You don’t have to break the bank to have an amazing time in Montreal. The city is filled to the brim with stunning museums, gorgeous nature parks, and frequent cultural festivals. The best part? Most of the best things to see in Montreal are actually completely free.
Travelling on a budget may be tricky but in a city like Montreal, it’s easy to have an unforgettable trip without spending a fortune.
#1. Explore the natural beauty of Mount Royal Park
The namesake of Montreal is also one of its main attractions, the beautiful Mount Royal. This peaked hill stands tall in the centre of the city, surrounded by a nature park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the renowned architect who made New York’s Central Park a reality.
Mount Royal Park is especially beautiful in the summer for picnics, relaxing by Beaver Lake, or hiking to the top for some spectacular views. You can spend a whole day here and all without spending a bit.
#2. Create your own bike tour of the city and surrounds
A great way to spend a day without breaking the bank is by seeing the city on a bicycle. Montreal is crisscrossed with bike paths that total a length of over 500km and all are open to the public for free.
Cycle along the Lachine Canal into Old Montreal, pass the Olympic Village, and enjoy the sights of Parc La Fontaine along the way. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even make your way off of the island to explore the north and south shores.
#3. Get your culture fix at one of the city’s amazing museums
The Musee des Beaux Arts
For lovers of art and photography, there is no better way to spend an afternoon for free than at The Musee des Beaux-Arts. Along with a permanent exhibition, the museum features artwork from Canadian and European artists like drawings, engravings, silverware, and works of art from ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece, and South America.
Modern art aficionados can also see Andy Warhol’s advertising on display too! Museum admission is free for all on the first Sunday of the month and every day for those 20 and under while seniors (65+) are admitted free on Thursdays.
The Redpath Museum
The Redpath Museum is named after a 19th-century sugar baron who financially supported the museum on the campus of McGill University.
History and science geeks will get a kick out of the wide range of fossils (including dinosaurs), skeletons of rare and extinct animals, rocks and minerals, and a fine collection of Egyptian antiquities that the Redpath has to offer. And best of all, admission is free.
#4. Partake in the summer festivals
Montreal is known as a festival town and it’s no wonder with locals that love to eat, drink, and celebrate life every day of the year.
The city is abuzz with music festivals throughout the year like the International Jazz Festival, Les Francofolies, Les Nuits D’Afrique, and the indie music festival Pop Montreal. Music lovers, rejoice! From shows and live entertainment, the summer is ablaze with music — and all of it is completely free.
#5. Enjoy the spectacle of the International Fireworks Competition
Summer visitors to Montreal will likely be familiar with the International Fireworks Competition there that takes place twice a week throughout June and July. This epic (and free) attraction draws locals and tourists alike to the waterfront of the Old Port, the Jacques Cartier Bridge, or the amusement park, La Ronde, for the best views.
#6. Stay in and relax
Whether you’re a Montreal local or on a summer holiday, some days you may just feel like staying in and snuggling up with a glass of wine and a good movie.
For a fun and free good time, put on your comfiest outfit and try your luck at one of Canada’s great online casinos with free spins that require no obligation and are easy to activate. Who knows? Your free spins might end up paying off!
The vibrance of the city is undeniable, as is the accessibility for all types of travellers on any budget. There are delicious cheap food choices, it’s easy to walk or cycle around, and there are plentiful free activities to do and things to see – especially in the summer when nearly every week hosts some kind of festival, street fair, parade, or cultural show.
Montreal has been called many things throughout the years. From “The City of Steeples” to “Festival City”, “The City of Saints”, nothing captures the essence of the city as well as its most recent nickname: “Montrealive”.