, relations between French settlers and Indigenous peoples, Montreal’s hockey history and more.

Read more: 10 Reasons to Visit Montreal for its 375th Birthday (All Year Long)

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