Have you ever wished there was somewhere you could go for a few days that was not too far away, but still felt far, and was not too expensive? Urban and romantic, historic and thriving, Quebec City in the winter is the perfect place for a winter getaway. And with the currency exchange right now, it is very affordable!
I was recently the guest of Québec Region for a 3 day tour of Québec City. Old Québec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the oldest French history in North America and is the only remaining fortified city north of Mexico.
Interestingly enough, Campeche is one of the last remaining walled cities in Mexico and the Caribbean and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was a unique experience to go from the Spanish to the French and experience the rich history of both.
There is so much to explore in Québec City!
Whether you are ice skating in the open-air rink at Place D'Youville outside the Saint-Jean gate, Christmas shopping near the town square, or walking the Petit-Champlain, everything from history, to religion to cuisine and culture is just a short walk away.
Need to shop? The square in front of the Basilica de Notre–Dame and City Hall hosts the German Christmas Market from November 27-December 20. Or visit Simons, one of the oldest and most famous department stores in the city.
Want a romantic stroll? Take in the decorated Petit-Champlain district at dusk when the Christmas lights on the new fallen snow transform the area into a fairy grounds.
Need a restful getaway? How about the most photographed hotel in the world: The Fairmont Cháteau Frontenac or the Manoir Victoria, a smaller, but just as posh lodging. If you want to completely un-plug and rejuvenate, stay in the restored nuns quarters at the Hotel Monastére, schedule a massage, and enjoy one of their fabulous wellness packages
Is winter sports your thing? How about hockey, skiing, or snowboarding just a few miles outside the city at Sommets du Saint-Laurent. You can reserve lodging at the only Ice Hotel in North America from January to March, or visit the Winter Carnival January 29-February 14, 2016.
Are you more of the historical, studious, stay-inside-where-its-warm type? There are several wonderful museums in the city including the Le Monastére des Augustines Museum and hotel and the Québec City Aquarium.
And don't forget to see the view of the city from the top of the Observatory or the Hilton, take a ride on the Funicular, and cross the river on the ferry. The city skyline from any of those places is breathtaking!
While French is the main language of the Québec Region, inside of Old Québec you will find a mixture of French, English and other languages. Québec City is said to be the most european city outside of Europe, and I can totally see why. I completely forgot I was in Canada. I was charmed off my feet during my December visit, and that was even without the snow!
When you visit Québec City in the winter (and I hope that you will) be sure to take plenty of warm clothes, waterproof coats, mittens, hats, and comfortable walking shoes (read snow boots)! Get a city passport from the Quebec Region offices and download their free walking tour app (in English or Spanish). Visiting Québec City is a modern adventure into history that you will not soon forget!