The capital of the French-speaking Quebec province, Quebec City could easily be mistaken for Paris in parts. Here, you’re likely to come across amazing buildings such as those in the Old Town, recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, plentiful cultural venues and more than a few street performers to make your visit more whimsical.
What will strike you about Quebec City is that it has its city walls intact, making it completely different from any other city in North America. However, despite all the older buildings which dominate the cityscape, Quebec has more than its fair share of modern thrills, from its shopping malls to the skyscrapers such as the Observatoire de la Capitale.
With the right tyres, a small family car would be sufficient for driving on the highways, through the Old Town and in the suburbs. It would also be better for driving on icy roads than something smaller.
The Observatoire de la Capitale is one of the tallest buildings in Quebec City. It offers panoramic views of the city and its outlying suburbs and satellite towns, while the building itself has exhibitions about how the city has grown over the centuries.
One of the most notable landmarks is The Citadel (La Citadelle). This fort is where the city wall meets Grande Allee and is known to hold a changing of the guard ceremony every morning at around 10AM, although they do depend on the weather!
Musée national des Beaux-arts du Quebec is the city’s most notable art museum. Here, works throughout the last few centuries from the Quebec province sit alongside international pieces of art from globally-renowned artists. Expansion of the museum is currently taking place.
Going for over a century, the Winter Carnival is an event which spans three weekends in February. Parades and live music are among the activities, while the centrepiece of the Carnival is the construction of an ice palace in the Place Jacques-Cartier.
If driving in the Old Town district, you should take care when driving as the streets are narrow and made of cobblestone.
Many of the road signs in and around Quebec City are written in French, although they are pretty easy to understand and may have an English translation below.
Between December 15 and March 15, your car must have winter tyres fitted if it has a Canadian licence plate, as some of the roads won’t have snow cleared.
Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport is seven miles to the west of the city centre. It serves destinations across North America and Europe and has one main terminal for passengers, serving over 1.3 million people annually.
To get to the city centre from the airport, drive southbound on the Route de l‚ÄôAeroport and onto Duplessis Highway until reaching the junction with the 40 autoroute. Then, drive onto the 440 before it takes you into the centre of Quebec City.