Montréal has elevated joie de vivre to a high art – and nowhere more so than at the bars and clubs. The city’s nightlife keeps going strong into the small hours of the morning – bars are generally open until 3am. One of the liveliest after-dark areas is the bar-packed Plateau. Cutting a wide swath through the Plateau – and into the adjacent neighbourhood of Mile-End – is blvd St-Laurent, lined on both sides with an eclectic array of nightspots, from sleek lounges to dive bars. Downtown, the action centres on rue Crescent, while Vieux-Montréal is increasingly buzzing with new hotel lounges, restaurant-bars and breezy terraces. Also popular are the student-packed Quartier Latin bars and the nearby Village, heart of the gay scene. Griffintown is also establishing itself as an after-dark hangout, with an array of hip bars. For up-to-date listings, check out the English-language daily Montréal Gazette (w montrealgazette.com).

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