6 must-see gay highlights of Montreal for LGBT travellers

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Montreal is one of the most gay-friendly cities we’ve been to in our travels.

It’s famous for having a massive gay scene, with the largest gay village in the whole of North America.

We loved it – more so because we felt comfortable holding hands in public pretty much anywhere here.

These are some of our favourite gay highlights and attractions for things you have to do in Montreal

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1. Visit The Gay Village

Montreal's Gay Village (Nomadic Boys)
Montreal’s Gay Village (Nomadic Boys)

As well as being famous for being so big, the gay village has many gay bars and clubs waiting to be discovered. We recommend just heading there and seeing where the night takes you.

Some favourite places include Le Stud Bar for a fun bearish crowd and the iconic Sky Bar, which is a huge building with a rooftop bar, restaurant as well as a dance hall.

Also look out for the large installation of pink balls hanging across the main street, Rue Sainte-Catherine, which are turned a rainbow colour during the gay pride in August.

2. Take in a drag show at Chez Mado

Cabaret Mado
Mado Lamotte (Cabaret Mado/Instagram)

Mado Lamotte is Montreal’s famous drag queen, who became famous for hosting the Mascara shows.

Today she’s set up her own cabaret bar in the Gay Village, hosting some of the best drag queens in the city. It’s a lot of fun and worth checking out.

3. Walk the Montreal Pride Parade with Prime Mininster Justin TrudeaMontreal Pride in August

Justin Trudeau at Canada Pride (Nomadic Boys)
Justin Trudeau at Montreal Pride (Nomadic Boys)

Montreal Pride takes place every August and is for us one of the best gay pride events we’ve ever been to.

It’s a week-long festival of parties, shows, events, all culminating with a huge parade on the final day, which takes over the entire city. The sexy Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau usually turns up and leads the parade.

The most touching moment of the parade is the Moment of Silence, which takes places at 1:30pm. At this moment, everyone comes to a halt, and all the music from the floats stops.

For this entire minute, everyone stays silent and pays homage to all LGBTQ pioneers who have fought to give us the freedoms which we enjoy.

It’s a very powerful moment, which also serves to remind us the meaning of pride and why we’re all there in the first place.

You can read more about our highlights from Montreal Pride when we visited in August 2017.

4. Visit the Bota Bota Spa in the Old Town

Bota Bota Spa (botabota.ca)
Bota Bota Spa (botabota.ca)

Montreal has its fair share of gay saunas – Oasis and GI Joe, being the main ones.

However, for a less sleazy and more romantic experience, we recommend heading to the Bota Bota spa in Montreal’s old town by the old port.

The Old Town of Montreal (Nomadic Boys)
The Old Town of Montreal (Nomadic Boys)

Bota Bota is a huge spa based on a ship. Each level has several pools, saunas, steam rooms, baths and relaxing areas.

It’s not a gay sauna, but as a gay couple we felt comfortable visiting and loved the relaxing ambience a lot.

5. Enjoy a Strip show at Stock Bar or Campus

Stock Bar (Facebook)
Stock Bar (Facebook)

Strip bars are a thing here. Everyone advised us to visit one – the dancers are very talented and due to the very relaxed laws, they show everything!

The most popular strip club to visit is Stock Bar in the gay village. Campus is another one, which is mixed, so also attracts hen parties.

6. Get some culture at The Museum of Fine Arts

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Wikimedia Commons)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Wikimedia Commons)

The Musée des Beaux-Arts is famous for being the most visited city in Canada.

It’s huge, spread over several buildings and has extremely fascinating exhibitions like Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Love is Love.

There are also loads of outdoor art exhibitions on display outside the museum, which are also worth checking out.

The Rainbow Crossing in Montreal (Nomadic Boys)
The Rainbow Crossing in Montreal (Nomadic Boys)

You can read more in our gay guide to Montreal in which we feature the best gay bars, clubs, things to do and hotels to stay.

The Nomadic Boys

Stefan and Sebastien are a gay couple from London who have been travelling the world since they quit their jobs in 2014.

Gay Guide to Montreal (Nomadic Boys)
Gay Guide to Montreal (Nomadic Boys)

Nomadic Boys is their gay travel blog where they write about the gay scenes they encounter in each new destination they visit, and publish stories from local gay guys they meet along the way.