Being a student in Montreal is an amazing experience, and it is definitely pleasant to see that our beloved city was named the world’s best city for students last February. As an international student, I am really glad to live here, but I also feel that my experience wouldn’t be complete without some visits to the other main touristic destinations in this part of North America. Let’s start with Quebec City… pardon, Ville de Québec.
I have to admit that when I moved here Ville de Québec was not on my to-go list, and that my decision to visit it was mostly due to some repeated word of mouth on how beautiful this city is. Now I’m so glad I followed the advice!
Here is my personal list of reasons why an international student–or any out-of-province student–should not miss a visit to Québec City.
First, la Promenade des Governeurs, la Citadelle de Québec and le Château Frontenac. My visit of the city started there, and I couldn’t be more amazed, especially in a nice Fall day in which the sunlight was reflecting on the St. Lawrence River.
Second, the Parliament Building and the Battlefields Park. If you like History and Politics, you will probably enjoy this area. I particularly appreciated a monument honoring women in politics next to the Parliament.
Third, la Funiculaire. This short funicular railway linking the Upper Town to the Lower Town is a quick, fun way of moving through the city. Definitely worth a ticket.
Fourth, the Old Québec neighborhood. This neighborhood, with its narrow streets and stone buildings, just looks sooo much like a piece of Europe simply transplanted into North America! If you have never been to Europe, you can get a taste of what a European town looks like–although European countries are so diverse that they cannot be summarized in a neighborhood. Conversely, if you are European like me, you will probably feel home, at least a bit.
Fifth, most of the attractions are within walking distance, and this definitely simplifies the visit.
And sixth, you will hear a lot of French–probably more than in Montréal, but in the touristic area people generally can speak English too, so no worries if you are not francophone!
I wish to thank the McGill International Student Services (MISN), as my trip to Québec City was organized by them. MISN is an international student group that aims to help people meet and make friends through trips, events, and workshops of various kinds, mostly attended by international students, but open to Canadian students as well. Check out their upcoming events on their Facebook page here!