Canada Tour Blog by Caravan Tours

Our Caravan Canada travel blog offers great information on what to see and things to do when vacationing in Nova Scotia, PEI or New Brunswick on the east coast or exploring the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada. Read articles about Lake Louise, Jasper Park, and Glacier National Park.

If you’re looking for things to do in Quebec City and want to experience French Canada, then you can’t go wrong here in the province’s capital.

There are so many unique things to do in Quebec City, Canada. Get ready to fall in love with the rich history, picturesque streets, and vibrant festivals that happen all year long!

This European-inspired city is located along the Saint-Lawrence River, just a few hours’ drive from Montreal.

While not as busy as Montreal, Quebec City is far more walkable – so long as you don’t mind a bit of snow!

If colder temperatures don’t make you squeamish, try to plan your visit in the winter to take advantage of the unique festivals the city is famous for.

Here are some of the reasons you should visit Quebec City and what to do when you’re there!

Wander Through Old Quebec

No visit to Quebec would be complete without experiencing Old Quebec, the historic heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The neighborhood of Old Quebec City, or Vieux Québec, is the only city north of Mexico City to have preserved walled ramparts. Now is your chance to glimpse what it was like to live inside a fortified city centuries ago!

When you’re done with your siege re-enactment, take a walk along the streets of Upper Town and gaze over the cliff for a stunning view of the Saint-Lawrence River. You can take a guided tour of Old Quebec or explore on your own.

Old Quebec City is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Château Frontenac, the Citadelle, and the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral.

Here are some other things to do in Old Quebec City.

Explore the Quartier Petit Champlain

The Quartier Petit Champlain is a charming neighborhood located in Old Quebec City. It is known for its narrow cobblestoned streets, colorful houses, and vibrant atmosphere.

Quartier Petit Champlain is a great place to shop, dine, explore, or simply grab a coffee as you walk between the historical monuments and beautiful churches sprinkled throughout the area.

Stroll Along the Terrasse Dufferin

The Terrasse Dufferin is a beautiful boardwalk that offers stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding landscape.

It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and is a great place to relax and take in the views.

Appreciate the Architecture

You can’t walk through the streets of Quebec City and not notice its distinct blend of French and British heritage.

Beautiful architecture is everywhere, from mundane row homes to grand buildings and churches. If you had to narrow it down to three buildings, you must visit:

  • Le Chateau de Frontenac
  • The Basilica de Notre Dame
  • Maison de la Littérature

We recommend you brush up on your reading at the Maison de la Littérature. The library blends contemporary design with neo-Gothic architecture and is often called the heart of Quebecois literature. Its stunning interior is a popular picture location. Just make sure you are respectful of others using the library.

Visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Québec

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Québec is a stunning cathedral located in Old Quebec City. It is known for its beautiful architecture and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral or attend mass to experience the beauty and grandeur of the church’s interior.

Visit Chateau de Frontenac

Chateau de Frontenac in old Quebec City is probably one of the world’s most photographed hotels and always appears in city skyline images.

The Chateau was designed in the 19th century and has been considered a National Historic Site of Canada since 1980.

Experience The Winter Festivals

Quebec City is known for being a festival destination, but the most famous is, hands-down, the Carnaval de Quebec.

The Carnaval takes place every winter and lasts a couple of weeks from late January to mid-February so weather-appropriate clothing is a must.

Many activities will keep you occupied, from the sleigh and canoe races to snow sculptures, food, and fireworks.

Make sure you sample some iconic Canadian maple taffy! This dessert is popular at Canadian winter festivals and is made by spreading hot maple syrup in the snow, where it instantly cools and thickens before rolling it on a stick.

Quebec City is known for its delicious cuisine, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the local specialties. Some popular dishes worth trying include poutine, tourtière, and tarte au sucre.

Stay at The Ice Hotel

Ever wanted to spend the night in an upscale igloo? Well, now is your chance!

Located only minutes from downtown Quebec City is the Hôtel du Glace (Ice Hotel), and it’s an unmissable experience! The hotel sits on the slopes of the Laurentian Mountains and is made from 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice.

Beds are constructed on a solid ice base with a wooden box spring and mattress placed on top. Don’t worry. They have lots of blankets, and guests sleep inside arctic sleeping bags, but interior temperatures still average 23°F to 26°F (-5°C to 3°C).

Has an overnight stay lost its appeal? No problem. There are tour and day packages available too. If you’re feeling romantic, you can tie the knot inside the hotel’s ice chapel!

Come Experience Quebec City with Caravan Tours!

For nearly three-quarters of a century (since 1952), Caravan Tours has remained a family-run tour company based out of Chicago IL.

We use only very knowledgeable local tour guides for all of our tours including tours in the United States and Canada, plus in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and Mexico.

Our two newest tours, including our Montreal Tour and Quebec City, will be offered to the public very soon. In the meantime, our guests can book the following Canadian tours:

If you still have questions about our upcoming Quebec City tour or any Canadian tour we offer, or to book one of our USA or Central American tours, please:

Quebec City FAQs

Is Quebec City the capital of Quebec?

Quebec City is the capital of the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada.

What Time Is It in Quebec City?

Quebec City is Eastern Standard time which is the same Time Zone as the New England States and New York.

What language do they speak in Quebec City?

French is the primary language of Quebec City and English is their second language.

How far is Quebec City from Montreal?

Quebec City is 262km (163 miles) from Montreal Canada.

How Far Is Quebec City from Toronto?

Quebec City is 806 miles (1,297km) from Toronto, Ontario.

How Far is Quebec City from Ottawa?

Quebec City is 276 miles (444km) from Ottawa, Ontario.

Caravan Tours will be adding a Montreal Canada tour in 2023 but until then, we wanted to share with you some of the wonderful things to do in Montreal.

There are few Canadian cities with a character that rivals this French (and English) speaking city.

With nearly one hundred festivals a year and a vibrant art and music scene, those seeking a cultural getaway don’t have to look much further than this vibrant city.

Montreal is often called the “Paris of Canada”.

While it may not be the capital of the province, this city is the principal metropolitan center in Quebec.

Its current population is approximately 4.3 million making it the second-most-populous city in Canada behind Toronto.

Visitors will love the delicious cuisine, ample sightseeing, and European-inspired flair unique on this side of the Atlantic.

There are plenty of things to do in Montreal making it a perfect weekend getaway destination. There are so many unique sights, accommodations, and restaurants to suit every type of traveler and budget.

Read on to discover why you should visit the city, and what to see while you’re there!

What To Do in Montreal

Experience The Culture

There is never a dull moment here for those who appreciate art and culture.

From the many festivals that happen year-round to the art, cinema, music, and dance available every day, there is always something exciting happening in the city.

To see what’s scheduled during your visit, be sure to visit the Quartier des Spectacles. The Quartier is a dedicated hosting space as seen by its many indoor and outdoor stages.

One of the city’s most famous events is the Montreal International Jazz Festival,  a 10-day event that takes place in the summer. If you can, try to plan a trip during this time so you can experience great international music!

Visit Old Montreal

This city was established in 1642, a full 151 years before Toronto.

If you’re looking for a dose of history, then don’t skip out on visiting the neighborhood of Old Montreal.

Situated near the Saint Lawrence River waterfront, this is a distinct cultural hub that houses historical sites dating as far back as the 17th century.

Take a walk along the cobblestone streets and be sure to visit the Place d’Armes, a beautiful historical square in the heart of Old Montreal.

There you’ll see the famous Notre Dame Basilica, a ‘mini’ version of Paris’ Notre Dame, which is great for a photo op.

Not far from the Place d’Armes is the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) which was built in the Second Empire style to emulate the Hôtel de Ville Tours in France.

Check Out the Underground City

Planning your visit during the cold winter months?

That’s all right, you don’t even have to go outside if you don’t want to! Travel instead through the RÉSO, also known as the Underground City.

Montreal’s Underground City is a downtown subterranean network that covers 33 km and is composed of walkways, subway stations, shopping centers, restaurants, movie theatres, and more.

Shop and experience a taste of the city’s style with retail destinations that – while not quite rivaling those of Paris – give the rest of Canada a serious run for its money.

Try The Local Flavours

Poutine anyone? Whether or not this famous dish originated in Quebec (there’s some debate), there’s nothing exaggerated about the claim that Montreal has a great food scene.

The city has more restaurants per capita than any other North American city, making it the perfect destination for foodies.

Explore everything from food festivals that celebrate local chefs, to food trucks that can be spotted throughout the city, to the 24-hour poutine at La Banquise. You can happily eat your way through Montreal for an unbeatable holiday.

Believe us, it’s worth the few extra pounds!

Appreciate The Architecture

Montreal’s unique blend of architectural styles can be attributed to its rich and diverse history.

Often referred to as the most European city in North America, on account of its French colonial roots, each ensuing wave of immigration has left its mark upon the city.

The façades throughout the city bear witness to a mix of historical, religious, and modern architecture.

From the old-world beauty of Old Montreal, distinct row homes of Plateau Mont-Royal, and sprawling mansions in Westmount and Outremont, every corner of this city tells a story.

Get lost and wander the streets, you’ll never run out of things to see.

Looking for more in-depth knowledge? Then be sure to visit the Canadian Centre for Architecture to stock up on facts before you hit the streets.

From foodies to shoppers, to culture-seeking travelers, there’s something for everyone in this unique city!

Don’t miss this stop next time you’re passing through Canada. Make it a weekend getaway and return to work on Monday with an unforgettable experience under your belt.

Come Experience Montreal Canada with Caravan Tours!

For more than 70th years (since 1952) travelers from around the globe have enjoyed affordable, fully guided tours by our family-run tour company.

Every tour we offer includes knowledgeable local tour guides to ensure our guests get the most out of their travels with us.

Caravan Tours offers multiple guided tours in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, plus unique tours in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama in Central America.

Dates for our Montreal Tour and our new Quebec City Tour will be announced soon. We also offer the following Canadian tours:

If you still have questions about any of our Canadian vacations, or to book one of our other Caravan fully guided tours, please contact us.

Montreal Canada FAQs

Where Is Montreal?

The city of Montreal is in the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada.

Is Montreal an Island?

Yes, the city of Montreal is located on an island on the St Lawrence River in southern Quebec.

What Time Is It in Montreal?

Montreal is in Eastern Standard time which is the same Time Zone as New York, Ohio, and Washington DC.

Do They Speak French in Montreal?

Montrealers are bilingual with French as their first language and English as their second language.

How Far Is Montreal from Toronto?

Montreal Quebec is 336 miles (541km) from Toronto, Ontario.

How Far Is Montreal from Quebec City?

Montreal is 163 miles (262km) from Quebec City.

How Far from Montreal to Ottawa?

Montreal is 102 miles (165km) from Ottawa, Ontario.

How Far from New York to Montreal?

New York City is 372 miles (599km) from Montreal Canada.

How Far Is Boston to Montreal?

Boston MA is 307 miles (494km) from Montreal Canada.

Take An East Coast Canada Tour with Caravan Tours!

Caravan’s all-inclusive east coast Canada tours are also fully guided!

Our east coast Canada tour is extremely popular and a “must do” for even the most avid traveler. Why not add a Canadian Maritimes tour to your bucket list?

A Canada east coast road trip is like entering an enchanted world that transports you to a mixture of quaint old world charm and new world wonders. Driving through the maritime provinces, Caravan’s Canadian east coast bus tours offer tourists a mixture of aquatic adventures, urban experiences, cultural diversity, historic Canadian sites, scenic tours, and hours of fascinating activities. Read more

Tour western Canada all inclusive with Caravan Tours and explore the Canadian Rockies!

Canada’s Western Provinces

The western provinces of Canada include Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and most are land locked. The exceptions include a small portion of northeastern Manitoba that borders the Hudson Bay (home to the Port of Churchill) and of course the Pacific Coast on the west side of British Columbia.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are all considered “Prairie Provinces” and at one time the vast majority of the “Prairies” consisted of flat grasslands. Today, the majority of the grasslands have been converted for farm use. Read more

If you search for eastern Canada vacation packages some of the more popular destinations that come up might include Toronto, Montreal, and Niagara Falls.

If you search for western Canada vacation packages, popular destinations might include Victoria, Whistler, and Vancouver.

Canada has so much more to offer, however. Read more

Located in Montana USA, Glacier National Park is home to over 1 million acres of rugged Rocky Mountains, pristine evergreen forests, and amazing alpine meadows. There are fifty active glaciers in Glacier National Park, which means the landscape is always changing and always incredible.

Glacier National Park history dates back to 1910. Now, each year, nearly two million visitors come to to experience its full splendor and enjoy a wide range of activities to do here. Read more

Named the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem” Glacier National Park in Montana is a well-preserved national park. It features over 1 million acres of active glaciers, glacial lakes, alpine meadows, untouched forests, and exceptional wildlife. With over two million people visiting Glacier Park each year, there is so much to experience and learn.

Here are some basic facts and information about the history of Glacier National Park. Read more

For many, Lake Louise Canada is the iconic lake that represents the real “true north strong and free” landscape.

Named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria), Lake Louise is located inside Banff National Park, only about 115 miles (185km) west of Calgary, Alberta. It’s also just 36 miles (58km) west of the town of Banff.

This alpine lake is famous for its glacier fed, sparkling, blue green waters and the glacier-capped mountain peaks surrounding the relatively small lake. In summer months guests can rent canoes and paddle across Lake Louise, or dare to dip their toes into the icy waters that rarely go above 40°F (5°C). In the winter Lake Louise freezes over to offer up one of the most breathtaking frozen lakes in the entire world! Read more

Affectionately referred to as the “Gentle Giant of the Rockies,” Jasper National Park offers guests endless outdoor adventures, breathtaking scenery, and an abundance of wildlife in their natural habitat.

Jasper Park was originally established in 1907 as one of Canada’s first and largest national parks. To this day Jasper National Park offers a more laid-back mountain lifestyle when compared to nearby Banff National Park. Jasper is also a little less travelled.

Just 256 miles (412km) northwest from Calgary and 180 miles (290km) from Banff, Jasper National Park is home to over 4,200 square miles of evergreen forests. There are over 80 species of songbirds that offer up background music to your visit. Jasper is also home to Alberta’s tallest mountain, Mount Columbia, and has Canada’s longest underground drainage system! Read more