When you’re travelling, you often end up in a restaurant or bar, wondering what to do next or where to go out that evening. Sometimes when you need information about movie schedules or happy hour specials, and you don’t have your laptop handy, blogs may not always be the solution. But there are other options. If you find yourself sitting around in a pub or a bar in Montreal, and you want to find something to do, check out the free papers and entertainment guides that are found all over town. Here’s my list of favourites for last-minute ideas or impromptu outings.
In New York, you can pick up The New Yorker, the Village Voice or Time Out to find out what’s going on; in Paris, you can pick up Pariscope or l’Officiel for an updated list of concerts or current exhibitions. If you’re looking for some entertainment options — other than the plethora of choices offered by your Montreal Insiders — then check out my list of papers and free entertainment guides. You can find them displayed on stands in most bars, restaurants or cultural venues around town. Whether you want to plan a night out or you need some ideas for an impromptu outing, these guides will help you make a decision.
In Montreal, there is a full range of English newspapers available at most newsstands, including Montreal-based THE GAZETTE, as well as THE NATIONAL POST and THE GLOBE AND MAIL from Toronto. The Gazette is the best choice for lengthy reviews and daily suggestions of activities — plus you can catch up on local news, politics, business and sports with a yummy café au lait. There are also two free English entertainment guides published every week that focus on the arts and culture scene: the MONTREAL MIRROR and the HOUR. I tend to favour the Mirror, despite the questionable design of their website (it doesn’t look like they’ve updated since it went online in 1997) as it generally offers a good choice of alternative cultural picks to help you plan your weekend.
Another lifesaver for Friday nights is NIGHTLIFE MAGAZINE, a free monthly publication with French and English articles. Although you can find Nightlife all across Canada, the Montreal edition is quite special as it reflects the city’s identity and offers original entertainment ideas in both languages. Nightlife is a little more hipster-friendly; you’ll find the latest news in music, design and the arts scene, as well as complete reviews of recent openings and a list of must-see concerts.
You can find these free papers, flyers and magazines in most cultural venues in the downtown area, the Plateau, and the Village. Even though I’m a blogger, sometimes nothing beats the feeling of picking up a paper and leafing through the pages for improvised excursions or last-minute changes in plans.