If you’re planning a trip to Quebec City from Toronto be warned. The trip is about eight hours by car, same by bus and around the same by train. A plane ride cost can vary depending on the time of the year but if you book early you can pay as little as 125 (not including taxes) which can still add up to about 300/person.
Once you get there, hotels are plenty. It’s up to you whether you want to say in the boroughs or in the city centre. There are tons of options including your usual: Hilton, Delta, Holiday Inn, etc. If you want to spend the Chateau is beautiful but there are plenty of horses and carriages around so it does smell a bit.
If you decide to stay in the boroughs i suggest staying at ALT Hotel. This hotel has recently been renovated and is only about 20 minutes away from Vieux Quebec (old Quebec). They also sent me a sweet note to congratulate me on my birthday so i may be biased (just a tad) 🙂
The hotel has a nice restaurant called Bistango right beside it which is quite packed and serves very good food.
I ordered the Lamb Arugula which was absolutely delicious. I’d suggest getting the salmon tar tar as a starter because it is amazing! The wine selection is very good and the servers are friendly. Expect a bill of about $80-$100 for two people (food, appetizer to share and a glass of wine each).
For breakfast there are a lot of Starbucks locations around town but no Tim Hortons. Apparently Tim Hortons requires Drive Thru locations and Quebec City doesn’t really accommodate that. This is totally fine because you can have real Cafe au Lait/ Espresso in nice cafes.
If you do stay in the boroughs you need to take the bus. There is no subway system in Quebec. People do speak English so don’t be afraid to ask questions. The bus fare is $3 each way. You can buy a day pass from the Tabagerie (convenient store) or even 2-day passes.
Once you buy your pass take the 800, 801 or 11 and head down to Place D’Youville. This is where the gate to Old Quebec is located. You’ll see the fortification signs and know you’re in the right place which by the way is Saint Jean. The street is filled with shops and restos so take your pick. The two places you must visit on this street are:
Cafe Paillard as it is the best place to buy coffee and pastries. Next for an afternoon beer try Pub Alexander which has the largest beer selection in the area (around 200 beers to choose from). Do try some Quebecois beer while you are in Quebec. Their Belgian style beers are amazing and around 9% so not for the faint hearted.
After drinking your beer you should check out petite Champlain. Champlain is the man who found Quebec and spent the rest of his life discovering the rest of Canada. Though there are pictures of him around Quebec, no one really knows what he looks like. Those pictures are just figments of someone’s imagination. Petite Champlain is beautiful. There are artists playing music everywhere.
For lunch try Cochon Dingue. It’s very good food and you’re sure to go back for more.
They also serve breakfast and dinner and have various locations around town. If you’re into rabbit petite champlain also has Le Lapin Saute which serves quite a bit of rabbit French style.
Stay away from specials for two food options as they can surprise you. The bottles chosen for these specials are no good and the food is terrible. We tried this once at a place that shall remain nameless and it was terrible!!!
There are tons of outdoor piscines (pools). One good one is on Boulevard Champlain (355 to be exact) but it is closed for most of August as students who apparently regularly head to this location are on holidays or working side jobs.
Try tanning by the St.Lawrence or take a boat ride. You could take the ferry to the other side and visit another little city right in front of Quebec. What should you do next?
Head on over to the Citadelle where the old fortifications are. You can even take a tour of the governor general’s residence while there which by the way is FREE.
Take in the city. Shop around. Check out Simons, a department store where Quebecois designers sell their clothes. Try buying some leather bags, shoes or antiques at the many antique stores. Take a carriage ride. Watch a show and remember to say Merci 🙂
bon voyage mes amis ❤