Montreal or Quebec City

Old Feb 9th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Montreal or Quebec City

We will be traveling through Montreal and Quebec in Sept. 2007 and would like to book a city tour for one of the two. Any thoughts on one vrs. the other?
tomandjan5 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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QC makes you feel like you're far more deeply immersed in "foreign" society and the city has an old history that results from its strategic location on a bluff overlooking the river.

If I were visiting from France or some european foreign city with lots of history, I'd get the guided tour of Montreal (because it is more 'western'/english), but if I were visiting from Kansas, I'd get the QC tour.

Kansas tourists could just about self-guide themselves through Montreal with juuuuuuuust enough fear to keep their goose bumps showing with regard to communication barriers. (there are few that actually hinder in Montreal - QC is a different story)

Hope this helps.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2007, 04:26 AM
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Thanks NorthwestMale
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Excuse me for butting in but this exchange caught my eye.

I am planning a visit to both cities this spring. I am mono-lingual, English only. Can I expect this to be a great difficulty?

Thanks for your input.
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I highly recommend the Gray Line bus tour in Montreal. It leaves from Dorchester Square but they have mini buses that pick you up at your hotel if you book with them. I had never been to Montreal and my husband was born there but hadn't been back for quite a few years. He was impressed by the extensive coverage. We had time to get out in the more scenic areas and the driver's english was excellent. It was one of the best tours I have had in a city.

We also took a tour in Quebec City. If you have to choose one I would go with Montreal because it is so big and so much to see. You could do Quebec City walking if you just do Old QC. They are both wonderful cities but be sure to do as much dining as possible in both. The food is out of this world.
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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You shouldn't have any trouble. Touristy areas in Quebec City and Montreal generally offer services in English and French.

Also worth noting is that federally funded services (like National historic sites/museums) are required by law to offer services in both of Canada's national languages: French and English.

Montreal is very bilingual. You will rarely have a problem there with speaking only English.

Quebec City's demographic is mostly French speaking, but in the touristy areas, like in the hotels, touristy restaurants, etc, they'll generally have people working who can speak English.

The idea is to not *expect* to be spoken in English... never demand it. The idea is to learn a few key words or phrases in French to show that you're at least trying... such as "bonjour" or "salut" (pronounced sa-loo) to say hello, or "je ne parle pas francais" (I don't speak french), etc.

I'll let the locals explain it better, but generally, tourists who only stick to Montreal and Quebec City will not have problems if they only speak English. An English-French phrase book or a pocket French-English dictionnary might come in very handy though.
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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As for the Montreal tour vs Quebec city tour... it's hard to say. It really depends on your preferences.

Quebec City is a much, much smaller city, and you can access it all on foot. As a result, a tour (at least a driven tour) would probably be less of a priority, at least in my books.

While a lot of very important historical events took place in Quebec City, I find that you can easily learn about them simply by visiting the museums around the Plains of Abraham. A small Quebec City guide book should also give you a lot of context of what took place in Quebec City.

Montreal, on the other hand, is much larger, spread out... and its history and attractions are not so "obvious" to first-time visitors... at least that's my opinion. Most of Montreal's history is not revealed to passer-byer in the same way that it is in Quebec City. For this reason, I'd probably do a tour of Montreal so that you can better appreciate the city.
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Book a all city tour for Montreal. It is big and warrants one. Better yet you can find out everything you need via the internet and then target what really turns you on not wasting time with other sights. Start researching here

A mid age \young person can walk everywhere in Old Town QC. Passing many interpretation centers which are then more or less the city tour. But do take the Chateau Frontenac Castle tour. very cool place, $750.00 us per night, Head Chef roof top gardens, costumed guide, World war 2 allied meeting story etc.
sobolik is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Yes, as noted, you can do the "tourist" section of Quebec City (the old "walled city") by foot - or by the popular horse-drawn carriages (I'm not sure how well a bus would navigate some of the narrow cobble streets anyway). Montreal also has an "old" section, less extensive than Quebec City's, but Montreal is a bigger metropolis and so there are other things to do and see besides the "old" town - a bus tour might be helpful.

English is not a problem in the tourist-oriented "Old (Vieux)" district of Quebec City (but could be elsewhere - however you'll probably stay mostly in that district). In Montreal, you should be fine anywhere in the downtown area or at major attractions: commercial establishments in these generally have bilingual staff and there will always be someone within hearing distance who speaks English. Outside of the downtown area there are districts which are either predominantly English-speaking or predominantly French-speaking, but again, as a tourist, you'll probably mostly visit areas where both are spoken.
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