For travelers involved in history, architecture and nature, Quebec City is a destination of choice. Although the city receives up to thirteen feet of snow per 12 months and this is quite common daily in December, January and February, it is only 21° F (-5.9° C). Therefore, the city always has something unique to offer all year round. Here are some reasons why you should visit Quebec City, even at some point in the winter.
To discover the historic district. The famous Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) is a distinctive UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the only North American city north of Mexico City to have retained its fortified walls, Quebec City offers a glimpse of what it was like to live in a walled metropolis countless centuries ago. The upper city is somehow built into a cliff that offers a breathtaking view of the powerful historical street surrounding the convents, churches and monuments.
Visit the Ice Hotel in winter. Located only 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City, the Hôtel du Glace attracted approximately 43,000 overnight visitors when it opened in 2001. It consists of 44 rooms built from 30,000 piles of snow and 500 lots of ice at the top of the Laurentians. The beds have a solid ice base, with a wooden box spring and a mattress on top. The mattresses are simply covered with blankets and people sleep in sleeping bags from the Arctic interior. This experience is no longer for the faint of heart! Between 9 p.m. and even at 9 a.m., overnight guests have access to a Nordic rest area with whirlpools and outdoor saunas.
For the beauty of the incredible surrounding landscape. Quebec’s provincial slogan is “la belle province” for a reason. With deep unexplored valleys, large lakes, mountains, fields, forests and coastal cliffs, there is always something beautiful to experience. The area surrounding Quebec City is worth exploring in addition to the historical and cultural websites provided inside, easily accessible via nearby excursions by vehicle or train.
To visit the best Notre Dame Basilica. Although the cathedral has been rebuilt several times over the years, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec stands on the same spot in the heart of Old Quebec City as it did in 1647. It is one of the oldest cathedrals in North America. The basilica houses historical and spiritual works of art and other treasures that date back to the French colonial period. In addition, there is the dimly lit crypt, which is the final resting place for over 900 people, including archbishops, cardinals and governors.
Go to the House of Literature. The famous library of the Maison de la littérature is the most Instagrammed room in Old Quebec. Often considered the heart of Quebec literature, the amazing library combines modern design and neo-gothic architecture. With white walls, shelves and tables, and blonde hardwood floors and stairs, it’s the best escape from the hustle and bustle of the historic streets beyond.
To have an inside view of the Château de Frontenac. The Chateau de Frontenac is considered the most photographed hotel in the world, usually appearing prominently in snapshots of the city. Beyond its fairy-tale appearance, the lodge has been a National Historic Site of Canada since 1980 and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed in the 19th century, the Château de Frontenac is a renowned architectural and historical monument.
To attend the famous Quebec City Carnival. The Quebec Winter Carnival is the most famous winter carnival in the world. Presided over by the normal figure of Bonhomme, who is a large, 400-pound, seven-foot-tall snowman wearing a crimson hat and scarf, the carnival runs for a few weeks from late January to mid-February. Thus, about one million people attend the carnival each year.
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