The Best Things to Do at Night in Montreal, Canada

Montreal has a lot more to see and do at night than bars and nightclubs
Montreal has a lot more to see and do at night than bars and nightclubs | © Vlad Ghiea / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Tess Boissonneault
6 October 2020

Montreal has maintained its reputation as a nightlife city since it became a haven for gambling, drinking and music in the Roaring Twenties. However, today, its nightlife extends beyond bars and clubs. Here are some of the exciting things you can do at night in this Canadian city.

Catch a burlesque act

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Experience a unique evening out at the Wiggle Room, Montreal’s top burlesque venue. In the heart of the city’s nightlife scene, it presents a range of stirring and entertaining burlesque acts, but they’re very popular, so book your tickets early. It also hosts an array of comedy and musical performances.

Experience Cité Mémoire

Architectural Landmark
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Montreal, Canada. 24th May, 2017.  Cite Memoires Grand tableau onto the walls of the Montreal Court House (Champ-de-Mars). Cite Memoire features 20 multimedia tableaux telling the history of Montreal. Credit: Marc Bruxelle/Alamy Live News
© Marc Bruxelle / Alamy Stock Photo

While a walking tour of Old Montreal is enjoyable at any time of day, the city’s oldest quarter takes on a new life at night thanks to the unique Cité Mémoire self-guided tour. Once the sun sets, a series of light projections illuminate the neighborhood’s brick façades and cobbled roads, taking you on a special journey through the city’s rich history. A free app provides additional context for the spectral light projections.

Watch a flick at Cinéma Moderne

Movie Theater
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Catching a movie doesn’t have to entail lining up at a multiplex and spending half of your day’s earnings at the concessions. There are many alternative movie theaters in Montreal, including Cinéma Moderne, a small independent cinema with an adjoining café-bar. The Mile End theater projects a diverse selection of films that promote independent filmmaking and a range of perspectives.

Spend a night at the museum

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Museum of Fine Arts / Musee des Beaux Arts, Downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada
© David Giral / Alamy Stock Photo
Every Wednesday, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has extended opening hours until 9pm, allowing art enthusiasts to spend an evening enjoying its many exhibitions. The expansive downtown gallery is home to many permanent collections, including a noteworthy Canadian art wing, as well as world-class temporary displays. On Wednesday evenings, the admission rates are also reduced, making for a culturally engaging night-time activity that won’t break the bank.

Indulge in a late-night poutine

Diner, Restaurant, American, Canadian, North American, Fast Food
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There’s no better way to spend a night in Montreal than by devouring one of its most famous dishes, poutine. While many greasy spoons are open quite late, the city is home to at least one 24-hour poutine joint, La Banquise, which is busy at nearly all hours – day or night. Just steps from Parc Lafontaine in the Plateau neighborhood, La Banquise serves one of the finest classic poutines (fries topped with rich gravy and cheese curds), along with 29 other varieties, including a vegetarian option.

Stargaze at the planetarium

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Montreal Planetarium, Canada
© David Giral / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re looking for a fun activity on a Thursday evening, why not spend an awe-inspiring night at Montreal’s Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan? Each week, the domed theater hosts a series of astronomical evening shows at a reduced price of eight Canadian dollars ($6), inviting you to sit back and take in an out-of-this-world, 360-degree experience. It’s a stunning visual spectacle that artfully combines poetry and the science of the stars.

These recommendations were updated on October 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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