Quebec City Travel Guide

Get an Overview of Quebec City Travel

Quebec City travel is steeped in history and European in flavor. The old town is the only fortified city north of Mexico in North America and is a World Heritage Site.

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  • 01 of 11

    Quebec City - Overview

    Quebec City
    ••• Quebec City with Chateau Frontenac on right, middle. Tony Tremblay/E+/Getty Images

    Quebec City - the official capital of the province of Quebec - offers an experience unlike any other in North America. Quebec City’s Old Town itself is a work of art: Cobblestone walkways, well-preserved 17th century architecture, café culture and the only North American fortress walls that still exist north of Mexico - all of which have given the entire city status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 02 of 11

    Quebec City Location / Getting to Quebec City

    ••• Quebec City is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec. It is about a two and a half or three hour drive away from Montreal, or 233 kilometres (145 mi), and a couple of hours due north of the Vermont / Maine border. Map of Quebec by Tourizm Maps, 2006

    Quebec City is on the Saint Lawrence River in the province of Quebec, about a three-hour drive east of Montreal, just under nine hours from Toronto and Boston and just over nine hours from NYC.

    Québec City Jean Lessage International Airport has 10 airlines flying to and from many North American, South American and European destinations. 


    Daily VIA Rail Canada service travels between Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City. Visitors traveling by train from the USA come to Montreal via Amtrak, then transfer to VIA Rail Canada trains for Québec City.

    Read about driving to Quebec city from NYC.

  • 03 of 11

    Weather & Climate / When to Visit Quebec City

    ••• Photograph: Yves Marcoux / Getty Images
    The most popular time to visit Québec City is during the summer months. Though the nights can be cool throughout the summer, the days are usually warm and rather sunny. From June to August, daily maximum temperatures range from 68°F/20°C to 77°F/25°C.

    The so-called Indian summer arrives early in Québec City, lasting 2-3 weeks from mid/late September to early/mid October.

    Winter in Québec City sees plenty of snow - up to 14 feet (3.5 meters) of it, with snow falling sometimes into May. Temperatures drop well below freezing from late November to early April. The average temperature in January varies from -8° C/18° F during the day to -17° C/1° F at night, but it can drop much lower, and the wind chill can make the cold extremely unpleasant.

  • 04 of 11
    ••• Photograph: Brooke Slezak / Getty Images

    Much of the pleasure derived from a visit to Quebec City comes from merely wandering the old, cobblestone streets of Lower Town and drinking in the history, so much of which is evident in the city's architecture. Strolling along the shops, galleries and bistros of old Quebec City can easily fill a day. Other places to check out:

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  • 05 of 11

    Quebec City Events and Festivals

    ••• Photo courtesy Scott McLean

    Quebec City's most famous festival, the Quebec Winter Carnival takes place at the peak of winter at the end of January / beginning of February and is the world's biggest winter carnival, drawing tens of thousands of visitors.

    The Quebec City Summer Festival takes place every July. Summer in Quebec also sees the New France Festival celebrate Quebec's heritage.

  • 06 of 11

    Where to Stay in Quebec City

    ••• Photograph: Guy Vanderelst / Getty Images

    The Chateau Frontenac sits majestically over old Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River and has been beautifully restored over the years to highlight the exquisite 19th-century architecture. Even if you don't stay at the Chateau, pop by for a look around, cocktail or tour.

    If you want to stay in the old part of Quebec City and don't want to pay the steep Chateau price, choose one of the many B&Bs and boutique hotels, including, Auberge St-Antoine, Clos Saint-Louis.

    More accommodation, including bigger chain hotels like Marriott, Hilton and Best Western, can be found adjacent to Old Quebec City.

    For a truly unique experience, try the Ice Hotel, which opens from January - April (dates depend on weather).

  • 07 of 11

    Where to Eat in Quebec City

    Foodies are sure to love dining in Quebec City. Find out what the About Montreal / Quebec City Guide recommends.

  • 08 of 11

    Getting around Quebec City

    Getting around Old Quebec City, the part that the majority of tourists visit, is best done on foot. Streets are narrow and crowded not to mention parking is expensive and at a premium.

    If you're heading out of Old Quebec, you can rent a car, take a taxi or bus or rent a bike.

    The only way to get to and from the Quebec International Airport is by taxi or rental car.

    A calèche (horse-drawn carriage) tour is generally overpriced and controversy surrounds this practice in many cities.

     

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  • 09 of 11

    Quebec City Maps and Pictures

    ••• Photograph: Guy Vanderelst / Getty Images
  • 10 of 11

    Good to Know about Quebec City

    Restaurant, tourist shop and hotel staff in Quebec City may seem a bit haughty and less friendly than their counterparts in other major tourist towns. Don't take their attitude to heart - many of the people you encounter will be friendly and helpful.

    Visitors should also note that the streets in Old Quebec are quite steep and proper walking shoes are essential to enjoying the old town to its fullest.

  • 11 of 11

    Although Quebec is officially bilingual, don't be intimidated if you don't speak French. Visitors who speak only English will not have a problem getting by in Quebec City, although English is less prevalent here than in Montreal. If you do get off the beaten path, you will encounter people who speak only French, so some French travel phrases are a must.