Quebec City - the official capital of the province of Quebec - offers an experience unlike almost 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 has given it status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to go to Quebec City
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. Taxis from the airport to downtown Quebec City cost about $30.
Daily VIA Rail Canada service travels between Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City. Visitors travelling by train from the USA come into Montreal via Amtrak, then transfer to VIA Rail Canada trains for Québec City.
Best time to visit Quebec City
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.
Quebec City Attractions
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 amongst the shops, galleries and bistros of old Quebec City can easily fill a day. Other places to check out:
- Musée de la Civilisation;
- Chateau Frontenac, the historic hotel that hovers majestically over the old town;
- The Old Port where you can stroll waterside or take a cruise;
- Battlefields Park (the Plains of Abraham) - site of the famous battle between the French and British armies;
- the Citadelle - historic fortification;
- Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec;
- the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré shrine near Mont Sainte-Anne
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