Old Quebec > Dreaming of (Another) White Christmas

Is Old Quebec one of the most adorable spaces in the world?

Nestled next to the Saint Lawrence River in the Canadian state of Quebec, with its charming old town vibes and French population, I’d argue that it’s definitely up there.

Stepping into Old Quebec is like stepping into a cute little French town, without having to leave North America. Its cobbled streets, boutique shopping, and menus made us feel like we were walking the streets of Europe, rather than Canada.

Visiting during Christmas time made Old Quebec all the more magical. Christmas Trees lined the narrow streets, carollers sung at night, and there were fairy lights as far as the eye could see.

After a spending a wonderful Christmas at Lake Louise in 2014, we were keen to return to Canada to experience another white Christmas last year. Old Quebec delivered in spades, even though there wasn’t much in the way of snow.

Old Quebec > Dreaming of (Another) White Christmas

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We took the Adirondack train from New York City to Montreal which took all day, and then travelled the additional three hours to Quebec City by VIA Rail the next morning.

Prior to arriving in Quebec, we were concerned that shops and restaurants would be closed over Christmas, but we needn’t have worried at all. In fact, we were even able to secure a table for our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve — although I will say that it does pay to book in! Many restaurants wouldn’t accept walk-ins during the three days we were there, due to the number of bookings they had.

Where to Stay

As a Christmas treat we splashed out and stayed at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. The year prior, we had stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, so we were interested to see how the two compared.

Although, to be fair, I’m not sure you can compare an epic view like the frozen Lake Louise!

Our room in Quebec City was much larger. It included a table and chairs, and even had space to create a reading nook (which I totally did!). I’m pretty sure they upgraded us, as we ended up on the highest floor, with an amazing view of the city. We actually had to take two elevators to get up to our room—the main elevators only go up to level 17, then you have to take a smaller one up to level 18.

There were only three dining options (compared to Lake Louise’s 7) available, which were a bit fancy for us; however, there were plenty of restaurants nearby to choose from, unlike Lake Louise.

The Frontenac didn’t seem to offer any Christmas activities or events, nor did we get a stocking full of goodies on Christmas Day; which I half-expected after staying at the Chateau in Lake Louise.

However, our room more than made up for it; it was comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped. Plus, we were only steps away from the famous Petit-Champlain District.

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What’s for Eating?

Pizzeria D’Youville: When in doubt, order pizza! But seriously, we are pizza fiends, and were pleased to find an Italian pizzeria in this French city. The food was delicious, our waiter had a great sense of humour, and the atmosphere was funky.

aux Anciens Canadiens: Aside from being the cutest little restaurant I think I’ve ever seen in my life; this was the perfect place for us to come for Christmas Dinner. They serve traditional French-Canadian cuisine, and had a special menu for Christmas. We stuffed ourselves silly with a four-course meal — I went for poutine (cos, duh), pea soup, beef wellington, and a trio of sorbet, and washed it all down with a glass of wine. The restaurant was cosy inside, and the staff were friendly.

1608 – Wine & Cheese Bar: Located within the Chateau itself, we decided to pop in for a Christmas drink. The decor was amazing, cosy and rustic, yet chic. We sat right on the bar, so we could watch the staff create some interesting concoctions. The free bar snacks were so delicious.

Tim Horton’s: A Canadian institution, Tim Horton’s is a must-try for anyone visiting Canada. Their donuts and cookies are delicious and dirt-cheap, and their coffee isn’t bad either.

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Activities

To be honest, we didn’t get up to much while in Quebec, choosing to wander the streets and explore, rather than take part in any activities.

However, we thoroughly enjoyed wandering along Promenade des Gouverneurs, which starts just past the Frontenac, and runs along the river, past the Citadel, and ends at Battlefields Park. We took this path nearly every day we were there, as it gave amazing views of the river and the city.

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If Old Quebec isn’t already on your travel bucket list, I think it should be

If you’ve been to Old Quebec, let us know what you did there.
Have you experienced a White Christmas before?

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Christmas in Old Quebec

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Author: Michelle

Michelle Harvey is a kiwi traveller, writer, photographer, list-maker, coffee drinker, and wanderer. Winter holidays are her favourite kind.

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