Montreal is what New York and Paris would do if they had a baby. This is something I frequently say to my visitors. For all it’s faults – not the least of which are its potholes, a controversial pitbull ban, and oft curious enforcement of language laws (#pastagate) — the art, food, fashion, festivals, culture and nightlife crammed into the tiny island of Montreal are tough to top. Montrealer proud as all hell, I take the good with the evil because the good is really really good. Forbes Magazine (and all the other 514s) agree with me.
First, Montreal is not only the Canadian destination Forbes listed in their top budget travel destinations 2018, but it’s also the number one with a cheese curd. Islands seemed to do well this year — Curaçao, Zanzibar, Fiji, Koh Lanta, Silk Island, with la Ville de Montréal topping the list.
Samantha Brown, host of a new PBS travel show, helped to rate the cities. Brown stated that Montreal with its strong French influence is a great place to get a European fix without having to fly long and expensive. The favourable exchange rate makes it easy to sell a small-scale “Euro-trip” for Americans, especially if travel time and budget can be negotiated. A getaway is not possible. The real attraction is not the European color, but how the old world influences are layered against the modern, which becomes ingrained in the cityscape. There are no hidden costs.
Forbes refers to Cite Memoir as a source of information about Montreal’s top-rated budget travel choice. They name the historical reenactments projected onto the cobbled facades of the Vieux-Port (Montreal’s Old Port), “one of the most ambitious public artworks ever.” A mobile app takes you through spectacular installations that showcase Montreal’s 375 year legacy. It’s pretty amazing. Street art is big here, with MURAL fest and ongoing installations cropping up around the Musée des beaux-arts and the rest of the city, Montreal is a happy hub for art lovers — be their tastes high or low-brow. You can see all of these works for free, though.
Our strength is in taste (yes I have humbled myself). The Plateau, a neighbourhood reminiscent of Williamsburg in the great white North, was chosen by sheer trendiness as the coolest place to live. Williamsburg might be The Plateau of the States. It costs zero dollars to take a walk around the borough. But check out Bar Darling, Atwater Social Club and Buvette Chez Simone if you prefer to sip your cool — they all made National Geographic’s must-see Montreal list. Le Majestique is also a must-see.
While high-end restaurants such as David McMillan’s Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and Vin Papillon dominate Montreal’s incredible food scene, eating well doesn’t require you to spend a lot. We offer a variety of unique and selected food options, and we are yet to be surpassed. They include the Montreal bagel, the poutine and the smoked sandwich. All available at affordable prices.
It’s nice being the best at something. Even if you’re the zenith in low-rent travel destinations. These are Forbes’ top ten budget-friendly travel destinations for 2018.
- Montréal, Canada
- Xian in China
- Houston, Texas
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- Barcelona, Spain
- Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Dakar, Senegal
- Port Salut, Haiti
- Gaziantep, Turkey
Did I mention Valerie Plante was elected our first female mayor this month? Leonard Cohen is also welcome, in addition to bagels, poutine, and smoked meat.
Marc Beaulieu is a producer, writer, and host of the live Q&A Show guyQ LIVE @AskMen.
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