I recently came back from a 5-day trip to Montreal to visit my friend Laura. I was really eager to get in a visit to Quebec City. After much searching online, I made the decision to book a guided tour.
You can get to Quebec City via bus and train but it costs the exact same as booking a one-day tour. Maybe the cost of a bus or train would be worth it if you were staying for a few days but I only had time for a day trip.
Our tour was supposed to start at 8am; we were put behind by 30 minutes because the hotel shuttle was running behind. There was so much construction in Montreal on almost every road, that even I had trouble getting into the city in an uber.
Having not slept too well the night before, I was very tired and when I’m tired I get bad motion sickness. The stop/start motion of the car trying to avoid construction was almost enough to make me vomit. I was very happy when I checked in at the tourist info office and was told I had time to go grab a drink.
Upon arriving in Quebec City we were greeted by our Tour Guide, Roger, a native of Quebec. He was fantastic and had an abundance of knowledge. Before visiting, I wasn’t too familiar with the history of Quebec, but I learned so much from this tour alone.
Our tour started at Place Royale, which sits just below the Chateau Frontenac. This part of the city was my favourite, coble stone streets and unique gift shops.
Our guide gave us a walk through and told us about the beginnings of Quebec and the reasons behind why they still speak French today – The American Revolution is the short answer!
Having been sat on a bus in the warm for three hours the cold was getting to most people. We wrapped up and began our drive to Montmorency Falls. The falls were nice but a bit further out from the city. The wind had really picked up at this point and most of us were eager to explore more of the city. A quick couple of snaps and I was back on the bus!
The biggest highlight of my trip was of course, the Chateau Frontenac. One of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. It was so enchanting in the snow.
I was originally supposed to visit Montreal in August this year, but due to costs changed my plans. I’m so happy I waited because Quebec City with a dusting of snow is so magical. It was just like a fairy tale. This is the way you are supposed to see Quebec City, in the winter!
The temperature during my visit was -10. It was cold but nothing I hadn’t experienced before, and I had my trusty Sorels to keep me from sliding everywhere. But, the wind chill, Oooh the wind chill made everything feel 10 degrees colder. I put my hood up and dashed into the hotel.
I didn’t spend too long inside the actual hotel because I wanted to explore the town and with only 2.5 hours it didn’t give me much time. In the lobby entrance they had a Christmas tree display with several trees decorated by local businesses.
After wandering the Chateau Frontenac, I took a walk past the Notre Dame cathedral towards Rue-Saint Jean. Rue Saint-Jean is the main road in Quebec City for shopping. We’d driven past this area earlier on the tour and I was eager to explore it on foot.
There are lots of gift shops here and little cafes. I decided to have a coffee at “Café la Maison Smith”.
Time For Wine!
Our tour guide had recommended a place to eat opposite the Chateau Frontenac called Bistro 1640. This restaurant has been on of the best I’ve eaten at this year. I ordered the braised beef, which came with an appetizer included. So I opted for the duck pate. Along side it I ordered a rose wine from Quebec. The wine was delicious, it tasted just like Christmas. Unfortunately I didn’t take down the name!
Quebec City Funicular
The Funicular in Quebec City connects the upper town to the lower town. You can take a ride on the funicular for $3 one way and it last a few minutes. The ride itself gives amazing views of the city and is a quick way to get from the Chateau to the Petit Champlain neighbourhood. Further afield are stairs that you can opt to take instead.
Rue Petit Champlain
This charming cobble stoned street is home to mostly independent shops that sell a variety of items that are made in Quebec.
It was starting to get dark by the time I made my way down here. The Christmas lights were just starting to turn on, and it was magical.
Quebec City was like a tiny slice of Europe in North America. I loved every minute of my tour here, and if you ever get the chance to visit, I’d recommend a few days here. There is so much more to the city.
How To Visit
I used Gray Line for my tour to Quebec City and it cost $120 CAD ($90 USD) I’d previously used Gray Line for my tour to Neuschwanstein and again in New Orleans this June. Having used this company multiple times they are now the tour company I prefer to go with. I’ve always been impressed with the service, nice busses, very knowledgeable tour guides and reasonable pricing.
Have you ever wanted to visit Quebec City?
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