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Called the Gibraltar of North America by Charles Dickens, Québec City is the only walled city on the continent north of Mexico. More than 400 years since its founding in 1608, it is easily one of North America’s most romantic cities. And, perched atop Cap Diamant, overlooking the mighty St. Laurence River, the fabled Fairmont Le Château Frontenac certainly kindles that sense of romance. In winter, the city becomes a magical wonderland. There’s sledding on the Plains of Abraham, zooming down a slide at Dufferin Terrace, cross-country skiing in local parks, and four major ski resorts nearby that draw skiers and snowboarders from far and wide. ...

Called the Gibraltar of North America by Charles Dickens, Québec City is the only walled city on the continent north of Mexico. More than 400 years since its founding in 1608, it is easily one of North America’s most romantic cities. And, perched atop Cap Diamant, overlooking the mighty St. Laurence River, the fabled Fairmont Le Château Frontenac certainly kindles that sense of romance. In winter, the city becomes a magical wonderland. There’s sledding on the Plains of Abraham, zooming down a slide at Dufferin Terrace, cross-country skiing in local parks, and four major ski resorts nearby that draw skiers and snowboarders from far and wide. The Québec Winter Carnival – one of the world’s largest – features nightly parades, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and even a canoe race over the icy St. Lawrence River. The Ice Hotel is another reason to visit, with its 32 themed rooms and suites – some with a fireplace – and a bar where drinks are served in glasses made of ice. Backdropping the winter action are Québec City’s historic buildings, fine dining, extraordinary arts scene and lively nightlife.

Joanna Ebbutt
About the Expert

Joanna Ebbutt is the author or editor of three Insight Guides to Toronto and Canada, and coauthor of Off the Beaten Track: Western Canada. She has been writing about travel for three decades, including chasing the aurora borealis in Northern Ontario.

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Joanna Ebbutt for Triporati

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Now Happening in Quebec City (Winter)

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Early December to late March