Montreal on the cheap

Thinking of heading north of the border but don’t want to put a strain on your pocket book? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the city of Montreal for free – or close to it. Here are six ways to experience Montreal on the cheap.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Image: IsabelleAcatauassu)

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Image: IsabelleAcatauassu)

It’s free to visit this exquisite fine arts museum, where everything from ancient archeological finds to masterpieces by the Old Masters and contemporary pieces fill the museum’s rooms. The museum also highlights Canadian artwork of past and present.

Parc du Mont-Royal

Parc du Mont-Royal (Image: mricon used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Parc du Mont-Royal (Image: mricon used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Half the fun of Montreal’s Parc du Mont-Royal is making your way to the summit for unmatched views of the city. How you choose to make the trek is up to you: walking, biking or driving are all options. Once you get to this free park (designed by the same architect who designed New York’s Central Park), you can take a stroll along the pathways or rent a boat to enjoy the park’s lake. In winter months, the man-made lake transforms into an ice skating rink.

Notre-Dame Basilica

Notre-Dame Basilica (Image: Sam Howzit)

Notre-Dame Basilica (Image: Sam Howzit)

This stunning Gothic Revival cathedral was the first of its kind in all of Canada, and its dramatic decor includes a 7,000-pipe Casavant Freres organ and stained glass walls. A nightly sound and light show highlights the basilica’s history. The cathedral is $5 to visit and free for those who are attending a mass or service.

Parc Jean Drapeau

Parc Jean Drapeau (Image: oknidius)

Parc Jean Drapeau (Image: oknidius)

Sprawling across two islands, Parc Jean Drapeau is one of the city’s most notable parks. Filled with public art installations, 62 acres of gardens and attractions like the Biosphere and Stewart Museum, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend a day at Parc Jean Drapeau.

Public markets

Jean Talon Market (Image: clementbelleudy used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Jean Talon Market (Image: clementbelleudy used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Montreal’s public markets are where you can get an authentic look at the city’s fresh foods and the locals who call the city home. The only cost is the price of the produce, cheeses, breads, flowers and other goodies you decide to treat yourself to. 

Old Montreal

Old Montreal (Image: manumilou used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Old Montreal (Image: manumilou used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Montreal’s historic district is made for wandering. Take a stroll down the area’s cobblestone streets, popping into souvenir shops and casual restaurants as you make your way to attractions like Montreal City Hall and the Notre-Dame Basilica.

 

(Main image: Christopher Policarpio)

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