Montreal or Quebec???

Mar 14th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Montreal or Quebec???

Time and money dictate that we may have to make a decision between three days in Montreal or three days in Quebec!We have visited neither city so please could someone make up our minds for us?We are a senior couple from Scotland ,if that makes any difference!!
ethne is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 08:31 AM
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I assume you mean Montreal or Quebec City (both cities are in Quebec provence). This question has come up many, many times on this forum, and if you search back you will get lots of info.
In a nutshell: Montreal is a MUCH larger city, with a tremendous variety of places to eat, shop, and sleep. Lots of ethnic culture (French, Italian, Anglo, North African, Portuguese, Jewish, etc). There is a smallish, charming old city area, a very busy downtown, and the European feeling Plateau area. In addition there are many ethnic neighborhoods. Montreal has a world class Botanical Garden,and a good Art Museum, but is not really a museum city.
Quebec City is a very scenic small city in a spectacular setting, surrounded by some very nice countryside. It can easily be explored in 3 days. Most of the culture is French as are many of the dining options.
If you want a big city experience with an exciting mix of North America and many other cultures, choose Montreal.
If you want a very scenic, very French small city experience, and are interested in seeing some rural French/Canadian countryside, choose Quebec City.
Frankly, you will love either one.
zootsi is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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"Quebec" IS the appropriate way to phrase that, by the way.

The question is a real puzzler because of where you live.

If it were me, where I live, I would opt for Quebec, because of the deeper immersion in the french culture there.

You, for having seen the real thing, probably wouldn't be so impressed by the imitations, so perhaps a large North American city might be your preference.

If you would be driving around the area, the rural, river-related areas not far from Quebec are pleasant and might remind you of the countryside back home in some ways.

Montreal is a reasonable city for walking as it is quite flat, being on an island and all. Quebec has some fun, older areas where the streets are cobblestone and quite narrow, which make for interesting spots to walk around.

The timing of your trip might help to know, because lord knows that walking around in either place isn't so great until the end of May or beyond.

Tiz a puzzling question you ask.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Having been to parts of Europe I can only imagine that Scottland is just as nice. Also as you said you are an older couple. I have been to Old Quebec city and it is breath taking. If you want the busy hussle life then Montreal is the place to go. I think you might like Quebec city better. Parts of it remind me of Europe. There is a large differnce in the language between France and Quebec (as a province in whole). If you speak any french you might find that it is very different. Some say that if you speak only English that the locals are rude and do not help. I have not found that to be true in any of my visits. You may also hear that you have to hand them the bills with the french side showing or they will not take it, again not so. One time when I was there I spoke no french, the next time I spoke what french I could remember. I found that the locals were helpful either way. With having limited time to spend I would say that Quebec city would be best. However are you going to be renting a car? You do know that in a matter of a few hours you can travel between the two. So you can at least get a taste of both. Just a thought for you. Have fun. Will you let us know where you decided to visit and how you liked it? Bon Voyage!
ShadowM is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:22 AM
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Northwest Male, I live in Montreal. And lived in Quebec City for 7 years. We differentiate by saying "Quebec City", ou La ville de Quebec. NOT just Quebec which usually indicates the province. Just my 2 cents. As for the decision between the 2 zootsi gave excellent advice. PS Quebec City is very much like Montmarte in Paris.
faithie is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:01 AM
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3 days in Montreal.

You'll see old buildings just as good as the old buildings in Quebec City, except for the Chateau Frontenac Hotel.

After that,there are a million things to do in Montreal, and nothing else to do in Quebec City.

Whether being older matters; steep hills in Quebec City, so that might slow you down.

Both cities have excellent restaurants; Montreal has more of them, and in a much wider variety.

I've always been glaad to leave QC after a day.
BAK is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 07:29 AM
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I really like Quebec City, so I'd opt for that. I've visited there several times and could easily go back. I often work in Montreal and it's a great city, but my choice would still be Quebec City.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:44 PM
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I live in Montreal and have been to Quebec (or Quebec City) about seven times for weekend visits. Think: do you want a bigger London-sized experience or do you want smaller Glasgow-sized experience. Even though London is *MUCH* bigger than Montreal, and the two places are quite different, I say, base your decision on how answered that question . London means you go Montreal, Glasgow means you go to Quebec.

Seriously though, with the right attitude, IMO you'll have a great time in whichever you pick. Both are fascinating North American cities.

Best wishes, DAN
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Thanks everybody for your very helpful advice.i think that we'll choose Quebec City!I much prefer Glasgow to London!!
We'll be returning to Toronto from Boston to fly home so might get the bus from Boston to Montreal through Vermont & stay a night in Montreal then.On the other hand we might get the bus from Boston to Toronto via Niagara as we have never been there either!Any advice there please?
Lots of decisions,too many places to visit and not enough time.
By the way,any ideas for good B&Bs or moderate hotels in Quebec city please?
Thanks again for your help.
ethne is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 06:22 AM
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It's been a few years since I've stayed in a B&B in Quebec City, but one good site for B&B's in Canada is It covers the whole country and there are many listings for Quebec City. If it were me, I'd opt to stay within the walls of the old city.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:04 AM
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There are many nice b&b's and small inns in the Rue Ste Ursule area, which is a very pleasant part of Quebec City.
The James Thompson is one we've stayed at.
zootsi is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Ive been faced with a similar decision - Id like to see both but dont have enough time! Ive seen that it is possible to do a day trip between the two by coach or train. I decided to stay in Montreal and take a day to Quebec City - but thats because I have spent so much time in Europe, Im looking fwd to something less 'french' and more north american. For some reason I always think the Chateau Frontenac looks a bit like Carcassone, but Im sure someone will be outraged at that suggestion -from both the French and Canadian point of view...
(and ps - Im going to Glasgow next week!)
traveller2007 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:29 PM
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Zootsi, you may "say" whatever you want to say, but "Quebec" is the only "correct" way.

You need only look at a map to determine the truth.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:30 PM
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That was actually meant for "faithie", of course.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:56 PM
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The Chateau Frontenac was actually designed by an American. Architect Bruce Price from New York. Check out for some great rentals in Quebec City.
Pinson is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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Hmmm.... funny , first map I looked at said "Quebec City".

That aside, my statement was simply to say for most who actually live here.... we say Quebec(province) and "Quebec City". Saves confusion and is a force of habit.
faithie is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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ahhhhhhh, but the devil is in your details.

For why would there BE any "confusion" were "Quebec" not the correct way to phrase the question?

Oddly, nobody ever has the same "confusion" when speaking of Kansas and Kansas City.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 04:59 PM
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The distinction between "Quebec" and "Quebec City" is common in English but extremely rare in French because of the preposition ("à" and "de" for Quebec City and "au" and "du" refers to the province of Quebec).
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