Gay Montreal · City Guide
Planning a trip to Montreal? Our gay Montreal city guide is the page for you.
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Montreal is the largest city of Quebec, Canada’s Francophone province. It’s the second biggest city in Canada. Montreal was founded in 1642 by French colonialists. History could have taken a very different turn but for the Seven Years’ War when the British beat the French. “New France” didn’t quite take off and North America became Anglo-Saxon.
Montreal retains a strong French identity. The region of Quebec came close to seceding from Canada in 1995. Montreal’s political history has been heated, to say the least, but it’s one of the most culturally dynamic cities in North America.
You’ll find an excellent gay scene in Montreal. It’s one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities. The gay scene is largely centred around the gay village. It’s one of the biggest gaybourhoods in the Americas.
Montreal’s gay scene is similar to what you’ll find in London or New York. There are gay bars you can visit during the day for a civilised drink, there are places to go for an early evening cocktail, and there are clubs to go to if you want to dance the night away.
Many of Montreal’s gay bars have drag performances in the evening – prepare to be read in French. The good people of Montreal are quite particular about the French language. Although you’re in Canada, Quebec has its own unique identity. It’s worth at least opening negotiations with the barman in French, even if you just say “Bonjour” to start with. Read more: Discover Montreal’s Gay Village.
There are plenty of excellent hotels to choose from in Montreal. If you choose to stay in the gay village, you could find a slightly cheaper deal than in the old town. Both districts are very central. There aren’t really any gay-specific hotels in Montreal, but it’s a very gay-friendly city.
In downtown Montreal you’ll find Loft Hotel. Downtown is a good area to stay in. The main high street, Rue Sainte-Catherine, is full of shops and restaurants. It also connects to the gay village. Loft Hotel an Art Deco period hotel and it’s very central. Chateau Versaille is a also a good choice and it’s short walk from the gay village.
Montreal is a great foodie destination. The legendary chef Anthony Bourdain was a big fan. You’ll find many excellent restaurants to explore. Make sure you take a trip to Mount Royal Park. You can head up the hill for a panoramic view of Montreal.
Old Town Montreal is where you’ll find the oldest and most charming buildings in the city. Montreal is also famed for hosting the world’s biggest jazz festival. It takes place in July and it’s attracted many of the biggest names in music.
There are four gay saunas in Montreal. It has a better gay sauna scene than most US cities. Sauna Oasis is the biggest gay sauna in Montreal and it’s located in the gay village. It’s open 24 hours a day. If there are less than 10 guys inside you’ll get a full refund. Sauna G.I. Joe is also a popular choice – it’s spread over three floors and it’s pretty spacious. If you’re looking to play harder, you may well find what you’re looking for in Montreal.
Getting to Montreal
It’s easy to fly to Montreal. There are two main airports in the city. Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is the biggest airport. You can get the Bus / 747 Express from the airport to central Montreal and it takes no more than 25 minutes.
You can also fly into Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport. It also takes around 25 minutes to transfer on public transport to central Montreal.
FAQs about Montreal
Getting around Montreal
Montreal is a great city to explore on foot. It’s quite a big city and it’s very much a city of districts, so pick a district you’d like to visit and have a wander. Travelling between districts is easy on public transport. The Metro system is easy to navigate and it’s quite cheap.
A single ticket costs around $2.50. It’s cheaper to get a day pass or a three day pass. There are 68 Metro station in Montreal.
There are plenty of buses in Montreal. You can explore the whole city by bus. It’s not much cheaper than the Metro and a little trickier to figure out. We’d recommend the Metro for a smoother journey.
Getting taxis in Montreal is easy. You can just show your address to the driver on your phone. Point and nod if you’re having language difficulties.
Is Montreal Safe?
Canada is home to the world’s politest people. If you somehow got mugged in Canada your assailant would probably apologise several times as they did it. Montreal has low crime rates so you should be very safe in Montreal.
Can I speak English in Montreal?
You can be you might be pointedly ignored. The locals tend to speak in French. Even though most people will speak English, try and learn some phrases before you go. There are many anecdotes about English speaking tourists being ignored in bars.
When To Visit Montreal
March-May is a good time to visit Montreal. The weather will be temperate but the hotels may be fuller September to November can also be very popular. Canadian winters can be very cold and snowy but more than a little atmospheric.
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