Quebec Travel Guide

Understand

Quebec City is the capital city of the province of Quebec (though it is referred to as the National Capital in the province). Much of the business here is of the administrative and bureaucratic nature, which would normally make a city quite dull. Fortunately, the city has a remarkable history, as the fortress capital of New France since the 16th century. Although the town's day-to-day life leaves things a little yawny at times, the vibrant historical centre makes for an incredible visit.

Quebec was first settled by Europeans in 1608 in an "abitation" led by Samuel de Champlain and celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008. The generally accepted dates of Champlain's arrival in the city are July 3rd and 4th and were marked with major celebrations. The area was also inhabited by Native peoples for many centuries before the arrival of the Europeans, and their ongoing presence has been notable since then.

Founded by the French to make a claim in the New World, the name Quebec originally referred to just the city. It is an aboriginal word for "where the river narrows" as the St. Lawrence River dramatically closes in just east of the city. It is situated on 200 foot high cliffs with stunning views of the surrounding Laurentian mountains and the St. Lawrence River. Under French rule (1608-1759), the major industries were the fur and lumber trades. The French lost the city and its colony of New France to the British in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Much of the French nobility returned to France which resulted in British ruling over the remaining French population. Fortunately, the rulers of the colony allowed the French to retain their language and religion leaving much of the culture intact. The 1840s saw an influx of Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine. Due to cholera and typhus outbreaks, ships were quarantined at Grosse Ile to the east of the city past l'Ile d'Orleans. The bodies of those who perished on the journey and while in quarantine are buried there. The city remained under British rule until 1867 when Lower Canada (Quebec) joined Upper Canada (Ontario), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to form the Dominion of Canada.

French is the official language of the province of Quebec though in the tourist areas of Quebec City English is widely spoken as a second language by almost all of the staff. It is also not unusual to find Spanish, German and Japanese spoken in many establishments in Vieux Quebec. Outside of the tourist areas, some knowledge of French is advisable and perhaps necessary, depending on how rural the area is you are visiting. It should be noted that while older locals will struggle when attempting to sustain a discussion in English, most youths under 35 should be able to speak conversational English. Less than a third of the overall population is bilingual French/English.

In French, both the city and the province are referred to as "Québec". Which is meant is determined by context and by the convention of referring to the province with the masculine article ("le Québec or au Québec") and to the city without any article at all ("à Québec"). This may lead to confusion when following provincial road signs as the City of Quebec, (Ville de Québec) is referred to only as Québec in official signage.

Orientation

Orienting yourself in Quebec is fairly easy. Many sights of interest are in the Old Town (Vieux-Québec), which constitutes the walled city on top of the hill. Many surrounding neighbourhoods, either in Haute-Ville ("Upper Town") or in Basse-Ville ("Lower Town"), are of great interest : Saint-Roch, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montcalm, Vieux-Port and Limoilou. Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville are connected by many staircases, all of which are unique, such as the aptly-named Escalier Casse-Cou ("Breakneck Stairs") and the more easily climbable "Funiculaire".

The city spreads westward from the St. Lawrence River, for the most part extending from the original old city. The true downtown core of Quebec City is located just west of the old city. Across the river from Quebec City is the town of Lévis. Frequent ferry service connects the two sides of the river.

Climate

Visitor information
Centre Infotouriste de Qubec12 rue Ste-AnnePhone: +1 514 873-2015Tollfree: +1 877 266-5687Hours: 21 Jun-31 Aug: 8:30AM-7PM daily. 1 Sep-20 Jun: 9AM-5PM daily

source: Wikivoyage

Things To Do in Quebec See All Things To Do in Quebec

  • Quartier Du Petit Champlain

    Quartier Du Petit Champlain

    Rue de Petit Champlain

    Attractions,Landmarks and Points Of Interest
  • Place Royale, Quebec City

    Place Royale, Quebec City

    27 rue Notre-Dame

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    Old

    Rue de Tresor

    Old Québec is a historic neighbourhood of Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec in Can...

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  • Upper Town
    Attractions,Landmarks and Points Of Interest

Hotels in Quebec (108 Hotels) See All Quebec Hotels

  • Auberge Saint-Antoine by Relais & Châteaux

    Found in Quebec, Auberge Saint-Antoine by Relais & Châteaux is a luxury hotel conveniently placed nearby Rue St.Pierre, Lower Town (Basse-Ville) and Fourrures du Vieux-Po...

  • Auberge Place d'Armes

    With Rue du Tresor, Manoir St Basile and Tours Voir Quebec comfortably placed in the vicinity of the three and half star hotel, Auberge Place d'Armes; this hotel is wonde...

  • Hotel Du Vieux Quebec

    Spotted in Quebec, Hotel Du Vieux Quebec is conveniently located alongside Hotel-Dieu Augustines Museum, Flavour Route (Route des Saveurs) and Pub Saint Patrick. Various ...

  • Auberge Aux deux Lions

    Found in Quebec, Auberge Aux deux Lions is comfortably located close to Theatre Periscope, Les Gros Becs and Ketto. Additional visited points of interest close-by include...

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