Hotels in Quebec City, Canada
The heart of French culture in North America, Quebec City is the capital of the region of the same name. Sprawling on the banks of the St. Lawrence River "where the river narrows", "Kebec" was once a French fortress on an imposing position on cliffs overlooking the river which is now the city's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With an average of nine million tourists visiting the city annually, you can expect that the range of hotels in Quebec City, Canada fits every type of traveller, taste and budget.
Where to stay in Quebec City Old Town
The focal attraction of Quebec City is the only standing fortified city in North America north of Mexico, appropriately named Old Quebec or Old Town. Because it served as the military and administrative centre of the French during their New World expansion, Old Town is a 400-year-old walled city within a city. The attractions – houses that date back to 17th century, narrow and uneven cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, French language in signposts (but always translated in English), and even actors in period costume come summer – are endless that not venturing out of the fortress is tempting.
Some of the best hotels in Quebec City are in Old Town. The most photographed hotel in the world, 120-year-old Chateau Frontenac, dominates the city skyline and is wildly popular among tourists even though some of them don't sleep the night at the hotel. Book a day tour, or come back after-hours for their top-shelf drinks.
A smattering of quaint bed and breakfast in Quebec City can be found in the Upper Town, along with a few backpackers and luxury apartments. If you are trying to stay within budget, don't be intimated by imposing facades; cheap hotels in Quebec City can be found among impressive ones.
Outdoor attractions from your hotel in Quebec City
Outside of those fortifications, Quebec City hums with very modern industries like biotechnology, software and geomatics. If you've had your fill of Old City tours on horse-drawn carriages, hop aboard the ferry to Levis across the river to take in the 'magnifique' view of the citadel and soaring spires. Or cruise the St. Lawrence River after-hours to witness the city come to life at night.
Really dig into French culture by indulging yourself in the endless shops, cafes and restaurants that populate the Old Town and outside its gates. Summer can be very crowded and the atmosphere highly electric, whilst spring and fall can be mellow and generally pleasant. To take advantage of Quebec City hotel deals, book during shoulder and off-peak seasons. Tourist traffic during the cold months may be slower than summer, but there is the hugely popular Winter Carnival that makes finding hostels in Quebec City and other cheaper options a challenge.
Winter is definitely no excuse not to explore Quebec City's outdoors. Don't skip the widely attended Winter Carnival during the first two weeks of February; ask for a drink of 'caribou' to keep you warm. Or head to the historic Plains of Abraham where French and British forces fought for New World territory, and join the multitude of skiers and snowshoers. Slide down the ice on a toboggan at Terrasse Dufferin, or ditch your usual choice of room and book a night at one of the most unusual hotels in Quebec City, Canada – the Ice Hotel.