There’s an ever-changing art scene
Montrealers love street art almost as much as they love their patron saint, Leonard Cohen -- so it’s no surprise that there are not one but two murals dedicated to him. For the ultimate art experience, take a walk through the Plateau. Every year, the neighborhood hosts the Mural Festival, a week-long event in mid-July where artists around the world are invited to plaster blank walls with artwork that will remain for the rest of the year.
And a strong music heritage too
You’ve probably heard of Arcade Fire and Grimes. Great! Thanks to low rents and occasional government subsidies, Montreal is a natural incubator for musical talent -- and many people from around Canada move here to get their start. Load your soundtrack up with Blue Hawaii and Tess Roby (both reverb-heavy heartbreak pop), Cam MacLean (guitar pop/rock) Common Holly (folk), Jean-Michel Blais (piano instrumentals) and Guy Madonna (lo-fi pop/punk).
There are live gigs everywhere
Around the Plateau and Mile End, it can seem like every venue is a music venue. For larger (and touring acts), check the schedules at the Fairmount Theater and Metropolis. But if you’re hoping to catch newbies, go for basement shows at L’Escogriffe, or bar shows at O Patro Vys, and La Sala Rossa.
Just be sure to factor in taxes
If you happen to be earning American dollars, congrats -- the exchange rate is in your favor. However, keep in mind the tax on goods and services in Quebec is 9.975%, which makes the whole shopping thing a little bit less exciting.