Visiting Quebec City
First discovered by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534. Later settled by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. Quebec City is the capital of the Province of Quebec, is a UNESCO World-Heritage Site. Today, it is the pearl in the oyster in North America. Visitors revere at its charm and verve. A friendly, beautifully preserved, old-world European-style enclave unique in North America.
Old Quebec is known worldwide for its historic, European-style, graystone buildings, and cobblestoned streets. Many of the houses and buildings you see date back to the early 1600s. Indeed, the narrow streets of much of the Old City are still paved with the ballast from the merchant ships that sailed from Europe. Because they essentially sailed empty of cargo four centuries ago, they returned with full loads of pelts that had been traded for trinkets with the native populations.
French is never an issue
Quebec City, known simply as Quebec to its residents and regular visitors. It is a historically French-speaking city, of course, in an officially French-speaking province. But the City and the region have long been fully bilingual. English-speaking tourists who visit Quebec will never need to speak or understand French in any of its hotels, restaurants or tourist attractions. However, we encourage visitors whose high school or college French is a little rusty to give it a try. Because everyone always have lots of fun as their French skills return and improve, more and more by the hour.
Easy to Get to Quebec
Old Quebec City is an easily drivable destination from the northeastern United States easily accessible by auto or train from Eastern Canada. And so many visitors combine their trip to Quebec with a visit to Montreal. The second-largest French-speaking city in the world. In fact, to many visitors, both cities are more French in architecture and ambiance, cuisine and culture, than in language. Quebec City is the smaller of the two, more old-world and provincial. While Montreal is a palpably European experience in a bilingual city that is more like contemporary Paris.
Quebec City is accessible by air as well and only a 5.5 to 6 pleasant, six-hour drive from Boston. A six and a half drive from Hartford, an eight-hour drive from New York City, a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Ottawa, and a seven-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto. All these these drives are all entirely via improved, limited-access interstate highways and autoroutes.
And, there is almost no reason for visitors from these Eastern Canadian regions not to travel to Quebec by train. Whether you go in the spring, summer, or fall, and given that it is a small and eminently walkable city, even in winter the city stands out.
So for these and many reasons you should consider visiting Quebec City.