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How many days do we need to see Montreal and Quebec City?

How many days do we need to see Montreal and Quebec City?

Old Aug 7th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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How many days do we need to see Montreal and Quebec City?

We are planning a 10 day trip at the end of September. We are coming from the mid Atlantic area of the US, driving up to the Finger Lakes area then heading up to Niagara Falls (Canadian side) then spending the rest of our time in Montreal and Quebec City. We have no idea how much time we should allow for each location, where to stay, what we must see, etc. so are looking for suggestions! Thanks.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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Two full days per city.Paul
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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For me the joy of Montreal is not about seeing particular sights as simply being there. That said you should go to old Montreal and have a look at Notre Dame cathedral. Naturally there will be many other visitors to the city there. Your car is more of liability than asset in that part of town so walk or use public transport to get there. Spend some time exploring the Plateau area. There are many good places to eat here.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 12:43 PM
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Hi -

First time to Niagara Falls? How long you stay will partly depend on whether you are travelling with kids and will visit the many "family" attractions. Even if no kids - you may or may not be interested in activities like the Maid of the Mist or the Casinos. If you just want to see the Falls, one full day and night are probably sufficient. Suggest staying in the Fallsview District, Fallsview room if this is your first trip. If you like small quaint towns, you could spend an extra day or 2 in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake - a charming Victorian town with some good restaurants, shops, several high-end Inns and many B&B's. Take the scenic Niagara Parkway from the Falls to get there (only about 30 minutes not including stops for pictures). Nearby is Niagara wine country - many vinyards and wineries for touring and tasting if that intersts you (some excellent wines).

In Montreal I would try to stay in the "Old Montreal" section near the Port. It is basically on the edge of downtown, the historic district, very walkable with a number of shops, cafes, restaurants, etc. There are several rather romantic boutique hotels there, e.g. the Saint Sulpice, the Auberge du Vieux Port (roughly means the Inn at the Old Port), Hotel Nelligan and others. There is also an Embassy Suites on the edge of Old Montreal closest to the rest of the downtown. Dining is great in Montreal. It is a cosmopolitan city with many choices, but I think it's special for its French-style cuisine. Montreal is also known for it's late night scene, jazz is very popular.

Do you have kids and are you looking for family attractions? Again that will partly dictate how long you stay. What are your specific interests?

Quebec City: You will want to target most (or all) of your time in "Vieux Quebec" (Old Quebec) which is the historic district - a preserved 17th century fortress town with cobblestone streets, street artists and the old buildings renovated into restaurants, inns and interesting little shops. This area is fairly compact and walkable and I think 2 full days will allow you to see most of it (so maybe 3 nights accommodation). The top hotel is the Chateau Frontenac which sits on the edge of, and overlooks, the "Old" city. There is a Hilton very close by, essentially just across the street from the main entrance into the Old City, a number of smaller Inns within the old city, and several other chain hotels nearby - but I would make sure you are staying within easy walking distance of Vieux Quebec.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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I have read the above but was wondering.....with two 17 yrs olds, is there alot to do shopping- wise? activities? it will actually be my daughters 18th birthday and we wanted to do something really special for her....and not have to fly....we are 4 hours from Quebec City.....any further advice would be great! We need a nice hotel with a suite wihtout breaking the bank....bringing her 17 yr old boyfriend, so need some extra sleep quarters.... ......thanks!
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Bear in mind that it will take you close to 11 hours to drive from Niagara to Montreal and Quebec City is another 2+ from Montreal. This will eat up 10% of your trip, not counting the return journey. It might be a good idea to break your journey around Kingston or Gananoque and do a 1000 island boat trip while you are there. This would also give you the advantage of not having to arrive in Montreal during rush hour. The traffic is horrendous then. Remember also that you cannot turn right on a red light while you are on the island of Montreal. Have you considered taking the train? You might want to investigate it. Both cities are fabulous and well worth a visit.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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4 nights Montreal, 2 nights Quebec City
4 nights Montreal, 3 nights Quebec City
3 nights Montreal, 2 nights Quebec City

The above are most typical itineraries for visitors, but loving Montreal and QC as I do, more is better than less for me. I live in Montreal though so I'm biased. I suppose if you're pinched for time (as you may be hitting the Finger Lakes, Niagara-on-the Falls, etc...), 2 days Montreal, 2 days Quebec would work for a taste as tovarich suggests, as long as you're aware that you've only gotten the tiniest of tastes.


Jean Talon Market
meandering aimlessly in the Plateau Mont-Royal
Notre Dame Basilica and a cursory look at Old Montreal
taking in the vibe at Parc Lafontaine
climbing the mountain
renting a bike in Old Montreal and cycling out to:
Parc Jean Drapeau
Atwater Market
Old Lachine via the Lachine Canal
Lachine Rapids/Ile des Soeurs waterfront
to the ferry to Iles de Boucherville (canoeing, kayaking here)


meandering through the Old City, nearby rue St. Jean
esp. les Escaliers Casse-Cou
Parc Bois de Coulonge
taking in the vibe on les Plaines d'Abraham
Sillery/Rue Maguire
ferry to Levis looks like fun, although I've never done this

Great restaurants and night entertainment galore are part of the joy of both cities. Check out: Voir (Montreal and Quebec alternative weekly in French), Hour and Mirror (weekly: Montreal in english).

Enjoy! Daniel
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 09:53 AM
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I've reconsidered and it will only take about 9 hours to get to Montreal from Niagara. There are two great replies for you to think about. Have an enjoyable vacation.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 01:11 PM
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I vote for (at least) 4 nights in Montreal and 3 in Quebec City. I was in both cities recently for a total of almost 2 weeks and still didn't see and do all that I wanted to.
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful suggestions. We have more research to do now with all this helpful information so hopefully we will have finalized reservations by this weekend. We are not travelling with children - kids are college age plus so it is just myself and my husband. We love B&B's, touring the wineries (which we will also be doing in the Finger Lakes) and eating at nice restaurants. And of course can't wait to walk the streets and tour all the history of Montreal and Quebec City.

Right now we have definite plans for 2 nights in the Finger Lakes region, then 2 nights at the Embassy Suites in Niagara Falls. We were told this was one of the best spots to view the falls from your hotel room. We were planning on seeing Niagara on the Lake from this location so we wouldn't have too much jumping from place to place to stay.

We thought it would be about a 7 hour drive to Montreal from the Falls, not 9-11 as someone posted here. Does that sound right? We were planning on arriving in Montreal by dinnertime our first night. I guess we have to decide still how long in Montreal and how long in Quebec City. And possibly leave a night for a stop on the way back so we don't have such a long drive back. We have friends who were just at Lake George and are thinking of stopping there on the way back. We are somewhat flexible with length of trip.

Since we will have our car, are there any locations that would be a problem staying in Montreal or Quebec City? Do we need to make dinner reservations in advance for any of the restaurants or should we be able to do that while we're there?

And thanks for your long list of suggestions Daniel. Sounds like 2 nights each may not be enough!
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