10 reasons to visit Quebec even in winter

It's not just poutine and sled dogs!

For travelers interested in history, architecture and nature, Quebec City is a destination of choice. Although the city receives up to 13m of snow per year and the average daily maximum in December, January and February is only 5,9 ° C, the city has something special to offer all year round. Here are some reasons why you should visit Quebec, even during the winter.

Monument to Samuel de Champlain in Quebec
Monument to Samuel de Champlain in Quebec

Explore the historic center

Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The only city in North America to have preserved its ramparts, Quebec offers a glimpse of what life was like in a walled city centuries ago. The Upper Town is built on a cliff that offers a breathtaking view of the great St. Lawrence River. You can stroll the cobbled streets of Quartier Petit-Champlain, lined with cafes and shops, and explore the convents, churches and historic monuments that surround it.

Visit Quebec: the ice hotel is a must

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Quebec, the Ice Hotel has attracted around 43 visitors since it opened in 000. Composed of 2001 rooms built from 44 tonnes of snow and 30 tonnes of ice on the slopes of the Laurentians, the hotel experiences average temperatures of 000 ° C and -500 ° C. The beds have a solid ice base, with a wooden box spring and a mattress on top. Mattresses are covered with blankets and people sleep in arctic sleeping bags. This experience is therefore not for the weak! Between 3 p.m. and 5 a.m., overnight guests have access to a Nordic relaxation area with outdoor spas and saunas. Day trips and day packages are available, and you can even get married in the hotel's Ice Chapel.

The beauty of the surrounding landscape

The slogan of the province of Quebec is not "la belle province" for nothing. With its deep green valleys, large lakes, mountains, fields, forests and coastal cliffs, there is always something beautiful to discover. The region surrounding Quebec City is worth exploring, in addition to the historical and cultural sites found there, which can be easily accessed by day trips by car or train.

Visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame

Although the cathedral has been rebuilt several times over the years, the Notre-Dame de Québec basilica has stood in the same spot in the heart of Old Quebec since 1647. The exterior of this cathedral, one of the oldest in North America, is perhaps a little less impressive than that of the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica, located northeast of the city, but once inside you'll appreciate the elaborate Neo-Baroque design. The basilica houses historical religious paintings and other treasures that date back to the French colonial period. There's also the dimly lit crypt, which is the eternal resting place of over 900 people, including archbishops, cardinals and governors.

Visit the House of Literature

The library at the Maison de la literature is the busiest interior in Old Quebec, and for good reason. Often called the heart of Quebec literature, the library combines contemporary design and neo-Gothic architecture. With its white walls, shelves and tables, blond wood floors and stairs, this is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of historic streets.

Get a glimpse of the interior of the Château de Frontenac

The Chateau de Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world, always appearing prominently in images of the city's skyline. Beyond its fairytale appearance, the hotel has been a National Historic Site of Canada since 1980, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed in the XNUMXth century, the Château de Frontenac is an important architectural and historical landmark. Even if you are not spending the night at the hotel, visitors can take guided tours that allow them to better understand the fascinating history of Frontenac.

To attend the famous Quebec Winter Carnival

The Quebec Winter Carnival is the city's most important event throughout the year, and it is one of the most famous winter carnivals in the world. Chaired by the famous Bonhomme, a giant snowman 400kg and 2,5 meters tall wearing a red toque and scarf, the carnival takes place over two weeks, from late January to mid-February, when the winter is the most severe. Activities include sleigh and canoe races, snow sculptures, nightlife, fireworks and various family activities. About a million people participate in the carnival every year, and it's an event you won't want to miss if you're planning a winter excursion to Quebec.

To visit Montmorency Falls

Located just nine miles northeast of Old Quebec, along the St.Lawrence River, Montmorency Park is a common stopping point in the morning or afternoon. With its 272m high waterfall, these narrow falls are about one and a half times taller than mighty Niagara. Don't forget to take a cable car to the top and cross the suspension bridge to admire them up close, or take the winding wooden stairs.

To enjoy world-class museums

Quebec is home to a number of renowned museums and art galleries that allow visitors to explore the cultural past and antecedents of the province and beyond. Among the must-see museums are the three pavilions of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, which house more than 25 works of art created in Quebec, and the Musée de la Civilization, which receives nearly 000 million visitors per year. . One more reason to visit beautiful Quebec City!

To discover a local sugar shack

Spending an afternoon in a sugar shack outside of town is an unforgettable Quebec activity, and there are many such sugar shacks near Old Quebec. Visitors can learn about the process of making maple syrup, one of the main uniquely Canadian treats, while tasting different local specialties and participating in activities such as sleigh rides, toboggan rides, and more. Try Sucrerie Blouin, which is located on Île d'Orléans, across the river, across from Quebec City.

To cross the Plains of Abraham on skis or skates

These vast plateaus were the scene of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, a crucial battle fought by the British against the French during the Seven Years' War - which decided the fate of New France, which fell to the hands of the British. Today, the Plains of Abraham offer one of the most beautiful panoramas of the city, with a view of the St. Lawrence River. A large public park which is pleasant any time of the year. In winter, visitors and locals alike use the 7,8 km of ski slopes, 2,3 km of snowshoe trails and 3,4 km of walking trails. There is also an ice rink open during the day.

With all these good reasons, we hope for you that you have already taken your tickets to visit this beautiful city (with cancellation option) because it is possible that many flights will be canceled due to the spread of Covid19.

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