Montreal Nightlife Exposed

The second largest city in Canada, Montreal, is known for its effervescent nightlife. The always- happening city offers a wide array of activities to choose from, making it a common destination for tourists and locals looking to have a good time at the best bars and clubs. Here's where we come in: we'll give you an idea of the best spots to hit up with the latest music, the greatest vibes and the coolest upcoming events.

It wasn't an easy task to pick out the hottest clubs/bars for a weekend out, but we managed to narrow it down to a few faves in the four corners of the city. So get ready to go out and have a night you most certainly won't remember with the people you'll never forget. Read more...

Looking for somewhere to talk about anything and everything over a couple of drinks? Why not check out Montreal's lounges?!


For a night out with the boys watching the game or just for a game of pool, Montreal has many bars to meet your needs!


Want to get your boogie on? Check out Montreal's club scene. Whether you're looking for a place to meet new people or dance until the wee hours of the morning.


Want to spend a great night out listening to jazz? Check out Montreal's jazz lounge. Whether you're looking for a place to listen to great music or a place to unwind after a hard week at work.


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Montreal Nightlife Clubs:

Right by the water in the Old Port of Montreal, Terrace Bonsecours is the best place to spend a summer night. The great part about this club is that it's outdoors, which gives you the perfect view of Old Montreal. Whether you're a house, hip hop or r&b fan, the DJ's there make sure to appeal to everyone's distinct taste in music by spinning all kinds of different beats. So strap on those heels, button up your dress shirts, and get ready to take in the lively Montreal nightlife.

With sold out shows almost every weekend, two floors and amazing light shows, New City Gas is quickly becoming the hottest place to be. Having opened recently, the club has already set the stage for a number of internationally renowned DJ's (Sebastian Ingrosso, Tiesto and Bob Sinclar to name a few) while still promoting upcoming talent. Make sure you buy your tickets online beforehand as shows have the tendency to sell out quickly. Fortunately, the tickets rarely cost more than $20, which is totally worth it for the Montreal nightlife experience. New City Gas is decked out with two stages and an upper and lower terrace so people enjoy listening to the music while taking in the summer air. For those of you who enjoy more of a lounge feel, Koko will definitely be of your taste. Located on Sherbrooke near St. Laurent, the club has a more sophisticated appeal, with low-lighting and a laid-back atmosphere. It's been known to have a few celebrity sightings (not to name drop or anything but... Channing Tatum, just saying), which goes to show how popular Koko is. So whether you're there to celebrate a birthday or grab a few drinks, it's a great place to have a night out with your friends.

Rated as the 19th best club in the world by DJ Mag (2012), Circus Afterhours is the perfect place for those of you who enjoy the Montreal nightlife and parttying into the wee hours of the night. This Afterhours Club has two stages with DJ's constantly spinning great tracks. DJ Ben Gold has played at Circus and mentioned in his podcast it is one of his favourite places to spin. With UV black lights, an open and spacious dance floor and an amazing revolving massage chair for those who want to get the full experience, Circus is well-known and loved by all those who have been.


Montreal Nightlife Bars:

Ever had the urge to drink out of a sand bucket, ride a mechanical bull, or throw your bra (or your girlfriend's bra) on a moose's antlers? Well we have the perfect place for you. Right on St Laurent, Chez Serge accommodates a lively atmosphere full of craziness which makes for great stories and a not-so-memorable night (if you know what we mean). So get your friends together and get ready to say "remember that time I fell off the bull?"

When trying to come up with a bar that serves the most interesting drinks, the first one that comes to mind is La Distillerie. It has a wide array of drinks served in jars (yes, you read that right). They have everything from cucumber to seaweed to cinnamon mixed into their drinks to make the wildest and most unusual concoctions. It has more of a casual atmosphere, where you sit on old style bar stools, surrounded by brick walls, making it a great place for a date. Good luck at attempting to distinguish the different ingredients in your drink!

For those of you with a sweet tooth, our next bar is a must. Candi Bar, located on St Laurent, serves a wide array of sweet drinks topped with your favourite candies (ring pops, sour watermelon and gummy worms to name a few). Not only can you get sweets on your drinks, but every table has a gumball machine. While you're there, make sure you visit the washroom; it's as intriguing as the rest of the bar, Montreal nightlife has never been so fun.


For those of you on a budget:

Sorry fellas, this first one is for the girls. Wednesday nights at Mckibbin's Irish Pub are ladies' night, which means $2 drinks (score!), $4 beers, and not so great decisions. It's the perfect place to break out of your weekday rut and have an amazing time. It tends to get very busy after ten thirty so to avoid a line up get there early or get to know the bouncer! While the bar stays true to its Irish heritage, the music is more modern so you can let your inner dancer out. For those of you brave souls out there, feel free to try the Rim Reaper wings, although you'll probably regret it in the morning (they make you sign a waiver). Get ready to let that good judgement out the door and enjoy cheap drinks.

On Crescent Street in the heart of downtown, Winnie's (on the lower level of Sir Winston Churchill's) is well known for its $2.50 Tuesdays drink specials. The bar is spacious, the music is great, the TV's are tuned in to the game of the night (for all you sports fans out there), and there are lots of couches for when your feet give out on you. This bar is definitely worth going to, especially for a warm summer night on the terrace.

One of the main go-to bars for students is Hurleys Irish Pub. Also located on Crescent and know for its great Montreal nightlife, the bar is known for its affordable drinks (which they brew themselves) and delicious finger food. The bar has three terraces where you can enjoy your drink of choice under the starry sky, or you can make your way inside to listen to the live band. Make sure you make it in time for happy hour which goes on until 8pm.


Montreal Nightlife Events:

Montreal isn't all about the bars, clubs and nightlife or is it ? The city is also known for its big events throughout the year. Known as a common favourite and set in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles in downtown, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal has been ranked as the world's largest jazz festival by Guinness World Records. Every summer, thousands of global music fans get to enjoy 10 days' worth of music from all around the world. Most of the shows are free and go from noon to midnight. Sipping on a beer as you enjoy the music sounds like a great way to spend a summer evening, wouldn't you agree?

Since we gave the ladies a good spot before, this next one's for the guys. One of the biggest events in Montreal is the Grand Prix Weekend. While the racing is great, it's not just about that. It's more about the entire city's enthusiasm and excitement. Tens of thousands of people from around the world come to Montreal every summer to enjoy 72 hours of Formula 1. Even if you're not a huge racing fan, make sure you pass by Crescent Street during the day to check out some of the amazing cars on display and enjoy many free samples of drinks being handed out by the very friendly pump-up girls. Besides, who doesn't like models and cars? We didn't think so.

Considered one of the largest winter festivals in the world, Montreal En Lumière (a.k.a. Nuit Blanche) is an annual celebration that attracts close to a million people. From the Quartier des spectacles, to Old Montreal, to the Plateau-Mont-Royal, and finally the Olympic Park, the entire city comes alive with excitement through this unique festival that brings together gastronomy, performing arts, and free activities all night long. You don't need to worry about looking for parking because the metros run all night to give you easier access to every part of downtown so you can relish in all the different activities and shows.

For those of you (like us) who have always dreamed of going to Tomorrowland but can't really afford it for the time being, Bal en Blanc should definitely be on your to-do list. The huge rave is hosted annually and brings together 15,000 attendees who don their white clothes and make their way to the Palais des Congrès to enjoy some of the best Montreal nightlife and their favourite headliner DJ's from around the world. Bal en Blanc has both a house and a trance room to accommodate for everyone's different preferences. This is undeniably a great experience for anyone who enjoys this kind of music. Make sure you stay hydrated though since the rave usually goes on for 15 hours!

Have you ever wondered how you can enjoy some of your favourite music while still getting the most out of Montreal's summer weather? Well lucky for you, we have a few ideas that can help. With shows happening every Sunday and cheap tickets ($14 all in), Piknik Electronik is the go-to destination for all you electronic music lovers out there. Sit on the sand, enjoy the music or take a swim, because this is the perfect place to do so. Another excellent and quite similar option is Montreal's Beach Club, located in Pointe-Calumet, an island 30 min from downtown. You can enjoy partying to the sounds of some of the best DJ's while still being able to work on your tan. Our last recommendation would have to be Osheaga, a festival that brings together music lovers from all over North America to showcase over 90 bands (with big names like Coldplay, Eminem, the Killers, and Florence and the Machine) making for an unparalleled setting that you can only find in Montreal.

We hope that all these recommendations help you plan some of the best outings with your friends. It's really hard to be bored with the Montreal nightlife scene, so get dressed, get out there, and go make some crazy memories!

Carly & Tamara

The second-largest city in Canada, Montreal has a long history of nightlife. Montreal nightlife has been a long part of Montreal culture, in the days of prohibition Americans would travel to the city to drink at the most popular Montreal nightlife spots in the city. The Montreal nightlife scene is world famous for the province’s low drinking age of 18 years old. Today, Montreal nightlife continues to draw tourists and locals alike looking for the best clubs and bars. You will find some of the best Montreal nightlife clubs and bars listed on this website. Whether you are searching for clubs in Montreal, Laval, Longueuil or hotspots in the West Island, Montreal will find it all here!

Like many tourists, you probably come to Montreal to catch a hockey game, concert, museum tours, a wedding, or to shop 'till you drop (one of Montreal local's favorite pastimes and a real treat for visitors) - there are countless reasons, really. One of the most popular among generations both young and old, however, is the Montreal nightlife. So intoxicating and distinct in its passion and excitement, it keeps tourists coming back for more several times a year. With such a diverse selection of offerings, you can make your visit an entirely different experience each time you visit.

Montreal nightlife boasts an abundance of extremely cool, extraordinarily hot Montreal clubs spanning Atwater to St. Denis Street. Be forewarned - these Montreal clubs are tremendously popular and teaming with people wanting access to their DJs and dance floors. Expect to stand in line outside (a great place to meet a new dance partner) and to pay a cover charge for most of the hottest Montreal hangouts. A word to the wise - be sure to layer your clothing if you're in Montreal during the cooler months because once you cross the threshold of your chosen Montreal club, the temperature starts to climb significantly. As you approach the dance floor, you'll want to strip off all but your most modest layer and join the sweating bodies writhing to the Montreal music.

When planning to hit the town for Montreal’s nightlife, be sure to leave your T-shirts, jeans and sneakers in your hotel room. Although casual dress is perfectly fine at the Montreal pubs and smaller Montreal bars across town, the trendy Montreal nightclubs and Montreal restaurants do have a dress code. Black ties certainly aren't necessary, but if your goal is to blend into the Montreal nightlife scene and get past the doormen, you'll want to don your coolest threads. Comfortable elegance is the trend in fashion for both men and women this year, with the younger generation continuing to bare their midriffs under scant camisoles and blouses. The latest word on Montreal's Fashion Alley is that powder-blue and pinstripes are the hot new menswear trends for Spring/Summer 2004.

Looking for great Montreal music? Whatever your preference, you are pretty much guaranteed to find it here. Check out the Montreal clubs for a night of feverish Montreal dancing or casual flirtations to the sounds of Montreal’s hip hop, Montreal house, Montreal rock, Montreal disco or the increasingly popular Montreal Latino rhythm. Yes, you did read correctly - disco is back and more than alive and well - booming from the speakers at many Montreal dance clubs. If you prefer more of a variety, there are a number of multi-level Montreal clubs which offer different genres of music on each level… so when you're tired of the disco beat, trek upstairs to the house or hip hop floors, if you are so inclined. If you're in the mood for more traditional Celtic, folk, blues or rock, head on down to the Montreal pubs lining Bishop, Crescent, St. Laurent and St. Denis - many of which showcase live Montreal bands - some headlining bands every night of the week.

Let's not forget jazz music now - in the home of the world famous Montreal Jazz Festival, you can find great, live jazz in many of the Montreal clubs spread throughout downtown and Old Montreal. Homegrown Quebecois sing-along pubs can also be found in Old Montreal on St. Paul Street - definitely a must experience for any newcomer, and although most songs are in French, the gregarious crowd will have you singing along in no time.

Looking for something a little more relaxed? Most downtown hotels (and there are countless) house quiet piano bars or lounges where you can fall into large, comfortable sofas and chairs and actually carry on a conversation at a tolerable decibel.

Perhaps you're in search of the traditional Montreal cigar lounge? Enjoy dragging on that ol' stogie, do ya? Well fear not, although far from traditional, you'll be welcomed with open arms at many of the Montreal lounges throughout the city that cater to those with a definitive taste for fine Cuban and other imported cigars. So, don't be shy - sit back, relax and go ahead - light up that sweet (ahem!) smelling stogie.

It's 3:00 am, the bars are closing and you are ravenous - with good reason - you've most likely just danced the night away. Don't despair - we have a vast selection of restaurants and diners open until the wee hours. Whether it's our deliciously famous smoked meat, burgers, steamed hot dogs, ethnic cuisine, or even breakfast - you can easily find them scattered within the vicinity of most Montreal nightclubs and Montreal hotels.

It's always a good idea to consult our Montreal tourist guide before heading out for Montreal’s nightlife. It is a great source of information and is in-tune to what's going on in the city. Allow us to help you plan your evening by suggesting a variety of venues that correspond to your desires - just flip through our pages.

Montrealers love life and love to smile - so bring your widest grin and lots of energy to burn.

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