A Weekend in Quebec City

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Quebec City is North America’s best kept secret and I’m about to spill. It is the perfect destination if you want a taste of Europe, but only have time for a long weekend trip or your bank account isn’t quite ready for a trip across the pond. Quebec City is a little piece of France, tucked in the southeast corner of Canada. Jordan and I spent a winter weekend in this Canadian City and we had the best time. So much fun, in fact, that I feel responsible for telling North America that they can experience France without the long, expensive flight!

Getting There

You can fly into Quebec City, but I recommend flying into Montreal so you can experience that city as well – not to mention Quebec City would be three planes for those of you who live in a more rural area like me, and two planes if you’re flying from a hub. We took a train from Montreal to Quebec City, but I would actually recommend renting a car and driving to Quebec City. Hauling our luggage (just carry-ons) around Montreal made for less than enjoyable sight-seeing, and I kept wishing we had a rented car to store our things. Also, the train ride from Montreal to Quebec is four hours long, whereas driving would have just taken us three hours. We also had a six-hour wait between our flight and the train so we didn’t arrive in Quebec City until late in the evening. The good news is, now we know!

Where to Eat

You could spend months eating your way through Quebec City. I had done a lot of research on restaurants, so I pretty much knew where we were going to eat for every meal. I’m starting to think that planning out every restaurant is a bad strategy, and I ended up cancelling our dinner reservations one night so we could go somewhere more casual. It’s great to have an idea of spots you want to hit up, but I think I’m done making reservations for every single meal. Our very favorite spots were…

  • Chic Shack – Burgers + Poutine

  • Sapristi – Carbonara + Pizza

  • Le Lapi Sauté – Cremè Brûlée

  • Délices Érable & Cie – Maple Gelato

  • Chez Murphy’s – Pub Food + Beer

Things to Do

From the pictures I’ve seen, Quebec City looks absolutely delightful in the summer, but we loved visiting in the winter. Flying in your bulky snow boots isn’t fun, especially when you have to run from L to G in O’Hare, but it’s worth it. There are so many things to do in the Old Quebec region of the city, but we also rented a car one day so that we could do a couple of things outside the city. These were our favorite activities…

  • Toboggan Slide Au 1884

  • Funiculaire

  • Ferry to Lévis

  • Quartier Petit Champlain

  • Explore Old Quebec

  • Sibēria Station Spa

  • Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal)

Where to Stay

Jordan and I tested out AirBnB for this trip - we wanted to know what all the buzz was about. The apartment we rented was located right in the heart of Old Quebec. The location was great, but Jordan and I would much rather be in a hotel. Looking back, we really regret skimping on our accommodations. There are approximately a billion boutique hotels in Quebec City, in addition to the basic Marriotts and such. The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is the most highly coveted hotel because it is an actual castle. When we go back, we’ll pay whatever it takes to stay there.

Have I convinced you to visit this European jewel? I don’t even think I mentioned that everyone speaks French, but they also speak English. You are always greeted with Bonjour, and whichever way you respond (bonjour or hello) is the language they will proceed to speak to you in. If you are interested in going, submit a Plan A Trip Form and mention that you want to look at Quebec City. I’m excited to hear from you!

Lauren Davis