This fascinating province is full of culture, food, and nature, in a unique Québécois flavour! Catch a festival in the bustling metropolis of Montréal, stay in a castle in historic quaint Québec, or take a road trip around the breathtaking Gaspésie Peninsula.
What region should I visit?
Riviere du Loup
Montreal is a very unique city, holding the 2nd largest population of native French speakers, after Paris. The culture here is very bilingual and mixed, with most residents being fluent in both English and French. Most people in the hospitality industry greet you with “Bonjour, Hello!”. Based on your answer, you’ll get help in perfect Quebecois French or perfect English. The architecture of this city is also a mix of grand European French Buildings, and North American modern urban sprawl. The older churches and buildings makes you feel like you’re in the heart of a European City.
This place is known to many as the foodie capital of Canada, with lots of trendy restaurants that borrow ideas from European kitchens as well as North American ones as well. Montreal is known for it's famous Bagels, Smoked Meat Sandwiches, Maple Syrup, and of course Poutine!
The lower drinking age in Montreal, as well as the more relaxed drinking laws make this the party capital of Canada too! People from around the globe come here for a weekend or longer to take advantage of the trendy bars, clubs, and cheap alcohol. If you’re looking fun nights out, Montreal is your perfect destination!
Not only does Montreal have the great food and culture, but is also located on a luscious island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, making it a beautiful spot surrounded by nature and parks. There is a ‘mountain’ in the middle of the city, making this a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and enjoy nature. The elevation also allows for some beautiful views of the skyline and mountains in the distance. Great skiing at Mont Tremblant isn’t too far away either for the colder months.
What to see
Old Port of Montreal
St. Joseph's Oratory
Banque de Montréal
Quebec City is my favorite city to visit in Canada for it’s old and European flare. This architectural and historic gem transports you to a world far away from typical North America. The magnificent Chateau Frontenac towers over the city, and the high elevation provides breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River, with the promenade arguably being the most beautiful walkway in Canada. The original walls and fortification are still preserved from the early days, giving an ambience of a historic European capital. Unlike Montreal, French is by far the dominant language in Ville de Québec (Quebec City), while English comes second making this the perfect city to practice your French. I can’t stress enough how beautiful this city is, and only a visit here would truly allow you to experience the amazing ambiance!
Quebec City is not only architecturally beautiful, but the natural environment is also stunning! Right on the St. Lawrence river, you can catch a glimpse of faraway mountains, the flowing river, Levis City on the other side of the river, and the many impressive parks nearby. Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier is a remarkable park with lush trails and waterfalls.
Due to the nature of the walled city, Quebec City is a very walkable destination. You’re no more than a maximum 15-minute walk to get from one side of the city to the other. Public transpiration isn’t needed unless going to the national parks, or the more residential and business oriented outer city. There is an upper city and lower city, and a touristic funicular to transport you between them.
Auberge de la Paix Québec
What to see
Citadelle of Quebec
Montmorency Falls Park
After 2 great weeks learning French in a small francophone town in Quebec (Rivière-du-Loup), me and my friends decided to embark on a journey to the mysterious Gaspésie Penninsula. We didn't know what to expect, but we decided to spontaneously drive along a highway that loops all around the peninsula, stopping every time we found something cool along the way. The excitement of not having any plans and just driving off for the weekend was exhilarating, and provided us with the boost to start an amazing adventure!
Gaspe is a gem located on the eastern peninsula of Quebec. This underdeveloped and preserved area is filled with small francophone towns, stunning scenery and a unique cultural blend of Quebecois, Acadian, and Aboriginal origins. The Gaspesie Peninsula is the perfect place for a road trip, as this region is not easily accessible by transit. On the way, there are many small Casse-Croûte (Local restaraunts), Auberge (Hostels/Hotels), Fromagerie (Cheese shops) and Bar Laiter (Ice Cream Shops). You’ll want to pass by the Centre-Ville (City Centre) in many of the small towns on the way. While no two Gaspesie road trips will be the same, here are my favorite stops on the peninsula worth checking out!
What to See
Riviere du Loup
Canyon des Portes de l'Enfer
My Gaspesie experience blew my expectations out of the water, with the beautiful scenery, great hikes, friendly people, and delicious food. There are many cultural centers along the way, where you can learn more about the history and geography of the peninsula. Most towns and cities have a 'La Pointe', which is a walkway into the St.Lawrence river giving you great views, especially during sunset! I recommend finding your own path spontaneously through this reigon.
Sea Shack Hostel
Rent a Car