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VERY Last Minute Trip to Quebec City & Montreal

VERY Last Minute Trip to Quebec City & Montreal

Aug 17th, 2007, 10:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 244
VERY Last Minute Trip to Quebec City & Montreal

My husband just found out that he has the next week off of work. I being a teacher have 2 more weeks of summer vacation. We have decided that if all possible to plan last minute we would love to go up to Quebec City and hopefully Montreal also. We are hoping to leave on Tuesday or Wednesday and return on Sunday. (August 21-26) Being that this is VERY last minute and I am just starting to research on both cities I came to the wonderful world of Fodor's to ask the Fodorites for help!! PLEASE

We live in Southern NY(Putnum County) and have figured out that from our house Quebec City is about an 8 hour drive while Montreal is about 5 hrs. Our tentative plan would be to drive straight up to Quebec City stay for 2-3 nights and then go to Montreal stay 2 nights and head home. I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on just changing the number of days in each city...or just hitting one city? If we were to cut out one city it would be Montreal...the only reason being that it is closer and we could always hit up Montreal on a 3 day weekend later in the year if the need be.

We are hoping to keep hotel budget under $150 USD per night. Any suggestions on hotels or areas to stay in either city. For example is it better to stay in the Upper or Lower town of Q.C.?

A little background on us is that we are married for about 1.5 yrs and 25 & 27 yrs old. We both LOVE history and like to see the sites of the places we are in. We are def. walkers and like to wander around new places.

Thanks so much for any help that you have! It is much appreciated!!
beph03 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 114
3 nights in Quebec city and 2 in Montreal make sense. Quebec City is much smaller but more historic. If you ever ran out of things to do in the City you could make a day trip to La Malbaie in the Charlevoix area (via route 138 and 362). Beautiful drive.
In fact, if you have the option of going to Montreal later, I would spend two days in the Charlevoix area. Baie St-Paul and La Malbaie offer many lodging choices.

Quebec City Lower and Upper town are both fine. Go with your budget.
LouisP is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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How much time to spend in these cities depends on what you want to see and the pace you prefer, but in general, I'd recommend 3 or 4 days in Quebec City and 6 or 7 in Montreal. Given that you can return to Montreal more easily, your plan makes sense to me. Both cities are lovely, and both have some really interesting places to walk around, so I think you should enjoy your trip no matter how you divide your time. Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Thanks so much for both of your responses. I had never thought to do Quebec City and a closer town near Q.C. also instead of Montreal and then just doing Montreal at another time.

I have been searching for hotels in Q.C. for the past 2 hrs and can not seem to find anything under $300 per night that has room avaliablity.

The search continues on...does anyone have hotel suggestions for the below $150 USD price range?
beph03 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I had a good experience at the Hotel Chateau Bellevue some years ago. . . .
kja is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 412
when driving to Montreal,are you taking the thruway/northway? I would say more like 6 hours, but it depends on how fast you drive, I guess.. Be aware that the waits at the US /Canadian borders can be really bad on weekends, especially coming back into the US. A few weeks ago, I got started from Montreal at 8 am, and faced a 2-3 hour wait at the border crossing at 87. I ended up taking a lesser known border crossing and still waited an hour.
AlexA is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for the border info AlexA
beph03 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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For waiting times at the major crossing points, the Canada Border Services Agency updates the information every hour on their website:

laverendrye is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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Hotel prices in Montreal in the summer are definitely higher than at other times of year. The tourist office promotes a Sweet Deals package with good prices for 2 nights, the third at half price, which would get you within budget, but that is longer than you think you want to stay in Montreal

the tourist web site also lists some discounted "last minute deals" in your price range and time frame. There might be more later in the weekend.

A lot of people use Price line successfully in Montreal but I believe you can't guarantee a non smoking room which would make me very nervous.

for history buffs i strongly recommend the Pointe-a-Calliere archeological museum in Montreal.
The tourist office has a good walking tour of Old Montreal. Another museum I recommend there is Chateau ramezay. (At least stop by the garden)

For more recent history, there is a good exhibit on Expo '67 at the Biosphere on Isle St.Helene

I agree you should be concerned about long lines at the major border crossings on weekends. We usually go through one of the smaller crossings east of I-87.

I don't have much advice on Quebec City. We haven't been there in years although we keep saying we are going to take a long weekend and go up there.
Vttraveler is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Vttraveler thanks for the advice and suggestions. I will look into those.

laverendrye - thanks for the website

beph03 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 79
I prefer Quebec City to Montreal because it's more historic. The Plains of Abraham, a tour of the Lower Town/Place Royal, a guided walk along the old city walls, the Citadel, the Assemblee Nationale, Montmorency Falls just outside of the city, I think you'll have a wonderful trip.

I remember when I went, I had to stay outside of the city centre... near the University Laval in the Ste Foy region. Not the most convenient place in regards to the tourist attractions, but it was cheaper (there was a mall and fast food restaurants close by).
blakejared is offline  

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