We land. Excited. Quebec City.
This city often plays little brother to its much bigger Provincial counterpart Montreal. QC stays relatively under the radar, makes some noise once in a while (winter carnival, ice hotel and politics) but overall stays pretty reserved. It’s a smaller town. Not very cocky. Little to no bravado.
But it does ever make a statement!
Quick facts about Quebec City:
- If you’re the type of traveler who prefers to arrive, check in, drop everything and hit the ground running, then 4 days in QC is one day too many. It’s a very walkable city that can be absorbed, seen and experienced in 3 days.
- It’s one of the oldest cities in North America (over 400 years old).
- The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec are the only remaining fortified city walls that exist in the Americas (north of Mexico).
- The Historic District of Old Quebec was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in ’85.
- The Plains of Abraham is considered to be the birthplace of Canada!
- The Quebec Nordiques (hockey team that got re-located to Denver in the 90′s) are still revered. You can still buy a jersey virtually anywhere.
- If you don’t eat Poutine while here, you haven’t lived!
The first time I visited was only for about 24 hours. That was 8 years ago.
This time, I spent 4 days exploring and appreciating it and took several pictures. Take a look and keep in mind, summer is probably the best time to visit. The winters here are brutal!
Wondering about the title of the post? Here’s the explanation.
If you’re flying into QC be aware of the following:
It does not have a consistent city bus that travels between the airport and Old City. The 80 bus goes to the airport only in the morning (to drop off airport employees) and goes towards the city in the afternoons (to take employees back home). It’s not meant to be a regular bus or route for anyone but airport personnel.
Which doesn’t make much sense considering it’s a tourist town.
Think about it. If you land in the morning in this town, you’re screwed!
It doesn’t have a subway system nor a shuttle bus service.
If you refer to the QC public transportation website before you go, you better know how to read and understand French. There is no option for English translation.
Besides, locals believe the public transportation system is a joke and nobody, and I mean nobody, knew what city bus to take or transfer to get to the Old City.
Nobody!! That should tell you everything.
So unfortunately, you’re best bet is to take a cab. And that’s going to run you $35.
If you decide to arrive by train, you’re in luck. The train station is centrally located and is a few minutes walk (uphill) to the old, fortified city.
Bring your stamina.