We are all familiar with the madness known as a weekend in Vegas. If you have never been yourself, you at least have experienced the hype from your friends who have or from films such as The Hangover. Between casinos, 24-hour bars, nearby brothels, and a generally carefree outlook on most US laws, Vegas is an oasis for treacherously poor decision-making — and a good-ass time. Las Vegas is great, but it’s time we give due credit to another city of vices and debauchery: Montreal.
It’s easy to write off Canada as the unloved stepchild to the US’ favorite son, and for the most part that is true. Montreal, however, fully breaks the mold in a country full of prairies and tundras. Montreal’s tourism, like Vegas, revolves around one thing and one thing only: excessive partying. If you thought Vegas was lawless, you have obviously never been to Montreal. Maybe it’s because Canada is one of the safest countries on earth or maybe it’s because Canadian police are too polite to ever arrest somebody, but I swear behavior that would have you locked up for three years in the states would be met with a smile and wave from Montreal’s police.
My initial attraction to Montreal came from the fact that it is a mere six-hour drive north from my hometown and its laws would allow me to legally drink all the Molsons I could keep down. But the truth is this city is far more than just a sanctuary for underage American alcoholics. Imagine a Vegas with less casinos, friendlier people, and colder temperatures, then factor in a favorable exchange rate and generally low cost of goods. All these combine to make Montreal the working man’s Vegas.
A night out at Sin City’s top bars and clubs would likely leave you sleeping on a sidewalk with a maxed-out credit card. Montreal, however, has the same quality party scene minus the wildly high prices. Bar covers are low and opportunities for unspeakably terrible decisions are plentiful. Speaking of which, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the expansive “escort” industry in Montreal. Montreal has quite possibly the greatest strip clubs in the Western world due to their bottom-shelf cover fees and rather lax policies on what qualifies as full-blown prostitution.
Though Montreal only has one major casino, it makes up for its lack of gambling in all other disciplines. Few other destinations allow you to get smashed off beers so strong they are illegal to sell in the US, eat so much poutine you go home with clinically high cholesterol, and get a happy ending for $10 all in the same day. If you haven’t been to Montreal, sorrey, eh, but you’re missing out..
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