Nightlife & the Arts in Montréal

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Montréal Nightlife

If nightlife in Montréal could be distilled into a cocktail, it would be one part sophisticated New York club scene (with the accompanying pretension), one part Parisian joie-de-vivre (and, again, a dash of snobbery), and one part Barcelonan stamina (which keeps the clubs booming until dawn).

Hot spots are peppered throughout the city. There are compact clusters along rue Crescent, boulevard St-Laurent (known as "The Main"), avenue Mont-Royal, and rue St-Denis. Prominent rue Ste-Catherine plows through town, connecting most of these nighttime niches, and farther east, near Beaudry métro station, it becomes the main drag for the Village, also called Gay Village. For whatever reason, the streets named after saints contain most of the clubs: rue Ste-Catherine, boulevard St-Laurent, rue St-Paul, and rue St-Denis. The Old Port is currently Montréal's hottest neighborhood, with a steady stream of chic venues opening in this cobblestone district.

Montréal's nightlife swings with a robust passion; from the early-evening "5 à 7" after-work cocktail circuit, to the slightly later concerts and supper clubs (restaurant–dance club hybrids where people dance on the tables after eating off them), on into the even later dance club scene; all tastes, cultural backgrounds, and legal ages join the melee. Adult clubs abound in this sexually freewheeling city and are often frequented by mixed groups of people seeking a fun night out on the town. Clubbing is, to say the least, huge in Montréal. Some restaurants are even installing discotheques in their basements.

As for what to wear on a Montréal night out: If you have a daring outfit in your closet that you've hesitated to wear—bring it. Montrealers get absolutely decked to go out on the town to bars and clubs, even if the temperature is below freezing. And remember, most club regulars don't even know where they're going until midnight, so don't go out too early.

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