Travelling to French Canada

While studying in Canada my favourite city to visit was Quebec. I went just after finals in December and it was definitely the place to go for Christmas trip. It was so magical and looked like a movie scene with snow, fairy lights and Christmas decorations everywhere. I was tossing up between Montreal and Quebec but I’m so glad I chose Quebec in the end because it felt really special. On a stopover in Montreal it seemed much more like a big city when compared with Quebec.

 

Travelling into Quebec I caught a plane. The best way to find cheap tickets is through Sky scanner. I wasn’t locked into any dates in particular so I used the month view option which shows you what days have the cheapest tickets. Unlike most modern airports Quebec doesn’t have any public transport directly from their airport so the original plan included a 20 minute walk to the closest bus stop to get to the old town. Two days before we arrived they had their first snow storm of winter which meant everything was absolutely covered in snow. We quickly realised that walking 20minutes to a bus stop was impossible because the footpaths were snowed over. Catching an uber was the next best option but this cost around $30, so this something to keep in mind. The bonus to Quebec is that once you get to the old town most of the best tourist spots are all within walking distance which means you won’t need to spend much, if anything, on public transport during your stay. If possible I would recommend catching Canada’s transnational train (VIA Rail) over flying as it is really relaxing to travel by train and the station is only a short walk from the old town; plus, you get to see the countryside covered in snow! I caught the train back as I was visiting Ottawa afterwards and this only cost around $50. It is worth researching what method of travel is cheapest depending on where you are travelling from (eg. plane, Greyhound or train)

 

The primary language in Quebec is French but I had extremely limited knowledge of the language and got by on mostly English because most places, especially in the old town, had bilingual staff. However, I would recommend learning the basic greetings and phrases to help get by.

 

My favourite places that I visited were La Citadelle, Quartier Petit Champlain and the Musee de la civilization. The Citadelle is the only French speaking active regiment in Canada. They have a museum that you can explore but the highlight is definitely the guided tour (which is included in the entry price of $16). As it is an active fort you can’t explore inside the walls of citadelle except while on the tour but it was worth it because you get to learn a lot about the history of the building at the same time. Tours are offered in English or French you just join the one you would prefer. Quartier Petit Champlain is a district in the lower town of Quebec near it’s port. I’ve already mentioned how Quebec is incredibly magical at Christmas but the quarter takes it to another level. It’s especially beautiful at night when there are carolers and the lights are on show. The Musee de la civilisaiton was a really well put together museum that had an awesome exhibition on the history of the inuit people in Canada.

 

Overall Quebec City was amazing and when researching places to go while studying I would definitely recommend adding this to the list!