Québec City Travel Guide
Québec City’s alluring setting atop Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant) speaks to travelers of high adventure, military history, and exploration. This French-speaking capital city is the only walled city north of Mexico. Visitors come for the delicious and inventive cuisine, the remarkable historical continuity, and to share in the seasonal exuberance of the largest Francophone population outside of France.
Quebec City Restaurant Reviews
Most restaurants here have a selection of dishes available à la carte, but more creative specialties are often found on the table d’hôte, two- to four-course meals prepared fresh daily by the chef.
This can also be an economical way to order a full meal. At dinner many restaurants will offer a menu dégustation (tasting menu), a five- to seven-course dinner of the chef’s finest creations. In French-speaking Québec City, an entrée, as the name suggests, is an entry into a meal, or an appetizer. It is followed by a plat principal, the main dish. Lunch generally costs about 30% less than dinner, and many of the same dishes are available. Lunch is usually served 11:30 to 2:30, dinner 6:30 until about 11. Tip at least 15% of the bill, but check the bill as some establishments automatically include the tip.
Reservations are necessary for most restaurants during peak season, May through September, as well as on holidays and during Winter Carnival, in January and/or February. In summer, do as the locals do and dine outdoors. Every café and restaurant on the Grande Allée or elsewhere sets up tables outside if it can.
Quebec City Hotel Reviews
More than 35 hotels are within Québec City’s walls, and there is also an abundance of family-run bed-and-breakfasts.
Landmark hotels are as prominent as the city’s most historic sights; modern high-rises outside the ramparts have spectacular views of the Old City. Another choice is to immerse yourself in the city’s historic charm by staying in an old-fashioned inn, where no two rooms are alike. Many hotels were renovated for last year’s 400th anniversary celebrations, so this year’s travelers benefit from all the upgrades.
Be sure to make a reservation if you visit during peak season (May through September) or during the Winter Carnival, in January and/or February.
During especially busy times, hotel rates usually rise 30%. From November through April, many lodgings offer weekend discounts and other promotions.
Quebec City Nightlife
Québec City nightlife centers on the clubs and cafés of rue St-Jean, avenue Cartier, and rue Grande-Allée, and to a lesser extent in the Lower Town. In winter, evening activity grows livelier as the week nears its end, beginning on Wednesday. As warmer temperatures set in, the café-terrace crowd emerges, and bars are active seven days a week. Most bars and clubs stay open until 3 am.
Quebec City Shopping
On the fashionable streets of Old City shopping has a European tinge. The boutiques and specialty shops clustered along narrow streets such as rue du Petit-Champlain, and rues de Buade and St-Jean in the Latin Quarter are like trips back in time.
Stores are generally open Monday-Wednesday 9:30-5:30, Thursday and Friday until 9, Saturday until 5, and Sunday noon-5. In summer most shops have later evening hours.