Quebec City hotels
Quebec City Rundown
The compact, handsome capital of Canada’s la belle province seduces visitors from disparate angles. There is the UNESCO World Heritage inscription of course (Historic District of Old Québec), which has no parallel in North America outside of Mexico and the Caribbean. The heritage quarter of Vieux-Québec contains singular landmarks and architecture, the likes of which do not exist in the rest of Canada or the United States of America. Indelible icons like the Château Frontenac, Citadelle, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires and the Plains of Abraham make it eminently worthwhile to pound the pavement, or cobblestones in this case, for hours on end.
Dynamic culture is on hand in Quebec City as well, in the form of remarkable festivals like the legendary Winter Carnival and Summer Festival, both of which draw hundreds of thousands of revelers to the city. Paragon museums cover fine arts and history with aplomb and the sophistication of restaurants and boutique hotels in the city is second to none.
Outside the old capital, pastoral beauty calls from Île d'Orléans and other environs, while Montmorency Falls Park and area ski slopes provide terrific four seasons recreation. All in all within Canada, Quebec City is a wonderful and wholly exclusive bridge between old and new, traditional and modern, Europe and North America.
Quebec City’s Top 10
10. Musée de la civilisation unfurls regular exhibits on the history of the province and has architect Moshe Safdie’s imprint all over it.
5. FairmontFrontenac is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Canada, let alone Quebec.
9. Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is one of the more memorable structures in Lower Town Quebec City.
4. La Citadelle is a military installation that dates back to the late 17th century.
8. Île d'Orléans condenses all of New France’s bucolic charm into one Saint Lawrence River island across from Old Quebec City.
3. National Assembly of Quebec is arguably the finest provincial government house in the country.
7. Montmorency Falls are 100 feet higher than Niagara and form the backdrop for a brilliant international fireworks competition every summer.
2. Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a cultural oasis in Battlefields Park - one of the few urban national parks in Canada.
6. Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a major Catholic shrine that draws upward of half a million pilgrams every year.
1. Plains of Abraham is the pulse point of Quebec City and a peerless historic site that lures millions of tourists per annum.
Quebec City History
- Vieux Quebec (Old Quebec) – Founded in 1608, visitors will find ramparts, a historic church and old 17th-century buildings.
- Morrin Centre – Built in the 1800s as the city’s first prisons, the site now contains libraries that host concerts, readings and lectures.
- Sainte Anne de Beaupre Basilica – Buildings on this landmark were built in the 17th century.
- Joan of Arc – A statue to commemorate the soldiers who died in the 1759 battle between the British and the French.
- Basilique Cathedrale – A 17th-century cathedral that has been restored throughout.
Quebec City Art & Culture
- Musee de la Civilisation – A museum with exhibits on historic Quebec, ancient Rome and science.
- The Citadel – A military museum built on the highest point in Old Quebec.
- Musee National des Beaux Arts – An art museum with the works of local Quebec artists.
- Place Royale – The city’s social centre.
- Les Galeries d’Art Beauchamp – Seven galleries filled with the contemporary art of Canadian and international artists.
Quebec City Shopping
- Quartier du Petit Champlain – The oldest shopping district in the country.
- Ja Moisan Epicier – The oldest grocery store in the city, built in 1871.
- Boutique Ketto – A boutique started by illustrator Julie St Onge Drouin.
- Un Air de France – An interesting shop that sells artisanal soaps made from vegetable bases.
- Choco-Musee Erico – Chocolate lovers will rejoice when they see this shop filled with a variety of treats, including strawberry and basil truffles and ice cream.
Quebec City Gay & Lesbian
- Quebec City Gay Pride – Art festival held yearly over Labour Day weekend.
- Le Sauna Hippocampe – Gay-owned sauna for men only, featuring a steam bath, solarium, Finnish bath and Jacuzzi.
- Bar La Couronne – Nightclub that caters to the GLBT community.
- La Drague – Cabaret with themed events such as country dance, girls’ night and karaoke.
- Cafe Bar L'Amour-Sorcier – Gay-owned and operated bar and cafe.
Quebec City Outdoor
- Montmorency Falls Park – A 275ft waterfall that rivals even Niagara Falls.
- Plains of Abraham – A historic part located in downtown Quebec.
- Siberia Station Spa – Outdoor spa featuring hot and cold rest stations. Enjoy hot tubs, different types of saunas and Swedish massages.
- Literary and Historical Society of Quebec – A themed tour of Quebec where you follow Inspector Gamache through the streets of the city and help him solve a murder.
- Levis Ferry – Enjoy the view of Quebec from the St Lawrence river.
Quebec City Sport
- Rent a bicycle at Cyclo Services or Museovelo and bike around the city.
- Go ice skating at the Pantinoire de la Terrasse or the Place d’Youville.
- If you love to ski, then head to the Station Touristique Stoneham for a few runs. Open November to March.
- The Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier is a great place to go snowshoeing.
- Adrenaline junkies can go white-water rafting down the Jacques Cartier river.
Quebec City Events
As the bona fide premier winter festival on the planet, the Carnaval de Québec is the most important event in the city.
Festival d'été de Québec proves that Quebec City can party it up in summer as well, with massive concerts on the Plains of Abraham.
Grand Théâtre de Québec hosts a slew of eclectic, cultural events throughout the seasons.
La Fête nationale du Québec or colloquially La Saint-Jean, is the de facto national holiday of the province, held every June 24, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.
Hockey is the provincial pastime of Quebec but in Quebec City, Université Laval Rouge et Or football rules. That is until the Nordiques make a return to the NHL.
Festival Celtique de Québec waves the flag of a vital Quebec City community every August and September.
Challenge Bell International de Québec brings top-flight WTA tennis action to the provincial capital every September.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec is a major event in the world of élite cyclists. Held in September.
Loto-Québec International Fireworks Competition comes to Montmorency Falls every July/August.
L'International des musiques sacrées de Québec manages to re-invent and uncover fresh takes for liturgical and sacred music every September.
Two excellent ski resorts close to Quebec City include Mont-Sainte-Anne (45 minutes) and Le Massif (75-90 minutes).
When To Go
The most popular time to visit Quebec City is for Winter Carnival in February. Many international tourists, however, prefer to see the beautiful capital of Quebec in summer or fall, when cold, snow and ice do not stifle attempts to walk from one point to another.
The city is rather picturesque in winter however, so long as as you dress for it. Otherwise, the hemiboreal cum humid continental climate will make you pay.
From December to February temperatures run from 0°F (-17.5°C) to a “high” of 23.5°F (-5°C). The height of summer sees conditions warm up to a range of 56°F (13.5°C) to 77°F (25°C). Precipitation - close to 50 in (1,270 mm) a year - is somewhat evenly spread from month to month.
Quebec City is a popular side trip from Montreal, with Via Rail the most affordable, comfortable and convenient transport option for those who prefer not to negotiate the 155 miles (250 km) by car.
Alternatively, Jean Lesage International (2010 “best small airport in North America”) co-ordinates flights from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and the likes of Philadelphia, Chicago, Newark and Washington, D.C.
While Quebec City lacks a robust commuter rail or subway system, the Réseau de transport de la Capitale operates a bus fleet that serves the metro area at large.
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