Montreal is an appealing place to be in the summer, there are festivals, events, and activities galore. And the best part is – a lot of them are FREE.
You just need to know where to find them.
From festivals, the arts, literature, the great outdoors, concerts, museums and so much more, we’ve got you covered.
Check out these 17 free things to do in Montreal this June and you won’t even have to drop a dime to have a good time.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival was named the largest jazz festival in the world in 2004 according to the Guinness Book of World Records and it’s only gotten bigger since. The 38th edition of the festival features over 500 artists from all over the world who will perform over 150 shows during a three-week span.
This year’s festival is highlighted by Seal, Jann Arden, Ian Anderson, Kamasi Washington, as well as the duo of Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite.
The streets are completely closed off to traffic and the festival is full of music-hungry fans. Some specific shows cost money to enter but the majority of the shows, both indoor and outdoor, are free.
When: June 28 to July 7
Times: Times vary depending on the concert
Where: Quartier des Spectacles
Foonzo is a retro arcade bar that features hundreds of old school video games, consoles, and board games. If the weather on some June days aren’t boding well with you, head to this nostalgic little bar. It’ll make you feel like you’re jamming out in a buddy’s basement in the 90s. They offer a variety of classics on everything from N64, Playstation, Super Nintendo, Sega, Gameboy, and Xbox. When was the last time you beat a friend at Mario Kart? Could be this June.
When: Foonzo is open year round
Time: 5 pm – 3 am
Where: 1245 Rue Drummond
Whoa, free beer!? Sort of – the festival is free to enter but the beer samples aren’t. Still, the Mondial de la festival bière boasts an impressive selection of 500 beers from all over the world to check out. The event takes place both inside and outside and has a beautiful beer garden patio.
When: June 6 to June 9
Time: Noon to 11 pm
Where: Palais des congrès de Montréal (201 Viger Street West) and Palais des congrès Esplanade (de la Gauchetiere Street between Cheneville and Cote Street)
Cemeteries don’t always have to be scary and the Mont Royal Cemetery is proof. Take a self-guided walking tour of the mountain from a historical standpoint and you will be amazed. Located on the northern slope of Mont Royal, the cemetery offers a view of over 165 acres. Be sure to grab a free tree brochure highlighting the city’s 100 different types of trees. The Mont Royal Cemetery has a beautiful garden on the mountain with the romantic notion of a city of the dead overlooking a city of the living.
When: The Mont Royal Cemetary is open year round
Where: 1297 Chemin de la Forêt
Sundays in Montreal in the summer is synonymous with Tam Tams. It’s a giant outdoor party with dancers, sports and drummers all gathered around the Sir George-Etienne Cartier monument. If the weather is nice on Sunday (still worth it even if it’s raining) head over to the mountain and enjoy a longstanding Montreal tradition and vibe. It’s 420 friendly.
When: Sundays until September 30
Where: Mont Royal Park
Bike season is in high gear in June. The Maisonneuve bike path runs throughout Montreal and has a gorgeous path from NDG to the East End. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the city as the bike path runs parallel with it all. On the last Sunday of every month (June 24) Bixi Bikes offer free rides to everybody.
When: The bike path is open year round
Where: Runs parallel with Boulevard Maisonneuve
FrancoFolies de Montreal is the world’s largest French-speaking music festival. This June’s edition will be their 30th overall and will host 50 concerts on seven different venues across the city. You can expect to hear a variety of genres including hip-hop, rock, folk, and electro. The majority of the outdoor shows are free.
When: June 8 to June 17
Where: Various venues in Montreal, check website for details
The Lachine Canal is the city’s link between urban and nature. The canal is a 13.5 km route that spans between the Old Port and Lake Saint-Louis, a completely navigable waterway.
The historic site features free tours and events like the Classic Boat Festival and a 90-minute tour of Silo No. 5 – Montreal’s first structure able to store one million bushels. The silo played a prominent part in the history of the Canadian grain economy.
When: The Lachine Canal is open year round
Where: From the Old Port of Montreal to Lake Saint-Louis
Celebrate Sunday mass at Montreal’s most viewed structure at 11 am and hear a 25-person choir accompanied by the organ. Or, take a walking tour of the basilica which is an absolutely gorgeous spectacle. It is filled with hundreds of wooden carvings, several religious statues, and gigantic stained glass windows.
When: The Notre-Dame Basilica is open year round
Time: 8 am – 4:30 pm on weekdays, 8 am – 4 pm on Saturdays and 12:30 pm – 4 pm on Sundays (mass starts at 11 am)
Where: 110 Rue Notre Dame Ouest
The Canadian Grand Prix’s only trip to Canada happens in Montreal and it is the city’s biggest weekend of the year. The festival is in its 40th year and is full of events and activities for locals and people from all over the world to enjoy. Though a lot of cocktails, dinners, and the race itself cost money, walking around the festival’s two busiest streets is free. Rue Crescent and Rue Peel are completely closed off to traffic as it hosts luxurious cars, food outlets, bar kiosks, and prizes. The city is vibrant and it’s an absolute joy to see.
When: June 7 to June 10
Where: Rue Crescent and Rue Peel
Jardins Gamelins, Montreal’s resident summer garden, is hosting free outdoor yoga sessions every week for the entire summer. “Yoga en Plein Air,” invites Montrealers to practice yoga outdoors at Jardin Gamelins for free. The outdoor sessions are run by Yo-Yoga and take place every Tuesday morning from 7:30 am until 8:30 am. The official site encourages Montrealers to “tone your body, awaken your senses in the heart of nature, and move through harmony.” No registration is required, however, participants must bring along their own yoga mat.
When: Tuesdays in June
Time: 7:30 am-8:30 am
Where: Place Emilie-Gamelin, 1500 Rue Berri
Whether you love the historic parade or visiting Quartier des Spectacles for a massive free outdoor concert, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this provincial holiday. Montreal honours Quebec by providing a bunch of free entertainment scattered throughout the city (the days off aren’t so bad either).
When: June 23 and June 24
Where: Various locations
The 11th edition of the Montreal Folk Fest is happening this June along the Lachine Canal from June 14 to June 18. The laid-back festival includes Josh Ritter, Plants and Animals, Mandolin Orange, Jason Bajada, Royal Wood, Leonard Summer, and many more. VIP passes start at $50 for one day, however, they are not necessary to attend the festival. The majority of the event is comprised of free concerts, giving Montrealers an opportunity to listen to some fantastic folk sounds for free. For a full list of free shows taking place at the Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal visit the website.
When: June 14 to June 18,
Where: 3653-3667 Rue Saint-Patrick
A gorgeous uprising of tulips has bloomed atop Mont Royal, sprouting at the lookout. As if Mont Royal needed any more reasons to enjoy the view, the mountain now features hundreds of beautiful orange, red, and yellow tulips. It makes for a nice hike and the spot is arguably one of the most Instagram-able places in the entire city.
When: Open year round
Where: Chalet du Mont Royal
The largest food truck festival in the province has begun. Olympic Stadium is known for a lot of things but First Fridays have got to be high on the list. The city’s food trucks gather at Olympic Stadium showcasing an array of mouthwatering local food allowing Montrealers to sample dishes from over 50 food trucks. You can expect to find everything from tacos and churros, to mac and cheese and lobster rolls. The event takes place on the first Friday of every month from May until October. It’s free to enter but the food samples have varying costs.
When: Friday, June 1
Where: Olympic Stadium
Eureka! is a three-day long science and technology event that takes place at the Old Port of Montreal. The festival runs from June 8 to June 10 and features tons of interactive presentations, demonstrations, workshops, and scientist/programmer speeches.
The theme for the festival’s 12th edition is ‘robotics’ and visitors will be able to discover more about how robotic technology is advancing and how robots are being used to help humans every day.
When: June 8 to June 10
Time: June 8: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, June 9: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, June 10: 10:30 am to 6 pm
Where: Montreal’s Old Port
Montreal’s Mural Festival is a massive sidewalk event that closes down the ever popular Boulevard Saint Laurent and hosts dozens of graffiti artists from around the world to paint and graffiti the facades of the street’s buildings. The festival features food trucks, restaurant terraces, and shop outlets throughout the street. Go check out what some of these amazing artists can accomplish using the walls of buildings as their canvases.
When: June 7 to June 17
Where: Boulevard Saint Laurent between Sherbrooke and Mont Royal