Winter Charms of Old Quebec City

Quebec City is a kind of Paris-in-miniature, set on a beautiful spot on the Saint Lawrence River and full of old-world charm. At Christmas it really shines.
Maple Syrup Taffy Lollipops being made in Quebec City's Rue du Petit-Champlain at night at Christmas
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If you were to build a model of a winter wonderland town at Christmas, it would probably look quite a bit like Quebec City’s old town.

Towering over the town, on a cliff overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, is the grand Fairmont hotel Le Chateau Frontenac, a fairytale castle in every way (and it knows it–there’s a shop in the hotel catering specifically to little princesses and princes (or at least there was when I was there)).

It was here that Churchill and Roosevelt met in 1943 to strategize about World War II. For Churchill, getting there wasn’t easy. It involved a daring and highly secretive dash by ship across the Atlantic, dodging German U-boats. And at the atmospheric old bar buried deep in the hotel with views out over the Saint Lawrence, you can sip classic cocktails named after these famous while sitting in old leather couches and being treated to some top-notch waiter service.

The old town certainly dresses up for the season, with lights reflecting off the snow, Christmas trees and garlands at every turn, people enjoying the outdoor skating rinks, horse-drawn carriages clopping along the cobblestone streets, and a deep-seated Frenchness. It makes for a sugary tourist treat but somehow avoids the crass kitsch of places like Colonial Williamsburg.

And it all makes the biting cold worth it.

Photos of Quebec City

Ice skating in Quebec City in front of the Palais Montcalm
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Horse-drawn Carriage in front of Chateau Frontenac Quebec City
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Town Square in front of Eglise Notre-Dame des Victoires, Quebec City
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Quebec City's Rue du Petit-Champlain at night at Christmas
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Christmas lights at Chateau Frontenac Quebec City
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Quebec City's Rue St-Pierre at night at Christmas
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Quebec City's Rue du Petit-Champlain at night at Christmas
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Auberge du Trésor Quebec City in snow
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Mural in Quebec City
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Funicular in Quebec City
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Lights of Quebec City's Rue du Petit-Champlain at night at Christmas
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Auberge du Trésor at night at Christmas
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Winter in Quebec City Canada
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Intersection in Old Town Quebec City at night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com

What to Know Before You Go

Where to Next?

Guidebooks for Canada

If you're looking for a guidebook to make the most of your visit, these are some of the most popular ones currently for Canada. Some are available in both paper and e-book formats.

Lonely Planet Canada 14 (Country Guide)
103 Reviews
Lonely Planet Canada 14 (Country Guide)
  • Sainsbury, Brendan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
DK Eyewitness Canada (Travel Guide)
120 Reviews
DK Eyewitness Canada (Travel Guide)
  • DK Eyewitness (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Fodor's Montreal & Quebec City (Full-color Travel Guide)
  • Fodor's Travel Guides (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
The Rough Guide to Canada (Travel Guide with Free eBook) (Rough Guides)
72 Reviews
The Rough Guide to Canada (Travel Guide with Free eBook) (Rough Guides)
  • Guides, Rough (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Travel Insurance For Your Trip to Canada

I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.

But shopping for travel insurance can be a pain and confusing. Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.

These are some good places to shop for travel insurance for your next trip to Canada :

Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!

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