Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Everything you Need to See in Quebec


Although much smaller than neighbouring city Montreal, Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and packs a lot in to a small area, making it an absolute delight to visit as a foreigner. Typically visitors come to Quebec city for 2-3 nights, which may seem like a reasonable amount of time given the small nature of the city, but you'll soon discover there is more than enough to keep you busy during your time here! Here's the WOW "Quebec City Guide" to help you make the most of your time in Quebec City

Know Before you Go

Quebec City was founded by the French back in 1608 when Europeans first settled here to make their claim in the New World. However the name is an indigenous one, literally meaning "where the river narrows", as the Saint Lawrence river comes to a close on the east of the city. While it was eventually overtaken by the Brits and is now a part of Canada, Quebec city and the Quebec region as a whole has retained its' French culture, food, and of course, language. The official language is French, however as an English speaker you won't have trouble finding friendly locals to point you in the right direction, as English is also widely spoken and taught in schools.
The weather plays a key role in what type of experience you will have here in Quebec City. While summer remains the most popular time of year for visitors, Quebec City comes to life as a sort of winter wonderland if you will, over the colder months. Through the later part of January and into early February is also a busy time in Quebec, as the city holds their annual winter carnival. If you do decide to visit during this time, be sure to make your hotel and restaurant reservations in advance!

What Else is there to Do?

Aside from being home to many great sites, there is also plenty more options of things to do for the more adventurous souls! Consider the following:

Rent a Bike

Bikes are up for rent throughout the city and will allow you to venture beyond the city walls (and its' steep streets), up the Saint Lawrence river or towards Montmorency Falls (around 20km return - know before you go!)

AML Cruises

Leaving from the ferry docks with daily departures are the 3-hour-long AML cruises along the Saint Lawrence river. If slow and steady is more your pace, this is a great alternative to walking all day.

Skiing and Snowshoeing

If you're visiting Quebec in the winter, you'll be delighted to learn you can ski and snowshoe right at your fingertips! The slops are only 20 minutes away or you can head to Abraham Plains for some fun in the city.

Everything you Need to See

A new circus has come to town and best of all, its free! Each night the show "Crepuscule" opens its doors to waiting lines of visitors and a few inquisitive locals for a free outdoor circus show at the Agora.See a Free Circus Show

Chateau Frontenac

This isn't just another hotel, it is the city icon in many ways. Standing tall and almost towering over much of the city, this hotel is not only the most expensive address in town, but also one of the most talked about. Everyone who is anyone who has stayed here - I'm talking the King and Queen of England, Grace Kelly, Charles de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan, and many other notables. If you get a chance, pop inside to enjoy afternoon tea or a pre-dinner drink to experience a little of the hotel for yourself.

The Citadel

This is an active military installation that adjoins the Plains of Abraham and is certainly worth a visit if you're interested in the history of Quebec.

Parliament Building

Another great site to see is the Parliament building, located just outside of the city walls and home to great lush greenery in the summer, or a thick layer of snow in the winter.

Plains of Abraham Battlefields Park

Many events take place in the Battlefields Park causing a large portion of the city to flock here on occasion, but every single day you will also see many locals running, visitors lazing in the sun, or playing in the snow in winter. The park is gigantic and a great place to get lost if you've already spent a day or two exploring the city.

Cathedral-Basilica of Notre Dame

Although not as impressive as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal or indeed the Cathedral in Paris, the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre Dame in Old Quebec is a great pitstop in your day to poke your head in and take a look around. All of the churches in Old Quebec are free to visit, though a donation is graciously accepted.

Montmorency Falls

Located just 15 minutes out of the city is one of the cities' most popular tourist hotspots, the Montmorency Falls. Although not nearly as impressive as Niagra Falls, this is a great opportunity to escape the city and a funactivity with kids.

lle d'Orleans

Whilst out this way, if you have a car you absolutely cannot pass up the opportunity to inspect Île d'Orleans. This island feels a world away from the city and has a distinct countryside appeal, however is just 10-15 minutes out of Old Quebec! Here you will find many local vendors and farmers selling their produce - if visiting in summer, don't pass up the chance to grab some fresh roadside strawberries!

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