Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is renowned for its diverse landscapes from historic cities to its isolated Arctic tundra. Quebec shares a border with U.S. states Vermont, New York, Maine, and New Hampshire to the south, Hudson Bay to the west, and almost reaches the Arctic Circle in the north. Quebec is Canada’s largest French speaking province in eastern Canada and looks like a piece of Europe. Quebec is known for its rich history, charming cobblestone streets, beautiful European architecture, and vintage fortifications. The provincial capital of Quebec is Quebec City and the province’s largest city is Montreal, the second largest city in Canada.
These photos are from our visit to Quebec City and Montreal on the third weekend of August 2010. We could have taken better pictures if our camera was not broken and it was not a gloomy day. But no regrets, we have wonderful memories of the French culture city!
Quick Facts and Tips
- Make sure you have valid passports, visas and other documents
- Fly Into
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Quebec City
- Mirabel International Airport, Montreal
- Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (Dorval Airport), Montreal
- Driving is always on the right side of the road.
- Road signs are in French. Measurements are in kilometers and liters.
- US Citizens: US driver’s license and insurance are valid.
- Non-US Citizens: Advised to get an international driver’s license and purchase insurance to rent a car.
- Best Time to Visit: June to September and December to February
- How many days: 2 to 3 days
- Most places accept cash in US$, but in return the change will be in CAN$
- What to Expect
- Rich architecture from the XVII century, diverse landscapes from historic cities to isolated Arctic tundra, cobblestone streets, European architecture, and fortifications.
- Accommodations and Parking in Quebec City: Old Quebec city is the best place to stay in Quebec City as it is close to main attractions and historic sites. There are plenty of good hotels available. This area can be easily explored on foot, so plan to park your vehicle at your hotel. Make sure to check with your hotel for free parking. There is a lot of underground parking in the old town with a day rate around $18 to $25 ($8 to $10 on weekends). The underground parking below City Hall is the best option. The expensive street parkings have time limits and are hard to find.
- Top Attractions and Best Things To Do in Quebec City
- Quartier du Petit Champlain: Walk the narrow, vivid, cobblestone commercial streets in Quartier du Petit Champlain and immerse in the French heritage. It is a great pleasure to the tourists when they walk down the busy cobblestone street full of amazing gift shops, colorful boutiques, nice restaurants, and friendly people.
- La Citadel de Québec (The Citadelle of Quebec): Walk around the remarkable military heritage site La Citadel de Québec, the biggest British fortress in North America. It is an active military installation base so guided tours are necessary. The site is also the secondary official residence of both the Canadian monarch and the governor general of Canada. The view of the old Quebec city and the Saint Lawrence Rivers from the top of the walls are amazing. Make sure you don’t miss the change of guards.
- Fairmont Le Château Frontenac: Visit the most photographed, the world famous hotel, and an iconic building of the Quebec city, The Château Frontenac
- Dufferin Terrace: Take a stroll along a long wooden sidewalk Dufferin Terrace for a magnificent view of the St. Lawrence River and the Château Frontenac.
- Funiculaire du Vieux (The Old Quebec Funicular): Take a paid cable car ride in Old Quebec that connects the upper level Dufferin Terrace near the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac with Lower Town. The main entrance of the funicular is in Louis Jolliet House, located at 16 rue Petit-Champlain and the upper level entrance is on Dufferin Terrace near the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Walk down the Old city and take a cable car ride back to the center of old Quebec to avoid climbing up the stairs and hills. Note that they only accept cash.
- Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré: Make a trip to Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, located just northeast of Québec City almost 20 minutes drive from Quebec City.
- Montmorency Falls Park: The park offers Stunning views of Montmorency Falls, cable car rides and zip lines over a high waterfall
- Take a 2.7 mile Montmorency Falls loop hike along the narrow pedestrian suspension bridge. It crosses the Montmorency River to île d’Orléans. Enjoy the water rush over the edge right beneath your feet
- Take a cable car ride to Montmorency Falls Park which takes you to the top of the falls and provides a stunning view of the surrounding landscape
- Top Attractions and Best Things To Do in Montreal
- Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal: Visit Canada’s largest Roman Catholic minor basilica, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. It is a National Historic Site of Canada and one of the world’s most visited pilgrimage sites. It is the largest sanctuary dedicated to Saint Joseph and one of the largest church domes in the world. Stunning articturetire, lovely garden, and beautiful views of Montréal from the top make this place so special.
- Old Montreal: Wander through the narrow, colorful, cobblestoned streets of old Montreal. Old Montrel represents the European roots of Montreal with historic structures, a handful of museums, supreme restaurants, long promenades of shopping, and more.
- Mount Royal Park: Make a trip to Mount Royal Park, Montreal’s best known green space in the city. Montreal is named after this small extinct volcano, Mont Royal, which was originally written as Monte Real. Parc Mont-Royal (in French) is spread over 470 acres and offers stunning panoramic skyline views over the Island of Montreal (Île de Montréal in French) and the St. Lawrence River. Along with the historic sites and scenic overlooks, the park also has a beautiful Beaver lake, picnic spots, and nice trails. Mount Royal Summit and lookouts are only accessible by a wide gravel trail Olmsted Path. Take the Olmsted Path trail from Mount Royal Parking lot and walk five minutes up the path to reach Mount Royal Chalet and Kondiaronk Belvedere. Mount Royal Chalet is a charming old building located near the summit of Mount Royal and Kondiaronk Belvedere is a broad semicircular terrace that offers sweeping and beautiful views of Montreal and St Lawrence river. Continue walking up to reach the Summit that offers the remarkable views of the golden hours. Don’t forget to pack snacks/food and water.
- Notre-Dame Basilica: Visit Notre-Dame Basilica in the historic district of Old Montrel. The church is one of the most visited tourist attractions and is the city’s regal looking oldest church with awesome architecture.
- Parc Jean Drapeau (Jean-Drapeau Park): Visit Parc Jean Drapeau for fun-filled activities, events, exhibitions, and cultural and sports programs. A perfect place to spend a day with family and friends for all ages. Beautiful views of the Skyline, the bioderm and the river flowing around.
- Montreal Botanical Gardens: Enjoy the 75 hectares beautiful and lovely Montreal Botanical Gardens adjacent to the Olympic stadium. This seasonal garden offers a Chinese Garden, a Japanese Garden, and a First Nations Garden, each of which celebrates the traditions of their respective culture.
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