Written by Tara Baker [one half of Dancing With Her]
Quebec City was like a magical place far-far away to me, until I had the opportunity to visit with my lover, Arlia. Admittedly, we’d watched countless Youtuber’s explore the city and stalked Instagram tags up until we arrived and let me tell you – it didn’t disappoint. While our stay was short, and hindered by a snowstorm that left a rather large blanket of fresh snow across the entire city, it was a trip that’ll always be one of our fondest memories.
Here’s our mini city guide to Quebec City.
We stayed with Hotel 71 and were greeted by a lovely reception who were very curious as to why two Australians were exploring a city that was predicted to be a chilly 14 Fahrenheit [or -10 degrees Celsius] during the stay.
We quickly made ourselves at home, grabbing a hot chocolate from the all-day coffee machine – something we’d come to really appreciate!
The hotel is located in Quebec City’s ‘Old Town’ [and was a convenient walk from the train station] which made it really easy to get about. The first impression of our room was, it’s huge! A rather big bathroom attached to a huge lounge area with a decent sized bedroom attached to that. We appreciated the smaller details, like the chocolate on arrival, a coffee pop machine in the room and some lush bathrobes to keep ourselves warm.
The staff in the foyer/reception area made this stay top class. They helped us with directions, let us know that people do in fact drive cars during a snowstorm and kept an eye out for our Uber so we could stay in the warmth.
WHAT TO DO
Like I mentioned, our trip to Quebec City was short and thanks to the 10+ inches [25 cm+] of snow on our only full day in the city we didn’t quite make it out to the places that we would have loved to explore; like Montmorency Falls or the ferry between Old Quebec & Levis.
We did make the most of being in a French-inspired city [The historic district of Old Quebec was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 and has undergone extensive restoration since then] and spent most of the day running between doors of bars and restaurants. We explored the cathedrals and cheap souvenir shops [because we COULDN’T leave without a fridge magnet!] and watched an older gentleman play Disney songs on his violin on the cobblestone streets.
We had a chance to check out Rue du Petit-Champlain, the one you see all over Instagram, before the snow rolled in. It is the oldest shopping street in North America. It was busy, cute – sure, but busy and not all that we had hyped it up to be in our minds. However, after a day of snow and after the sun had set, we decided that we wanted to give it another shot. That same street is now one of our favorite memories as a couple. The snow was deep, and there wasn’t a soul to be seen. The fairy lights twinkled and it was truly magical. We’d suggest going back at night, or first thing in the morning if you’re planning to take a look [which you should].
Our advice: If snow is planned, don’t let it deter you. Sure, it’s cold, but it’s warm inside wherever you go. There were fewer people of the streets and it’s still easy to get about in an Uber if it’s a smidge too far to walk.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Let’s start at dessert, because a holiday is every excuse to have sweets for breakfast. Beaver Tails. Apparently, they’re a Canadian thing, and I’m currently researching how we can bring those back to my city. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, and love donuts, a beaver tail is a like a giant rolled out donut covered in cinnamon and then topped with different sweets. My pick: Oreo.
From memory, I’ve tried pizza in every city I’ve ever explored. Quebec City, hands down the best pizza and cheese dishes I’ve EVER tried. We ate at Nina Pizza Napolitaine and weren’t deterred by an all-French menu that we couldn’t understand. Although the waitress tried her very hardest to tell us what we were eating, it was hard to understand. We think what we had was a fresh mozzarella dish as entrée, whatever the local special was that day. However, pizza is pizza in every language, so that we understood. If you’re in town this is a must stop.
Although we didn’t get to eat there, Restaurant Le Lupin also came highly recommended, by locals and our Instagram audience. It looked delightful but unfortunately wasn’t open the night that we had free to go. When we go back [no ifs for us] it’s on the list.
Contemplating adding Quebec City to your Canadian Honeymoon? You won’t be disappointed, promise.