Doing Montréal on a budget


January 3, 2011 – Your savings have taken a beating? No matter what the times—a girl or guy’s gotta get away from it all. Lucky for you, this city serves up lots of cheap thrills. Here are a few hints on how to make the most of your Montréal money:

1.      La Vitrine, literally, the city’s window on culture. Snap up last-minute tix at reduced prices for shows, plays and a whole lot of other events going on around town.

2.      Musée d’art contemporain. Canada’s premier contemporary art museum is open free of charge on Wednesday evenings. For the love of art, go for it!

3.      La TOHU. Too late to run away and join the circus? Well, you can at least run to TOHU, Montréal’s centre for the circus arts and watch many admission-free performances.

4.      Montréal Museums Pass (with public transit). For the low, low price of $50 (taxes in), you get access to 34 of Montréal’s museums, plus a Société de transport de Montréal (STM) tourist transit card which gives you unlimited access to the bus and metro (subway) system for 3 consecutive days. Bonus!

5.      Youth hostels or university residences. Inexpensive ways to stay downtown and rest your weary legs… Who knows? You might hit it off with a fellow traveler.

6.      The intimate ambiance of an inn, manor or B&B. Located near major attractions of the city, these smaller venues or “petits hôtels” like we say in French, offer an excellent quality/price ratio and feature an array of high-end services, including breakfast, parking and wireless Internet, all in an intimate setting.

7.      Cheap eats in Chinatown. Worth the wander for the many boutiques crammed with exotic foods and wares, this district is also home to some favourite eateries that will sate your hunger without leaving you a pauper.

8.      Friperies (or secondhand clothing stores) on Du Mont-Royal Avenue. Why buy run-of-the-mill retail when you can find cool stuff for cheap in the city’s great “frips”? Whether vintage or designer or just plain cool, a trip to a frip is your ticket to budget-conscious—but never boring—fashion.

Enjoy your visit!