The Complete Guide

MONTREAL: Nightlife & Nightclubs

An Intro to Montreal

Named after Mount Royal the triple peak hill located in the middle of the city, Montreal is the most populated city in the province of Quebec and the second biggest city in terms of population in Canada. The city is centred on the island of Montreal which got its name from the city and enjoys a four seasons weather throughout the year. It has tropical weather during the summers and snows during the harsh Canadian winters.

Montreal was the economic capital of Canada and the biggest in terms of population and size before Toronto took over. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, transport, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, art, culture, tourism, food, fashion, gaming, film, and world affairs. Montreal has the second-highest number of consulates in North Canada and several organization’s headquarters are in the city.

Montreal at Night
Montreal at Night

The city is ranked number one for the best city for university students. This diverse population which consists of native Canadian population, migrants, business class people, students and others has given rise to a ton of activity in the city along with one of the best nightlives in the whole of Canada.

In this article we will be seeing more about the night life and the night clubs of Montreal along with the best bars, bar restaurants, discotheques and nightclubs that one needs to visit when in the city.

Nightlife in Montreal

Nightlife at Montreal
Nightlife at Montreal

Nightlife in Montreal though not as famous as the one in Toronto is still really good and can get anyone pumped up by any standards. One unique feature about the nightlife in this amazing city is the local bands, there are numerous of them and most of the places play some kind of local music almost every night. Most of these local bands start in Montreal then go on to play in Toronto and New York. The local population of the city is friendly and warm. You can always grab a drink whenever you want but for the proper leg breaking dance floors you might have to wait a little longer. Over all the nightlife in Montreal is a one with plenty of options to choose from with a good mix of local and international taste for the visitors to choose from.

Best areas of Montreal for Nightlife

Beyond its bilingualism, French colonial architecture, and unique elements of Québécois culture, one characteristic that makes Montreal a popular destination for Canadians and international visitors alike is the city’s infamous party scene. Here are some of the best areas to stay for exploring the nightlife in Montreal:

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal
Downtown Montreal

Being centrally located is always a good idea when it comes to exploring the nightlife scene in Montreal, because the downtown area offers easy access to many of the districts listed below—in addition to the lively array of restaurants, bars, and clubs (both dance and strip varieties) that can be found along the main stretch of Rue St. Catherine. Downtown, you’ll also be able to see most of the city’s seemingly countless festivals. If you want to be right at the heart of the action, downtown Montreal should definitely be your top choice.

Rue Crescent

Rue Crescent
Rue Crescent

If you’re downtown, it’s hard to miss Rue Crescent. It’s alive with young people looking to have a good time among the many clubs and bars that line the street. This stretch is most suitable for revelers in their early 20s, especially undergraduate students or those who have ventured to the city in order to take advantage of Quebec’s 18+ drinking age—among the lowest legal drinking ages in North Canada.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal
Old Montreal

Old Montreal is the city’s historic district, which also puts it among the most popular tourist destinations. Among the cobblestone streets and historic architecture—with some structures dating as far back as the 17th century—you’ll find a number of bars, elegant lounges, and upscale dining options. Some of the finest hotels in the city can also be found in Old Montreal, so it’s a perfect place to stay if you want to have easy access to the downtown core while also enjoying a touch of sophistication.

The Plateau

The Plateau
The Plateau

The Plateau is another popular neighborhood to stay in during your visit to Montreal. It doesn’t feature a wide variety of hotels, but you’ll certainly find numerous hostel and Airbnb listings for this area. Bars, including sophisticated wine bars, pubs, and clubs, lie along major streets like Avenue Mont-Royal, Boulevard St. Laurent, and Rue St. Denis—which are conveniently within a few minutes’ walking distance from one another.

Boulevard St. Laurent

Boulevard St. Laurent
Boulevard St. Laurent

Along with Rue Crescent, Boulevard St. Laurent is one of the main arteries for nightlife in Montreal. Many would vouch that it’s the preferred stretch for clubs, especially those catering more to young professionals rather than undergraduate students and tourists. Aim for Airbnbs that are as close as possible to this vibrant boulevard in order to catch all the fun. Stick to the area that runs from around Rue Ontario up to Avenue Mont-Royal for the widest range of clubs, restaurants, and more.

Apart from the above-mentioned areas there are also other locations like village which is considered to be the LGBT friendly neighbourhood of Montreal, Monkland Village for a mellowed down friendly ambience, Little Italy famous for its side bars along with its mouth-watering Italian cuisines and Rue St. Jacques which is famous for its off beat experience.

Best Bars of Montreal

It wouldn’t be wrong to call this splendid city Paris of North Canada with all the class and elegance that this city possesses. The nightlife and performance venues here are among the best things to do in Montreal, and not just because we have an 18+ legal drinking age or an unquenchable after-hours scene. Some of the bars here double their worth with amazing DJ programs, while our supper clubs are among the best restaurants that put away their dinnerware and become amazing parties. From raves with pumping bass to relaxing vinyl venues, there’s something for everyone in the Paris of North Canada.

Here is a list of best bars from the city of Montreal:

Ausgang Plaza

Ausgang Plaza
Ausgang Plaza

While not a nightclub by definition, this multifunctional space sees more than its fair share of packed DJ performances. Being 4,500 square feet of blank canvas, that means this address sees anything from film festivals to VJ projections as well on top of a variety of music ranging from trip-hop to trippy sound art. No matter what’s happening, the community vibes are strong here.

Soubois

Soubois
Soubois

Part supper club, part nightclub, part speakeasy, this subterranean address themed after a forest is a popular spot in the downtown core—after the entirety of Crescent Street, anyway. Frequented for seafood platters and cocktail parties in the evening, the crowds start to really stream in when the tables are tucked away and music by resident and guest DJs starts to spin. One of the more elegant venues in town.

Mayfair Cocktail Bar

Mayfair Cocktail Bar
Mayfair Cocktail Bar

Visits earlier in evening will suggest this is a jazz-driven cocktail bar with Victorian fixtures, but that all changes in the later hours of the weekend. The space opens up, the music starts, and there’s a line-up of people running up street, all eagerly waiting to cram themselves into the space. As it’s a smaller place than any conventional nightclub, it’s thereby more intimate, with choice drinks to boot.

New City gas

New City gas
New City gas

If electronic dance music is your jam, New City Gas is the place to go to. Known for welcoming EDM heavyweights like Tiesto, David Guetta, Bauer and Steve Angelo (Swedish House Mafia), it’s a massive converted warehouse in Griffintown. The industrial space includes a large outdoor area and spans two floors that can hold up to 2,000 people. While there, make sure to pay a visit to the opulent restroom area, which features a communal Turkish fountain cloaked in purple mood lighting and chandelier accents.

Turbo Haus

Turbo Haus
Turbo Haus

Locals know this is the place to be for heavy rock, punk and metal shows, but there’s more to it than that. This particular spot gets props for the separation of its bar from its spacious performance area, so patrons can drop in to have a drink and listen a bit before deciding to join in on the show/live band karaoke/movie screening/video game tournament going on. No jerks allowed.

Flyjin

Flyjin
Flyjin

This underground club in Old Montreal’s been maintaining a reputation for hosting as many lavish dinner services as it does popular DJ nights. Earlier hours of the evening have an attractive cocktail program and Japanese fusion menu from one of the best chefs in town, but at night? A killer light and sound system are put to good use by top acts both local and international.

Le Salon Daome

Le Salon Daome
Le Salon Daome

Since moving to its current address in early 2018, this club’s been looked to for a more laidback nightclub experience for over a decade—that is, until the party picks up in the early morning. Currently one of best places to enjoy music from quality DJs, the styles spun here range widely, but each make the most of the top-notch sound system they’re using.

These are some of the best bars in the city and no matter what you are looking for the city has got you covered, it offers something for everyone. Visit to these bars is a must to get a taste of the vibe of the city.

Best Bar Restaurants of Montreal

Sometimes after a long day at work or on a sober evening or after a long night of dancing you need some good yummy food to fill your tummy and keep you going. Don’t worry because Montreal has plenty of options which provide mouth-watering cuisines to its visitors. These venues provide a plethora of local cuisines along with some international flavours. So, what are you waiting for? Grab that drink and feast on those mouth watering cuisines cause you are in Montreal my friend.

Here is the list of best bar restaurants of Montreal

Casa Del Popolo

Casa Del Popolo
Casa Del Popolo

This underground club in Old Montreal’s been maintaining a reputation for hosting as many lavish dinner services as it does popular DJ nights. Earlier hours of the evening have an attractive cocktail program and Japanese fusion menu from one of the best chefs in town, but at night? A killer light and sound system are put to good use by top acts both local and international.

Barfly

Barfly
Barfly

If you want to meet regulars and check out the latest Montreal sounds this ultimate dive bar (in a good way) is where you want to be. But just because it’s a dive doesn’t mean it’s cheap – cover charge can hit 10.00 and pints of beer top $6.50. Try to time your visit with your musical preferences i.e. Sunday nights are best for Bluegrass fans, while Swing junkies will want to show up on Wednesdays, but check first. Sometimes the bands start late – around 11 pm. Like many of Montreal’s best spots it’s a bit on the small and crowded side with a real arty, original decor.

Club Soda

Club Soda
Club Soda

Club Soda’s medium-sized, 800-seat concert space sits in a great downtown location and is perfect for performances of all stripes from the “Just For Laughs” comedy fest to name acts from the International Jazz Festival to Burlesque shows and everything else in between. The second floor of the two storey spot offers the best views and more private seating. It’s often possible, with a little elbow jostling, to get close to the band on the first floor. The space tends to be a bit on the narrow side but high ceilings allow for half-decent acoustics. The light shows are well done too.

Le Divan Orange

Le Divan Orange
Le Divan Orange

It’s ironic that Le Divan Orange provides comfortable sofas because sitting down and /or relaxing is the last thing on your mind once the music starts. The place is colorful with lots of interesting art hanging about and mostly well designed, except that the bathrooms are behind the elevated stage that otherwisse allows for maximum visibility. The crowd (which changes depending on the wide variety of French and English music playing)is really into music which is quite experimental and goes on until the wee hours. It’s possible to hear variations on Funk, Country, Gospel, Blues and Hip-hop – sometimes in the same evening.

Foufounes Electriques

Foufounes Electriques
Foufounes Electriques

Foufounes (slang for electric ass) is a lively and eclectic spot at 185 east Ste. Catharine, easily recognizable by the huge spider sculpture attached to the wall of the main entrance. It has been a downtown staple since the early 1980’s. Foufounes is pretty happening all year round but the patio strewn and hung with oversize metal sculptures and cartoon figures set against a graffiti covered wall define the hip urban summer patio experience. The three floor club and bar regularly features top local bands and has hosted well-known acts like Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana. The crowd is quite mixed but the vibe is always friendly and laid back.

Le Chavel Blanc

Le Chavel Blanc
Le Chavel Blanc

A favorite beer-drinking spot, Le Chavel Blanc is a bit out of the way on Ontario Street in Montreal’s east end and off the beaten tourist track . It’s a small, casual, semi-chic upscale 50’s retro kind of place with sparkling tile and intimate low lighting that’s perfect for a night out talking with friends. The best beers are those that are brewed on site – particularly the smooth and rich cream ale. The prices are very reasonable for craft beer too. The crowd is mostly mixed French English but predominantly French – particularly the mostly bilingual staff and the ages range from early 20’s to early senior.

Club Peopl

Club Peopl
Club Peopl

Known for having some of the wildest nights in Old Montreal, this club below street level holds packed nights every weekend full of sparklers and hoisted bottles. Some of the best times, however, are had during their seasonal and themed celebrations full of costumes. No matter the day you visit, the customized sound system reverberating off its stone walls here is the real drawcard.

These bar restaurants are mellowed down with good food during the day and the turn up the energy during the nights and miraculously turning into high energy bars. These places could also be a nice opportunity to interact with a few locals and understand the culture of the place from them. You might even get a city tour from a local if you are lucky. If you have good mouth-watering food, lip smacking drinks and great ambience to dance all night is there anything else that you are looking for?

Major Events happening in Montreal

Day and night, Montréal pulses with activity. Each season, it is host to an array of events, exhibitions, and gatherings for the thousands of culture, nature and thrill seekers who come here to enjoy its diverse offerings. Montreal is an international host city, where some of the world’s most exciting events are held annually.

Let us look at some of the most prominent events happening in the city of Montreal

January:

  • Igloo Fest
  • Fire on Ice
  • Fete des Neiges

February:

  • Montréal en Lumière
  • Nuit Blanche à Montréal
  • Butterflies go free

March:

  • Montreal digital spring
  • FIFA
  • Montreal Impact

April:

  • Cabane à Sucre Urbaine
  • Blue Metropolis
  • Fashioning expo

May:

  • Piknic Electronik
  • Festival Transameriques
  • Go Bike Festival

June:

  • Montreal Jazz Festival
  • Grand Prix du Canada
  • Montreal Beer festival

July:

  • Montreal fireworks
  • Fantasia Film Festival
  • Just For Laughs

August:

  • First Peoples Festival
  • Osheaga
  • ÎleSoniq Montréal

September:

  • Gardens of Light
  • MEG Montreal Festival
  • World film festival

October:

  • Black & Blue Festival
  • Black film festival
  • Festival du Nouveau
  • Cinema

November:

  • MTLÀTABLE
  • Cinemania Film Festival
  • M for Montreal

December:

  • Luminothérapie
  • The Nutcracker
  • Merry Montreal

These events happen through the year and are celebrated with a lot of fun and fanfare. One needs to visit Montreal during these fests to witness how the city comes together to celebrate them with much fanfare, fun and frolic. These events are diverse in nature and come from varying back grounds like history, art, modern events, sports and so on. Make sure to visit these events when in Montreal. Also, since these events happen at various parts of the city it would be a good idea to check for the location and book stay accordingly so that one can get the maximum out of these events.

What time does nightlife peak In Montreal?

The nightlife in Montreal starts in the late evening. Though most of these places are open through the day, the actual fun starts sometime in the evening. The bar-restaurants in this town of Canada close slightly early compared to the pubs and the nightclubs. Mist places would take the last order around 2:00am. The nightclubs on the other hand stay open until the dawn as they offer live shows, music, and performances. You will also get a chance to attend the film promotion ceremonies in the evening and night. The clubs stay open until 6:00 am where you can enjoy the DJ music, dance, and drinks. So, get ready in the evening and enter a bar-restaurant. After eating and drinking there you can move on to the clubs. It is the best timing schedule for the nightlife in Montreal. The party peaks around mid-night and goes on till the early hours of the dawn. The que can get quite long in the weekends so make sure you get there well ahead of time or ensure that you have a reservation before hand.

Best Nightclubs of Montreal

Montreal has the amusements for the nights in the form of nightclubs, and late-night bars. In this part of the guide, we will be seeing more in detail about the famous nightclubs located in Montreal where you can enjoy the dance, music, and drinks at the same time. Here are the details of the most amazing clubs located in Montreal which stay open until the dawn: –

Billy Kun

Billy Kun
Billy Kun

Billy Kun is the more sophisticated sister bar of Le Cheval Blanc, easily identified by the signature stuffed ostrich heads adorning the walls running the length of the barroom. It serves the same great brew as Le Cheval Blanc but the location is more accessible on Mont Royal near St. Denis around the corner from the Mont Royal Metro station. It’s also a great spot to relax, drink absinthe and take in a jazz quartet. It’s more popular with the 30 plus crowd of professionals and successful artists and most of the conversations seem to be in French. Its low light setting is perfect for date night although the music can get a tad loud for conversation.

Upstairs Jazz bar and grill

Upstairs Jazz bar and grill
Upstairs Jazz bar and grill

This intimate spot complete with candle-lit tables and vintage records adorning the walls is a favorite of jazz fans across the country who can hear seasoned pros as well as up and coming musicians. There are enough bar seat too so those traveling solo will fit right in. The excellent bistro-style food and drinks-including good wines by the glass are reasonably priced to match the cover charge, which rarely tops $12.00. It’s also serves Spanish tapas dishes and good scotch. The crowd includes jazz fans from mid-college age to seniors. The staff are pleasant and helpful. The room can get a bit stuffy but an outdoor patio provides relief. You can also sit there and enjoy the music without paying cover charge especially if you arrive without reservations. The club is conveniently located near the downtown business hotels.

Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex

Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex
Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex

Winnies is a cozy living room-like bar – just as the original owner intended and it’s part of a pub complex of two other spaces including a dance bar on the upper level called Katrina’s that specializes in cocktails and DJ music. Winnies is a great spot if you’re traveling alone as the other patrons are quite chatty and friendly as you would expect for a neighborhood pub, an old favorite of Montrealers including the writer, Mordecai Richler. The bar offers two for one specials from 4:30 pm until 8 pm and pitchers of cocktails are $20.00 on Wednesday evenings.

Pop Bar a Vin

Pop Bar a Vin
Pop Bar a Vin

Montreal’s favorite wine bar is conveniently attached to a wonderful restaurant, Laloux and indeed even shares some of the same menu offerings which pair wonderfully with the epic wine lists that include tasty organic varieties. Wine selections include some interesting options from France, which can be difficult to find in the rest of Canada. The tapas plates of sardines, cheese and charcuterie are carefully chosen to pair with each wine selection but it’s the tasty combinations on their flatbread pizzas that are the real draw here while the “pop!” refers to their creative “poptails”. The mid-century Danish teak furniture adds to the hip and sophisticated ambiance that still feels warm and inviting.

Club Pelicano

Club Pelicano
Club Pelicano

This quality of cocktails and its décor—designed as though it sits at the bottom of a drained pool—are great drawcards for this bar, but so is their musical curation. Guest DJs using their vinyl rigs are just as valuable as are the locals here, and just about every night of the week has some good music playing. Weekends are the best for dancing while weekdays are solid for aural appreciation.

The Diving Bell Social Club

The diving bell social club
The Diving Bell Social Club

Fashioned after the storied DIY venues of yore, this spot focuses on performances by local artists and activities for the community. A social club in the truest sense, the music’s great here and it’s quickly gained a spot in our hearts for its film screenings, karaoke nights and more. The Plateau’s had quite a few problems with nearby neighbours and venues like this one coexisting, so we’re hoping this one sticks around.

These nightclubs are a huge attraction in the nightlife of Montreal and they are all unique in their own ways. One needs to get well dressed and head to these places or they need to get ready to be denied entry at the gates. So, reach their around mid-night when the party is just peaking and grab a drink and get on the dance floor because Montreal promises you a night like no other perfectly blended with international sounds with the rawness of Canada.

Conclusion

Montreal located on the island of Montreal in the Quebec province of Canada is a historically prominent city with a lot of French influence. It is the second most populated city in Canada and biggest city in the Quebec province of Canada. The city remains as a important centre for commerce, aerospace, transport, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, art, culture, tourism, food, fashion, gaming, film, and world affairs and is the best city for university students to live.

The nightlife in Montreal is full of bars, bar restaurants, pubs, discotheques, nightclubs and other fun things. Most of these places offer an international experience blended with local flavours. The local bands here offer a great taste of the local music which is quite famous in this region. One can grab some mouth watering food and sip in on a few drinks and dance all night while they enjoy the nightlife of this marvellous city.

The nightlife starts pretty late in this city, the dining places are open all day they offer food along with drinks. While the pubs and nightclubs open late in the evening and go on till the early hours of the morning. The party typically peaks around midnight.

There are events happening round the year in this city and they are from various backgrounds. Does not matter what kind of event you are looking for be it sporting action, food festivals, music festivals, dance festivals the city has got something for everyone. Make sure to visit the city during the events to witness the culture and the vibe of the city.

Overall, the city of Montreal has a unique charm of its own and this is best experienced than described. So pack your bags catch the next flight and head to Montreal!