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Quebec City and Montreal - how much time in each?

Quebec City and Montreal - how much time in each?

Old Apr 5th, 2024, 11:06 AM
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Quebec City and Montreal - how much time in each?

Hello all, we will be getting off a Cruise in Quebec City on a Friday after spending a full day docked in Quebec on a Thursday and sightseeing. We are trying to decide whether 1) to spend more time in Quebec City. Will one day be enough? and 2) whether or not go on to Montreal. If so how many days would be good to spend in Montreal? With no car, what will be the best way to get to Montreal? Train looks easy. Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 04:09 PM
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The rule of thumb is that you want more time in Montreal than Quebec City, but it also depends on what you want.

Montreal is a large exciting cosmopolitan eastern North American city that's kindred spirits with New York City (especially Brooklyn) and Boston. It's an artsy international eclectic city with a phenomenal restaurant scene, with a mix of historic and newer buildings, a diversity of neighbourhoods worth exploring with their own look and feel, a famous historic district, a busy downtown bustling with restaurants, famous universities, shopping malls, grand hotels, museums, art galleries, and nightlife, and wonderful residential areas like the Plateau and Mile End famous for its Jewish delis, bakeries, cafes, lounges, live music, bookstores, bars, and so on. There are beautiful parks, biking trails, and it's all easily explored walking and using public transit (similar to how one would explore New York). I'd always suggest three full days for a first time visit to Montreal.

Quebec City is different. It's a much smaller and quieter city but famous for its concentration of historic buildings and historic sites. It's much more charming than Montreal, but lack's Montreal's energy and diversity. The touristy area is small so if you only have one day, you'll see a lot in one day. If you want to spend more than one day in Quebec City, you certainly can, but it would make sense to travel to the outlying areas to explore more, otherwise you'll generally be wandering around the same area in Quebec City day after day.

Montreal's the city for culture lovers and you can go back to Montreal on repeat visits and never have the same experience twice. Quebec City's the city you go to when you want a quiet romantic getaway and all you care about is soaking up the historic ambiance.

The train to Montreal from Quebec City is super easy. It's not scenic (mostly flat farmland) but it's as easy as it gets.

You won't need a car in Quebec City or Montreal.

Last edited by BC_Robyn; Apr 6th, 2024 at 04:17 PM.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 01:45 PM
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Thanks so much! Your response is very helpful. Yes, I will enjoy the old section of Quebec but Montreal sounds interesting too. We are thinking about getting off the ship on Friday and immediately get on the train to Montreal avoiding a one night stay In Quebec. If we spent another day in Quebec and left on Saturday, we would miss a weekend day when possibly more things are going on. This would put us in Montreal on a Monday when it might be quieter. There seem to be better choices of flights to California from Montreal than from Quebec as well. So Montreal it is! Now to find a reasonable hotel.
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