City Holidays in Québec: Winter Weather

Québec City
Picture by Paul Falardeau

There are two major cities of interest in the French-speaking province of Québec: Montréal and Québec City. The first one is a cosmopolitan metropolis, the second largest city in Canada and the second biggest French city in the world (after Paris). The other is one of the oldest European settlements in North America and the only remaining fortified city on the continent. Its charming old district has been designated as a Unesco World Heritage site and so has Montréal’s Plateau Mont-royal, a lively neighborhood of artists and traditional architecture.

There are several types of city holidays possible in either of these places and a few tips will help you to make the most of your trip to Québec. The first thing to take into consideration, as is usually the case, is the weather. Canada is well known for its grueling Winter temperatures but if you’re prepared to put up with subzero temperatures (it can go to -35 degrees Celsius, although the average would be closer to -20 in January and February), then the snowy climate can make for a charming scenery.

Montréal Winter

Montréal has an underground city in its downtown which make for easy access to different areas. Taking a walk on the forest of the Mont-Royal should prove to be a delight and the sights which can be admired from the top of the mountain are quite worth the climb. When a strong snow storm hits the city it can take up to a week until all the snow has been cleared from the roads and everything is back to normal but within the span of a day or two the city is usually functional. A fun family activity to take part in is ice-skating in one of the many outdoor or indoor arenas.

Québec City Winter

A good time to go to Québec City is when the annual Winter Carnival takes places (usually February). Wide-scale ice sculptures and buildings are made and several activities are held during the week long festivities. Ice skating, snow sledding and other typical Winter activities are going on in various areas. Otherwise a walk in the old part of the city makes for a dreamy postcard setting as corniche-laden stone houses are covered by a blanket of snow while smoke comes out of chimneys.

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