The 40+ best cheap things to do in Montreal on a Small Budget

The 40+ best cheap things to do in Montreal on a Small Budget

We’re all about giving back to our community and having fun at the same time. So, we’re excited to announce that there’s plenty of great stuff to do in Montreal, without breaking the bank.

Want to save some money this summer? There’s always a good reason to take a trip to Montreal! From affordable activities to must-see sites, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for a cheap family vacation or romantic getaway.

From the world-famous Notre-Dame Basilica to a giant ferris wheel, here are the 40+ cheap things to do in Montreal.

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The 40+ best cheap things to do in Montreal

1. Grab a couple steamés at Montreal Poom Room

Montrealers love their hot dogs, but unlike other cities, we like ours smaller and steamed rather than roasted (for a soft, warm texture) (buttery and crispy).

One of Montreal’s many casse-croûtes (restaurants) such as Lafleur’s or La Belle Province, or even an institution like the Montreal Pool Room, is the finest spot to try the authentic Quebec dog.

An inexpensive, enjoyable, and unquestionably unhealthy way to spend some time with friends and family.

Price: $1.35 for each steamé, $1.75 for each toasté

2. Shakespeare in the Park in Parc La Fontaine

Shakespeare-in-the-park is an annual summer production that takes place in several Montreal parks throughout the month of July, with our favorite performances taking place at Parc La Fontaine’s public amphitheatre.

This is a great option for a fun night out that doesn’t break the bank because the events are technically free, but attendees are encouraged to give if they can.

The company’s productions aren’t your typical Shakespearean fare; instead, they employ modern settings to adapt the Bard’s works.

Price: Pay-what-you-can

3. Ride a Bixi along Lachine Canal

Even if you don’t plan on using your bike for transportation but rather to explore the city, you may take use of Montreal’s bike sharing system to do so.

If you’re not sure where to begin, take the entire length of Lachine Canal as your starting point.

One-way, 30-minute trips cost $2.95, while a one-day pass, which costs $5.25, is the most expensive choice at $5.25. Make sure you have a credit card on hand to pay.

Price: $5.25 for a day pass

4. Drink and eat at Jeanne Mance Park

When the weather is nice, Montrealers take advantage of the city’s many public areas and parks to dine and drink at a low price.

Jeanne-Mance Park is a great choice because of its central location among the city’s mountain, Plateau, and Mile End neighborhoods.

You may go to Coco Rico for some Portuguese chicken sandwiches or to a dépanneur for some cool beers because the park has tennis courts, a soccer field, bike routes, picnic tables, plenty of chairs and a playground.

Drinking at a park is only permitted if you have a food with you.

Price: Under $10

5. Explore through snacking at

It’s no wonder that our farmers’ markets and small, locally owned eateries rank high on the list of favorite attractions for foodies in this city.

Jean-Talon Market, in Little Italy, and Atwater Market, near Saint-Henri, are the two primary food markets in the area.

Aside from being fantastic locations to buy and dine, they also serve as great hangouts where you can take in the sights and sounds and scents of the city without feeling rushed.

Price: Under $10

6. Support the arts at Papier Art Fair

Since 2007, Montrealers have been able to view and purchase works of art on paper at the Papier Art Fair each April.

A wide variety of galleries from throughout the United States have gathered to display the work of some of America’s most gifted painters. There will be a wide range of media on display at this year’s show, making it the largest yet.

Price: $10 ($8 for students and seniors)

7. See a flick at Dollar Cinéma

There is a small understatement in the name because, at $2.50 a film or 23 tickets for $23, this theater is an excellent value for moviegoers looking to catch a big-screen flick on a budget.

At $1 per snack, there’s enough money left over to eat at the nearby Gibeau Orange Julep or Pushap Indian restaurant after seeing a movie.

See also  Where to find the best bagels in Montreal, ranked (21 Places)

Price: $2.50 a ticket

8. Party it up at Village au Pied-du-Courant

Community-oriented public area is located along Saint-Lawrence River’s shores at the foot of the Jacques Cartier near the river’s mouth.

People of all ages from all around Montreal may come together, share, and enjoy water views here.

There are now more places to eat and drink (at a fee), playgrounds for children, art installations, and a boardwalk in the Village, which has grown steadily over the years. When bands perform on their outdoor stage, the finest moments are.

Price: Free

9. Watch live music acts around the Plateau

Every night in Montreal, there’s a terrific show worth seeing. All kinds of live music may be found at clubs and venues across the city, and most performances don’t cost much.

The Plateau has the majority of the low-cost venues, although downtown also has several great options:

Bar Le Ritz P.D.B, Theatre Fairmount, Casa Del Popolo, Sala Rosa, Petit Campus, L’Escogriffe, Quai de Brumes, O Patro Vys, and Foufounes Electrique are just a few of the places where you can see free or cheap performances and dance events.

Find out who’s playing and select your team.

Price: $10 and under

10. Eat ice cream at Kem Coba

You can cool yourself with a tasty cone at this Vietnamese ice cream store in the city. A second site has opened in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district to alleviate the long wait times at its Mile End location.

The two-toned soft serve specials and scoops of owners Ngoc Phan and Vincent Beck, with their constantly changing mouthwatering flavors, are well worth a try for cheap.

Price: $4.57 (taxes not included)

11. Compare bagels at Fairmount Bagel and St-Viateur Bagel

There are two of Montreal’s greatest bagels within walking distance of each other, so newcomers to the city have no excuse not to consume them. Decide where you stand on the Great Bagel Debate, and then it’s time for some fun!

Don’t spend your time with anything but sesame or poppy seed or you’ll appear like a tourist—you can determine for yourself which bagel is best in town.

Price: Under $2 per bagel

12. Catch up over coffee at Crew Collective and Café

An old bank building in Old Montreal is now home to a public café that serves as an all-inclusive workspace for anybody who needs a private conference room, a single workstation for the day, or an extended co-working area for a few months at a time.

If you’re looking for a place to catch up on your work, this is the place for you. But if you just want to appreciate the stunning atmosphere while having a cup of coffee, you can do that, too.

Price: $6 and under

13. Make the most of winter at Mount Royal

It’s a veritable snowy wonderland on Mount Royal in the winter, with lots of activities taking place in and around the Beaver Lake lodge. It’s only $5 to rent an inner tube and zoom down the hill designated for slipping and sliding.

There are many places where you can rent a variety of winter sports equipment for as little as $15 and enjoy the season to the fullest.

Price: $5

14. Laugh it up at The Comedy Nest

Do you like a good laugh?

Check out Montreal’s long-standing comedy club, The Comedy Nest, which is frequently chosen the finest in the city for showcasing local talent, and you just might catch the next great up-and-coming star perform.

If you go on a Monday or Tuesday night when the show is only $5, you may save money. There’s still money in the bank after a fun night out, so what’s not to like? Win-win.

Price: $5

15. Eat poutine at La Banquise

Poutine is a Quebec delicacy that has become a global cultural symbol for which people all over the world have come to associate the province.

Some people don’t want to eat their French fries with gravy and cheese curd for supper, but La Banquise is one of the city’s best ambassadors for the dish, offering it constantly and with so many various alternatives.

And if it’s too crowded, there’s always a nearby poutine restaurant.

Price: Under $10

16. Eat every baked good at Automne Boulangerie

If you’re looking for a taste of the city’s French heritage, stop by Automne bakery for some of the greatest bread and baguettes and croissants around.

Get there too late in the day and you’ll be without that baguette for supper today, those croissants for brunch tomorrow morning, or that snack meant for while you’re relaxing in a park.

The shelves there speak for themselves When it comes to carbohydrates, rely on the crust. Check out the city’s greatest bakeries if they’re all gone.

Price: Prices vary

17. Take in the sights at Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal

Located in the center of Old Montreal, the Notre-Dame Basilica is a stunning church with a grand interior, gorgeous architecture, and gilded gold leaves.

A 20-minute guided tour is included in the $8 admission price for adults. Celine Dion, the unofficial queen of Quebec and one of our greatest sources of provincial pride, was married and her husband’s burial was conducted at this same place.

Even if you’re not a religious tourist. (Sad news about René)

Price: $8

18. Eat a feast in Chinatown

Chinatown has a lot to offer, including some of the city’s greatest deals on food. Hoang Oanh, a banh mi sandwich store on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, is one of our favorites.

If you’re in the mood for a tasty sandwich, you can get one created right there and then for only $5 on De La Gauchetière. I mean, why not have a cup of bubble tea to wash it all down? It’s within your means.

Price: $5

19. Knock back a round at Vices & Versa

Aside from the fantastic brewers found in Montreal, there are many other delectable producers to be found around the province.

Enjoying some of Montreal’s finest brews at one of its numerous quaint bars and restaurants is an affordable way to spend a day.

Check out other bars like Dieu du Ciel!, Harricana, Isle de La Garde, and L’Espace Public in addition to Vices Versa if you want to find something new and exciting. You can find a list of the greatest craft beer bars in Montreal right here.

Price: $6 to $8

20. Shop for oddities at Expozine

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a pop-up shop in this city for everything. More than 50 artists and groups offer posters and printed works at Expozine, an annual art expo held in November.

The Pop Montreal music festival’s Puces Pop art show is a chance for local artists, designers, and craftspeople to come together and sell their products and wares under one roof a few times a year.

Price: Under $10

21. Find stylish gems at The Decade Building

Local artisans exhibit and sell their wares at The Market, a monthly pop-up event held in a renovated warehouse in the center of Mile-Ex.

You’ll find everything for every budget here, from apparel to accessories to stationery, and there are a few full-time designers who have taken up residence in the area, whose work is only available by appointment.

See also  12 Best Mussels in Montreal Restaurants (Updated December 2021)

Price: Under $10

22. Buy it second-hand at The Word

Unlike bookstores, where the ambiance and attitude provide a sense of escape, full-price retail stores are little more than a means of window shopping for the ordinary frugal person.

It’s safe to say that the city’s second-hand booksellers, including The Word in the Milton Park neighborhood near McGill University, have everything you need.

Its book selection has a literary bent, but there’s something interesting to be found in each of their carefully selected sections. Cheap Thrills, which is only a few blocks away, deserves a shoutout as well.

Price: Under $10

23. Swim a couple laps at the Olympic Pool

If you’ve ever wanted to swim like an Olympian or feel like a little fish in a chlorine pond, this is the place for you. Why not jump from a high diving board and feel the shivers down your spine?

Visit the Olympic swimming pool close to the Olympic Stadium and enjoy a day of swimming in Montreal’s largest indoor pool, maybe taking a dive from the high diving board. Adults and children may both enjoy free swims on certain days of the week.

Price: Free

24. Explore Old Montreal

COST | Free.

For a brief moment in Old Montreal, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a different continent.

There is no doubt that Buenos Aires, Argentina, is known as “Paris in the South,” but Old Montreal, Quebec, truly seemed like “Paris in the New World.”

This is a great place to wander the streets and observe the people around you.

Even if you don’t want to spend any money, there are several sidewalk cafés where you may get a cup of coffee or a drink.

25. Notre-Dame Basilica

COST | $8

No, it has nothing to do with the famous Notre-Dame in the city of Notre-Dame, France. In English, the name Notre Dame simply refers to Our Lady.

Incredibly beautiful, the church was where Celine Dion got married. Anything that passes the Celine test is good enough for me.

Tours in both French and English are offered on a regular basis. In our opinion, it was a worthwhile investment of 20 minutes.

Entry is $8, whether or not you participate in the tour.



Across the street from the basilica in the Place d’Armes are two sculptures.

Poodle and pug portraits of English and French people are included.

Despite their resentment, the dogs in their owners’ arms are yearning to meet.

The English and French communities of Quebec are symbolized by this monument.

Due of exhaustion and inadequate footwear, I don’t have any pictures from that time period. There are, however, some pictures.

27. Eat Bagels in Mile End

COST | $0.80

That part of London, Mile End, was such a wonderful place. You may find anything from coffee shops to stores to street art here.

That’s a good question, isn’t it?

No. That’s not my experience.

Why? There are two of the most renowned bagel shops in the city in this area.

I paid just 80 cents for a single bagel.

28. See Art for Free 

The permanent collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is free on the last Sunday of the month. Admission to large temporary exhibitions is via ticket only.

Wednesdays through Sundays from 12 to 6 PM, the Centre of Design at the Université du Québec à Montréal is open to the public free of charge.

On Thursday nights from 5:30 to 9 PM, the Canadian Center for Architecture is open to the public at no charge.

Visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art may enjoy a 50% discount on Wednesdays from 5 to 9 PM.

Many of Montréal’s museums are free on the final Sunday of May.

29. Visit the Jean Talon Market

The Jean Talon market in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood and around the city has been a popular destination for locals and visitors alike since 1934. Keep an eye out for the market’s many small shops and restaurants, which are likely to pique your interest during your stay.

30. Visit the Vatican in Montreal


Also in the city is the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral. A replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome inspired the design of this cathedral. Even if it lacks the awe-inspiring grandeur of its Roman equivalent, it is nonetheless a stunning sight.

31. The Illuminated Crowd


It can be found at 1981 McGill College Avenue in the heart of downtown Montreal.

Raymond Mason created this gloomy, 65-person crowd sculpture out of polyester resin.

Onlookers are crammed together in a bizarre formation at the front of the queue.

As you move deeper inside the artwork, the crowd and ambiance become darker and more desperate, symbolizing the deterioration of the human species as a whole.

32. Go Squirrel Watching


Squirrels, of course! My eyes were opened to a whole new level of squirrel bravery. They weren’t frightened of anyone at all, and this is just a random tidbit to prove it.

They would come running up to us, pleading with us to give them food. Because I’m used to wary squirrels, I was immediately smitten with these adorable cubs.

33. Find the Best Street art


Buenos Aires boasts some of the greatest street art in the world, and living there has helped me appreciate it even more.

34. Self-Guided Walking TourExplore Montreal at your own pace

  • Couples
  • Budget
  • History
  • Photo

If you’ve got a few hours to spare, take a stroll around some of Montreal’s most picturesque neighborhoods. Old Port and Old Town, as well as the city’s upmarket Golden Square Mile and Mount Royal Cemetery, are also worthwhile destinations in Montreal. Self-guided walking tours of Montreal are readily available on the internet. You’ll be able to plan your trip to the fullest extent thanks to their extensive plans.

35. Atwater Market: Hang around a genuine farmers’ market

  • Food
  • Shoppers
  • Budget
  • Photo

The farmers’ market in Montreal is a great place to get a taste of everyday life in the city. Located 2.5 kilometers south of the city center in a stunning Art Deco architecture, Atwater Market offers a wide range of fresh produce, cheeses, breads and more. You may spend some time exploring the market’s back alleyways before stopping for a snack or a drink at one of the numerous establishments serving both food and drink. For a truly authentic flavor of Quebec, don’t skip out on maple syrup items.

Location: 138 Atwater Ave, Montreal, QC H4C 2H6, Canada

Open: Daily from 7 am to 5 pm

36. Saint-Joseph’s Oratory: Wander in a historical basilica

  • Budget
  • History
  • Photo

With a capacity of more than 20,000 worshipers each Sunday, St. Joseph’s Oratory is Canada’s second-largest Catholic church. The basilica, a National Historic Site of Canada, was begun in 1904 but only completed in 1967. The oratory is also home to a prominent monument of Saint-Joseph and a vault containing the relics of Brother André Bessette, the holy man who erected the first oratory. Montreal can be seen from the front of the church as well.

See also  The Best 10 Outstanding Pivots and Pop-Ups From Beloved Montreal Restaurants

Location: 3800 Queen Mary Rd, Montreal, QC H3V 1H6, Canada

Open: 24/7

37. Schulich School of Music: Classic and contemporary music performed by students

  • Budget

McGill University’s Schulich School of Music hosts free classical and contemporary music events on its campus. Check the schedule on the university’s website and purchase a ticket in advance is all that is required.

Every week, Schulich School of Music students play in a variety of performances, ranging from string quartets to wind orchestras.

The McGill Metro station is only 200 meters from the campus, which is located immediately west of downtown.

Location: 555 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3A 1E3, Canada

38. McCord Museum: Know Canada inside and out

  • Budget
  • History
  • Photo

In honor of the McCord family, the McCord Museum is named after their amazing collection of native-Canadian clothing and artifacts.

It’s impossible to understand Canada without visiting the McCord Museum, which features more than 100,000 items of clothing and accessories from indigenous and immigrant cultures.

At McGill University, only a short walk from downtown Montreal, you’ll find this fascinating art gallery.

On Wednesday nights from 5 to 9 p.m. and every first Sunday of the month from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors to the museum can enter for free.

Location: 690 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3A 1E9, Canada

Open: Opening hours vary but are usually from 10 am to 5 pm

39. Saint-Michel Environmental Complex: Enjoy many fun activities in a huge park

  • Families
  • Budget
  • Photo

The Saint-Michel Environmental Complex is a 192-hectare multi-purpose park built on the site of a former limestone quarry and city landfill.

It includes huge green areas, sports facilities, recycling plants, and the headquarters of a traveling circus. For a little price, visitors may tour the Cirque du Soleil compounds and the park itself.

Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skating are just some of the sports available at the park year-round. There are also guided tours offered.

Location: 2235 Michel-Jurdant Street, Montreal, QC H1Z 4N1, Canada

Phone: +1 514-872-1264

40. Eat well for less than C$15 in Montreal: Sample classic dishes in iconic joints at cheap prices

  • Food
  • Budget

While in Montreal, you may dine well for less than C$15 at a number of long-standing establishments that have grown into true Montreal institutionarisms.

Visit Wilensky’s Light Lunch in the Miles End District on Fairmont Avenue West. All-beef salami and baloney are served on a delicious bun with just a splash of mustard in their “special,” which costs less than C$5 and is a must-try.

Miles End’s Lester’s Deli, located on Bernard Avenue, is another venerable eatery. For roughly C$10, you can have a tasty beef sandwich, fries, and a soda at this vintage establishment that’s been running for more than 60 years.

It’s not complete without a taste of poutine, Canada’s most famous meal, as you depart Montreal. You can get a traditional poutine for C$7.75 at La Banquise on Rachel Street East.

41. Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park: Discover a stunning diversified ecosystem 15 km north of the city

  • Couples
  • Families
  • Budget
  • Photo
  • Adventure

The Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park, which was established in 1984 and covers 158 hectares, is the ideal spot for a breath of fresh air in a gorgeous natural setting.

The park is home to a wide variety of flora and animals and has 13 km of hiking trails and 8 km of cycling routes.

The ‘attractions path,’ which features exploration stations, and the magnificent Bois-Francs forest, home to century-old black maple trees, are two of the park’s highlights. Take a picnic lunch and explore this natural haven.

Location: 9432 Gouin Boulevard West, Pierrefonds, QC H8Y 1T4, Canada

42. Go Ice-Skating in Winter

There are many free ice skating rinks in Montreal. When the weather permits, both Parc La Fontaine and Parc Maisonneuve on the Plateau have ice skating ponds.

Use the official list to locate all of Montreal’s skating rinks and their current conditions.

43. Visit the Redpath Museum

Ancient Egyptian artifacts, dinosaur bones, and rocks and minerals are on display at the Redpath Museum, which opened in 1882. Admission is free since donations are accepted.

44. Enjoy a Free Festival or Event

At any given time of year, there are free festivals and events taking place all throughout Montréal, including Montreal-All Nighter, the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, as well as other notables.

Free festivals and events may be found right now with this calendar!

45. Visit Montreal City Hall with a guide

From Monday through Friday, June 27th to August 26th, free 30-minute guided tours of Montreal’s magnificent City Hall, erected between 1872 and 1878, are available in French and English.

For the remainder of the year, you are welcome to wander about on your own, free of charge.

46. Learn to Dance Tango

Tango Libre, a non-profit organization, provides free introductory Tango sessions in Montreal parks during the summer. In the winter, they provide a free introductory class.

47. Meditate in Parks

On Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. in a Montreal park, join the Yoga on the Park group for meditation. Although it’s free, a $5 donation is recommended and goes to charity.


Montreal offers a wonderful blend of history, modernity, and arts. So if you’re looking for something unique and exciting, here’s a list of 40+ cheap things to do in Montreal.

Whether you’re traveling solo or as a couple, this list will show you the best places to eat, shop, party, and enjoy Montreal nightlife.


The most budget friendly way to get around though is by walking, and Montreal is well set up for pedestrians. If you book yourself a central hotel and plan to stay within the city, you can quite easily make your way between neighborhoods by foot.
Known as one of the best budget travel destinations in Canada, Montreal is home to a great variety of very affordable places to stay, inexpensive restaurants, and attractions that can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.
In the summer this is the perfect spot for people-watching.
  1. Old Montreal is a highlight of your 3 days in Montreal itinerary.
  2. Sunset at La Grand Roue.
  3. Mount Royal.
  4. Views from St-Louis Square.
  5. Montreal Canadiens at The Bell Center.
  6. Montreal Botanical Gardens.
  7. Mural on St-Laurent Boulevard.
Montréal ranks 34th in the world for its affordable prices among the 77 cities included in the study. The city is more affordable than most major European cities and the least expensive city in Canada and the U.S. This accounts for quite a significant cost advantage.
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