Hit the dance floor
Starving student? At many places, if it’s before 11 and you haven’t got the $3-$12 cover, hang around until the door person invites you in. Failing this, try standing at the bar.
Give yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy of Montréal's vibrant dance scene. Top DJs love this town and spin their tunes at a clubs throughout the city. The Plateau's le Belmont and downtwon Stéréo attract some of the best DJs on the international and local scene. Some of the best dance clubs are found in the Gay Village where Club Unity and Complexe Sky offers phenomenal dance music as well as cabaret shows with a twist.Whether its disco at FunkyTown, electronic fare at Foufone Electrique or Latino beats at Salsathèque, 10Best will show you where to get your groove on and dance the night away.
10 le Belmont
Voted the city's most popular club in 2011, le Belmont on St-Laurent is a hip underground club offering techno parties, burlesque cabarets, live painting, comedy shows and Wednesday night Bass Drive with DJ Vilify. Owner Alessandro Arciero has been with the club for more than 20 years and nurtured it through its rocky patch a local bar for residents and then a dive club for university students. This is the place to hear local and international DJs and dance the night away ((514) 845-8443)
9 Complexe Sky
Complexe Sky is actually a small complex with pool, bar, restaurant, bar and cabaret/dinners how. It's become THE destination nightclub for the Montréal gay community. The music gets progressively louder as you climb the stairs. On the first floor you can grab a drink or something to ear at the restaurant/bar or head up to the second floor for the cabaret/drag dinner show. All the dancing happens on the third floor with its huge dance floor and loud, loud music. At the top of the building is the pool and rooftop terrace. (514-529-6969)
Disco lives! FunkyTown lets you step back to the platform shoes, polyester threads and Saturday Night Fever. With it's checkerboard lit dance floor, walls draped in velvet and the sparkling discoball, this is the place to boogie to the sounds of the 70s and 80s. On Thursdays there's the weekly homage pop from the 50s, and 60s. The music may be nostalgic but there's a state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment. Get your boogie on. (514-282-8387)
7 Club Unity (Unity II)
One of the biggest dance venues in the city, this multi-level club attracts a diverse crowd. Located in the heart of the gay village, the club offers three floors with different styles of music every night in a friendly, festive and respectful environment. There are two gigantic dance floors with terrific sound systems where the best DJs from around the world spin their tunes. There's also a rooftop terrace. Take a break from dancing to enjoy the cabaret and drag shows. (514-523-2777)
Come and move your hips to the sexy Latin rhythms at this club. It plays the best salsa, merengue, bachata, and Top-40 beats in the city and is such a fun place. If you're too shy to get up on the dance floor you can watching some of the pros during the dance contests or enjoy the big bands playing their Latin tunes at Salsathèque. With its giant palm trees, flashy lights, warm atmosphere and tropical drinks, you can imagine you're down south instead of downtown Montréal. The patrons are super friendly so if you want some help with your moves there are some experts on hand to help. (514-875-0016)
It's a darling on the international club scene with DJs and musicians who praise its all-analogue sound system and the vintage UREI mixer that recreates a classic vibe in a way digital never can. The place is built for dancing with specially designed acoustic walls within walls for the best sounds and a dance floor with shock absorbers so your legs don't get tired. It's also a bar and after hour clubs. One of the best places to come and hear DJs from around the globe spin their tunes. (514-658-2646)
4 1234 Club
Even the ghosts get down at this nightclub. Built in 1859 as a residential home, this 1900 funeral parlour was transformed into a disco in 1977 and morphed into one of the trendiest clubs in the city. The gargoyles and stained glass windows were kept during the last renovation in 2004. There is now a VIP lounge on the Mezzanine Floor along with world-class lighting and sound systems. The club holds close to 1,500 people and its usually packed on capacity on the weekends. (514-395-1111)
3 Au Diable Vert
With a name like the Green Devil you would expect something sinful and decadent. Instead this popular club is simple a fun Plateau hangout attracting an assortment of both English and French as well as students and tourists. Hang out at the front where there are some cozy tables and a well stocked bar or head to the back to dance along with the live music on the weekends or DJs during weekdays. This is the place to get a crash course in popular Montr�al bands. Don't expect anything green though. Everything is red. The only thing Hellish about this place are the long lines up to get in. (514 849-5888)
2 Tokyo Bar
Choose either the blue room or the red room at this popular club. The red room has the dance floor with either live music or a DJ spinning hip-hop, rock, electro or their own mash-ups. The blue room is a cross between a saloon and a lounger with Asian accents. There are enough nooks and crannies here that you can hang out with friends and enjoy your delicious martini. There are also two terraces to escape when things get too crowed. The rooftop terrace has a great view of St. Laurent. (514-842-6838)
1 Foufounes Electriques
Les Foufs is easy to spot � just look for the giant spider on the front on the Ste Catherine entrance. This bar is the granddaddy of Montr�al's alternative scene (it opened in 1983) and has hosted some of the biggest names in music including Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins. The three-floor so has a pool tables and a bar downstairs, upstairs is a dance floor and a stage for bands. This place is known for its sound system. There is a cover for the bands but it's always reasonable. The crowd here is diverse�like the music�punk, metal, hardcore and emo�but everyone gets along and the vibe is welcoming and weirdly charming. The terrace is one of the best in summer and a great place to see some of the amazing tattoos some Montr�alers are sporting. (514-844-5539)
About Shelagh McNally
Freelance travel writer and editor, Shelagh McNally has been a world traveler since her teens. After 20 years in Toronto, she left her job as Communications Officer for a major bank and moved to Puerto Morelos, Mexico where she helped establish the Miami Herald’s satellite office in Cancun. She went on to contribute to 12 editions of Fodor’s travel guides as well as writing a book about Mayan ruins. She is also the author of the Adventure Guide to Guatemala and the Pocket Guide to Guatemala. She now divides her time between Mexico and her adopted hometown of Montreal, Quebec. She continues to write about Latin America but also about her favorite locations in Canada for a number of international and North American online and print publications.
Read more about Shelagh McNally here.