While most people head South in the winter, we prefer to travel to colder climates (there’s nothing more romantic than frostbite). After spending Christmas in Pittsburgh with Mark’s family, we braved the post holiday airport chaos and boarded a flight to Quebec City. Founded by legendary French explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, Quebec is like a European city in Canada. Below is my guide for how to spend 72 hours in Quebec City during the winter time.
Stay in the historic district of Old Quebec, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There you can walk down the narrow and winding ancient streets. Begin your European culinary tour with lunch at Chez Boulay Bistro, a Nordic kitchen. The seasonal menu includes the soup of the day and an entree. The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is a must visit (even by Instagram standards). Be Canadian AF and eat a maple snow cone then zoom down the toboggan slide. Take the steps down to lower town and explore Rue du Petit-Champlain, one of the prettiest streets in Canada. Do a little shopping or enjoy the holiday decorations if visiting in early winter. If you’re still a bit full from lunch, enjoy a late tapas style dinner at Restaurant Legende.
Put on your layers (then add one more) before having breakfast at Comptoir Boreal. Eat a breakfast sandwich to fuel for the day. Spend the morning and early afternoon enjoying one or many winter sports. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Quebec, Outfitting Du Lac Beauport has variety of activities including snowmobiling, dog sledding, and ice fishing. Visit Siberia Station Spa on your way back to town to mend those bumps and bruises after dog sledding. The spa is inspired by a Scandinavian concept that alternates between hot, cold, and rest, until relaxation is reached. Bring a swimsuit and flip flops, and they will take care of the rest. After you’ve had a short siesta, have dinner at L’affaire est Ketchup. The small, dimly lit restaurant offers a rotating menu which is written on a chalkboard.
Start your day at the Old Port Market and browse the seasonal produce and locally made products. After you’ve had your fill on treats, follow Rue Saint-Paul to Rue Saint-Pierre, stopping in the shops and galleries of interest. Have traditional French cuisine at Cafe St. Malo for lunch and warm-up. Step back in time to the early days of New France at Place Royale. Admire the historic Notre-Dames-des-Victoires Church, the oldest stone church in North America. If it’s not too cold, go ice skating at Place d’Youville ice rink before dinner. End your trip with a seat at the bar at Buvette Scott. Order too much, take shots with the waiters, and enjoy their eclectic selection of vinyl records.
Have any tips for Quebec City? Leave them in the comments!