When it comes to celebrating the summer, Montreal really knows how to throw an event—especially in the middle of its busy tourist season during the month of July. If you're planning a vacation to this Canadian city, get ready for a non-stop stream of special events, concerts, and attractions on your trip.
From a cinematic gore fest to outdoor dance steps and a slew of festivals and freebies peppering every single day, Montreal offers the ideal vacation and staycation in July. However, you should also be prepared for crowds, especially near Place des Arts this time of year.
Yet, in spite of so many people pouring onto center squares, navigating the city's mass transit system and exploring all that Montreal has to offer on your vacation is still relatively easy and stress-free. Just make sure you know where you're going and what you want to do by checking out these special events and attractions and be prepared for the warmer weather as the summer events calendar heats up.
When it comes to planning your vacation to Montreal, location is everything and largely depends on what you want to do when you're in town.
While the mass transit may be able to get you across the city, you don't want to be deterred from swinging by a concert just because it's a bit of a trek. Staying in the heart of festival central in Downtown Montreal will help you avoid the fear of missing out.
On the other hand, if you'd rather wake up thinking you just landed in Europe, stick with Old Montreal's top hotels. They're a great starting point for people who like to explore the city on foot as you'll get to explore the historic district before passing through Chinatown and the entertainment district on your way downtown.
For those who want easy access to the subway system or the underground in general in case it rains, try hotels connected to Montreal's underground city. These Montreal convention centre hotels do the trick as well, all closely located to Old Montreal, Chinatown, and the downtown core.
Montreal is known for hosting a wide variety of festivals and special events throughout the year, but with the warmer weather of summer comes even more of these unique celebrations.
From July 12 through August 1, 2018, the Fantasia Film Festival returns to Montreal with a full showcase of genre films, and all summer long the Gay Village comes alive with special events, including Pride.
On July 7, the Carifiesta Parade will return to the streets of downtown Montreal as Caribbean dancers and musicians perform and celebrate their cultural heritage in a "street theater parade."
From June 28 through July 7, you can head over to the Quartier des spectacles for the 2018 Montreal Jazz Festival, which includes performances by The War on Drugs, Herbie Hancock, Thundercat, Ian Anderson, Bonobo, BEYRIES, Alela Diane, Kimbra, and Ani DiFranco.
There are literally DOZENS of free events, activities, concerts, performances, and workshops happening every single day throughout July 2018 in Montreal.
Every First Friday throughout the summer, Montreal's best food trucks gather in Olympic Park for live music, enjoying the warm weather, and sampling some of the best food the city's chefs have to offer. Additionally, many museums and art galleries have special free days monthly or weekly, especially during the summer but rarely on weekends.
If you're looking for something a bit more social, though, many of the festivals listed above are also free to attend, including the Carifiesta Parade. You can also find a lot of summer-long events like the Gay Village's art walk are free any time this season.
As always, you could also just enjoy strolling through the city's many parks and diverse neighborhoods or traveling just outside the city for a hike up Mont Royal.
From underground indie to mainstream big-ticket pop stars, Montreal has become known as one of Canada's best cities for catching a live show. With over 100 different acts performing across the city, you're sure to find an artist you like who'll be in town this July.
In 2018, you can catch Vinicius Cantauria at L'Astral, Klô Plegag at Parc Claude Jasmin in Boisbriand, Halsey at Mtelus, Beck at Place Bell in Laval, Train and Radiohead (separately) at Bell Centre, and the Fleet Foxes at a secret venue.
Canada Day Celebrations
Much like the United State's Fourth of July, Canadians across the country celebrate the birth of their on July 1 each year. Known as in honor of Canada Day, this annual celebration features all the pomp and circumstance you'd expect from a national celebration.
You can catch the annual parade, celebrate at the Old Port, attend a backyard barbecue, go to a party, and even watch fireworks light up in the city sky. However, don't forget to check for what's open and closed on Canada Day in Montreal before heading out so you don't get your hopes up and head to a closed bar.