Québec City Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Bienvenue à Québec: Québec is an unofficially bilingual province. Although French is the dominant language, anyone in the hospitality industry will speak English almost fluently, as will most residents.
- You don't need a car: Québec City is relatively compact, and public transport is extensive. Unless you're planning on taking day trips from the city, you will not need to rent a car here.
- Slow down and relax: Much like the French, the Québecois are rather laid-back. The leisurely pace of the Québecois may annoy some Americans, especially those who are used to doing everything on the run; to fit in, you're going to have to slow down.
The sight of winding cobblestone streets and towering cathedrals; the sound of French pleasantries and tourists' "Oohs;" the smell of fresh-baked bread and pungent cheese; the taste of creamy café lattes and buttery croissants. All your senses agree: You're in France. But they're wrong: You're in Québec.
Québec City—the capital of the Canadian province, Québec—dwelled in the shadow of its neighbor, Montreal, for a long time, but the 2008 celebration of its 400th birthday catapulted Québec City back into the spotlight. Since then, travelers have flocked here to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site's charm for themselves. As the birthplace of New France, Québec City continues to uphold the culture of its motherland. Upon passing through the fortified walls of the old city, you'll discover a world straight out of a European painting: 17th- and 18th-century buildings house bakers, bistros, and boutiques, while cobbled squares are drowned by a sea of café tables. And around every corner, a piece of Québec City's rich heritage awaits discovery.
How To Save Money in Québec City
- Book a B&B: Within the walls of Old Québec lie a handful of charming bed and breakfasts. Although there isn't a huge price gap between these accommodations and other small hotels outside the walls, you'll certainly appreciate the convenient locale.
- Use your feet: Québec city is compact enough to explore on foot, so save yourself the money and hassle of renting a car. And if you're in a hurry, the tourist-friendly Écolobus runs around Old Québec every 10 minutes, and rides are only $1 CAD (about $1 USD).
- Eat more: Many restaurants (or restos) in Québec City offer prix-fixed menus that will allow you to indulge in three or four delectable courses, all for slightly more than a single entrée.