Top Events To Attend In Montreal

There is always something entertaining to do in this beautiful city.

Every season is a busy time in Montreal. For the millions of tourists who travel here to take advantage of its many attractions, the city serves as the venue for a wide range of events, conferences and exhibitions. 

Montreal has always been a hub of the entertainment industry, and some of the most thrilling events in the world are staged annually in Montreal. It’s obvious why we enjoy going out and having a good time. 

When preparing to travel to the city for such events, always bear in mind the accommodation option of getting a house for rent in Montreal so you can make yourself comfortable. Consider using credible rental listing sites like Rentola for your Montreal house search. It affords you the opportunity to find a wide variety of options.

In addition to hosting numerous festivals, including the International Jazz Festival, the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix and the Osheaga music festival, Montreal also features historical sites and tourist attractions like the Notre Dame Basilica and the Olympic Stadium. The city also has a long history of producing jazz, rock, disco and techno music, genres that remain alive and well in the city.

The following list of the best events in Montreal is a must-read for anyone looking for something entertaining to do in this beautiful city.


1. Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal

The remarkable Christmas customs from around the world inspired this event, which features a Christmas market and village with various free outdoor activities. Imagine a setting from a fairytale, bustling with activity day and night, in downtown Montreal’s heart of Quartier Latin. This setting would feature classic log cabins, illuminated Christmas trees, delicious treats, and much more.

2. Montreal International Jazz Festival

The Jazz Festival is a beautiful experience for music lovers, featuring a variety of genres (no, not just jazz), with artists performing on stages outside and in many of Montreal’s famous venues in the Quartier des Spectacles. Make sure you are at the right place at the right time, and plan for a fantastic experience.

Given that the Jazz Festival takes place over a couple of weeks in June and July, at the height of summer, it’s a perfect time to explore downtown Montreal, the Old Port and Old Montreal on foot.

3. Canadian Grand Prix 

Formula 1 fans flock to the city for the Canadian Grand Prix every June, with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track providing a perfect environment for the breathtaking races. Located on Ile Notre Dame, which is best and most easily accessed by the city’s excellent metro network, the track is close to Montreal’s casino, offering a second activity that you would be well advised to squeeze into your race day(s).

4. Igloofest

If you’ve heard of the weekly Piknic Electronik dance parties that take place at Parc Jean-Drapeau every Sunday in the summer in Montreal, you may have also heard about their sister winter festival Igloofest, a series of outdoor dance parties with local and international DJ talent rocking the Old Port.

Alongside the music and dancing at two stages, the site features bars, food kiosks, warming stations, ice sculpture displays, VIP lounges and more. The event takes place in January, so be advised to dress up in your warmest gear — chic one-piece ski suits are de rigeur, especially those of the vintage variety, though any type of winter fashion is advisable (as is dancing, the #1 way to stay warm at Igloofest).


5. Festival International Nuits D’Afrique 

Discover the many musical genres of Africa and the diaspora (notably the West Indies and Latin America) at the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique.

Every July in Montreal, the Festival international Nuits d’Afrique brings together more than 700 performers from more than 30 nations in a spirit of celebration and fellowship, with millions of spectators.

The festival wows their crowds with thrilling, intoxicating music, dancing and celebration, both on the outdoor stages in the Quartier des Spectacles’s outdoor stages in the Place des Festivals and at venues like MTelus and the festival’s Plateau birthplace, Club Balattou.

A diverse lineup of worldwide superstars and up-and-coming musicians like assembles to share their passion, culture, and high-spiritedness. This festival’s fundamental values are diversity, authenticity and collaboration, and it provides audience members with priceless opportunities to fall in love with new musical endeavours.


6. Les Francos de Montréal

One of the best events to attend if you enjoy French-language music and musicians is the Francos de Montréal festival. Since 1985, the festival formerly known as les Francofolies has hosted acts from French-speaking countries around the world, alongside some of the best known and up-and-coming Québécois artists.

This event, which takes place for just over a week every July, features performances by a wide variety of francophone musicians in indoor venues in the Quartier des Spectacles as well as outdoor stages in the heart of the district, the Place des Festivals.

7. Mundial Montreal

Mundial Montreal demonstrates the diversity of both the local music scene and its audience, with acts representing a range of immigrant cultures and Indigenous Canadians. It’s a multicultural mosaic for Montreal music fans and representatives from the music industry, who travel here from around the world for Mundial (and its more mainstream-oriented sister festival M for Montreal, which takes place during the same week).