Published for I-Fashion Magazine December 2018
There is no better season to visit Quebec than Holidays Season. Walking around old Quebec City, through the cobblestones streets and stone buildings is an unforgettable experience. The Christmas decorations and the festivities make it ideal for a holiday getaway. More than 400 years of history and heritage. We welcome you to read about the birthplace of French civilization in North America. Welcome to Québec City!
HOW TO GET THERE
There are several options to get to Quebec City: by train, by plane, by car, by bus and by sea.
– By Train
From New York, Penn Station Amtrak offers regular daily service to Montréal. The length of the trip varies from 10-12 hours ($69 one way). From Montreal, transfer to
the Via Rail Canada servicing between Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City. A 3-hour trip starts at $33 one way.
– By Plane
Direct flights to Québec from Atlanta, Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Denver and Philadelphia area available. Air Canada, United Airlines, Delta, American, WestJet, and Air Transat operate flights between USA, Montréal and Québec City. Most airlines have daily non-stop flights to Montréal and offer many connecting flights to Québec City.
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport is located only 10 miles from downtown Québec City.
– By Sea
Another option is to explore Québec along St Lawrence River with nine ports of call and over 120 cruise itineraries. Also, Québec ferries extend the roads between the banks of St Lawrence River transporting passengers and their vehicles.
– By Car
Traveling between New York and Québec city is an adventure. Approximately 8 hours trip, 524 miles of scenic routes along the way. Highway 20 runs along the south shore of the St Lawrence River, and Highway 40 is the north shore access to the city. You merely need to hold a valid driver’s license from your home country (under six consecutive months) to be able to drive in Québec.
– By Bus
From New York and Boston for around $60-$70, Greyhound offers several daily departures. Intercity routes connect most cities and towns in Québec, operated by Orleans Express, Intercar, and Limocar.
WHERE TO STAY
Québec City offers accommodation for all taste and budgets from 5-star hotels to Cabins, dispersed in the city districts. There are 168 hotels to fit all your needs; it includes luxury suites and hostels accommodations.
The Historic District. It is a great area to stay, a mix of French and British architecture, cobblestones streets and amazing views. The entire historic district divided in Lower town and Upper Town. The Lower Town is along the river, and it is the original older part of the town. Along the way, stop by the Musée de l’Ameriqué Francophone, which recounts the experiences of the French in North America. Walk through Rue du Petit Champlain, the city’s oldest street lined with outdoors Cafés and bistros and stop by for hot chocolate at La Maison Smith enjoying La Place Royale.
Don’t miss Rue du Trésor; a little alley turned into an outdoor art gallery and where the colonist used to go to pay taxes over four centuries ago. You will find the cruise and ferry terminals also in the Lower Town. Vieux Port is an excellent alternative if you want to stay walking distance to the old city but want to retire to a more calm area at night.
The Funicular connects the Lower Town with Upper Town since 1879. Enjoy the ride and amazing views of Old Québec. The lower entrance is located inside the Maison Louis-Jolliet in Rue Petit Champlain, and the upper one is on the Dufferin Terrace.
In the Upper Town, enjoy the St Lawrence River view as you cross Dufferin Terrace boardwalk and take a picture with the Chateau Frontenac in the background. It is a 3-mile wall, a national historic monument surrounding the city, built by French military engineers to protect the city from attacks.
The star-shaped Citadelle is located in the Upper Town, at the top of Cap Diamant, It is the most important British fortress built in North America. You will find restaurants and hotels carved out of former 18th Century residences.
- Fairmont Château Frontenac: a former castle transformed to a hotel in 1980. Standing on a bluff overlooking the St Lawrence River, it is located in the heart of Old Québec, a United Nations Heritage Site. It offers 611 elegant guestrooms with a European flair and antique furniture. Starting at $142/night.
- Hotel Clarendon: Also located in Old Québec, it is an eco option. The property participates in the Green Key Eco-Rating Program that measures the property’s impact on one or more of the following: environment, community, cultural heritage and the local economy. Rooms start at $94/night.
The Trendy District, a pleasant middle-class neighborhood became a diversified hip town. It sits along St Charles River, outside of Old Québec in Lower Town. Along Rue Saint-Joseph Est, the most important commercial street until 1960. You will find trendy shops, friendly cafés, and unique restaurants. The main train station is located in Saint Roch linking Québec City with the rest of Canada via Rail.
A hub for design lovers, you will find unique furniture creations at EQ3, vintage treasures at boutique Déjà Vu, novelty objects in L’Inventaire. Stop by Swell & Ginger, a trendy boutique. For the kids, Benjo is the dream toy store you don’t want to miss. Also very appreciated by food lovers where you can get a great value for your money with gourmet and family-owned restaurant plus the microbreweries. During holidays a light path follow all along Rue Saint Joseph with the 15
- Hotel Pur Québec: It is bright, clean and modern. Located in the Saint Roch district. It offers an urban redesign with sleek rooms and suites. Just a 15 minutes ride to Old Québec City. Prices start at $94/night.
- Hotel Le Vincent: located on the edge of Saint Roch. A better choice for a quiet stay. Parking is convenient across the street. Start at $84/night.
Saint Jean Batiste
The Bohemian District, located between Old Québec and Montcalm. Saint Jean Street, one of the oldest streets in the city. You can find apartment rentals, B&Bs, and small auberges. Also bistros, food-related shops, and the oldest grocery store in North America, the J. A. Moisan.
It is located outside the city walls; it has always been a working-class district inhabited by craftsmen and merchants. The vibe is similar to Saint Roch District but with an artistic flair; live music, artistic performances, and poetry reading will welcome you at their stages.
- Château des Tourelles: A funky hotel close to restaurants and bars. At just 10 minutes walk from Old Québec, a great option to avoid the tourist crowds. It includes breakfast and pets are allowed. Start at $75/night.
- Gîte Au Croissant de Lune: A cozy Bed & Breakfast offers three bedrooms, breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking included. It is the perfect choice to have local experience. Start at $62/night.
The Arts District. The perfect area for culture lovers: Theater, museums, and art galleries will make your stay hard to forget. Named after the Lieutenant General who led the famous battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Visit the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec showcasing exclusively Quebecois artists and art made in Québec. Cinema Cartier, the only movie theater downtown. Head to Plains of Abraham, a stretch of 93 hectares forming a massive city park and watch street performers. Don’t forget to check the Grand Théâtre de Québec programming.
Nestled in the heart of the Montcalm District is the Avenue Cartier beautiful decorated by lampshades painted with the reproduction of famous artists. It is home to many boutiques, restaurants, and bars.
Enjoy the vibrant nightlife, head to Grande Allée the go-to street for dinner and drinks and stop by the L’Atelier, Québec City’s first cocktail bar. Also where the New Year’s celebration is concentrated with a big stage.
- Hotel Concorde Québec: Home to the famous rotating restaurant with stunning city views. A more contemporary design away from the tourist crows. It offers a seasonal pool and free Wi-Fi. Start at $68/night.
- Hotel Art de Vivre: A boutique hotel with a mix of retro and modern décor. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included. Start at $83/night.
- Hotel de Glace: A seasonal novelty hotel made of ice and snow, where guest sleep on beds built of ice and bathe in outdoors thermal spa. Some rooms have fireplaces but in general, the rooms are kept at -5 degrees. For showers and to eat stop by The Valcartier Hotel, a nearby sister property available. From January to March, packages start at $372/night.
WHERE TO EAT
- Lapin Saute: located in Rue de Petit Champlain, a charming fresh restaurant with 32 seats. The décor is casual and welcoming, try the signature Cassoulet.
- Le Hobbit: A French bistro built in the early 19th century. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Le Continental: The city oldest gourmet restaurant. For a classic old school French meal, make sure to ask for the impressive wine selection.
- For Craft Beer: Le Projet, Bar Le Sacrilège, Pub Saint Alexandre, great food and drinks.
- La Poutinerie: One of the best places to eat Poutine, different styles.
- Portofino: An Italian Bistro, it is located in the heart of Old Québec City in a historical house built in 1760. Enjoy wood oven pizza and authentic Italian pasta with a 4000 bottles excellent wine cellar.
- Paillard: Located in Old Québec serves homemade goodies, soups, sandwiches, and pastries. One of the best croissants in the city.
- Chez Ashton: A fast-food chain that specializes in Poutine, a Quebecois dish.
- Panetier Baluchon: Bread is made using organic ingredients grown on their farm.
- La Brûlerie Saint Jean: A two-story café serving pastries and light lunches, a great spot to do some work.
- L’Omelette: Hot breakfast Quebecois style.
WHERE TO SHOP
- Fleur de Lys: One of the largest shopping centers in the Greeter Québec area with 200 stores just 5 minutes away from downtown.
- Quartier Petit Champlain: North America’s oldest shopping district. The best shopping experience during the holidays in Winter with Christmas decoration and twinkling lights.
- Fairmont Les Boutique du Château: trendy and conservative shops inside Chateau Frontenac.
- Les Galeries de la Capitale: With over 250 stores from major retailers to small independent boutiques and an amusement park.
- Rue Saint Paul. For your antique souvenirs with more than 15 dealers, you can find anything from antique books, Art Deco accessories, Vintage furniture and more.
- Christmas Market in the Vieux Port de Québec: Over 70 exhibitors offering local products and handicraft.
- German Christmas Market: Located on the Place de l’Hotel de Ville, in front of City Hall, you can find unique gifts, local products, German cakes and unique crafts from Germany. It goes from November 22 to December 23, 2018.
WHAT TO DO/WHERE TO GO
- Eat delicious Poutine and Tourtière and Maple Syrup
- Take the Quebec City – Lévis Ferry across St Lawrence River
- Visit Montmorency Falls Park, the tallest waterfall in Canada.
- Walk around Quartier Petit Champlain
- Take a picture in front of Chateau Frontenac and tour inside.
- Go on a Food tour in Saint Roch District.
- Visit the Battlefields Park
- Visit la Place Royale.
- Walk around Dufferin Terrace
- Visit la Cathedral of Saint Anne de Beaupre, famous for its healing miracles.
- Attend Carnaval de Québec.
- Stop by the Erico Choco Musée and try their hot chocolate and chocolate truffles.
- Visit Maison de la Literature
- Learn about Québec History visiting La Citadelle and the Plains of Abraham.
- Take a Craft Beer Tour and visit many of the microbreweries across the city.
- Stay at the Hotel de Glace, made of ice and snow.
- Discover Montcalm, the Arts District.
Make sure to bundle up and enjoy all the entertainment Québec City has to offer during the holiday’s season! For itineraries ideas, send your inquiries to [email protected]
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