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Things to do in Montreal this weekend

Music for all tastes, the YUL EAT festival, art expos and more things to do in Montreal this weekend.

Le Festival YUL EAT
Photograph: Pierre Bourgault
By Robert Jennings |

From big Downtown venues and major art museums to epic dive bars, there are a ton of great things to do in Montreal this weekend. Many of the best restaurants in town will be congregating at the YUL EAT festival to keep you fueled up for an action-packed couple of days. While you’re at it, squeeze some of the best free things to do in Montreal into your schedule or hit up some of the best nightlife spots in town. Feel like getting out of town instead? Take a weekend getaway somewhere great, or plan the perfect day trip or hiking expedition.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal

Things to do in Montreal this weekend

Le Festival YUL EAT
Photograph: Le Festival YUL EAT / @lefestivalyuleat

Montreal YUL EAT Festival 2019

YUL EAT Montreal is a celebration of Montreal foodie talent and know-how, with a series of workshops from major restaurant chefs and food personalities from here and abroad. Events are happening at restaurants and foodie businesses across town, so check out a coffee masterclass at Crew Café, a workshop on terrines, pâtés and rillettes at Boucherie dans la côte or learn how to make the perfect vegan brunch at Audacieuse Vanille. Free demonstrations will be taking place on the esplanade of Place des Arts, where there will also be children’s activities, food trucks and bars serving craft beers and specialty wines. The annual Parcours Gourmand at the SAT features 30 food stations offering tastings from major Montreal restaurants and food and drink organizations.

Art Tattoo Montréal
Photograph: Art Tattoo Montréal /

Montreal Art Tattoo Show

The 17th annual Montreal Art Tattoo Show is going down Friday through Sunday at the gorgeous Windsor Station. Over 200 artists from around the world will be putting their work on display and competing for prizes. There will also be live painting, DJ sets, a bar and snacks on site. Whether you’re just a spectator, a curious first timer or seriously in the market for new ink stand, you have a good chance of finding inspiration here. Entry is only 20$ per day, with discounted weekend passes available.

Massive Attack
Photograph: Courtesy Flickr/CC/Jorge Barahona

Massive Attack at the Bell Centre

British Trip Hop pioneers Massive Attack are taking over the Bell Centre this Saturday. The show will be reimagining their most successful album, Mezzanine, twenty-one years after its release with a new audio-visual experience based on original samples and influences. If you get tickets for this one, you’ll be guaranteed a mix of great 90s nostalgia and contemporary beats. Either way, you can always hit up the after-party at Cabaret Berlin in the Village.

Les Délicieuses soirées J A N I M E J E A N I N E
Photograph: Andy Jon

Triangle Fest

Now that students have got their course outlines, they can start partying again, right? Well, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for weekend debauchery, there’s a unique miniature music fest happening at the corner of St-Denis and Mont-Royal, Triangle Fest, featuring great local and touring bands playing four great dive bar venues, all within spitting distance of each other: Quai des Brumes, l’Esco, la Rockette and Pow Pow (aka Axe du Mal). A few dozen underground acts are playing everything from hip hop to rock, electro and folk Thursday through Saturday. Check out the schedule and plan ahead, or not—this fest is designed for bar-hopping.

Philip Glass
Photograph: Traquen'Art / @traquenart

Philip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi Live at the Maison Symphonique

The Philip Glass Ensemble are celebrating their 50th anniversary by kicking off a special tour right here in Montreal. Koyaanisqatsi Live is a performance of the award-winning 1982 cult experimental film by Godfrey Reggio. The soundtrack (originally composed by Glass), will be performed over a screening of the film in the Maison Symphonique. The venue has some of the best acoustics in town, so get ready for a whirlwind of time lapse montage and modern symphonic majesty.

McCord Museum
Photograph: McCord Museum, The Polaroid Project /

The Polaroid Project at the McCord Museum

Since its invention in the 1940s, the Polaroid camera has seen its ups and downs, from its 1970s heyday to its disappearance in the early digital era, followed by a recent resurgence via Instagram and analog nostalgia. The Polaroid Project at the McCord Museum is a retrospective of art created using instant film cameras and chemical packs with major collections from MIT and Vienna’s Westlich Centre for Photography, as well as a participatory photo wall where the audience can post their own pics. Sunday is the last day this temporary exhibition runs, so don’t wait to check it out.

Les Nocturnes du MAC
Photograph: Sébastien Roy

Les Nocturnes du MAC

The Musée d’Art Contemporain’s biannual Nocturne is on Friday night. For these events, the museum stays open until 2 a.m. with food and drinks on site as well as artists and curators. It’s a chance to take in contemporary art in a social setting and have a unique access to the people who make it. Exhibitions by Francis Alÿs and Rebecca Belmore are on display at the moment, as well as a video work by Ragnar Kjartansson in collaboration with indie group The National. Friday’s Nocturne features DJ sets by M. Bootyspoon, Clickbait and Bamboo Hermann, as well as an art workshop, collective mural and interactive tours.

More great things to do in Montreal

Village au Pied-du-Courant
Photograph: Jean-Michael Seminaro

The best cheap things to do in Montreal

Maximize your dime and time with the best cheap things to do in Montreal, from arts and culture to food and drink. Here’s our list of our favourite ways to spend time in Montreal without spending too much of your hard-earned cash.