An extensive array of historic attractions
Riding on the horse-drawn carriages amidst beautiful grey-stone buildings is a truly unforgettable experience
Quebec City was established in the 17th century by the French. In aboriginal language Quebec literally means, "where the river narrows". In fact the St. Lawrence River draws in prodigiously in the city’s eastern section, so the name is very appropriate. French is the official language of the province of Quebec, but tourists do not necessarily need to have working knowledge of it, as the young locals are generally able to speak conversational English. It is also common to find locals conversing in Spanish, German and Japanese in many establishments in Vieux Quebec. Summer is the ideal time to visit as the city comes to life with various festivals being held in the sunny weather. However, there are also a number of events that take place in winter too. Quebec City is served by the Jean Lesage International Airport, some half an hour by car from downtown Quebec. This airport offers scheduled flights to and from cities such as Montreal, Toronto and New York.
Among the many places of interest in the city are the Haute-Ville Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in North America; the Dufferin Terrace, a boardwalk that is situated alongside the Chateau Frontenac; the Musée de l’Amérique Française, a fortress where you can view the changing of the guard ceremony every morning; the Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park, which is the historic site of the 1759 battle; the Observatoire de la Capitale, one of the tallest buildings in Quebec that offers a panoramic view of the city’s landscape and the Place-Royal, the spot where the city’s founder, Champlain, landed in 1608. One of the most interesting places, though, is the Old Town, which contains a stone wall built by the French and British armies. It has been transformed into a tourist district with a host of boutiques and photographic points.
Some of the best festivals in the Quebec calendar are the Winter Carnival, which is a fantastic event held in February, where a huge ice palace is built; the Saint-Jean Baptiste Celebration, which is organised every June and the Festival d’été in July, which hosts music events. In the International Ice Sculpture Competition, teams from around the world congregate to build gigantic ice structures. The Bonhomme Carnaval is both the festival’s and Quebec City’s most popular mascot.
There is also a wide array of outdoor activities for visitors to try their hands at, including horseback riding, canoeing, hiking and skiing. Most restaurants in the city include French or British dishes on their menus. It is also a place for picking up the nuances of the spirited Argentinean dance, the tango. Quebec City is the confluence of a cultured ambience, vivacious social life, high safety rating and a perfect balance between the traditional and the contemporary. It is certainly one of the best travel destinations in the world.