First-timer’s guide to Quebec City

If Quebec City was a woman, she’d be actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas – English, yet French, stylish, beautiful and super fun. Last August, we travelled to Quebec City to research the fun YourLifeChoices members can have when they visit this amazing European-style city in Eastern Canada.

Kaye’s friend, Jennie, another very stylish woman, was there to help. So, it is to her we turn for insights on a first visit to this stunning city and what she would recommend for other newbie visitors.

What did you like most about Quebec City?
The architecture, beautiful buildings, just wandering and taking in the sights is a treat in itself. It’s very much a walking city.

Where did you stay? Was it well located?
The Auberge Saint-Antoine. The hotel is well located in the lower town overlooking the River Saint Lawrence and adjacent to the Old Port. It is an easy walk to the upper town either by the road or the Funicular.

What was the most memorable thing you did?
Lunch at the Restaurant Le Monastere Des Augustine was delicious. While vegetarian, the menu had such interesting dishes served in a serene and peaceful location.

I also enjoyed our dancing down on the waterfront with the fireworks. I can’t remember what the celebration was about but it was such a fun festival of summer in Quebec City.

And what are the five main things other first-time travellers would benefit from knowing?

1. Walking shoes
It’s not really groundbreaking, more about practicality, but …

I think you need good walking shoes, super comfortable ones. Quebec City is full of cobblestoned streets and it really is a town best seen by just hitting the streets and wandering.

2. Orientate yourself
A hop-on, hop-off bus is always good for orientation. Quebec’s Red Bus Line offers an affordable bird’s eye view of the highlights so you can plan how to make the most of your time there.

3. Getting around
Quebec has a lower town and upper town, both with amazing sights and activities. It’s a steep climb from the lower town to the upper town, so if hills are not your thing you can take the funicular.

4. Plan ahead and book ahead
Pre-book tours in the summer to avoid crowded queues or go online to the specific websites in the morning to check availability.

5. Walk, walk, walk
The walking tour I took from outside Chateau Frontenac was great as the guide was a local. He shared really interesting insights into living and working in the old town, as well as taking us to out-of-the-way places. I also walked around the fortification wall in the upper town ,which I enjoyed as parts were away from the crowds.

Anything else?
All in there is so much to see and do our four days was not nearly enough.

Our historic tour of Chateau Frontenac was great, as was the gallery and café at Monastere.

My best advice to all visitors to Quebec City is to walk, eat, drink and enjoy.

Who’s the best person to ask about Quebec? The concierge. Watch Kaye as she talks to Marie Voyer, concierge at Quebec’s Auburge Saint-Antoine Hotel about what’s so special about Quebec.

Have you been to Quebec? What was your impression? Do you have any advice for first-timers to Quebec?

To learn more about Quebec City and the fun that awaits you in Eastern Canada, why not check out the YourLifeChoices Canada Inspirations 2018 eGuide.

Related articles:
Le Monastere des Augustines
Savouring silence in Quebec
Where you wished you were in 2017

Written by Kaye Fallick


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