Best Ways to Spend the Holiday Season in Quebec City
June 14, 2019
by A Garota Do Lenço Vermelho
Ah Quebec City; THE most enchanting city in all of eastern Canada! Known for its distinct French colonial architecture, Quebec City is considered by many as the epicenter of French-Canadian history, culture, and even food.
This delightful city is visited annually by over four million people from all over the world; I mean who wouldn’t want to visit this place? With all the delicious poutine you can eat, artisanal cheeses, and world-renowned wine…those alone would be enough to convince me!
And no matter the season, there’s always something for you to do: during the summer and even fall seasons, you can always take day trips to nearby cities and towns and enjoy the province’s natural beauty and maybe even go hiking, a Canadian tradition. Ile d’Orleans is one of my absolute favourite places to go to when I visit to Quebec City; It’s only about a half-hour drive from the city and is the perfect destination to go wine and fruit tasting.
In my opinion, Quebec City should be everyone’s next travel destination because there is no other place like it! It is the perfect blend of past and present, and there is no better time to visit than during the holiday season.
Due to the classic fairytale-esque appearance of Lower and Upper Town, it feels as if you’ve been warped right into the middle of a storybook! There just something magical about the city when all of the lights are lit right up and the streets are filled with Christmas decorations. Trust me when I say that there is nothing truly like it. The festive cobbled streets of quaint little Petit Champlain streets are enough to mesmerize any poor soul. And the irresistible French pastries, don’t even get me started on those! This is definitely the place to be when the cold winter starts coming around. So, pack your bags and book your tickets to good ol’ Quebec City!
Why You Should Visit Quebec City this Holiday Season:
Almost everyone is bilingual! (both French and English speaking)
You are 100% guaranteed English-speakers in the historical centre, so if you’re nervous about not being able to communicate with the locals, just know that it should not be a problem.
Quebec City is also extremely budget-friendly
Quebec City is the perfect blend of foreign and elegance without having to break the bank. After living in Toronto for the last 16 years, I can say confidently that Quebec City is definitely a lot cheaper in terms of transportation, groceries, and just overall expenses.
The last (and probably most important) reason:
Quebec City is filled with many holiday themed activities to do during the winter break!
Quebec doesn’t call itself “la belle province” for nothing, you know. Due to its classic colonial fairytale style, Quebec has become a holiday hotspot for Canadians and tourists alike over the past couple of decades allowing locals and the province alike to benefit this economic boom from the city’s popularity. And, it is for this reason that the province has invested in many activities (often free of charge) for everyone to enjoy during the winter season! This includes the annual lights festival, which takes place at Aquarium du Quebec, and the Quebec Winter Carnival, which is known internationally as the largest winter carnival in the world!
Have I convinced you yet? Well, if you still have some doubts, no worries! I want to make sure that you make the most out of you time in Quebec City which is why I’m going to share some must-do experiences that everyone should take advantages of in the city.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Stay:
Book a Holiday Photoshoot in Old Quebec
I personally used Airbnb to book my photoshoot around the city and it was one of the best decisions I made during my stay there. The photographer, Sunny, who is still active on Airbnb, was an absolute sweetheart and made my stay in the city just that much better. It was also relatively cheaper than other photography sessions which can reach prices from up to $300. Sunny is super reasonable with her pricing and charges only $35 for holiday photos, and believe me when I say that her photos are nothing short of AH-mazing. She even sent all of my edited photos from the shoot the same day (talk about efficiency)!
Take a Guided (and/or Themed) Tour Around the City
When I visited Quebec last winter season, I booked about 5 or 6 guided tours around the city and let me ya, they were definitely worth it! They usually very informative about the city’s history, customs, language, and more often than not, tour guides are usually one of the best places to get the goods on all the best places to dine, where to get the best deals, and must-see attractions that the average tourist wouldn’t be aware of. What I’m trying to say is, milk the opportunity; tour guides know the ins and the outs of the city, so take advantage it!
Practice French with the Locals
To many people, the Quebecois accent and dialect can be a lot to handle at first, but once you’re over the initial stage of awe, you begin to understand just how cool Quebecois French sounds. The Quebecois absolutely love it when foreigners make an effort to speak their language and are more than happy to assist you on your language learning journey. So, if you are an aspiring polyglot like myself, Quebec City will surely provide you with a facilitating atmosphere.
Live Your Best Life and Go To An Authentic French Cafe
One of my favourite things to do when I was in Quebec City was going into French-style cafes and trying different kinds of pastries. From tarts, to cakes, to flaky butter croissants; Quebec cafes are just a great place to sit down, relax, maybe even take a selfie or two. There’s something about Quebecois cafes that just makes you feel like you’re the lead in your very own romantic comedy.
Well, that’s all folks! I hope you’ve learned a thing or two on how to really make the most of your stay in Quebec City; there truly isn’t a place quite like it.