Just back from Quebec and Montreal

Aug 6th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Just back from Quebec and Montreal

I just returned from a solo trip to Montreal and Quebec and I will give some of my impressions and will try to answer questions.

Montreal was better than I expected, probably because I didn't expect that much! I took this trip with just a few days notice because I decided I needed a break but didn't have time to plan a trip to Europe. I enjoyed Montreal for the great weather this time of year, friendly people, good shopping in the boutiques along St. Denis, walking up Mont Royal to the Chateau, etc. I stayed at two different hotels, De La Montagne and Omni. I really preferred Montagne but had two nights at the Omni because I wanted the workout room and spa. Everything was very close so I could easily walk to the old town but I think I am glad I didn't stay in that area. The weather was good enough that I didn't spend anytime in the underground area but that would have been a great alternative for a rainy day. Monteal is a very fun place that I would highly recommend and I would return to.

Quebec City turned out to be less than I expected. It was very family oriented and I think there were more kids around than if I had gone on a Disney vacation! Lots of characters dressed up doing skits, magic shows. Parades, lots of crowds etc. And this seemed to go on all day until around 9 at night.

On my second day there I found some areas in the fringes of the lower town area that were more galleries and french restaurants with owners that didn't speak english and were more what I expected. I also enjoyed the areas outside the walls that were frequented more by locals. The upper town seemed to just be a series of trinket shops and didn't have much personality to me.

So, overall a good trip. Let me know if you have questions.
dw0201 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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Dear DW,
Hello! Can you decribe what De La Montagne hotel was like? Where is the location? Price, etc. Thanks!
bettyo70 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Betty, Their website is www.hoteldelamontagne.com and is pretty accurate. I paid 185 canadian dollars per night and that includes the breakfast that was nicer than what you usually expect from that sort of breakfast included type deal. The rooms were large, separate bathtub from the shower. It has a pool on the top floor along with a bar I think. They have two restaurants, one of which is where they serve breakfast and has terrace outside where you can watch all the activity on the street below as you are eating. The location is great but most hotels in that area are so close to each other that I dont know what would be bad. On a quiet street just up from St. Catherines and an easy walk to Mont Royal or old town or the train station or the metro.
dw0201 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2004, 04:48 AM
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I also just returned from Montreal and Quebec. We actually preferred Quebec. Yes, they were having a festival and people were dressed in clothing from their history and they were doing reinactments of some events from history. We found it interesting. We hardly encountered any children. We loved the quaint feel of Quebec and Old Montreal. A lot of Montreal reminded me of a smaller scale New York City.
schmerl is offline  
Aug 8th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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Thank you for the hotel information. I think we may be leaning towards a bed & breakfast, but it's good to know anyway. Schmerl: I agree with you about some of Montreal's similarities to NYC. I am from NYC and the thing I like about Montreal is that it seems much harder to get a bad meal in Montreal -- the food everywhere was fantastic! Also it feels less rushed in Montreal than NYC, which I appreciate. Hearing French is nice also. Best wishes to all...
bettyo70 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Your message is timely.
We returned from a incredibly wonderful trip via Canandain Rail to Vancouver from Ontario.
Now, we want to explore the eastern Provences...and are thinking of driving to Quebec City and points beyond.
We will avoid Montreal at all costs because of the traffic and we have been there twice.
Since we will be leaving from Michigan ( a long drive!) I am wondering if Quebec City will be worth it...and...do you or anyone have recommendations where to stop along the St. Lawrence River eastward.
We only have time and money to reach the end of the St. Lawrence River.
The Vancouver trip will be hard to beat.
I appreciate any comments!
cedar is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 10:01 AM
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Cedar,This is so difficult to answer because the innkeeper said there aren't usually the crowds or all the kids that were there when I was there but based on what I saw I don't think I would go back. I do love the people speaking French and did eventually find some restaurants that were not so touristy. I know there are many others that had a much experience in Quebec city than I did.
dw0201 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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I lived in Quebec City for a year, and much prefer it to Montreal. It would be a shame to go all the way to Quebec and not visit Quebec City. There are a lot of tourists, but there is so much history. Quebec City is a walled city and you can still visit the citadell. There are beautiful views of the St Lawrence, you can visit and rollerblade etc on the Plains of Abraham, where the Montcalm was defeated by Wolfe and the English took over. There are so many wonderful things in QC. It is my favourite city in Canada.
jamikins is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 05:07 PM
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I have to admit I agree with the majority of posters and much preferred Quebec City over Montreal. Montreal had it's highlights, but we preferred the charm and small city warmth of Quebec. In fact, I would go back in a heartbeat! We didn't encounter the parades, etc., and we were there at the end of July last year. There is so much more to see just outside the city. We stayed at the Loews Le Concorde and had a fabulous view of the Chateau Frontenac and St. Lawrence River. We got to hear a free Sunday evening jazz concert in the Plains de Abraham, and took a wonderful day trip to the Ile d'Orleans and the falls at La Chute Montmorency. That plus walking through old town made this one of my all time favorite cities. Quebec over Montreal hands down for me.
hugglynn is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 06:37 PM
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Count me in the Montreal over QC category.

I think it all depends on what you are looking for. I prefer cosmopolitan and fun over quaint and interesting. Montreal has all the great things about city living, great museums, great restaurants, beautiful scenery.

QC is a charming place, but it feels overrun by tourists. Tourists were everywhere I went. While the historical stuff was interesting and I found some beautiful little side streets, it quit being interesting after awhile.
MikeT is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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Comparing the two cities is like comparing apples to oranges, they are both great in their own way. We go to QC about once every 3 years, we go to Montreal about twice a year. For charm and beauty, it's hard to beat QC. Walking the streets of the upper town in the early AM, and looking out over the St. Lawrence - there is no city more beautiful. However, when I want my 'city' fix (I live in a rural area), with lots of great dining options, music and shopping, not many places can beat Montreal. I remember talking to a twenty something museum worker in QC who couldn't wait to move to Montreal - QC was to dead for her. We have also spoken to young ex-Parisians who have migrated to Montreal, they loved the slower pace and more space.
zootsi is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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I am going to Montreal in two weeks and have reservations at the Omni. Can you tell me what you did and didn't like about it? Also, can you tell me which hotel had the better pool? Thanks.
kab3164 is offline  
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