Quebec City, Quebec, Canada is located on the St. Lawrence Seaway in the southern part of the province of Quebec and has enjoyed its place in Canada for many years. Quebec City is one of North America’s oldest cities and in 2008, the city will be celebrating its 400th birthday, so if you don’t have the time to visit now, plan to come in ’08. There is so much to see and do in a city that is steeped with so much history.
The old part of the city is lined with narrow streets. Some of these streets are so narrow that a car complete with mirrors will just fit through with mere inches to spare on either side (then you will hit sidewalks and buildings). But don’t let that deter you from coming to see Quebec City. It is worth the trouble, believe me!
Besides history being a focal point, you will also find all amenities that are typical in any large city. From great motels to great restaurants there is no shortage of places to eat and stay while in the city.
Since Quebec City is almost 400 years old, you would expect to see history come alive in its architecture. And you would be correct in that assumption. Architecture built from as long ago as the city’s earliest beginnings and up to the present, following the styles of the particular time in history they were built. Military has played a large part in Quebec City’s history as well. The area played a large part in the War of 1812 and you will find the city has fortresses and battle fields. One battle field is called “The Plains of Abraham” and is the site of one of the war’s famous battles and where Generals James Wolfe and Louis-Joseph de Montcalm were fatally injured during the battle.
Religion has played a large part in the history of Quebec City as well. Founded by Catholic missionaries, the area and in fact the whole province has remained largely Catholic throughout the years. There are many an old basilicas and churches that are interesting sites to see. One of the most famous of these is The Notre-Dame-de-Quebec-Basilica-Cathedral which features several impressive pieces of art that have to be appreciated in person. Of course, there are many parks and other museums that you will want to make time to see while you are visiting the city.
The Chateau Frontenac is supposedly one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Located on bluffs over looking the St. Lawrence River and more than one hundred years old, it stands as a window to the past, present and even the future. Containing a beautiful hotel and fabulous restaurants, the building also offers daily guided tours and should be at the top of your list to visit while in Quebec City.
Strolling throughout the many quaint streets of the city can be a treat in itself. No matter if you are looking for gourmet food or chocolatiers or fashionable boutiques or handcraft stalls or art galleries, Quebec City is for you. You will find over one thousand boutiques throughout the streets and malls.
Quebec City is known for its European flavour and is mostly French speaking (Montreal has more English speakers than Quebec Citydoes), though in saying that, with tourists and the many tours that are run to the historic sites, quite a bit of English is spoken there. It might not hurt to pick up a few French phrases that will be helpful, such as ‘Parlez-vous Anglais?’ (Do you speak English?) ‘Ou Sont Les Toilettes?’ (where is the bathroom) are some of the more important phrases you will want to pick up. You might even want to invest in a French/English phrase book. But there are tours that are often given in Spanish, Japanese and German besides English due to the influx of tourists that come to the city on a regular basis, so English should really be a problem. However, if you travel into rural Quebec, keep in mind that French is the main language spoken.
What to bring with you on your trip will depend on the time of year you come and visit. In the winter you will want to bring boots, mittens, a hat and a scarf because of the winter temperatures that are usually slightly below zero and snow is evident on the ground. In the summer you will want to dress comfortably for humid weather and bring comfortable sandals. In the spring and the fall, layers work best because as the day heats up, you can remove a layer.
No matter what you come to Quebec City for a romantic get-away for two, a business trip or a family vacation, you will enjoy the sights and sounds and surroundings are you spend your time in fabulous Quebec City.