Montreal or Qubec City?

Jan 7th, 2002, 05:21 PM
Felicia C.
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Montreal or Qubec City?

I want to visit Canada over Memorial Day weekend with my family. The drive to Montreal is 7 hrs, the drive to Quebec City is 10. We are looking to have an authentic "french" experience. Is the longer drive to Quebec City worth it or would we enjoy Montreal just as much? Thanks!
Jan 7th, 2002, 05:29 PM
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As a native of a big US city,I found that Montreal has more English speakers and is a 'big city' while in Quebec City I had to pull out my high school French more often and found it(the city, not my French) to be more quaint (you know, walled city and all that) Having said that, I go to Montreal nearly every year and have been To QC only once. I find that there is more to do and see in Montreal, and there are certainly ample opportunities to have an authentic Quebecois experience in Montreal.( I don't think of it as 'French' except in terms of language)
Jan 7th, 2002, 08:35 PM
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The jewel of Quebec(the province) is Quebec City. It is old world, romantic and VERY Quebecois.
Montreal is more lively and cosmopolitan.
Both are predominately french Canadian.
As always, it depends on your taste.
Jan 7th, 2002, 08:57 PM
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Excuse me, but did someone make a rule here that you can only see one city on any given weekend? Why not try Montreal for saturday & sunday then spend Monday in Quebec (mostly it's an Americanism to tack 'city' onto it). While Montreal is worth a week and Quebec a weekend if you've never been to either this is a chance to get a taste of both. And, by the way, the above posts were very accurate in their evaluations of the two cities even if they seemed to differ in their opinions.
Jan 8th, 2002, 06:32 AM
Elaine G
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Felicia - Just wondering where you and your family were driving from? Sounds like the same amount of time I have been told coming from the Boston area. I'm planning a trip with my family this summer so I was just curious. Thanks!
Jan 8th, 2002, 06:41 AM
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This is a good question. Both cities are quite French, and a lot of fun. Montreal is a large, exciting American type city with a strong French influence. Lots of fabulous restaurants, lots of things to do. Quebec City (the old part) is very scenic and quaint, you could easily be in a small French walled city, it's that authentic. I wouldn't try and squeeze both in on one long weekend, they should both be savored for at least a few days.
Jan 8th, 2002, 08:47 AM
Daniel Williams
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Hi Felicia,

Both cities contain a majority of people who use French as their authentic mother tongue. Both cities also have French-influenced architecture, although Quebec City is quite older than Montreal and this is reflected in the style of homes.

If you wish to practice your French, it is good to remember that Montreal has a sizeable anglophone population, and many franophones are fluently bilingual. With persistence, you should find opportunities to use your French in Montreal, more so in the eastern parts of Montreal city than in the west, where many anglophones are concentrated.

Quebec City has a larger percentage of unilingual francophones than Montreal and fewer people will switch to English when you speak to them in French. However, you might run into the problem that you may not understand them nor them you.

What would I do if I were you? With only a 3-day weekend, I would want to maximize my time...and would opt for Montreal.

Have a great trip whatever you decide! DAN
Jan 9th, 2002, 06:37 PM
Felicia C.
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Thank you all so much for the helpful advice. It all sounds so fun! -Felicia
Jan 25th, 2002, 09:10 AM
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The drive to Montreal is only 5.5 hours. I have driven it 4 times in the last year and always do it in 6 or under
Jan 25th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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Boy that's funny... the best I can do from my house is 10 hours... there must be something wrong with my car... or maybe lon has a superfast double speed racer from his house! please help me understand why he gets there faster than me!
Jan 25th, 2002, 12:14 PM
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Felicia: I would stick to one place or the other for only a three day weekend. We were in Montreal for four full days and we're returning this summer as we weren't able to see a lot of the city (i.e., ran out of time). Have a great trip.

Gary: I grew up in Canada, and I don't know about the "mostly it's an Americanism to tack 'city' onto it". We all knew it as Quebec City, and as AM points out just "Quebec" refers to the province...maybe it's locals who refer to it as only in a Montrealer saying, "I'm going to Quebec for the weekend."

Elaine: We drove for our first trip to Montreal on the Thanksgiving Day weekend. We expected it to take 6 hours, but it took us 5 hours including breaks. It's a sweet drive, we didn't have any problems and it is well signed heading from the border to Montreal.
Jan 26th, 2002, 03:22 AM
Elaine G
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Thanks, klam!
Jan 26th, 2002, 04:50 AM
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Go to

They have something on Montreal today.
Jan 28th, 2002, 10:22 AM
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Why not forget the car and go by train? My husband and I traveled went to Toronto-Montreal-Quebec City, and I think it was the best way to go. Both Montreal and Quebec are easy to walk around, the canadian trains were on time and very clean, and we could both enjoy the journey without having to worry about a car. I absolutely loved both cities, but Quebec City won me over with its history and beauty.
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