Showing Off Montreal on a Budget

It’s always exciting when an old friend or family member comes to visit. One of the best parts of having someone come out to Montreal is getting to do all the touristy stuff you would never take the time to do on your own, like climbing Mont Royal or getting smoked meat from Swartz’s. However, trying to do this on a budget can get tricky. Here are five activities to show your visitors the city without emptying your wallet.

1. The Old Port

From the cobble stone streets to the view of Habitat 67, this historic port is uniquely Montreal. The Old Port is filled with boutiques to browse through and cafés to snack at. Visitors can also take a tour of Montreal’s history through the video projection installation, Cité Mémoire. The largest of it’s kind in the world, Cité Mémoire screens stories about the city’s past, every day from dusk until 10 or 11 p.m. Videos are projected all over the port and spectators can download a free app to be able to listen to the sound that goes along with the videos. 


2. Keep an eye out for events

On any given day in Montreal, there is something special going on. has a list of daily events happening all over the city—many of which are inexpensive or free. BBC travel describes Montreal as “full lively bars, clubs and restaurants [and] fun-loving, trendsetting locals who ensure the place never gets dull.” What better way to show off this aspect of the city than taking you visitors to an event with locals?

3. Jean Talon Market 

Full of local and tasty foods, it’s no wonder deemed Jean Talon Market “the Mecca of all things delicious in Montreal.” The market is stocked with local, cheap produce and snacks to eat. It’s easy to get too, just a four minute walk from the Jean Talon metro.


4. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 

Located super close to Concordia’ Sir George Williams campus, the museum boasts a collection of over 41,000 works. If you and your visitors are 30 and under, entrance to the museum’s permanent collection is free! For guests over 30, visiting the museum is still affordable, at $12. Going to the museum is an easy to spend an afternoon taking in one of the things the city is most known for: its art. 

5. Explore the Plateau

One of the things we can take for granted living in Montreal is all of the street art. It’s such a staple to the city that Montreal’s street art is listed under “sights and landmarks” on TripAdvisor and earns itself a four out of five-star rating. Every year in June, MURAL festival takes over Saint-Laurent Boulevard coating it with new art. So even friends and family who have been here before can look forward to finding new pieces scattered around. The Plateau is also full of interesting shops and bars, making it a perfect place to spend a day exploring on foot.