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5 days to spend in Quebec City / Montreal or Ottawa????????

5 days to spend in Quebec City / Montreal or Ottawa????????

Jan 8th, 2010, 03:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
5 days to spend in Quebec City / Montreal or Ottawa????????

Hi there,
we are doing a cruise in September that ends in Quebec City. We spend a whole day and the night in Qubec City before disembarking. Will we need to stay another night there? We will be flying out of Toronto 6 days later and have aready spent time there on a previous trip, so will head straight to an airport hotel. We have 5 nights to play around with.
What are your suggestions?
We are from Australia and enjoy sight seeing, shopping, eating out and learning about the local culture. We will have a hire car for this part of the trip.
Look forward to your ideas.
Lordy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,073
Hi Donna,

I think given your day & night before disembarking, you could do it either way. 5 nights split between Quebec City and Montreal or 5 nights split between Montreal and Ottawa.

I like both Ottawa and Quebec City, but prefer the latter... Quebec City has an energy/ambience I enjoy, I can't explain it any more than that. Ottawa is quieter, but does have some lovely museums, buildings and Parliament Hill. However, one day and night would give you a bit of a feel for Quebec City, but you'd certainly miss some things there if you pushed on to Montreal the next day.

I'd say... if you have an interest in French language and want an atypical North American experience, make it Quebec City/Montreal. (Ottawa's not quite typical either but is around 75% anglophone.) With a rental car you could even explore some of the environs such as the Charlevoix region north of Quebec City. If you want to check places off your travel list or like museums, do the Ottawa/Montreal option.

Cheers, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 37
Being in Quebec province, both Quebec City and Montreal have a decidedly French influence. The countryside Charlevoix region outside Quebec City is lovely, as mentioned above.

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is quite British, and shares a border with the decidedly French city of Gatineau in Quebec province. Ottawa is also on the Rideau Canal, and since you are renting a car, you could stop at the charming villages along the canal. If you were to choose this option, you might want to spend some time in historic Kingston, and take an afternoon or evening cruise of the Thousand Islands.

We have been to all recently. You can't go wrong with any of your choices, and of course, you haven't the time to do it all. This might give you an idea of what each has to offer, what you would enjoy most, and how you would like to allocate your time:

Montreal: http://www.notabletravels.com/destin.../Montreal.html

Quebec City: http://www.notabletravels.com/destin...ec%20City.html


Ottawa: http://www.notabletravels.com/destin...wa/Ottawa.html

Rideau Canal:


Thousand Islands: http://www.notabletravels.com/destin...20Islands.html
LindaFasteson is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 565
Quebec City and Montreal are super places to visit. They are entirely different from anything you will find in Australia and, given the time restrictions that you have, I would be tempted to devote most of your time to them. I would suggest taking the train from Quebec City to Montreal and also taking the train from Montreal to Toronto. It is so much more relaxing than driving, especially since you will be on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look up the web site www.viarail.ca to find out more information. Ottawa is also a very interesting city. You might consider a day trip on the bus from Montreal if time permits.
almcd is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 447
Hi Lordy,

I'm typing this from the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City (lovely hotel a stone's throw from where I expect your cruise would terminate) and I'd say as a first-timer here (personally enthralled by the ambiance that older cities such as Quebec City and Florence have) that if you share such an interest, you could easily add another day to your QC stay, move on to Montreal for a couple or three days, thence to Ottawa for a day before hitting the Big Smoke (as Toronto is often derisively referred to by wannabe-Torontonians from the rest of the country ) and home.

We've been here for two days and although we've been pacing ourselves kind of in the sloth-like range, there's much to see, do and appreciate in Quebec City.

knickerbocker is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 11
Montreal is amazingly beautiful (and being from Toronto, it is not easy for me to admit . It has so much to offer, in terms of culture,sightseeing, and just wondering all around the small streets of the city. I would divide my time between Montreal (3 days) and Ottawa for the remainder of the time. I see here you got some recommendations, so I will also recommend a good affordable hotel I stayed in when visiting Montreal- Hotel elegant is right downtown (if you have the time, visit Macgill University, beautiful buildings), and has a good price when you get it through easyclicktravel website. The hotel is pretty basic, but you get what you need.
s_sharona is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
Hi everyone,
thank you so much for your helpful replies. It is very interesting hearing what you all have to say and suggest.
Lindafasteson, I will check out all of your web sites. Thanks for going to the trouble of doing that.
Almcd, i will also check out your sites. We have driven in the US and Canada before so are not too worried about being on the wrong side of the road.
Knickerbocker, I am also interested in staying at the hotel you are at. It sounds beautiful.
I am writing this from Melbourne in 43 degree heat. Very hot!!!!!!!!
Thanks again for all of your help and suggestions
Lordy is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 447
"Knickerbocker, I am also interested in staying at the hotel you are at. It sounds beautiful"

Oh Lordy (and I mean that as a salutation and an exclamatory), it is, it is. Definitely ask for a river-view room (or suite as you require). You'll have a nice view of the St. Lawrence River on its way to the Atlantic during the day and if you're an early riser as I am, you'll have the bonus of catching the sun rising over Levis across the river.

Enjoyable dining is not a problem. Our benchmark meal was at Café du Clocher Penché (www.clocherpenche.ca) on Saturday evening where we had La cocotte pour deux personnes (translates through Google as "The slow cooker for two people"). Ours was lamb (although I don't know that that's necessarily a given) and it was falling-off-the-bone delicious. My wife has an average appetite and I come armed and ready to take on whatever gastric challenges are presented. But after a delicious Carpaccio de boeuf appetiser and La coctte, I was satisfied with a [Monty Python's "Meaning of Life"]waffer thin mint [/Monty Python's "Meaning of Life"] for dessert.

Definitely make reservations if you plan to go and marvel at how so few wait staff can so efficiently and with such aplomb attend to the needs and wants of a full restaurant. Our server spoke English although to her credit, she endured my mangling of la langue française with much forbearance.

My God, don't I sound like an advertisement!

Anyway, hope this helps. And BTW? It's peaking-out here at a balmy -7ºC. In September, I'd expect the local temperature would be more around the 20ºC (70ºF) mark although I'll defer to others on that front

knickerbocker is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 02:06 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
Thanks for your helpful info Knick.
Lindafasteson, the sites are great. Still deciding what to do with our time.
Thanks again
Lordy is offline  
Jun 5th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Hi there!

I've lived in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City (my favourite by far) and Ottawa (now living across the river from Ottawa in Aylmer, Quebec). I know Quebec City (and most of the surrounding area), Ottawa and Toronto like the back of my hand. Can tell you about lots of beautiful sights worth seeing that took me a while to discover. I play sightseer host lots when I go to Quebec City and it would be a pleasure to pass along what I know.

I agree about spending your time in and around Quebec City. Charlevoix is definitely worth the time. Île d'Orléans is 15 minutes from downtown QC and not to be missed!

I will give you an email address to contact me if you like...I'll pass along what I can and some photos so you can get an idea of what you may see. Take care,

[email protected]
Kixi is offline  
Jun 7th, 2010, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,152
With only 5 nights I don't think you really have time for all three cities. Since you are definitely starting in Quebec, I would add another day/overnight there so you have more time to enjoy that city.

I have been to both Montreal and Ottawa and would choose Montreal for the next three nights. It is a wonderful city for all the reasons others have mentioned. In addition to all the other pluses, it has a great ethnic mix. It is fun to wander in the different neighborhoods, and there are many interesting museums.

The Montreal tourist office has a promotion for hotels called Sweet Deals that gives good rates for 2 nights with 50% off for the third night
The tourist web site also has other very good information about neighborhoods, events, etc.

You could then stop somewhere between Montreal and Toronto for your last overnight. Unfortunately most of the places I can think of are quite close to Montreal and wouldn't really break up the trip much.

I am interested in hearing more about your cruise. Where does it go exactly? I know there are some that go up the St. lawrence and have always been intrigued by those.
Vttraveler is online now  
Jun 21st, 2010, 07:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
Hi Kixi and Vttraveler,
sorry about the delay in getting back to you. The last posts were in Jan, so had not checked for a while.
We are still working on this part of the trip.
We get off the cruise in Quebec City on the 16th September and will book 1 more night after the cruise. We will then pick up a car.
We are then looking at 2 nights in Montreal, 1 night in Ottawa, another night in Ottawa / Kngston area ( Have friend in Belleville and may catch up with them ) and then 1 night near the Toronto airport.
Kixi, I will definitely email you and would love to get some tips and suggestions for the trip.
Where do you recommend staying?
We like clean, comfortable modern hotels in a good position.
The cruise leaves from NW and goes to: Rhode Island, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Novia Scotia, Charlottetown, Gulf of St Lawrence, Saguenay Fjord and finishes in Quebec City. ( arrives in Quebec City at 8.00am and stays overnight )
Thanks again
Lordy is offline  
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