Quebec City, like Vancouver in the West, is a popular cruise port. With Montreal not too far away, we can't think of a better reason to visit these bilingual (French and English) cities, rich in historical and cultural flavour while fused with contemporary character.
Founded by the French in 1608, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America; with the oldest fortified walls north of Mexico in Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
The city lies along the 1200km/750mi St. Lawrence River connecting the Great Lakes of Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean. Dominating the city’s skyline, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
, one of the world’s most photographed hotels, sits perched atop a cliff overlooking the river inside Old Quebec. Inspired by the French Renaissance and Gothic architecture, the luxurious Château was constructed six years after the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in the Canadian Rockies, and offers a lavish and extravagant experience for leisure and business travellers.
Nearby, the old military base, Citadelle of Quebec
proudly connects the old fortifications of Old Quebec with the Plains of Abraham, the scene where the French and British battled during the 18th century, with the outcome ultimately affecting the creation of Canada today. Inside old Quebec you will find boutique retail stores and restaurants, pubs & bars blended with the old buildings, including Aux Anciens Canadiens
– a restaurant built in 1676 internationally known for its fine dining.
A three hour rail journey southwest of Quebec City is Canada’s second largest city and the nation’s cultural capital, Montreal.
Situated at the convergence of the St. Lawrence & Ottawa Rivers, this island city has an unmistakable charm decorated with flavours of the old and the new. Occupied by the First Nations early in its history, it was founded in 1642 with the Parc du Mont-Royal at the heart of its centre. It hosted the 1976 Summer Olympic Games
where the world’s tallest inclined tower (175m/575ft) was built alongside what is now Montreal Biodome
; an indoor organic museum facility.
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a shopping spree, an escape with the family, a night out on the town or a lesson in history - you will find it in Montreal. If you enjoy your food, L’Auberge Saint Gabriel is located in the heart of old Montreal inside one of the oldest buildings in the city with dishes that will seduce the palates of the most refined gourmands.
You can wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, sampling the city’s industrial and architectural history with the Notre Dame Basilica
, Bonsecours Market
and St. Joseph’s Oratory
on display. You can also explore the underground city; a 33km/20mi network of integrated pedestrian tunnels first developed in the 1960’s connecting Montreal’s metro rail network with key entertainment venues and attractions, including boutique designer fashion labels and underground contemporary art galleries.
During the summer, the heavy beats of tam tams at the angel statue on the edge of Parc Mont Royal can be heard. An energetic atmosphere with a carefree attitude has drawn many locals and tourists to this Sunday summer tradition. Drummers of varying generations play, dance and (sometimes) sing to their own beat welcoming anyone to join in or enjoy for free.
The city’s international reputation is enhanced when it plays host to festivals such the Montreal Jazz Festival
, Just for Laughs Comedy Festival
, Montreal Fashion Week
and the Formula 1 Grand Prix Championship
. Combine these with world class museums, quality culinary experiences, and a thriving art scene and you have a city ranked in the Top 10 Best in Travel Lonely Planet cities of 2013.
Check out some of our popular Montreal and Quebec City packages below that you can add to your vacation.
Quebec to the Maritimes from Montreal
Montreal & Quebec City Rail Experience
Hospitality of Quebec & the Maritimes